Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
Have you heard of the new app that can accurately predict your future for 2019? Haha…no such app exists, but if it did, I suppose it would be super popular. The truth is that God alone knows what lies in our futures. A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to change the trajectory of their lives, but most resolutions go unfulfilled. Is there anything or anyone who can work to change things for the better?
The gospel of Mark, chronologically the first of the New Testament books, speaks of a beginning—a beginning of direct relevance to each of us. The Old Testament likewise introduced itself, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). It was all “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But very good turned very bad when sin entered in. That cataclysmic event unleashed a contagion of sin that has affected all of Adam’s progeny.
Mark’s introduction speaks to the “the beginning of the gospel.” Gospel means “good news”. The very first words written in the New Testament era were of the good news regarding Jesus. So, the book speaks to the good news regarding a particular person, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Each word in the descriptive title bears much meaning. He is “Jesus,” meaning “Jehovah saves” (Cf. Matthew 1:21). He is the “Christ,” meaning “Anointed One.” The genealogy of Matthew testifies to His exclusive right, by birth, to fill that prophesied role (Cf. Matthew 1:1-17; 2 Samuel 7:12-13). He is also “the Son of God.” Each gospel emphasizes a particular aspect of Jesus’ identify: Matthew—Jesus as King; Mark—Jesus as Servant; Luke—Jesus as perfect man; John—Jesus as the Son of God; but through He be a servant, Mark makes it clear from the very first verse that this Servant, Jesus, is none other than the Only Begotten Son of God.
So, Mark’s gospel speaks of the good news regarding this Savior Messiah, the Son of God. And what is this good news? It is the good news of His life—a life unlike any other before or after. Though all have sinned, Jesus never sinned. It is the good news of Jesus’ miraculous intervention in the lives of many, each miracle testifying to His true identity, as the Son of God (Cf. John 20:30-31; Acts 2:22). It is the good news of One who lived a perfect live and did all that God had purposed for Him to do. It is the good news of His death. A particular death, in the predetermined plan of God, for which He was born. A death to which He voluntarily subjected Himself. To what end? The Apostle Paul well-articulated the answer when he said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). The gospel account speaks to the good news of His resurrection. He died, but then rose from the dead, conquering sin and death and the devil himself. Mark’s gospel speaks of how Jesus, the Divine Rescuer, came into the world to restore that which was lost in the fall, providing a way to transform sin rebels into worshippers.
In a world filled with bad news of every sort, there is an unchanging and unassailable message of hope availed to all. Jesus, the Divine Rescuer, not only intervened for humanity and changed the course of history, He intervenes for good in the lives of people to this very day. He is the best friend any of us could ever have. In our good and bad, our today and tomorrows, there is One who forgives and loves and who promises to never forsake those who belong to Him. Jesus saves and Jesus changes lives. Have you trusted in Him for salvation? “Life is short, Death is sure, Sin the cause, Christ the cure.”