From Pastor Mark
This Sunday we are embarking on a journey through the Gospel of Mark. We’ve had a few people ask us how we choose what books of the Bible to study on Sunday mornings. It’s a great question. So first, I wanted to help you understand our rationale for choosing what to preach on in corporate worship. And second, I want to share why the gospel of Mark is such an exciting book to study.
How We Choose Sermon Series
As pastors, we want to make sure we are teaching the whole counsel of God. This means we should be studying both the Old Testament and the New Testament. We should also be studying the various genres in the Bible (narrative, prophecy, poetry, epistles, etc.). One of the best ways to teach the whole counsel of God is to preach through books of the Bible systematically. Recently, we spent almost two years studying Romans. What an amazing study learning the fullness of the gospel. This past year, we spent time going through the Lament Psalms. We also spent a few months studying the book of Jonah.
So, having spent a good part of the year in the Old Testament, we decided to go back to the New Testament. Because we have not studied a gospel account in recent years, that seemed like a great place to land.
Why the Gospel of Mark?
The Gospel of Mark is a thrilling and fast-paced account of the life of Jesus. Mark is the shortest gospel account. There are not lengthy teachings sections of Jesus. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus is all action. In fact, there are more miracles in this gospel than in the other gospel accounts. When you read Mark, you will also notice that Mark repeatedly transitions to a new section of the narrative with the word “immediately” (42 times).
This is because Mark is seeking to convey the message of the gospel with a sense of urgency. Mark is not just writing an historical document, he is telling about a man who changes everything. In fact, he is not just a man, but the Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1).
Mark’s abrupt style is intentional. He wants us to know from the very first sentence that God has broken into history. God has come to us in the person of Jesus. This gospel does not emphasize what Jesus is teaching, but what Jesus is doing. That’s because for Mark, the coming of Jesus calls for decisive action. Mark’s point is that we can’t remain neutral about Jesus. We must actively respond to what see him doing.
I hope you will commit to joining us for as much of this series as you can. My prayer for each of you is that as you study the gospel of Mark, you will encounter the real Jesus and be transformed. After this study is over, I pray that each of us can look back and see how God used the Gospel of Mark to shape and sharpen us. Maybe you have a friend who would benefit from exploring the life of Jesus. Take this opportunity to invite a friend on Sunday morning.
If you are in a fight club, one of the exciting things we are doing with this series is to begin offering discussion questions each week. We hope that these questions will help you dig deeper into what we study on Sundays and apply these truths to our lives. How thrilling would it be if throughout the week there were dozens of groups actively discussing the person and work of Jesus? How exciting would it be for fight clubs to invite unchurched or unsaved friends to join them in exploring the life of Christ?
Call me crazy, but I have a hunch that this series on the Gospel of Mark is going to grow our church in amazing ways. Seriously. I think we are going to encounter Jesus in faith-stretching, life-altering ways. I can’t wait to embark on this journey with you!