We started studying through the Gospel of Mark on Wed nights in youth group. Its been a lot of fun preparing and studying. What we are trying to do is compare what and who we think Jesus is, who our culture says he is, and who Mark presents him as. Each lesson ends with the question, “Who is Jesus?”
One of the most revealing things during this study has been the surprise from the students themselves. They think the know who Jesus is. They have these caricatures based upon what they have learned from their parents, in church, etc. Not only do we have these caricatures, but these caricatures drive us to apathy. Who cares about studying who Jesus is?
But already in the first chapter of Mark, Mark begins to challenge what we believe about Jesus and how our lives reflect our understanding. He makes the statement that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. Then, working though the prologue section of his account, we see John’s response to who Jesus was, we see God’s testimony and anointing of his Son’s ministry, and we see Jesus make the preliminary assault on the Kingdom of the World.
John calls Jesus the “Mightier One”. John says, “Hey everyone, I am not even worthy to stoop down and take this guy’s crusty, dirty, filthy sandals off his dirty feet. That is how much mightier than me this guy is.” What is your response? Who is Jesus? Is he someone that makes you feel warm and fuzzy about yourself? Is he a nice guy with some nice things to say about nice people? Is Jesus some rebel, just trying to shake up the religious world of his day up? Is Mark right? Is Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One coming to bring God’s presence back to dwell with his people? Is Jesus the Living God’s Son? Or are we too sensible for such metaphysical philosophizing?
We are being challenged through Mark to correct our thinking about who Jesus is. We thank the Lord for providing us with a faithful record of his Son that we might become familiar with him. Oh that we would long for the day to see him face to face!