Tony's Reflection 25
July 27, 2015, 10 AM.
I remember it well. I was sat at my desk in a large open plan office and picked up a text message on my mobile. I broke out in a Cheshire cat grin. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.
My first daughter Jade had just given birth to my first granddaughter.
I couldn't believe my "luck" in having three lovely daughters. Now I had a granddaughter as well. I was bursting inside and just had to tell someone.
When did you last get news that was so good, it made you just explode with joy inside? News so good, you couldn't hold it in and keep it from the people around you.
Mark starts his biography of Jesus with new like that. You can find his book in the New Testament section of your Bible. He wrote it from exclusive interviews with an insider, on Jesus' inner circle – the apostle Peter. Peter knew what Jesus had been all about. Jesus was explosive good news. The sort of good news that makes you want to set off fireworks, sing and shout in the street and hug a complete stranger.
The biography starts like this:
"The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God." (Mark 1:1)
Since Mark wrote this, in the words of the poem, "Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today Jesus is the central figure of the human race … all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned--put together--have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.”
Returning to the poem… “how could one man, a carpenter, who never wrote a book, never had a qualification and never travelled more than 200 miles from the place he was born, achieve all this? He had no credentials but himself.”
The key is in that last sentence. It is who he was - and still is - which makes Jesus such explosive good news.
Throughout Mark’s biography, we see people trying to get their head around who this Jesus was and still is. Some do much better than others.
There are “eureka moments" when suddenly key characters in the story see the truth about Jesus. Moments like the lightning flash at night when, for a split second, you see clearly what is around you.
The book opens with one such lightning flash moment. None of the characters in the book has figured this out yet, but Mark shows us readers for a brief moment who this Jesus is.
He is "Christ, the son of God".
These are two of the highest, most sensational accolades any human could have had.
"Christ" wasn't Jesus' surname. In the Jewish world, it was a title. God had promised, 4000 years earlier he would send a unique representative to earth. He would be "the Christ".
This representative would come with the full power and authority of the maker of the universe. In fact, he would be both human and divine at the same time. When he acted, it was God acting. When he spoke, it was God speaking.
The non-Jewish world also had a term for this unique representative from God. They called him, "the Son of God".
Mark is telling us that, whichever way you look at it, Jesus is the unique representative from God. Human and divine at the same time.
God's unique representative has arrived here with us.
Now that he is here, what does he want to do? Are we in trouble??
Mark wants us to know that this wonderful arrival isn't something to be afraid of. It is good news. Throw-a-party, hangout-the-flags good news. What makes Jesus such good news? We will go on a journey with Mark and let him tell us, as we explore his book together.
Our book has begun with a lightning flash moment. We readers see who this Jesus really is right at the start. God's unique representative. Fully human, fully divine, both at once.
Mark is inviting us to hear his story and discover why Jesus is good news. But he wants us to do something first.
Jesus is God's unique representative. Mark has told us. You don't come before Jesus and his story simply with curiosity to learn, although that will definitely help. You don't come as one who will sit in judgement over his story, although you will weigh carefully what you read.
You come before Jesus and you bow the knee. You ask him to show you how and why he is such explosive good news for you.
Whether you know very little about Jesus, or you already know him well, there is still more good news in Mark’s story for you to discover.
Will you bow the knee to him today and ask him to take you on this journey of discovery, with Mark?
 One Solitary Life by James Allen Francis. Click here to here hear it performed!