I have been preaching through the Gospel According to Mark and it is truly amazing. I had always thought that Mark was kind of lame because it was short, terse, and it did not seem to have much internal cohesion. I always opted to read the longer Gospels as if they were better. After actually studying the book, I mean simmering it and letting it have its way with me, I have had to repent of that prior notion.
For example, the Gospel of Mark is all about Jesus being the new David, the new king. Mark is the Gospel of the King, historically Mark has been associated with the lion, the kingly animal. And straight away in Mark 1:1 we have direct references to the kingship of Christ.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The gospel is the public announcement of victory, namely, the victory of Joshua Messiah, the Son of God. Or, the announcement of Jesus the Anointed King. The title “son of God” is the title given to the King of Israel (Psalm 2:7; Mark 1:11). Jesus (which is the Greek name for the Hebrew Joshua) means Yahweh saves. Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew messiah, which we can translate as anointed in English. Jesus is the Anointed Son of God, the Messiah King. And Mark is writing about the beginning of the victory of King Jesus.
At this time in the Gospel of Mark Jesus is more like a prince. He has to gain wisdom through obedience. He has to, like David, suffer trials and wage war before He can assume the throne. The ultimate trial being the cross, of course. So, Mark’s Gospel is all about how Prince Jesus becomes King Jesus. How the prince ascends to the throne.
Now, this may seem like a stretch, but follow the language of Mark 1:1-3. This is “the beginning” of the gospel of the “son of God” and how “way” is made for Him. This connects directly to the Book of Proverbs, which is the training manual for princes. Solomon wrote Proverbs for the prince that would ascend to the throne of Israel. Proverbs 1 tells us that “the beginning” of knowledge is the fear of Yahweh (1:7), and that the “son” mus listen to the father (1:8) and not follow the “way” of sinners (1:11-19).
Mark, being the Gospel that shows us the King, also shows us how we are to live in the manner of our King. Jesus shows us what it truly means to be a King, the kind that battles demons, liberates the oppressed, forgives the repentant, tears down hypocrites, and leads the people in green pastures feeding them at a table in the midst of their enemies. The kind of king that makes a way to the throne by laying down His life. After all, the only human to declare Jesus as King is the Roman Centurion at the cross, when Jesus is lifted up and breathes His last, then the prince has become the king, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39).
For more on Mark, a resource that has greatly helped me can be found here.