Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Gospel of Mark - An Introduction

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark 1:1
It is widely held that the Gospel According to Mark is the account of the ministry of Jesus as related to John Mark by the apostle Peter. This means that even though this Gospel bears the name of Mark it is in fact the eye-witness account of Peter who spent the three years of Jesus' earthly ministry front-and-center. Unlike the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the Gospel of Mark skips the genealogies and the few events of Jesus' childhood that we know, and by verse sixteen of chapter one we have already seen Jesus baptized by John the Baptist, His temptation in the wilderness, and the beginning of His earthly ministry.

Verse one is an important verse and as we begin our journey through the Gospel of Mark it is important to point out right at the outset that:
  1. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ
  2. That Jesus is the Son of God.
We can see both of these things right in the first verse. Let's look at these one at a time:

First we see that what we are about to read is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Greek word translated gospel here is euaggélion, which Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament words says:
originally denoted a reward for good tidings; later, the idea of reward dropped, and the word stood for “the good news” itself.
What we have here is the good news of Jesus Christ. So we now have to ask ourselves, "what is the good news of Jesus Christ?"

The good news is that we can all have our sins forgiven. The good news is that Jesus was born, lived a perfect life, died upon the cross for our sin, and rose again on the third day. The good news is that Jesus said He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). The good news is that Jesus came to call not the righteous, but sinners (Mark 2:17). The good news is that Jesus came to take away the sins of the world (John1:29). The good news is that Jesus came to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sin (1 John 2:2).

The good news is simply this: Jesus will forgive all of your sin - past, present, and future - when you repent and turn to Him. You don't have to clean yourself up first, you just have to abandon your own self-righteousness and follow Him. We can't earn this salvation, and we can't buy it - our sin deserves death but God offers us salvation as a free gift (Romans 6:23). That is good news! That is the Gospel! That is what we are going to discover as we work our way through this book.

The second thing we see here in this first verse is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. J.C. Ryle, in his book Expository Thoughts on the Gospels writes:
These words, "Son of God," conveyed far more to Jewish minds than they do to ours.They were nothing less than an assertion of our Lord's divinity. They were a declaration that Jesus was Himself very God, and "equal with God." (John 5:18)

The very God of the universe Himself took on human form and came to earth to pay the price that my sin deserved. Once again I say that that is the Gospel, the good news! And I am really looking forward to working our way through this book together. Please feel free to ask questions and post comments as we study together the Gospel of Mark.
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1 comment:

timthumb said...

look forward to following the gospel with you
god bless