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Football’s coming home, Great Britain to top Gold medals table and now for the Good News

May 30, 2012

In a time of austerity and cut backs we are all wanting Good News, none more so than the government who no doubt are praying for Euro success for England and many Olympic successes to ease our gloom and boost the economy. My challenge to you has been this summer to read Mark’s gospel and he begins with the words ‘The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ.’ Mark sets out from the beginning that he has found the Good news of all Good news’es that changes everything and lifts every gloom. Mark says he has found the gold medal, the hidden treasure, the secret to life and happiness and he has found it in a person – Jesus.

And Mark knew Jesus very well. We believe the author is John Mark who is mentioned in the book of Acts and is most likely to have been the young man who fled at the arrest of Jesus (Mark 14:51-52). We believe Jesus would have stayed with Mark’s family when he was in Jerusalem. So Mark was an eye witness and we believe a very good friend with the apostle Peter. It is likely that as Nero fiddled and Rome burned, Peter and Mark would have visited the church in Rome to teach the stories of Jesus and when persecution began and Peter was executed the church in Rome wanted to keep the truth about Jesus alive and so commissioned Mark to write down what he knew.  We believe he wrote this book in about 65 AD. This date is significant as it was easily within the same generation that Jesus lived. So we have an eyewitness account plus the companion of the apostle Peter, we have it written within a generation and so errors would have been raised (e.g. If I said Winston Churchill walked on water people would refute on the basis of recollection) and we have greater and more reliable manuscript evidence than for any other classical writings.  We believe Mark was the first and earliest gospel to be written as all but 31 verses are found in the other gospels and there is clear evidence of common usage of Mark’s material in the other gospels. We believe the other gospel writers expanded Mark with other events, teaching and stories of Jesus that were circulating.

Therefore when Mark says that the historical Jesus is Good News we need to sit up and listen. But Mark goes further he says, as someone who has witnessed this life, that he has found the Son of God! Of course at this point many of us now dismiss Mark as mad, along with David Icke who claimed something similar in my life time. Let us not be so hasty and be so ready to dismiss this, let us allow Mark to give us the evidence that has led him to that conclusion because he was willing to give up his life for this fact as did his best friend Peter and many 1000’s at the time Mark wrote during Nero’s persecution and since then many millions of Christians down the ages have been willing to give up their lives because they to are so convinced that Jesus is the Son of God.  Be prepared to give up the fortnight of the Olympics, just 10 minutes a day to look at Mark’s evidence and decide if he and many others have sacrificed their lives in futility or whether you to can find something, no someone, that is worth giving up everything for!

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