The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
When I was a Year 7 tutor, I always used to quite enjoy meeting my students at the beginning of the year. One of the first things we used to do was process together down to the Sports Hall, where we would have a class photo taken. Once the photos came back, my colleagues and I used to have great fun trying to determine just from the picture who the well-behaved pupils were, and, perhaps more importantly for us, who the naughty ones were! Sometimes we would be quite accurate, but more than occasionally we would fail to spot a troublemaker amongst the group!
First impressions are very important. We’re always being told, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” When we go for job interviews, we always make sure we’re smartly dressed, with hair freshly cut and new clothes, so that we don’t let ourselves down before we’ve opened our mouth.
Mark seems to understand the importance of first impressions. He makes it absolutely clear from the very first sentence of his gospel who he believes Jesus is. He believes that he is the Christ, the promised Messiah whom the Jews have been waiting for generations. He wants the reader to be in no doubt at all that this short book is about the Son of God – not a good teacher, not a thoroughly nice bloke, but the son of God.
Here at Crossring, we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the chosen one, the Son of God. If you haven’t made up your mind who you think Jesus is, stick with us for the next few months, and we’ll go through Mark’s Gospel together.
Deciding whether to accept that Jesus was the Son of God, or to reject this claim, could be the most important decision you take.