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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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"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 in to 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:
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.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.