The Urgency of the Gospel Message


The Gospel according to Mark is breathless, relentless, starting at a run and never letting up. Not for Mark the leisurely winding beginnings of Matthew and Luke, nor the theological ruminations of John. No, instead at breakneck pace we get--

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way;

3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight—"

4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

An entire sentence of introduction before a prophecy, before a prophet. And this is followed by the introduction of St. John the Baptist, the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, the forty days fast and temptation, the Arrest of St. John the Baptist, the choosing of Simon and Andrew and James and John, teaching in the synagogue, the exorcism of the first victim of demons, the healing of Peter's mother, the healing of an entire city, the first retreat, the beginning of the preaching mission, and the first healing of a leper. And THAT'S chapter 1!

Doesn't this suggest something about the urgency of the Gospel message. This charged Gospel is all about getting us moving. It is short, to the point, punchy, like life itself. In an opinion poll it would probably rank fairly low in popularity among the four gospels because it is so direct, pithy, to the point. Its directness demands a response, an immediate response. The reader is sucked into the narrative, into the immediacy of the life of Christ. You can't take a breath without breathing in an action of Jesus. It's a whirlwind, a roller coaster ride, an invitation to adventure, and a passionate romance all in one. The Gospel according to Mark is the swiftest and sleekest way into the heart of the story of Jesus. A half hour, perhaps an hour, and you've grasped the essentials of a story you can meditate upon for a life, for an eternity.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 9, 2006 9:07 PM.

The Sickness Which Is Unto Death was the previous entry in this blog.

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