"The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God."—Mark 1:1 (NIV)
“I have the best news!”
Personally, I love sharing good news. There’s just something amazing about seeing someone’s joy and excitement when you deliver the news. And if you’re like me, “I have the best news” is always followed by “But let me start at the beginning.” Why? To set the stage in order to make the reveal of the good news that much more profound.
Today, as we begin our exploration of Mark’s Gospel, Mark—who was basically writing down Peter’s recollection of Jesus’ life and ministry—more or less says, “I have the best news! It’s about Jesus, the Son of God and Savior. Let me start at the beginning.”
I love that! Fact: This is the good news about Jesus. But instead of then going into genealogies or philosophical abstract thought (which is powerful and necessary in its own right, and vital to reaching the original audience they were written for), Mark jumps right into the three-year ministry of Jesus.
You see, whereas Matthew was originally written to a primarily Jewish audience, which is why he emphasizes how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, and where John was geared toward an audience that was familiar with rabbinical and Greek thought, Mark was written for a primarily Roman/Gentile (non-Jewish) audience. Why waste time explaining how Jesus fulfilled Jewish prophecy to an audience who knew little about Jewish history? Instead, he wrote in a way that would impact and reach the audience he was seeking to convert.
The Gospel of Mark provides detailed accounts of what Jesus did, said, and where He went. It’s a gospel of action and reaction that recalls people’s reactions to Jesus and demands we react to Jesus as well. We see this clearly in Mark 16:16 (NIV), where it says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
So, what can we learn from Mark’s Gospel and his introductory line? Well, I say two things:
1. Know your audience. The gospel is the good news about Jesus, “the Messiah, the Son of God.” It’s good news for EVERYONE, but the manner in which it’s conveyed should be considered based on whom we’re trying to reach. Preach the full truth of Jesus and the gospel, and do so in a way that most deeply connects to people listening.
2. It’s a privilege to be the bearer of the good news. In today’s verse, you can feel the reverence Mark held towards his role as Christ’s ambassador, minister of reconciliation, and gospel carrier. It’s truly an indescribable gift and honor that God bestows upon us that WE GET TO share with others the news that they can be saved, forgiven, redeemed, restored, adopted, and given eternal life through Jesus. I pray we never forget that!
PAUSE: What makes the good news of Jesus so good?
PRACTICE: Consider someone in your life that needs to hear the gospel. Consider how best to connect with them and convey the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ.
PRAY: Father, I thank You today for the good news about Jesus, the Messiah, Your Son. Thank You for the salvation and redemption we have in Him. Thank You for entrusting me with the proclamation of the gospel. I ask You to equip me by Your Spirit to share it with others with wisdom, intentionality, love, and compassion. Amen.