Bethel International United Methodist Church
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Starts with Mark’s gospel


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Our 2021 BIBLE READING PLAN starts this year with Mark’s gospel.  Here are a few things to look for and keep in mind as you read:

  • Mark is the briefest of the four gospels. In Mark, Jesus has great urgency, no time to waste. The kingdom of God is at hand.  The cross looms ahead.  The word ‘immediately’ occurs 28 times in Mark’s 16 chapters.  As you read, sense how impatient Jesus is, always pressing ahead.
  • Mark is a story of conflict. From the start, Jesus clashes with religious leaders, with demonic powers (often symbolic of political and economic oppression), and eventually with the Romans.  Jesus consistently and publicly sides with the hungry and the sick, over against those with power and authority.  He is executed on political charges. 
  • As you read, ask yourself, what is salvation in Mark’s story of Jesus? What does it mean to be a Christian, a follower Jesus?  Our answers will be more complicated than ‘believing in Jesus’ or ‘going to heaven when we die.’  Following Jesus is blessed and holy, but also demanding and costly.
  • The ending of Mark is messy and disputed. Most scholars believe Mark originally ended with verse 8. Most English translations share one or two other endings that occur in different manuscripts. 

May God add a blessing to the reading of the Word,

Pastor Glenn

See the full 2021 Bible Reading Plan HERE

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