Today's Reading: Mark 1:1 - 3:19
We start our Jesus experiment in the Gospel of Mark. Mark, believed by most scholars to be the earliest written Gospel, was an early catechism - or instruction book - for new Christ-followers. In much of the church, those new believers would memorize the entire book before being baptized on Easter Sunday.
Mark didn't intend to convince anyone of Jesus; instead he makes his purpose clear in the very first verse: "The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God." The entire Gospel is designed to show us what it means for Jesus to be the Son of God. Not a word is wasted - action upon action - event upon event - teaching upon teaching. Exclamation point after exclamation point! As part of this rapid pace, you'll note that Mark begins not with Jesus' birth, but with his baptism.
Jesus' first words are critical to the entire story: "The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15) Everything that follows is commentary on this rich and full sentence.
Then it all begins with his next sentence: "Come, follow me and I will send you out to fish for people." (Mark 1:17) Exclamation point after exclamation point!
What does Jesus mean when he says the Kingdom of God has come near?
What does it mean to repent?
What does Jesus mean when he says to believe?
How does all that happens in the first three chapters of Mark inform this sentence?
Where might Jesus be calling you to follow him today?
Ok, put the Bible down and go do it!