There was nothing like Mark’s gospel before he wrote it. It was a new form of writing Mark invented for the sake of his message, a message Mark describes as ‘good news’. At heart, Mark’s message is good news about the arrival of a King – a King like no other – a King who will change everything.
Mark’s excitement about this message is infectious. His style is fresh, vivid and breathless. From the very beginning he draws us in; telling his story as you would tell a secret. And as we’re drawn in to the story, full of mystery and puzzles, we find – to our surprise – that we begin to become part of it. As we see Jesus challenge agendas and expectations we find our own beliefs and priorities being shook to the core. As we see Jesus meet people in the midst of their despair we find bright new hope for ourselves and our world. And as Mark gradually uncovers the story of Jesus we find our own hearts being uncovered and laid bare. Mark’s story, in many ways, is deeply unsettling. It shows us new depths of darkness and blindness, new capacities for failure, new needs we are reluctant to admit to. But through it all Mark shows that Jesus is for people just like us. He is the one who alone can open our eyes, dispel our darkness and bring forgiveness, healing and life. It is good news.