Saturday, June 9, 2012

Through the Life of Christ in Mark’s Gospel

I am nearing the end of my preaching series through the Gospel of Mark. I approached this series differently than most, taking larger sections of Mark’s narrative to teach the central themes of the Gospel. Mark’s Gospel gives itself easily to this approach in how the episodes in the life of Christ are written and connected to one another. It is almost all action with little dialogue. Mark doesn’t include as many details as the other gospel writers and reveals King Jesus on mission for the redemptive of sinners to the glory of God. He is the suffering servant of God and the atoning substitute for sinful men and women whom God has purposed for redemption.

It is bittersweet to finish this series as I feel like I’m saying farewell to a friend. Life is short and there is much Scripture to cover so I doubt if I’ll ever have the privilege of preaching through Mark’s gospel again. There is nothing more compelling than the life and work of Christ. If I could preach only one thing I’d preach from one of the four Gospels. It is so engrossing that I’m itching to preach through Luke and John (having preached through Matthew during my previous pastorate) but I’ll resist and leap over to the Old Testament next to work through Genesis.

If you are wrestling with becoming more disciplined in Bible reading let me recommend you begin with Mark. Take a chapter a week. Read the whole thing on day one then go back through the chapter slowly during the remaining days of the week. Try to identify the common thread or theme that connects all the various episodes covered in that chapter.

What does Mark teach you about Jesus and what does it tell you about following Jesus? Ask those two questions regularly and then pray. Ask the Lord to help you put what you’ve learned into practice. Then watch for opportunity to live out the Word. The Spirit will do the work of conforming you to Christ’s image but anchor down in the Word and get ready for transformation!

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