By Justin Rossow
It’s been a long time since we started this journey through the Gospel of Mark. Way back on the first Sunday in January we read: “This is the beginning of the Good News about Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God.” From that opening verse, the Gospel of Mark launches right into the action–and it’s been quite a ride!
Sitting with this one version of the Jesus Story, we have had a chance to get to know Mark and his style. We have seen important themes play out again and again. And although we haven’t read every verse of Mark in worship these last months, we have covered most of the territory in this sometimes strange and always wonderful Gospel.
(Try reading through the whole Gospel of Mark in one sitting; or better yet, listen to the whole Gospel of Mark in one sitting–you experience the Gospel differently when you take it all in at once.)
In the Gospel of Mark, we have seen Jesus appear on the scene as a phenomenon let loose on the earth. We have heard demons call Him Son of God while the disciples are still figuring it all out. We have watched the tension rise as Jesus squares off again a religious leadership with very different ideas of Kingdom and Messiah than what Jesus preaches. We have watched the disciples learn, and grow, and doubt, and fail. And throughout it all, everything Jesus has said continues to be faithful and true.
As we come to the amazing end of this incredible Gospel, we are left with a promise; and the realization than the promise of Jesus is enough. The disciples have all failed. But Jesus has done exactly what He promised. The future of His followers depends not on their faithfulness, but on His.
When Jesus makes a promise, you can be sure it will come true.
I’m so glad Mark gave us Peter’s perspective on this central truth: Jesus is reliable even when we are not. As difficult as following Jesus can be at times–for the disciples then and now–you can count on Jesus to be there in the midst of the confusion, struggle, darkness, and failure.
The resurrection promise ring in our ears: “Go tell the disciples and Peter, Jesus is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.” Jesus is risen. He is going ahead of you. And you will see Him.
And when Jesus makes a promise, you can be sure it will come true.
Go back and review our preaching through the Gospel of Mark, below. You can find a version for each of our sites. Review the story of Mark as we get ready to celebrate Easter together.
St Luke Ann Arbor
University Lutheran Chapel