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  • Joshua Ziefle

Beginning

For a while, I spent time blogging through the book of Matthew. Having finished that, I thought I would continue to go through the New Testament, chapter by chapter. Next up: Mark.


I have the privilege here of having been able to take a graduate-level course on the Mark. To that end I've spent more technical time with the book than many other parts of Scripture. As such, my comments may at times reflect some of that.


The first chapter of Mark begins by getting right down to business: "The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God" (1:1). From the very outset, we the readers are told what is going on. This is a book of gospel--"good news"--a positive announcement. It is about a person named Jesus. This Jesus has an identity--he is the Messiah sent by God. And more than that, he is the Son of God.


Those are the facts as laid out by the author. The claim that opens Mark can serve as a backdrop for our reading of it. Whether we believe that statement or not? Well, that is one of the things that we may have to decide as we read on. Who is Jesus, after all? And what does it mean that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God? What does that actually look like and what difference does it make? These are questions we might wrestle with too.


Nearly 2000 years after this was written, I believe it is still worth pondering the identity, purpose, and meaning of Jesus, together with the reality of the spiritual. I cannot dictate the direction of your ruminations, and of course you cannot decide mine. All the same, we can read along in Mark (and elsewhere) to consider such questions, even as our spirits may yearn/wonder/hope for more in this world than what we can see.

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