Instagram Jesus Week 1: Devotional Day 1
DAY 1 – Monday
Open up a study Bible to the introductory notes on Mark’s gospel, and consider what you already know about this gospel in comparison with the other gospels. Think about the way the writer, Mark, recorded the ministry of Jesus. What was Mark’s literary style and what are the main themes found in the book of Mark? How might this have led the sermon planning team to the title #InstagramJesus.
Welcome to the book of Mark! This first head question is such an important first step when you open up a book of the Bible. You don’t pick up a book without reading the jacket cover, finding out something about where the author’s coming from, and at least glancing through the introduction to see why it was written. This is great for the Bible, too. It’s nearly a 2,000-year-old story, yet it’s been translated into English and passed down faithfully through the generations so that you might see Jesus for yourself, as he really was when God came to earth
Isn’t that amazing?!—first, that God came to earth at all to be with us; second, that we can read the eyewitness testimony of what God looks like.
So take the time to learn a bit about John Mark and his source, Peter. You can read through the book of Mark in less than an hour, it’s only 16 chapters. See how much he loves the word, “immediately.” Note how quickly he jumps from one story to the next. See what extra details you get about Peter. Jot down what you’re excited to read more about.
My little Bible has a short summary of Mark to get you started, “The Gospel of Mark emphasizes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus announced the Kingdom of God, healed the sick, and died as a ransom for sinners. In addition to Jesus, Mark features three main groups of people: the disciples, the crowds, and the religious leaders, none of whom understood Jesus. When the time came for Jesus to go to the cross, the religious leaders arrested him, the disciples abandoned him, and the crowds jeered him. Only when he died alone on the cross did a Roman centurion recognize that he was the Son of God. Though the book is anonymous, tradition identifies John Mark (Acts 12:12) as the author. He may have based his Gospel on Peter’s preaching, writing sometime in the 50s or 60s A.D.” (The Holy Bible English Standard Version: Journaling Bible, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001.)