If Matthew wrote to his people Israel as the Gift of the Lord that his name means, then Mark wrote to Romans and presented Jesus as an action hero, as Romans would grasp the concept that Jesus was God come in the flesh by the miracles that He performed. No mere man could do what Jesus did! A quarter of Matthew’s Gospel was given to the events of the final Passion Week, but Mark devotes a third of his Gospel account to it.
Mark wastes no time presenting Jesus as this action hero. He gets right into Jesus’ miraculous abilities and actions with 1:21. From there, it is story after story of Jesus’ divine wonder-working power! From the beginning, we see that the issues are things like #6, repentance from #2, sin with 1:4; and with the people responding in just that manner in 1:5. Mark has John the Baptist tell us of #8, the New Birth with the mention of Jesus baptizing people with the Holy Spirit in 1:8. Jesus is seen as first proclaiming #10, the Kingdom of God, and its means of entrance being thru #6, repentance and #7, believing with 1:14+15. Chapter 2 opens with another story of a miracle, but revolves around the matter of Jesus being #4, the Savior, who is capable of forgiving one’s #2, sins. Jewish leaders present know that it is God who forgives sins, and conclude that Jesus is blaspheming; the very charge for which He will eventually be executed. With that, Jesus, the action hero, proves His divine power and authority to pronounce forgiveness of sins by miraculously raising up the paralytic, who immediately walks without any rehabilitation! Jesus possesses the authority to forgive all your sins… He is God!
With 2:15-17, we learn of Jesus’ purpose in coming to men. He came to call #2, sinners unto Himself; and from here we learn that its opposite, and what God truly desires in men, is #1, righteousness. This is the very matter or issue about which God is most concerned, because, He, Himself, is holy! As early as the second chapter, we learn of the first #9, New Life practice of believers on Christ as being that of fasting, with verses 18 thru 20. So, in just the first two chapters of Mark’s Gospel, he has already established no fewer than 8 of The 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message with his readers. We’ve still 2 more to find; those being #3, judgment and #5, the Gospel in its 2 elements of Christ’s dying and being raised up from the dead. These will come, and we will find and have all 10 soon. We need to ask, and want to learn the answer to, the big question, “Why?” And, we will learn of that answer shortly. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell