3rd June, 2012
BRUCE C. WEARNE
Read Mark 1:1
Mark's Gospel has always helped Jesus' students stay on track. After reading it over I have the hunch that it was written to remind Jesus' disciples how He had respected them, all of them. Mark wanted to remind his fellow believers that children and women are honoured citizens of God's Kingdom. In Mark's Gospel we read how Jesus accepted all those God had allowed to cross His path - they would do important things for Him as He did what His Father had called Him to do.
"Mark calls it good news, the good news. It has the power to take our lives down a new path which we may have scarcely believed possible. In fact, the Gospel will often work things out in ways that surprise us."
Mark's Gospel shouts out, loud and clear, for anyone with ears to hear, that Jesus loves it when young people - no matter how young - hear the good things God has done. God loves it when a new generation comes along singing about God's kingdom - "Let the children come to me for to them belongs God's Kingdom".
Jesus reminded His disciples that we are all children, God's children. We don't stop being God's children, just because we grow up. We get older and take on adult responsibilities, but we are still God's children. Jesus tells us who we are in God's scheme of things, how important we are as His children. And that is why Mark begins: "The beginning of the Gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God".
Jesus was known as the Messiah. The word Christ ?ρ?στος is the Greek word for Messiah, which is a Hebrew word - ???? – (you read it backwards) meaning oil poured on the head of a special prophet. That is why Jesus was called Christ, Christ Jesus, Jesus the Anointed.
This reminds us, right at the beginning, that This Person was born of a woman, His mother Mary, but He was also anointed Christ a few days before He was crucified by a close friend, Mary Magdalene. She was despised by men, particularly religious men, because of the life she had lived. Jesus had welcomed her anointing, showing He considered her forgiven, and thus supported her deed. In so doing, He confirmed her discipleship, her affirmation that He was indeed Son of God, Messiah, the Christ. We'll see later that this was an explosive moment. Some just would not accept it. Some still refuse to consider it as a possibility. But it is a special part of the story.
Mark calls it good news, the good news. It has the power to take our lives down a new path which we may have scarcely believed possible. In fact, the Gospel will often work things out in ways that surprise us. Paul and Barnabas had a barney over Mark. You can read about that elsewhere and in Mark's tale. It's not clear what their argument was about. I'm not sure who was right and who was wrong. But what we do have is Mark's Gospel which is evidence that after this event, in which two older believers had fallen out, this young man became an important story-teller among the followers of Jesus. Mark's Gospel got written. The arguments between Paul and Mark's Uncle had not stopped God doing good things with Mark's life. Mark had to learn not to give up when troubles come. Indeed "we must go through many disappointments" to prove our membership in God's kingdom" (Acts 14:22).
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