Seeing Is Not Believing
Lenten Worship Schedule
Lenten and Easter Sermon Series Summary
Is it time to take another look at the Gospel of Mark? It is undeniably the shortest of all the Gospels. Its language is often terse. The narrative focuses on action. It frequently lacks details that the other Gospels include. For these and other reasons, Mark has been seen as the earliest, most primitive account of Jesus’ life by critics and supporters alike. But looks can be deceiving. Recent scholarship has "increasingly placed The Gospel of Mark in an oral context, believing it to be a written document intended to be read aloud to an audience." According to James Voelz of Concordia Seminary, “Mark… provides a complex and sophisticated account of the life of Jesus, designed for rhetorical impact.” Mark is meant to be heard.
Jesus’ words always come true—especially those concerning his Passion, death, and resurrection. Yet despite all the miracles they see, the disciples repeatedly fail to grasp and trust his promises. When we are tempted to think, “My faith would be stronger if I’d been there,” Mark reminds us that seeing is not believing. We ourselves do not see Jesus risen. Instead, through rich language and masterful narration, Mark directs our eyes toward the cross, where with the eyes of faith we will truly see the Son of God in his glory. Then he invites us to take part in the story and to finally believe that “He is risen…just as he told you.”