Word for the Week
Short reflections on Bible passages, with a frontline focus...
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God… After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’
Mark 1:1, 14–15
The Gospel of Mark is stunning. From its opening declaration heralding an astounding new move of God, right through to its somewhat surprising ending, Mark leaves us in no doubt that this is the greatest story ever told, one that changed the world forever.
With one dramatic statement, Mark launches into his Gospel, trumpeting his elation. God, who is forever faithful, has fulfilled his glorious promise to return and rescue his people and to dwell among them anew. Jesus is that rescuer, the Messiah, the Son of God, the King. The Greek word for ‘gospel’ is euangelion, good news, and it was commonly used in the first century to herald news that should be widely celebrated. It was also used by some of the Old Testament prophets to announce the ‘good news’ of the liberation of God’s people from exile.
It was British theologian David Wenham who proposed ‘The revolution is here!’ as a contemporary equivalent for Jesus’ announcement of the ‘kingdom of God’. He was driving at the heart of Jesus’ message: God was taking over in a new way. God was working out his purposes. God was in control.
Imagine Mark hearing the revolutionary story of Jesus and starting to make sense of it in the light of all that God had done over the centuries, all he had signposted through his prophets. Imagine him coming to know Jesus through eyewitnesses and the Spirit: Jesus, the radical, humble, authoritative, joyous, unpredictable, compassionate, confrontational, suffering servant. Imagine him captivated by the Messiah who confounded expectations, who demonstrated regime change, who left the first disciples reeling from all they were seeing and hearing, and who changed the world forever through unparalleled sacrifice and love.
It’s not difficult then to imagine Mark inspired by the Spirit to capture this Jesus-story, this kingdom-story, this good-news-God-story, in the best way he knew how so that others might trust King Jesus completely, surrendering to him joyfully as Lord of all.
The gospel changes everything. This month, as we look at Jesus through the eyes of the Gospel-writer Mark, pray that the Spirit will deepen your wonder at God at work in the world. And ponder… what are the implications for you as you learn to live the way of Jesus on your frontline, alive to him in all?
Senior Mission Associate, LICC
How are you learning to live the way of Jesus on your frontline this week? Join the conversation in the comments below.