Today’s Bible reading is Mark 1. Throughout the month of September, we’ll be reading The Gospel of Mark together. For today, take a moment to reflect on the straightforward first verse:
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark wastes no time introducing his subject or his aim for his readers. What we are about to read is good news concerning Jesus. The aim of this news is that readers would come to believe that Jesus was not only the long-awaited Messiah of the Jews, but the very Son of God himself.
If that incredible claim is true, there are certainly implications, even for us. But why would we believe Jesus is “the Son of God”? Mark immediately gets to work:
- John, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, bore witness of Jesus’ coming (1:2-8)
- The heavens were torn open at Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit descended on him like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (1:9-11)
- He taught as one who had authority, and not as a scribe (1:22)
- He commanded the unclean spirits, and they obeyed him (1:23-28)
- He healed many who were sick with various diseases, including leprosy (1:29-45)
If you were documenting “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” fully convinced that he was the Son of God, how would you introduce your testimony? Mark wastes no time in seeking to prove his claim … or make the implications of his claim clear.
Jesus’ first recorded words in Mark’s gospel are, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (1:15). His next recorded words? “Follow me” (1:17). If Jesus is in fact “the Son of God,” the implications continue to echo, all the way down to you and me.
- God walked among us, proclaiming “The time is fulfilled”
- This incredible miracle-worker drew attention to “the kingdom of God”
- He issued a straightforward directive: “Repent and believe in the gospel”
As you read the Gospel of Mark this month, remember the words of Jesus in Mark 1:17. “Follow me.” If he is indeed the “Christ, the Son of God,” why wouldn’t we?