The Gospel of Mark presents many important facts and lessons. First, Jesus is the Messiah from the Old Testament and proves that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus also performs many miracles. Mark’s portrait of Jesus is one of a wonder-working warrior, a perfect combination of divine power and mercy toward humanity. The main audience St. Mark wrote to were Gentiles, (non-Jewish) Christians living in Rome. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Mark’s words would bring hope to Christians enduring strong persecution at the time. Mark focuses on the full humanity of Jesus and invites us to do the same. Mark narrates things Jesus did rather than things Jesus said.
“…’If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.'” (Mark 8:34-35).
The most important fact in the Gospel of Mark is that Jesus Christ overcame the power of death through His resurrection. He proved that there is no power that can overcome Him, that He has the authority to forgive the sins of people, and that He is the One and only Son of God. Lastly, Jesus gives people perfect instructions for how God desires people to live, respond through challenging circumstances and make choices.
I think that in many ways Mark is challenging us to re-evaluate the terms under which we offer our relationship to Jesus. Why are we devoted? Why are we loyal? Is it because we want something from Him? Maybe saying in our hearts, “I will love you, God… if you do this for me.” Does our relationship with Jesus come with conditions? What if God asks something from us that we do not wish to give to God?
Believe me, we are all guilty of this. I, myself, struggle with really letting go, with really allowing God to show me what God wants of me.
In Mark, we have the portrait of a true disciple, fueled by a passionate love for Christ but still susceptible to moments of spiritual immaturity, self-focus, and stubbornness. He didn’t wait until he was “perfect” to share Jesus Christ, Mark sought Christ first, trusting that His grace would fill in the gaps.
So let’s share the Gospel. Make disciples. Make Christ’s love known.
Fabiola Navichoque – Writer, unparalleled love