By Hakeem Bradley, art by Heidi Ambrose
Mark’s account of the Gospel begins with the proclamation of the good news about Jesus, the Unwelcomed Messiah. Throughout this account, we see Jesus announce the arrival of the Kingdom of God and proclaim its mission to redeem humanity. The Kingdom breaks into hostile, unwelcoming territories and transforms them into areas that participate in its spreading.
In Jesus, God restores what it is to be human. To be human is to love all, even those who are marginalized. To be human is to reflect God to creation. To be human is to self-sacrifice for the other. Jesus perfectly exemplified this, yet He was rejected. Jesus’ love for the marginalized was despised by a people whose understanding of what it means to be human had been distorted by sin. His exact reflection of God to creation was considered blasphemy, and His self-sacrifice was considered unfit for the Messiah. God became human, but His “type” of humanity was not welcomed by His creation.
The Creator God stepped into His creation in a way that no one ever thought He would. The people of God eagerly anticipated the arrival of the Son of David who they believed would liberate them from the rule of the Roman Empire. In the midst of their anticipation, the Messiah arrives. However, He is not the king who establishes an Israelite empire, but rather the suffering servant who inaugurates the Kingdom of God. He is the Messiah they have been waiting for, but He is not the Messiah they expected. Join us as we explore this revolutionary, presumption-busting Messiah in the book of Mark.
Mark: An Unwelcomed Humanity begins Sunday, June 17th, at Eastside Gathering. For service times and more info, visit idcpdx.com.