Blogging through Mark’s Gospel

thePsalmist on March 31st, 2009

I’ve recently been preaching through Mark’s Gospel.

It’s been a big thing for me to be honest, a really exciting and once in a lifetime opportunity. Why? Well, because the church I’ve been preaching it in is the church I started – a church which has only existed for 18 months. Over those 18 months we’ve done a lot of talks and we’ve worked through some series, but we’ve not tackled a single book and preached it from beginning to end. So tackling Mark’s Gospel is the first time in the life of this new church that we’ve preached through a whole book of the Bible.

Choosing Mark was a BIG decision, and a good decision! Here’s why…

Jesus centred
Like all the gospels Mark focusses on the life and times of Jesus. While all of Scripture is inspired by God equally, for a new church spending time teaching purely about Jesus can be no bad thing … and in fact no better thing that I can think of.

Short
Of the four gospels Mark is the shortest. Mark has done a careful editing job of piecing together crucial elements of Jesus’ teaching and the events which formed Jesus’ life and ministry. He’s been economic with the stories and in that we can thank him. There’s nothing missing which is needed for a new church to know about in the first instance, and what’s there is succint and to the point – making it a great book to start on when you’re dealing with people who’ve never read anything in the Bible before!

Written for Gentiles, not Jews
The last thing to know about Mark’s Gospel is that it was written outside of Israel and Judea in the Roman world at large, where the culture and history were very different and the people knew very little about the Old Testament history. So what Mark writes has to be understandable by people who are NOT familiar with the stories of old, the Jewish customs and history, or the messianic expectation. It had to stand on it’s own to be read by a first time reader … and in my context right now, working with totally unchurched people, that makes Mark’s Gospel absolutely perfect and almost as though it was written for us!

…but then of course, it was!!!

I will be blogging about Mark’s Gospel in the Mark’s Gospel category which will appear as soon as I’ve written out my first lot of notes from the first sermons I preached. They’ll be up shortly! Enjoy!

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