Mark 1:1 (ESV) —
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark 1:14–15 (ESV) —
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.
Mark 1:1 is a title to the whole book, and begins with a statement that will be unfolded throughout the narrative—Jesus is the Son of God. A stunning statement that will take the rest of the gospel, and indeed the rest of the New Testament to unfold. But what is really interesting is that Mark says this is the beginning of the gospel. Mark is already expanding our view of what the gospel is. We often try to reduce it down to a series of propositions, and that’s fine, so long as we never forget the gospel is a narrative of the person and work of Christ. The gospel is the birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ—and that’s only the beginning. The rest includes his ruling and reigning now, in heaven, and his eventual return to judge the world at the last day. In v. 14, when Jesus returns from the wilderness, he comes preaching the gospel of God. That could be the gospel that comes from God or the gospel that is about God that Jesus proclaims. The message is simple repent and believe, simple but not easy. The truth is we never move beyond that. At the core, we are always in need of repentance, and always pressing for a deeper faith in Christ. We need to preach the gospel to ourselves daily. Because in Christ, God was not counting our sins against us but reconciled us to himself by grace through faith—that good news leads to repentance as we put off the old sinful man and conform daily to Christ.
Father, thank you for the gospel of God. Thank you for the good news that the kingdom of God has come, and our king is a conquering king, for he has defeated the power of sin. Now we are no longer slaves to sin but slaves of righteousness. Help us today to preach the gospel to ourselves. And as we do, convict us of areas in our lives where we need repentance. Then by your Spirit, enable us to lay hold of all the promises of God and cling more tightly to Christ by faith throughout this day. For we pray this, in the strong name of Jesus, and Amen.