From the outset of Mark’s Gospel, we are told Jesus’s true identity. He is the “beloved Son” of God. The entire Gospel, in fact, is bookended with affirmative declarations of his deity (Mark 1:1, 11; 15:37–39), as if the evangelist is saying, “This is who he is, and this is what he did, this is what he has done.” Such is what forms the basis and ground of all Christian hope. The fact of the gospel as a record of human history is what steadies and stabilizes our faith. It is the incontrovertible good news that the God’s own Son has come to bring everything to completion as the Divine Solution, as the True and Better One.
How would you answer the question, “What is the Bible about?” What is its point? Its message? Its overarching story? There are over 30,000 verses and 66 books in the canonical Scriptures, but what are they all saying? Churchgoers ought to know what their Bible says. It only makes sense if the system of belief that defines your entire life is derived from a book that you know what that book says. Such is modern Christianity’s biggest problem: the utter lack of biblical understanding.
If you were forced to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say? What would you say if you could only use one word? However you would describe yourself, it is certainly very unlike how Jesus describes himself. Instead of asserting his dominance and authority through coercion and force, Christ proclaims a gospel of the kingdom that is predicated on meekness.
All the uncanny glory of the gospel is found in the business of the Incarnation. All its majesty is there, too. For it’s not just that the Christ child was born where beasts dwell, it’s that after he was born he was placed where beasts feed. The manger where Jesus was laid is, in fact, a signpost heralding the wideness of God’s mercy
The Gospel of Mark is known for its rapid pace. The book moves quickly from scene to scene as the author strives to get to his main point, which is, Jesus is the heaven-sent servant. Mark’s endeavor to show Jesus as “one who serves” serves to underscore the entire theme of the Gospel, namely, that Jesus is the unexpected Lord who comes to serve, who comes to give himself to us.
Jesus’s emphasis to the church at Laodicea, through the inspired pen of his apostle, seems to be a stern reminder about where they ought to find their true treasure, where they were to invest their lives. Not in the industry they can amass here “under the sun,” but in the inheritance of the incarnate Son of God.
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is one of the most famous in all of Scripture. The account of these three young Hebrew hostages resolutely standing on behalf of the God they believed in and were sure of stands a testament to the power of faith and the gospel. Their story, though, takes on even greater meaning when you realize who it was that was in the fire with them.
Fundamental to the life of any disciple is a knowledge of the Word of God. Sadly, there are scores of disciples who have a limited knowledge and understanding of the Bible. This usually stems from a truncated view of Scripture. There’s a grave need, then, in knowing what exactly the Bible has to say and whose story it tells.