A New Reading Plan

Well here we go! The new reading plan. Between now and the Advent season, we will read through the New Testament. I hope you like the way that we have laid out our new plan.

First thing you’ll notice – we start with the book of Mark. We have switched things around from a typical way that one might go about reading the New Testament.

Mark is often thought to have been the first gospel written and I like that it is a fast paced account – action, action, action!

Mark is believed to have been written by John Mark, a protégé of Peter. In a way you can say this is actually Peter’s Gospel, for it would’ve been Peter who informed Mark of the events that are contained in this gospel.

So we have organized our reading plan in a way to begin with the thoughts of Peter, his impact on this gospel, the chapters in Acts that focus on Peter and of course the writings attributed to the Apostle Peter – 1 & 2 Peter.

Mark presents Jesus as the Suffering Servant. The first 10 chapters portray Jesus living His life in service, the final 6 chapters portray Jesus giving His life in sacrifice.

Mark was written primarily for Gentile Roman Christians. If written during Peter’s lifetime, as many scholars believe, it would have occurred during the persecutions of Nero, the reigning emperor.

Mark teaches us that Jesus Christ is the Messiah because He is the Son of God, and His death as the suffering Son of Man was God’s plan for people’s redemption.

I like this gospel because it is pastoral in nature, written as a tool for discipleship.

The Christians in Rome would have heard and believed the good news of God’s saving power (Rom. 1:8) but they needed to hear it again with a re-need emphasis, a much needed reminder in a dissolute and often hostile environment.

They needed to understand the nature of discipleship — what it meant to follow Jesus, in light of who Jesus is and what He had done and would keep doing for them.

In light of this, Mark shows us how Jesus cared for His disciples and taught them about discipleship in the context of His death and resurrection — the same kind of care and teaching needed by all of us who follow Jesus.

So as you read Mark imagine yourself at the footsteps of Peter, listening to the Apostle teach what he learned from Jesus on discipleship.

“And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”” Mark 1:17 NASB

Until next time… Keep reading!

Jim

Sources for this blog: Bible Knowledge Commentary – some excerpts were taken directly from this source.

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