EVER WONDERED what the Good News is actually about?
I have – especially as I continue pursue my in-depth investigation of the Gospel of Mark, with the Gospel of Mark Workshop.
I haven’t got very far tbh but so far I’ve concluded that the GOOD NEWS is (could be) this:
– Christ has risen!
– He came to defeat our worst enemies and heal the world. I know this because…
– In Mark 1 (vv 13-15) he contends with Satan (our mortal enemy, the author of death, disease, sin, injustice and violent oppression) and proclaims God is taking over – for good!
– In Mark 1 through 5 he repeatedly contends with evil spirits, tokens of Satan’s oppressive regime and demonstrates authority over them, stopping them in their tracks. He teaches his disciples to do the same.
– In Mark 1 through 15 he repeatedly contends with earthy powers and vested interests aligned to Satan – the chief priests, the scribes and Pharisees, the Roman occupying forces. Enemies of God acting through human beings. People like this exist btw.
– In Mark 4, 8 and 10 he proclaims a new way of living based on God’s way of doing things – one that’s not founded on the old adage of the rich get richer and the poor get poorer (Mk 4:24-25) , or on the age-old (still present) mindset of the strong just end up dominating the weak ((Mk 10:42-45), but on mutual service and brotherly (and sisterly) love. On kindness, and justice and forgiveness for all. And especially for the poor, the despised, the ‘little’ ones, the second class citizens, the oppressed and ostracised, the lonely, the broken. “The first will be last and the last first.”
– And the good news in Chapter 4 is that, though apparently minuscule and irrelevant at its inception, God’s regime (or ecology) is going to take over the world! Like a weed (mustard bush) that can’t be stopped (vv 30-32)!
– And in Mark 15 he dies on a cross. The cross is, I’m guessing, many things, but in Mark it is the ultimate Day of Judgment on all that would oppress humankind – sin, death, violence, injustice and disease and the evil forces that inspire and engineer these things. It’s an eschatological certainty that’s it’s a death that has been suffered on behalf of all of us – for individuals and whole communities. On behalf of everything.
– And the proof that it’s worked? That death has been killed? That the malevolent forces opposed to humanity’s and the earth’s well being and flourishing have been defeated? That God’s regime has begun and will be established in fullness, despite all appearances to the contrary?
Mark 16:6 NIV
 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!”
I could be wrong of course. But even if a bit of this is true, we’re on a winning path!
😊 What do YOU think?