The Mark Challenge

The Mark Challenge Devotionals
1. There Is No Gospel Without The Wildnerness
2. The Only Real Response To Good News
3. The Lord Of The Sabbath
4. Jesus And Storms, Part 1
5. Jesus And Storms, Part 2
6. But Even The Puppies Get Crumbs
7. Why Jesus Loved The Rich Young Ruler
8. Cursing Barren Fig Trees
9.Ask A Direct Question, Get A Direct Answer

We are walking through the gospel of Mark at church this month truth be told it’s the gospel I’ve read the LEAST.  You could probably call it “The Forgotten Gospel” as far as I’m concerned which I admit is a bit embarrassing.  On the other hand, I can explain my obsession with the other gospels. John:  the connection to Greek culture and philosophy.  Matthew: his obsession with Jewish history and scriptures. Luke: his heart for the outsider and marginalized.

Mark?  Uh… yeah.  About Mark.

I know a couple of things about the gospel.  I know it was written by John Mark.  I’m mostly convinced it was the first gospel written (around 50 AD).  We know it’s basically from the perspective of the apostle Peter.  We also know that John Mark was the guy that quit on Paul’s first missionary journey.  When Barnabas wanted to take him on the second one, Paul lost his marbles about it and broke up the band because of him.  (Eventually, Paul came around.)

What else?  I’m not really sure.  And that’s where my blog comes back into play!

The plan is fairly straight forward.  Every week, jot down my notes and thoughts as I study through the gospel.

What do you hope to find?

I have no idea.. I do know that the Gospels still capture me.

Yes.  That’s exactly the word I’m looking for – CAPTURE.

Do you remember the first time you read THAT BOOK?  THAT BOOK that opened up a new world to you.  That made you hide under the covers with a flashlight because you HAD to know what happened next?  That started you on this road of imagination and dreaming?  That turned backyard forts and treehouses into castles or dragon lairs?  THAT BOOK that would not let go of your heart?  That created more questions than answers?

That’s what The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe did for me.  It’s what the Gospels still do for me today.  The difference now?  The Gospels are truth.  They bring life and hope.  Instead of transforming backyard forts, it changes hard hearts.  The dragons may very well be more metaphoric but they are just as real with just as real flames.

After all these years, I return to the Gospels and I still wrestle with questions.  I’m still in awe of the audacity of whole premise of the story.  A Creator who has watched his creation reject him.  A Creator that IS love above all.  So instead of a power play of manipulation, he makes a bold move of self-sacrifice.

What do I hope to find?  Maybe a better question is… what do I hope finds me?


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