Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
February 18: Leviticus 23-24; Mark 1:1-22


16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him (Mark 1:16-20, New Revised Standard Version).

We finished Matthew yesterday. We have also completed Genesis and Exodus. We will finish Leviticus on Tuesday. Four out of sixty-six, there is progress but still a long way to go. In February the task seems monumental but anything worth doing is going to be challenging. Stick with it and by the time we enter 2019, you will be able to say you have journeyed through Scripture. If you haven’t been part, there is no time like the present to start. You can spend some time doing extra reading now or by February 17, 2019 you can say the same.

As we begin reading Mark, I thought we would begin by talking about a recurring theme. Mark loves the word “immediately.” It starts in chapter 1 and if you were to continue reading from the New Revised Standard, you would read the word again and again. We won’t continue reading from New Revised Standard here. Other Biblical versions like the Christian Standard Bible, English Standard Version, New American Standard among others, all use the word immediately. Other translations use words like “at once,” “right away,” and “at once.” The Common English Bible, the translation I used most often, the translation you most often will see here says, “right away.” I think it all means about the same thing.  We will go back to the Common English Bible tomorrow.

Mark skips over things like the story of Jesus’ birth. Like the other Gospels, there isn’t much about Jesus’ childhood. He begins his version of the story with John the Baptist, the Baptism of Jesus, temptation in the wilderness, a short explanation of Jesus’ ministry, (that contains the phrase, “Now is the time”) and then the calling of the disciples. There was  even more in our reading for tomorrow, Journey Through Scripture reading for tomorrow will come to an end. Chapter 1 is packed full.

Mark does pack chapter 1 full. He seems in a big hurry to tell this important story. It is the story Mark feels is so important, he is immediately going to get to it. It is so important he is going to ignore what he doesn’t think is important so he can get on with the story.

Why does Mark seem to be in such a hurry to tell his story? I believe Mark wants to make sure everyone hears the story as soon as possible. To make sure that people know the hope that rests in Jesus Christ, Mark wants to move and move quickly. Mark wants to share with everyone he possibly can, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

While I don’t believe that it warrants ignoring the stories of Matthew and Luke 1 and 2 as well as John 1, Mark does show us the importance of sharing the Good News with the people in the world around us. It was important to Mark. It should be to us as well.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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