Please remember that tonight we are beginning our ten-week discussion of the Gospel of Mark. Mark opens with the words “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1. If you remember our Advent study of Luke, the words “gospel” and “Son of God” were originally applied to Octavius upon his succession to Julius Caesar and elevation to Caesar Augustus in 31 B.C. These words were subsequently adopted as titles by his successors. The good news of Caesar Augustus was material peace and prosperity in the empire as brought about and enforced by the Roman legions. Mark tells us that the good news of Jesus is not only something different than that offered by the Emperor but rivals and seeks to replace the good news of Caesar. We see this replacement theology in Paul where he says that salvation is obtained by professing “Jesus is Lord” (Rom. 10:9) which is simply a restatement of the cult of the Emperor which required all subjects to proclaim that “Caesar is Lord.” Mark will end his work in the same way by demonstrating that each step in the crucifixion of Jesus is a parallel to the coronation of a Caesar. And so will look at how Mark demonstrates to us, throughout his work, that Jesus is the good-news, the Son of God, and our true Lord and King.
Please consider joining us this fall. The only thing you will need is a bible, and if you don’t have one, one will be provided for you. Dinner is at 6. The menu is gumbo. Discussion about 6:45. Compline about 8. All are invited. Please bring a friend, neighbor, or someone from church.