Day 33: Mark

A child comes home from school and blurts out,

“You know what happened today Mum? We had a visitor, XXX, and she showed us how to abcdefg… She’s terrific, I’ve watched her play on the tele. How do you get to be that good?”

The writer of the 2nd Gospel is excited. He writes like a child blurting out a piece of news that he himself can hardly credit. As if something in connection with God’s promises had been puzzling him (and the rest of his compatriots) and suddenly the pieces of the jig-saw fit together and he has to tell everyone.

His writing is racy, factual, urgent and excited. He starts, not with Christmas, but with Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled in John the Baptist who baptizes Jesus. Immediately Jesus is identified as the Son of God. The writer substantiates this claim on the basis of the nature of Jesus teaching, -”with authority”, the fact that he is recognised by demons, Jesus’ healing miracles and his authority to forgive sins. That is all in chapters one and two.

Mark then goes into more detail, how Jesus the Son of God coached his missionary team, firstly by miracles, parables and symbolic acts such as feeding thousands and calming the sea.

In the last five chapters Mark shows how Jesus prepares his team for the time He is no longer there and prepares them specifically for the events that He knows they will see only as utter tragedy, leading to complete disillusion.

Suspense and excitement continue to build, right up to the two Marys entering the tomb and being told, “…He has been raised….. He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”

The stone is rolled away and the light of the Good News penetrates the darkness of despair and confusion. When Mark’s Gospel is read at one sitting, the writer’s excitement, urgency and joy burst through, – like that of a young child wanting to share her uninhibited enjoyment of God’s Plan coming together for him and for us.

John Blackburn

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here: http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/mark/1.html

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