I hope everyone is enjoying the Fall season. I am not a fan of the cold weather, but I do like the colorful trees. It is also the season for hot coco, apple cider, and pumpkin spice! See… there is always something to be thankful for!
Anyways, I am happy to report that we are almost halfway through the Gospel according to Mark. We are continuing to see the Jesus that Mark presents. The God who stepped into time and space, lived in a human body and moved in and among real people like you and I. We are encountering a God who stepped into a particular point in time, into a specific culture, and with a radical mission to turn people’s hearts and religious understandings toward the truth that God wants to save broken humanity.
Jesus’ disciples are on a faith journey that they do not fully grasp (which they won’t till after Jesus’ resurrection… and even then, it is foggy for them!). The main take away as we walk through Mark’s material is that God has shown up in Jesus. Jesus is revealed as the One who calms the storms, walks on water (many Old Testament images of God’s control over nature), miraculously feeds 5000 Jewish men with a low inventory of bread (representing Moses and the manna God provided the Israelites in Exodus), Jesus crosses assumed purity lines by not making His disciples wash their hands according to manmade rules/traditions (since the disciples would have been possibly defiled by being in the market place with Gentiles!?!). Jesus further crosses customs by talking to a Gentile woman who boldly makes the case for God’s grace to flow through Jesus to heal her daughter. Things are not as they seem with Jesus, and therefore, things are not always as they seem with God from our limited/sometimes skewed/ human vantage point.
God cares about our internal world. What comes out of the sinful human heart (or what can come out) is selfishness, greed, and violence. This was not the creation intention. God-shown-up-Jesus in a real time and culture shows us that we need a God/Human Savior. The disciples are literally being trained in Christ-likeness, but they do not seem to grasp who their rabbi/teacher is. We must stay on this journey with Mark to unfold the rest of who Mark is presenting to us. We are encountering the revelation of God to humanity in Jesus Christ. We are constantly confronted with a Jesus… with a God that makes us think twice about our long-held beliefs and our long-held unbelief(s). The Gospel begs the reader/hearer to respond to the person and message of Jesus. Will we rejoice or reject the One we encounter along the way? I encourage you to continue to read Mark in your Bibles and try to make it to our Sunday Morning gatherings. May you encounter this God of mercy as we journey together through the Biblical text.
Peace to each of you,