Reasons to Preach MarkSeptember 12, 2009
At Ballymoney Baptist, we have just commenced a new series in Mark’s gospel. I’ve entitled it ”Jesus Christ, Son of God.” Here are a few reasons I’m preaching on it.
There’s nothing better to ‘preach on’ than Jesus. And there’s no better way to preach Christ and Him crucified than preach through a Gospel. During the action of Mark’s gospel, the ‘camera’ incessantly follows Jesus. Only for one small section is Jesus unmentioned (the story of John the Baptist’s beheading). A relentless focus on Jesus can’t be bad.
Unbelievers are confronted with the question: who is Jesus, and why did he come to earth? The questions of the characters in the story, “who is this [man]?” become our questions; the answers, “You are the Christ…..the Son of God” (Mk 8:29 & Mk 15:29) become testimonies for our consideration.
Followers of Jesus are encouraged to keep following Him whatever the cost. Tradition has it that Mark’s gospel was written somewhere near to the time of Peter’s martyrdom, and certainly during a time when Christians were being heavily persecuted under the Roman regime. Believers facing the lions needed to know that great cost was integral to true discipleship. They needed to know that the Messiah Himself was a Suffering Servant who came to lay down his life as a ransom for many. That is what Mark’s gospel conveys: “The Son of Man must suffer many things…” and “if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”