Read Mark 12:18-27
It’s helpful to think of the book of Mark as a story or a movie where each scene builds upon the next. The gospel of Mark was the first of the early Christians to give a sweeping account about Jesus. It’s not surprising he chose to pen a story about Jesus instead of a theological treatise. The round story of Jesus cannot be put into the square hole of creeds and cannons. The inspiration and insights of Jesus can only be gleaned through the power of story.
Even today we think in stories. Facebook posts tell a story about us. The photos on our phone arranged chronologically or by place compose a narrative of our life. Each individual’s stories are made up of flesh and blood, real people who strive, stress and succeed.
Story is the language of faith. The Bible speaks of God most often in story, rather than dogma. When communicating a moving spiritual experience, we begin by saying, “it was like . . . ,” then complete the sentence with a story. Where facts, times, dates and places end, we paint a picture with our words. It’s no coincidence Jesus was a great storyteller who described the Kingdom by saying “it’s like . . .”
Reading the story of the gospels is difficult because we’ve become so familiar with the incidents that we’ve grown dull to the shock, delight and wonder they offer. We’ve become closed to the new meanings and insights within the text. We must read the sacred story through the lenses of the ones who are telling it. Only then will we be changed by it.
The benefit of reading Mark’s story is that it helps us understand our own story, it reminds us how God sees us and what it means to truly be a disciple. It unsettles us, makes us face the ragged edges of life. It challenges us to reevaluate our priorities and see the world as Jesus does. It helps us to understand our spiritual journey. It enriches our experience with God.
Do you have the courage to read the gospel of Mark and take it to heart?