Friday, April 1, 2011
Mark: Short on Words
I love the economy of words in Mark's Gospel. Believed to be the earliest. Written by an associate of Peter with much of the Big Fisherman's first-hand observation and insight. Dealing largely with Jesus as a man of action. Quick with mercy for the hurting. Just as quickly receiving the contumely of the religious authorities and moving inevitably toward His Passion.
I find only four instances of parabolic teaching, but they appear to be the most essential of all His messages:
1. Receive the Word of Life unto fruitfulness. (parable of the Seed and the Sower; Mark 4)
2. Realize that the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven to its fulness is inevitable. (parable of the mustard seed; Mark 4)
3. Reverence the Son, for your very life depends upon it. (parable of the wicked husbandmen; Mark 12)
4. Ready yourself for the return of the Master. (parable of the absentee householder; Mark 13)
I would also caution that there are false prophets out there (the Jesus Seminar and others) suggesting that this Gospel gets closest to the "historic Jesus", a good man applauded but with little suggestion of His divinity. The later Gospels, they say, added aspects of a cult movement to establish the Man of Galilee as Son of God. Beware of this.
I once took on this suggestion with a study of Mark, and found no less than 22 proofs of Christ's divinity in the account. Again, Mark has said it all, but succinctly.