I can remember my husband and I being in New York City one summer day some years ago with my son and his family.
This was a big deal for us because we had only visited New York one other time. My son and his wife were used to being in the city and they walked the streets like they owned them. I can remember shopping on Park Avenue, being in the Waldorf Astoria, Central Park and Time Square…just trying to keep up and take it all in.
As the day progressed, some way or the other, we walked into this huge crowd that was gathering and we had not the slightest idea why the crowd was there. The cops were present and were trying to establish control as they blocked off the street. When we got to the end of the block, the cops were just about to put the gate in place but we were allowed to scurry on across to the other side.
The great thing about this was that we reached the other side of the street just as they were placing that gate. This just so happened to leave us at the very front of the crowd facing the street!
There we were, front and center, but we had no idea what was going on and why everyone was facing the street! We finally figured out that we had walked ourselves right into a parade to celebrate the New York Yankees!
The players were riding up the street in vehicles one by one but with distance between the vehicles. The crowd was cheering and applauding so loud that you knew ahead of time when the next vehicle was coming. The cheers would start and the people would begin to ask “who is it” to know who would show up next.
There we were front and center and the loudest cheer of all was heard! It was A-Rod passing by and the loud crowd could hardly contain itself! The word, cheering, seems inadequate. But when it quieted down, there was one person who did not know A-Rod and dared to ask “who is it”? After all, there were no names or signs on the vehicles. Needless to say, there was one man who took that question to be the ultimate insult to A-Rod and baseball.
The Yankees could learn from Mark. You see, Mark begins his writings by making sure that every reader knows who and what he is writing about. We find it in Mark 1, verse 1:
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
Mark spells it out. He wants to make sure that we understand that what we are about to read is The Gospel, the “good news Jesus Christ.”
The Gospel is the power of God through the life, death, and resurrection
of Jesus Christ to save all who believe. Romans 1:16
“News” in those days meant that something significant had taken place. Mark writes so that we will understand that the “significant something” was Jesus Christ, the Son of God had come into the world.
Jesus – this is His divinely given, personal, human name; a common name among Jews; same as the Hebrew name, Joshua, which means “the Lord is salvation”
Christ – an official title; Greek for the Hebrew title, Messiah, the anointed One who is coming to save man from our sins
Son of God – speaks of His deity; the divine nature and unique relationship of Jesus to God the Father
Mark makes certain that all who read his writings understand that the central character in all of history is Jesus.
May all who read our speech, actions, attitudes, and beliefs do the same. So much so that they will ask, “Who is it?” Instead of being insulted, let us with all humility, loving respond, “It is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” May I introduce you to my God and my best friend?