We can easily read Mark’s opening words without really understanding just how provocative they are. They can appear, to our eyes, as a simple title or summary sentence.
This wouldn’t have been the case for the original listeners. They would have known these words were fighting words. Mark has ‘come out swinging’ as they say.
By using the word ‘Gospel’ with reference to Jesus, Mark is communicating the following ideas.
- To the Roman Citizens – Don’t look to the Caesar for perfect Peace – look to Jesus.
- To the Jewish Listeners – Your Hope for God’s mighty work is fulfilled in Jesus who establishes the Kingdom of God through his Death and Resurrection.
- To the Christians – Jesus gives true Joy, even to those who are suffering (Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians).
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good, provocative, reaction demanding News.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.