The reading today is from the Gospel of Mark chapters 1 – 4.
The gospel of Matthew is related to the King and His kingdom. The gospel of Mark is related to Jesus as a servant. These characteristics are seen in the Old Testament in the book of the prophet Ezekiel (1:10), and also in the Revelation of Jesus Christ (4:7). There are four faces mentioned; the face of a lion – the King; the face of an calf/ox – servant or serving; the face of a man – humanity; the face of an eagle. The Revelation even calls it a “flying eagle”. I will deal with the significance of the others when we get to their respective gospels. Right now we will deal with Mark.
Let me make something as plain and clear as I can. There are not four different gospels. There are four different points of view so that we may have a more clear, and lovely picture of our Lord. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John though penned from different experiences are just as inspired by God as the other. They do not contradict but explain, and enhance, and complement one another.
The experience of Mark begins differently than the other three accounts. Matthew begins with a genealogy of our Lord and His Kingship. Luke, in chapter 3 has the genealogy from Mary’s side of the family, thus showing his humanity. John has no genealogy, but rather states quite clearly His deity with the first five verses, with verse 1 saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.
Mark includes no genealogy, because servants had no genealogy in that day; not publicly recorded. Looking at the total life of Jesus we see a King, a servant, a man, and His Divinity.
Look with me at the beginning of the gospel;
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make His paths straight.'” Mark 1:1-3
Mark seems to make the service of Jesus to the Father a point in a greater way than the others do. Many may frown on the idea of Jesus as a servant, but He said it Himself:
“Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:41-45
The work of Jesus while on earth was to fulfill the Father’s will, not His own. He was a servant/minister to do the bidding of His Father. He had come also to serve mankind by giving His life as a ransom for our sin, paying the sin debt which we owed.
Surely the best we have to offer Him is ourselves, believing what He has said, living for Him and His glory. We need to do as the apostle Paul says, “…Present your bodies a living sacrifice…” (Romans 12:1-2).
-Tim A. Blankenship