Summary: St Mark opens his gospel in a very unique way, its all about good news, a wonderful story all about Jesus Christ the Son of God. What better story can you have!
GOOD NEWS – Mark 1:1-11
I'm sure most of you have been abroad for your holidays and like me had a problem in talking to the locals.
In fact to be honest I'm not very good at English let alone a foreign languages - I get totally lost and confused.
When I was in Tenerife I went shopping and had an embarrassing encounter trying to buy some eggs.
I had to resort to simulated actions which had everyone in stiches.
In the mld1980's I attended and gave a paper at a
Conference in Warsaw Poland, a time when the iron
Curtain had to be crossed and as the country was communist I had to get a visa.
Not an easy process as you had to guarantee you would spend a certain amount of money before you went, and you couldn't bring any back on return.
At that conference I made a friend in a delegate from Hungry who spoke very good English which saved me a lot of problems.
He was eager to improve his English which was great and he found it fascinating in the way I used English, in terms of colloquialisms, phrases and words which had more than one meaning.
And every now and then I had to stop talking and explain in simpler English what I was waffling on about.
This really put me on the spot as you really had to think and explain what words actually mean and in the context of what you are saying,
I now have a similar experience with my grand -children – what does that mean grandad?
This morning I would like us to investigate the word “gospel”
St Mark opens his gospel in a very unique way and different versions of the Bible I think have difficulty in knowing how to open or start the dialog:
'The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ..,,'
RSV, the Revised Standard Version, the NT was Published in 1947 and is identical 1611 KJV.
Later versions translate for me a far more wonderful and enlightening opening, one that makes me want to read on.." for example
The Living Bible Published in 1971 is a bible written in everyday language and designed for family reading,
Mark’s opening really sets the scene for me in this
version, ‘Here begins the Wonderful story of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God..'
So gospel means and is a wonderful story.
The Good News Bible was Published in 1966 for the NT and tries to bring us an accurate translation in a language we can all understand, and the opening of Mark illustrates this and our reading from the NRSV follows suite.
'This is the Good News about Jesus Christ the Son
This is what the gospel is all about and why we hold its proclamation with such reverence.
The gospel is all about Jesus, His life, His teaching, His healing of the sick, His love for us which lead Him to His death, Resurrection and Ascension.
All of this is a wonderful story, a story almost of someone who is too good to be true, but that's what God is like, He is too GOOD to be true.
All goodness emanates, comes from God and is revealed to us in the life of His Son Jesus Christ.
Do you remember the incident in Jesus’ life when He was addressed as the Good Teacher? What was His answer?
'a man ran up and knelt before Jesus and asked Him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
and Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but God alone."
To define and explain what the word GOOD means is very difficult and if you look it up in a dictionary you are only given a list of alternatives.
It is a word which has to be used with other words and understood in the context of what is written, read or said.
A good teacher as the man described could refer to Jesus as being able to explain and teach in a way that everyone understood, He held their interest and they enjoyed listening to what He had to say - that is a good teacher...
But the man meant something else, he was talking about the character and the person of Jesus the way He acted and reacted to situations around Him.
Through His words and deeds this man could see in Jesus someone special, someone who would not hurt anyone, who would help anyone, who would do no wrong...
All this in one little word...GOOD
On the other hand the word NEWS is completely different we know exactly what that is all about. ..
It is a very explicit part of our everyday lives -the media make sure of that.