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On your Mark

Never-ending good news

“The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1, NIV).

Have you ever noticed Mark’s Gospel begins with an incomplete sentence? My suspicion is Mark gave this verse as a title only when he had completed the last sentence of the last chapter.

Mark writes about 30 years after the ascension of Jesus. The Gospel, in its entirety, looks back on the three years of Jesus’ public ministry. It’s as though when Mark got to the end of what we know as chapter 16, he doubled back and said to himself, “Well the earthly ministry of Jesus was just beginning. Decades later, it’s still going. His story has no ending — He is still saving, teaching, healing, delivering — so I must make that clear. I’m going to add a sentence at the beginning that simply says, ‘All you are about to read is just the commencement. When you get to the end of my Gospel, please know that everything Jesus did in the flesh was only the start.’”

It’s the never-ending good news.

The very word “gospel,” in its original Greek meaning, simply is “good news.”

When Jesus comes into your life, the good news begins. No matter how bad the news has been for you up until that moment, with His entrance the good news of salvation, forgiveness, abundant life and eternal life begins!

The good news remains true even for the dark passages of the soul you may endure as a follower of Jesus.

Jesus is the source of all good news. All other forms of good news are transitory because they are of this earth. Health, wealth, position — all will be gone. Jesus remains; and because He abides, we forever will inherit the benefits He provides.

He comes to you, in human form, as Jesus: Yeshua, Savior, Joshua. The very meaning of His name informs our human condition. We are lost and in need of a Savior. Without Jesus, we do not know God because we are ignorant of Him, unlike Him and distanced from Him.

He comes to you as Christ: Messiah, the Anointed One. In the Old Testament, three offices carried the investiture of anointment: priest, prophet and king. Jesus is all of these to you. He is Priest because He bears your sins, carries your burdens, and intercedes for you; Prophet because He speaks words of life to you; and King because He rules over you.

He comes to you as Son of God. Whereas Savior and Christ describe His relationship to you; Son of God describes His relationship to the Father. Jesus is Man, but far more. His being defies your ability to describe Him. We are no more able to fathom the mystery of the Trinity than a mouse is able to comprehend calculus. Jesus has revealed sufficiently of himself, however, that we may know and love Him, fall down and worship Him, and get up and serve Him.

The life of Jesus is never finished because He reigns without end. And, His work in you is never finished either. The gospel must never be an old story for you. The One who brings you the good news has power to save you, rearrange you, deliver you from bondage and the power of the devil, and continually reveal himself to you so that each day in your life will witness your own new chapter of Christ’s ongoing good news in you.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

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