The core group (and some visitors!) of Christ Community Church has been gathering for the last two weeks to study the Gospel of Christ in the Gospel of Mark. The first 15 verses of Mark’s Gospel serve as a prologue to the whole (although where the prologue cuts off is, typically, debated). And though it shouldn’t be surprising (seeing this is a Gospel about Jesus), it is nevertheless edifying to note the clear emphasis and priority that Mark places on Jesus. It is edifying because, as Christians, we can grow cold in our love for Christ (and this coldness, which often comes with a supposed familiarity, has various unwanted consequences). This sort of priority makes us mindful of the fact that even if we knew all that there was to know about Jesus, it should only serve to brighten the glow of the fire in our hearts for Him. But the truth of the matter is this (also another point to be drawn from the prologue): we don’t, we won’t, we haven’t come close. We have a supposed familiarity with Jesus that we should not suppose. Christ is always deeper still, and we should always be seeking an ever-increasing familiarity with Him, for this gives rise to ever-increasing joy in and love for Him. The characters of the Gospel of Mark are not familiar with Jesus, thus they (even unbelievers) are astonished at His person and work. Are we?
I just want to offer a quick summary of my personal study of the person and work of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel. In the form of a list, here goes:
the Christ, v. 1; the Son of God, v. 1; the content of the gospel, v. 1; God’s only plan of salvation, vv.1-3; the substance of the OT Word, vv. 1-3; the LORD who comes after John to inaugurate a New Exodus, to bring salvation and judgment, vv. 1-3; the great John’s Greater, vv. 4-8; the Dispenser of the Holy Spirit, vv. 8; the sum of John’s (and our) preaching, vv. 7-8; the ironically humble Savior and cleanser of sinners (John is infinitely unworthy to unstrap His sandals but He will wash our feet), vv. 7-8, 10.45; the LORD of humble origins (of Nazareth: “does anything good come from Nazareth?” and Galilee of the Gentiles), v. 9; the Savior who identifies with sinners in baptism, vv. 9-11; the Savior yet distinct from sinners, v. 10; aligned with heaven and the living God, vv. 10-12; the Son of God, beloved and well-pleasing to the Father (unique in this regard), v. 11; the anointed of God, v. 10; the Davidic Messiah, v. 11 (cf. Psa 2); the Eternal King, the obedient Son and, thus, the greater Adam and True Israel, vv. 10-13; the divine Warrior-King, vv. 12-13; the Holy One of God, vv. 12-13; the Stronger One who binds the strong man and sets the captives free, vv. 12-13 (cf. Mk 3); God on the offensive, vv. 12-13; the serpent-Crusher, vv. 12-13 (cf. Gen 3.15); the Undefeated Champion of Righteousness, vv. 12-13; the Faithful One, v. 13 (cf. Psa 91); Preacher of the Gospel of God and of God’s Kingdom, of repentance and faith in the Gospel, vv. 14-15; the King of all nations, Himself, vv. 14-15; the King Who is simultaneously our amnesty and ransom, vv. 14-15 (cf. 10.45); the apex of redemptive history, v. 15; the Gospel, v. 15.
I’m sure there are many more, and each of these will be plumbed for eternity, but this should suffice for now. Praying to know Him better and better and better! What a Savior!