The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. Mark 1, verse 1.
Hello Friend Reader. I’ve been so anxious all summer to get back with you about important things; more important than shoes and ships and sealing wax, or cabbages and kings. For several weeks, it’s been on my heart to write about one of the Gospels. I can’t say that I’m worthy to do it, or even adequately prepared. I mean, the Gospels, the Good News of Jesus; we’ve walked into the big leagues now, my friend. Yet it’s on my heart and I think that means something.
You see, the point of all these words, of blogging about books of the Bible, is to connect folks to Jesus. New Testament or Old, the whole Bible is the story of God’s relationship to man, culminating in Jesus of Nazareth, God Immanuel, the Three in One Himself who walked around in sandals in the sands of ancient Judea. A friend recommended starting with the Book of Mark and, after reading it several times, I agreed. Which is why we’re here. Yet please don’t rely on me: go there yourself.
When you open your Scripture, especially if you don’t know about Jesus, you’re at the beginning. There’s no better place to start than at the beginning, you know. That’s where we are with Mark. St Mark, John Mark, the believer who deserted Paul yet came back when he was needed most, the apostle whose bones are supposedly buried in Venice: he began his good news about Jesus by starting at the beginning.
That makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, none of us really has it altogether. We each need a reset. Yesterday, in church, I looked around at my friends and more than a few strangers. Have you ever taken a good look at a congregation that’s watching their pastor preach and thought what they’re going through? Some of them have cancer, or maybe AIDS. This week, it’s likely someone damaged their car. Or is in danger of losing their job (or lost one). Someone was raped; someone was robbed. In that group, there were adulterers, forgers, liars, alcoholics, homosexuals, serial judges, hypocrites, and possibly even a murderer or two. Friend, these are the folks in church! Do we expect those NOT in church would be any different?
Two thousand years ago, folks weren’t that different. There were adulterers, liars, alcoholics, homosexuals and the rest back then too. To them, God appeared in person, walking in the flesh, touching them, talking with them, teaching and rebuking them, laughing and crying with them. He did what He had to do to save them from themselves, from their sins. He came to them, to us. He taught people, inspired men like Mark to write down the story, and spoke through it. All so we would know who He is and how much He loves us. And what He did for us.
All of us, un-believer and believer alike, need to start at the beginning every day in understanding that we are 100% loved by Jesus, 100% forgiven by Jesus, 100% understood by Jesus, and 100% wanted by Jesus. EVERYTHING we’ve ever done is moot and forgiven by Him. He accounted for it all, even the bad junk we haven’t done yet. All we have to do is start at the beginning, starting with first principles, and say “I believe.”
If you want to grow, that’s the best place of all to begin.
Lord Jesus, I believe in You. Build, love, and strengthen me to walk with You and grow in You.
Read Mark Chapter 1 verse 1. If you’re interested, compare it to where how Matthew, Luke and John begin their Gospels.