It is time for a second serving of our favorite person in the Bible – Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the son of God!
Yes, this week we get a second version of the life and ministry of Jesus as narrated by Mark aka John Mark who penned the gospel based on eye witness accounts of Jesus’ disciples, primarily Peter.
This is the shortest of the four gospels with only 16 chapters but one that is still jam packed with action. Again let me take a few minutes to highlight a few aspects of Mark before you can dive into the reading yourself.
- Majority of what we read in Mark’s gospel can also be found in Matthew’s and Luke’s versions and so there isn’t much in terms of new content. However in narrating the similar content, Mark does repeatedly point out the Messianic nature of Jesus through the various events and dialogs that are strategically placed.
- Like Matthew, Mark also points to the kingdom that is being ushered in by Jesus is not of the earthly kind that one might expect; but rather it is an upside down kingdom
- Along these lines, Mark also makes sure that the audience understands that Jesus’s mission was to suffer. See the repetition in the following verses.
- 8:31 (NIV) He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again
- 9:31 (NIV) because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”
- 10:33-34 (NIV) “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
- Yet, multiple times, Mark also makes sure that the audience understands the divine nature of Jesus.
- At the time of being baptized, we read about the voice from heaven proclaiming that Jesus was God’s beloved son (1:11)
- In private, we see the disciples recognizing Jesus as the Messiah (8: 29)
- At the Mount of transfiguration, again we see the voice from heaven proclaiming Jesus as God’s son who is loved (9:7)
- Even at the time of his death, we see the eyes of centurion being opened and openly declaring that surely Jesus was the son of God (15:39)
- However, one of the unique parts of Mark’s gospel is its ending. The final chapter has 20 verses even though versus 9-20 are suspect to some because it is not present in all of the early manuscripts. Yet, without those versus, if we just take the first 8 verses in the last chapter, the whole narrative ends sort of abruptly. But maybe that is the point? This story of Jesus has just started and it is up to you and I to continue the narrative by living subjected to the King’s rule.
Jesus is the messiah and the son of God who’s mission was to suffer, die and rise again on the third day in order to restore the Kingdom order.
Weekly Reading Plan
And now here is the weekly plan for you to read through this section.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
- Optional (if you want to really read through the Bible in a year): Read Psalms 100-102.
- Read Isaiah 53 to delve more into the sufferings of Jesus Christ for our sake
And that is it for week 35!
Happy Bible Learning!