Wednesday, March 16, 2011

GOOD NEWS: The Kingdom of God is Here (Mark1)

As I posted last week, my wife and I are reading through the Gospel of Mark for Lent, writing down observations and questions, and then discussing them with one another. I am going to try to briefly write about some of our observations and discussions.

As i also mentioned before, Mark is believed to be the oldest of the gospels written before Matthew, Luke, and way before John. This is important to keep in mind. Matthew and Luke copy a lot of Mark and if you read their accounts, Matthew and Luke seem to add things in here and there... Especially when it comes to any kind of Deity or Messianic claims.

There is a lot going on in the first of chapter of Mark, but there is one thing that is missing... There is no birth story.

Something that many people consider to be foundational and a non negotiable doctrine, Mark doesn't even mention.

• Why does Mark, the first gospel and all that some people would have had at the time, not include a virgin birth story?

• A voice from heaven gives witness that Jesus is the Son of God. I think it's interesting that Mark included this.

• There is not much of an account of the temptation in the wilderness where the Tempter, in other accounts, questions Jesus about the whole "Son of God" thing.

• Jesus comes to proclaim the Good News. And what is the Good News according to Mark? "Repent, for the Kingdom of God has come near!" Turn around, think differently, rethink everything for the (upside down) Kingdom you have all been waiting for is here NOW and it's nothing like anyone ever imagined (hence "repent"). AndThat's it, that IS the good news.

• Jesus calls a couple of disciples who drop everything and leave their family to follow a Rabbi so they can go fish for... People?

• Then Jesus does some healing. I'll write some thoughts later about miracles because I do think miracles are commonly misunderstood, and viewed more as magic tricks and "God proofs" than anything else. I don't think this is the case. Also...
-Why did Jesus heal?
-And Demon Possession?

But there is plenty of opportunities for the miracle discussion.

What are some things that stand out to you in Mark chapter 1?


melissa said...

one thing that stands out to me...because i often question the reason for prayer. is that jesus slipped away early in the morning to a solitary place to pray. he took time to commune with god.

Matt said...

Looking forward to your post on miracles and demon possession as I have studied both in some detail. Even took a class at UNCW for Communication Studies titled, "The Rhetoric of 20th Century American Faith Healers."
The Prof wrote the book we used, "Foul Demons, Come Out!"