The Gospel of Mark is so fast it leaves you dizzy.
It begins quoting three separate Bible verses, introduces the King of Israel, the sacrament of baptism, and the prophet John.
In four verses:
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
It ends just as abruptly
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.
And in between… in between is not the careful point-by-point capstone to the Hebrew Bible that Matthew wrote. The message is shorter, more concise:
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
These are not idle words:
Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the inscription of His accusation was written above:
THE KING OF THE JEWS.
With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.”
In this short Gospel Mark, we have all the elements that Matthew would expound on.
But instead of an argument that the Hebrew Bible is incomplete without the Gospel, we have this
Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.
There are conversions in the Old Testament (Ruth, Naaman), and believers with foreign names (Esther, Mordecai).
We are told to carry the cross. And the man who did so lives in Africa, with sons named after Roman politicians and Greek kings.
The message of Matthew is that Jesus, Son of David, is the King, the Law-Giver, the LORD of Israel.
The message of Mark is that Jesus is for everyone.
2 thoughts on “The Gospel of Mark”