Preview: The Gospel of Mark

previewI like watching movie trailers. Depending on the genre of the movie they usually highlight some of the main action scenes like a clip from a fast paced car chase, a skillfully choreographed fight or a particularly funny part of the movie. Carefully chosen, these short clips are pieced together to draw us into wanting more, without spoiling the main plot of the story.

Ninety-nine percent of the time when I study the Bible I read from the New International Version. Recently as I worked my way through the book of Mark I was thinking about all the different sections or headings found between the chapters. These sections read like a movie trailer, they highlight the action and essence of the story within the text. Consider these titles: “Jesus Calms to Storm”, “Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man”, “John the Baptist Beheaded”, “Jesus Walks on Water” or “Jesus Predicts His Death”. Each of these titles have the potential to draw us into the larger narrative.

The Gospel of Mark is “divided” into 73 sections, 43 of those section titles include the name of Jesus, each pointing us to the the main focus of Mark’s writing. The focus is all about Jesus. Even though Mark doesn’t focus on the birth of Jesus he walks us through His life, he concentrates his message around the power and majesty of a sovereign God who came to walk with us and be like us. The life and actions of Jesus in that time and for today were to establish His presence and power so that people would believe in Him.  There is an incredible amount of detail and instruction found throughout the book of Mark; in the day it was written people witnessed first hand the power and majesty of Jesus. Today we have the “movie” or narrative that communicates the very same message, a message of hope, a message of power and a message of good news.

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