by Christopher Harbin

Extra! Extra! Hide the News!
Christopher B. Harbin
Psalm 114; Ezekiel 34:22-31; Mark 16:1-8; 1 Cor 15:1-11

What do you do with good news so unexpected it seems incredible? How can you celebrate what you can't believe is true?

The Gospel of Mark is an interesting piece of literature. We call it a gospel, but it is more than we generally mean by that word. Mark gives us an account of Jesus' life and ministry. He gives us a summary of Jesus' actions and teaching over the course of his ministry. As Peter's interpreter in the Greek-speaking world over the course of several years, Mark had access to Peter's memories and sermons about Jesus and his interaction with the disciples. He faithfully recorded much of Peter's discourse about Jesus. He did more than that, however.

Mark was not simply a conduit for Peter's memories or for other sources of information about Jesus. Mark had his own message to transmit. He was not making things up, but he had his own sermon to preach, his own message to convey to the generation following Peter.

This gospel is often referred to as full of action. Over and over, we read something to the effect of, ''and then Jesus...'', ''and then Jesus said...'', ''after this Jesus went'' to such and such a place. Jesus seemed always to be on the move. This movement, however, is always with a purpose. It is rarely a question of destination for Jesus, but a question of purpose.

According to Mark, Jesus was consumed with the concept of teaching his disciples. He did that in two ways. He spoke to them, answered their questions and the questions of the crowds, Pharisees, or other opposition to him. Then he would take the disciples to experience the reality of which he had been teaching them. They did not understand the question of greatness in the kingdom. They needed to see one who had a clearer perspective on what was important, even though he was blind. They did not understand about the issue of all people being acceptable in God's gr ...

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