The Gospels are the primary way that we get to know about the life of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Each of the Gospels is an historical narrative, a story. When you read a whole Gospel you discover that they are written with breathtaking literary skill, incisive theological insight, and absolute historical accuracy. When we read a Gospel as a whole narrative, we have the opportunity to meet Jesus in new ways, and, discover where we stand in His story.
Recently, one Wednesday night bible study here at OTC completed reading the Gospel of Mark as a whole narrative. Here’s what some of the participants had to say:
“Reading Mark as a narrative enabled me see connections I had never seen before. A classic example is the widow’s mite. I had always thought Jesus was using the widow as an example of how to give. Reading Mark as a narrative helped me interpret that scene from another perspective. It was enlightening.”
“Over the years, I’ve participated in many excellent Bible studies including ones at OTC. I found this study of Mark making me look at Scripture differently. There were many times I found myself saying, “Peggy, who can you relate to among Jesus’ disciples?” For instance, I found myself seeing Peter in me. Do I actually deny knowing Jesus? No. But do I choose not to share my love or faith in Jesus with friends because I don’t want to be rejected? Sadly, yes I have. Did I like having that brought to mind? No. But I loved the challenge because I want to continue to grow as a disciple of Christ.”
“I see reading Mark as a narrative as totally thorough and enlightening. Just don’t miss any part of it. What you learn early in the reading will help how later interpretation is made.”
This study of Mark has been both challenging and convicting and yet comforting and exciting. Because of how Mark wrote his gospel, we (the audience) are included in the story...so it can’t be read impersonally. As I saw myself in the Pharisees (offended by Jesus for pointing out my self-righteousness) and the disciples (wanting to follow Jesus but failing over and over), I was convicted of how much of a sinner I am. And yet...as I experienced the reality that Jesus loves sinners like me and proved it by giving up His life to redeem me, I found myself falling in love with Him. So my experience has been paradoxical - but so is the Gospel!”
We’ll be starting a new reading of Mark’s Gospel as a narrative in a few weeks. Anyone is welcome! If you’re interested or have questions, please call Mike (925) 822-7825.