On November 14, I was speaking to students at our church on following Jesus and knowing him through his word. On the fly, I challenged them to take the remaining 16 days of November and read the gospel of Mark, 1 chapter for each day. So I took my own advice.
[Iâ€™ve been trying to read in the gospel every day, working my way through one of them at a time. Sometimes I read large chunks. Sometimes I eke out a chapter a day, reading with more thought and attention. I picked this up from Steven Dilla and his plan for reading the gospels. I highly recommend it, and think I might try to follow it in a disciplined manner this January.]
But back to the main idea. As I went through Mark this time around, I tried to read it through a double lens: 1) what does this story say about who Jesus is and what he does, and 2) what would a follower of Jesus do in response? I have being thinking about this kind of read more and more, ever since I heard John Ortberg challenge us back in 2008: are we in the church making disciples who follow Jesus (not just fans, or admirers, or users) or just Christians, commonly understood?
So here are my 16 tweets through the gospel of Mark. I hope the call is clear (it was to me).
#gospelofMark 1: Jesus proclaims the good news: God’s kingdom is near! Followers of Jesus hear his call, repent, believe, and follow him.
#gospelofMark 2: Jesus lives/loves/heals with a divine, joyful freedom. A follower of Jesus lives/loves in that freedom.
#gospelofMark 3: Jesus chooses people to be with him and for mission. A follower of Jesus is with Jesus, learns from him, and gets sent out.
#gospelofMark 4: Jesus gives the kingdom and grows it to fruition. A follower of Jesus hears, receives, & pays attention.
#gospelofMark 5: Jesus shows power over evil, suffering, and death. Jesus heals. A follower of Jesus moves from fear to faith.
#gospelofMark 6: Jesus has sharp words for the “righteous” but healing hands to the desperate. A follower of Jesus learns inside-out living.
#gospelofMark 7: Jesus focuses on the command of God over/against all human traditions: a follower of Jesus pleases God, not people.
#gospelofMark 8: Jesus is Israel’s Messiah who will suffer, die, and rise again. We deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus.
#gospelofMark 9: Jesus takes the downward road from glory to cross. A follower of Jesus lives that out: the cross is the way to glory.
#gospelofMark 10: Jesus is here to serve and be a ransom. A follower of Jesus embraces Jesus and his kingdom: serving, not lording.
#gospelofMark 11: Jesus is king, speaking and acting with God’s authority. A follower of Jesus has faith, believes, asks, receives.
(Update on #gospelofMark 11: sometimes a follower of Jesus is just mystified by what Jesus says and does.)
#gospelofMark 12: Jesus is provocative, cutting past appearance, hypocrisy, and all posturing. He reveals love is the heart of the law.
#gospelofMark 13: Jesus makes the End known to those in the middle. A follower of Jesus lives the messy middle in light of the coming End.
#gospelofMark 14: a follower of Jesus might still betray or disown Jesus as he walks his downward path. Jesus still breaks bread with them.
#gospelofMark 15: Jesus is the crucified, forsaken King of the Jews and the Son of God. A follower of Jesus trembles, tearful.
#gospelofMark 16: Jesus is risen and goes ahead of us into the world. A follower of Jesus moves from fear to faith & sees/meets him there.