Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Devotional: Summary of the Gospel of Mark

Mark Message Statement

Mark has taken us on a journey with Jesus to discover who he is the way the disciples did: by observing him in his everyday life and ministry. Mark (and probably Peter, the apostle behind the writing of this Gospel) is giving testimony as to why he is following this man, Jesus, who made some pretty outlandish claims.  Mark’s testimony is that Jesus’ words and actions have shown that he is the Messiah, Son of God and Savior. He is the ultimate servant who is able and willing to meet every human need including the greatest one; forgiveness of sin and victory over its effects. Jesus is the “stronger one” who has brought in the kingdom of God, empowers his people with the Holy Spirit and works through his people to extend that kingdom worldwide. Mark’s goal is that you believe these claims, give your allegiance to Jesus, and follow his example of selfless, sacrificial servanthood.

The abrupt ending of Mark has left the resolution of the situation open. The announcement of Jesus’ resurrection forces you, like the women, disciples and Mark’s original audience, to make a decision:

Will you believe? The women and disciples are confronted by an idea that is beyond their comprehension. Could a dead man be alive? They will not believe it until they see it and they do see it. They should have believed. They had seen Jesus do everything from healing the sick, providing a feast for 5000 from a child’s lunch, controlling the wind and sea, and casting out demons to raising the dead. Resurrection was exactly what he had predicted. They did believe, but only after Jesus bodily appeared to them. Now Mark asks you to believe their testimony.

Will you trust his faithfulness? Ultimately, real Christianity is not about what we do for God, but about what he has done for us in Jesus Christ. Mark has shown that Jesus has all the qualifications to provide everything we need for life and godliness. The “good news” is that Jesus has already won the battle and now “baptizes” us with the “fire” of the Spirit so that we can participate daily in that victory.

Will you follow? Jesus came to be a servant and ransom to free everyone to be what God made us to be. He now calls you and me to “take up that cross” and follow his example of sacrifice and service. He calls us to see everything we are and do in the light of that mission and every moment as an opportunity to love and serve God by serving his people. It will be hard, but the good news is that the outcome of all of it depends on him, not us.

Will you serve? Mark has shown that Jesus is the Messiah-king who brings in God’s great and wonderful age to come. He is the Son of God, YHWH in the flesh come to be with us and, yes, to serve us. He is the one that has overcome evil and will give us the ability overcome it daily in our lives. We are enabled to live and serve as he did. Now what will you do with this information? 

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