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Mark 1:1-8

John the Baptist comes to prepare the way for one greater than him.

Tom Faletti

Mark 1:1-8

In verse 1, how does Mark describe this book he is writing?

Leaving aside the religious meaning for a moment, what does it mean to you when you have "good news"?

In the context of our faith, what is "the good news of Jesus Christ"?

Mark describes Jesus using two titles in verse 1.  What are those titles and what do they mean?

The first term is "Christ," which is a Greek translation of the Hebrew term "Messiah" – both meaning "anointed one."

Why did it matter to the Jews whether Jesus was the "Messiah"?  What did that word mean to them?

Jews expected a messiah who would overthrow the Romans, end their oppression, and usher in a new age of freedom and peace.

The other title in verse 1 is "Son of God."  This phrase does not appear in many of the earliest manuscripts but was a well-established part of the Gospel by the second century (Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., "The Gospel According to Mark," The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, p. 599).  Since Jesus's identity as the Son of God seems to be a key theme for Mark, it is fitting for the title to be used here at the beginning of his Gospel.

In the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), references to a "son of God" or "sons of God" generally appear to mean angels, so for the Jews of Jesus's time this phrase would have been more ambiguous than it is to Christians.  Jesus's appropriation of the term and assertion that he is not only the Son of God but one with the Father leads us to understand the term literally.

What does "the Son of God" mean to you?

(to be continued)

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