Monday, 14 November 2011

Mark 1

Duncan and I have been reading Wordlive together but it was becoming out of habit so we decided to freshen things up a bit. We're now reading a chapter of Mark a day.

We chose it because we wanted to go New Testament. Duncan prefers narrative style books rather than letters (apparently, Paul goes on a bit). We've read Acts as Mosaic, Revelations is too trippy (and doesn't quite fit in with 'narrative style', but not quite a letter), so it looked it was going to be a Gospel. We thought we'd go for the shortest one because there was no guarantee that it'd work out. However, it seems to be going well. I'm going to be posting my thoughts on each chapter every day (however, they're about a week behind me actually reading it).

So here are my opinions of Mark 1.

I love how Mark gets straight to the point. This book is about good news. This book is about Jesus. He was the Messiah and the Son of God. Mark also gets straight to John the Baptist, whilst also showing how this was all the fulfilment of prophecy, and how Jesus will bring baptism of the Holy Spirit. That's all in four verses. He's off the starting block quicker than Usain Bolt on amphetamines.

Mark obviously didn't think much of the birth narrative or the temptation of Jesus. They just weren't pacey enough. The calling of the first disciples happens in about four verses. It's all go, go, go: healings, large crowds, teaching with authority (I love the digs Mark has at the teachers of the law). That's until Jesus goes to a solitary place in verse 35. He gets up early and goes off, away from the noisy crowds, to pray. I love this brief moment of pause, and Jesus spends it with God. It's something that we should cultivate. We talk about how we live in a busy world and we seem to think that Jesus did nothing but lounge around drinking sangria. But I doubt your schedule looks anything as busy as his, and he still manages to go off to pray.

Then comes some more preaching with authority (unlike those pesky law teachers) and a disobedient leper. Jesus tells him not to tell the news about how his life has been transformed but he just can't help but do it. Today, Jesus tells us to tell people about how our lives have been transformed by him, but we can't help but not do it.

Tune in tomorrow for Mark 2!

Quick Questions
  1. Which is your favourite Gospel? Why?
  2. What do you think of Mark 1?
  3. On a scale of 1-5 how tenuously linked is the image in this post?

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