There was nothing quite like Mark’s Gospel before he wrote it. It was a new form of writing he invented for the sake of his message; a message he describes as ‘good news’.
At its heart, his message was an announcement – a proclamation – about the arrival of someone who, Mark believes, would change everything. Mark’s excitement about his message is infectious. His style is fresh, vivid and breathless. The episodes come in rapid succession like snapshots that together begin to build a picture. From the very beginning he draws us in, telling his story as you would tell a secret.
And as he draws us in to his story, full of mystery and puzzles, many have found – to their surprise – that they become, somehow, a part of it. They see Jesus challenge traditions and expectations, and find their own beliefs and priorities shaken. They see Jesus meet people in the midst of their despair and glimpse new hope for themselves and the world. And as Mark gradually uncovers the story of Jesus, they find their own hearts being uncovered and laid bare.
Mark’s story is, in many ways, deeply unsettling. It shows us new depths of darkness and blindness, new capacities for failure, new needs we are reluctant to admit to. But through it all Mark shows that Jesus is for people just like us. He shows us one who, like no one else, can open our eyes, dispel our darkness and bring forgiveness, healing and life.
Mark thinks it’s good news. Read his account and decide for yourself.
See for yourself
Below are five simple questions to help you consider what you’re reading in any part of this book. Conveniently, the main concept of each question begins with the letter ‘R’. So we refer to these questions with the very original term, “The 5R’s’.
Retell the narrative (and recap what’s come before).
Note anything that’s unclear or confusing.
How are people reacting to Jesus?
What is revealed about Jesus (and those meeting him) through words and actions?
What reason might Mark have for including this event?
What does Mark teach us about how to respond to Jesus?