September 25, 2016
Today's Lesson :
Mark: The Good News (14)
Why did Mark include this in his gospel record? That is the question we need to ask about everything we read in Mark—or the other gospels for that matter. Things are not there by accident—especially if we believe the Holy Spirit guided his writing! Bigger yet, why did God want it in the gospel. Mark was all many Christians had—not for just years or decades, but for centuries! Even after the compiling of the Bible, it was many centuries before the average person could afford and own their personal copy of the Bible. The gospel of Mark is not just a PART of the gospel—it is the gospel. It is the saving message that Jesus is the Messiah and salvation is available through him! I believe that everything we need to please God and carry out his will can be found in any single gospel—like Mark. So back to where we began—do we understand WHY God included the things he did?
For instance, this morning we are looking at the tragic killing of John the Baptist by Herod—the political power of the region at that time. It is a terrible miscarriage of justice and a blatant misuse of power, wrapped in scheming, hatred, egotism, and drunken lust. God’s messenger is arrested on no particular charges, imprisoned, and executed without defense or trial. Why put it in gospels?
If you happened to read last week’s bulletin article, you’ll remember that I was talking about Jesus being tempted in every way that we are, and explaining that it wasn’t about the kinds of temptations, but the fact of temptations. We remember the Big Three after his baptism by John, but he’d always been subject to temptations, and even after a break following his personal encounter with Satan, they started right back up again. Last week we looked at Jesus dealing with the rejection of family and friends in his own home town. From him we learn the importance focusing on pleasing God—being accepted and affirmed by Him—rather than others. Not only do we learn a great deal about Jesus, but we learn from him how to deal with our own challenge to seek acceptance and affirmation.
Today, from Mark 6:14-29, we remember that Jesus lost a special friend and relative in John. How did Jesus deal with that loss? How did he deal with the terrible events that caused it? Did he have doubts or questions about why it happened or why it wasn’t stopped? What do we learn from Jesus about dealing with loss, injustice, and the work of God?
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