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I recognized something both in the text and in me while reading through Remarkable: 40 Days in the Gospel of Mark for the #LentChallenge this first week: 

Mark’s Gospel is hard to read.

During Lent, you’re invited to join thousands around the world as we dive into this fast-paced Gospel. To learn more, click here.

Though we’re just starting out, I must confess:

Sometimes the Bible just doesn’t say what I want it to say.

Have you ever had that feeling?

Take, for example, Mark’s rendering of why Jesus teaches in parables in Mark 4:10-12:

“When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,

’they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’’’”

Did Christ really teach in parables so that people won’t ever understand and won’t ever be forgiven?

Mark’s Gospel can seem like a 100,000-piece puzzle to the modern reader—almost impossible to put together.

We’re not the only ones. Mark makes a point to explain that Jesus became an enigma to his closest friends and followers, too.

Throughout Mark’s Gospel we see time after time when the disciples couldn’t piece anything together either. Need proof? Take a quick peek at passages like Mark 4:13, 4:40, 6:52, 7:17-18, 8:4—just to name a few.

The disciples were often veiled to the true nature and character of Jesus

But why?

What if Mark’s mystery is intentional?

What if the mysterious way he pens this Gospel reveals the mysterious character of Christ?

Over the next 5 weeks, we’re going to find out as we dive deeper into Remarkable: 40-Days through the Book of Mark.

Perhaps the intentional mystery woven into Mark’s gospel reveals to us the key enigma:

Maybe Jesus is even better than we imagined.

Maybe the Kingdom of God is better than we imagined.

Maybe we’re about to uncover Someone and something remarkable.

Perhaps Mark’s Gospel is intentionally mysterious to remind us that Jesus is so much more than who we think, assume, or guess. Maybe in embracing the mystery of Christ we discover more of Him.

What stood out to you from today’s reading?

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