Over a year ago, I started on a journey to tune out the needless noise, the constant back-and-forth of our society, the politics and debates, and go directly to the source – Jesus’ words – to see what He really has to say about all of this. For if Jesus really is who he said he was, then his spoken words should mean everything to us and how we live our lives.
There is a book called “Five Seconds After You Die”, in which Mike Connell writes, “In the first five seconds after we die, we will know how we should have lived.” That’s a startling thought. Jesus talks a lot about the after-life and how we should be living now. His advice is wise and timeless. We get no do-overs in this life. It is worth a few minutes of our time now to think about those five seconds later. What if Jesus’ words are true?
In this journey of going directly to the source, I have just finished Matthew’s historical account of Jesus’ words. Matthew was an outcast, a sinner, a deceiver and a thief. Yet Jesus chose him, called him out of his lifestyle and he repented. Matthew was so happy over this that he invited all of his rowdy friends to dinner at his house to meet his new friend, Jesus! It certainly caused attention. Matthew was also a Jew who wrote primarily to the Jewish audience to show them that Jesus was in fact the long-awaited Messiah and King of the Jews they were looking for in their prophecies.
Mark writes with a different purpose. Where Matthew had been one of Jesus’ original disciples, Mark was a contemporary of Peter and Paul. He wrote to a Roman audience and focused on the servanthood of Jesus. Matthew showed us who Jesus is, Mark will show us what Jesus does.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life – a ransom for many.
There were many different types of witnesses, many different accounts of Jesus’ life, but the message in all the gospels is always the same and remains the same today. Jesus did not engage in political rhetoric or protests. He did not challenge the Roman government. He did not waste time on fruitless arguments. He looked at each person individually, and he looked at their heart. No one was a “less” sinner than another. Not a single one. All of Jesus’ words lead to one thing – repentance – and to believe in the One who can and will forgive. It will be your five seconds. Between you and Jesus only. I hope you will join me as we begin to look at the words Jesus spoke to us as recorded by the Apostle Mark.