The Beginning

Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (v. 1)

Everything starts somewhere. The gospel did too, and so Mark makes his very first word (in Greek) “Beginning.” If this sounds like Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning . . .” you’re right. This was Mark’s intention. The arrival of God’s Son was an act of new creation, a new Genesis.

But no one is quite sure how much of Mark constitutes this “beginning.” Does Mark mean just Mark 1:1-8? All of Mark 1? Or could Mark mean the whole book is just the beginning? I prefer the latter option because of how Mark also ends in Mark 16:8. Since we just celebrated Easter, we may recall that Mark’s Gospel, at least in its most ancient version, concludes with terrified women fleeing from the empty tomb in silence.

Seems like an odd way to end! Can the gospel end in silence? No! But just before the women flee, they are told to go back to Galilee to see Jesus. But where in Mark is Galilee? Right back in Mark 1. It is as though Mark is saying, “Go back to the beginning. Now that you have seen the cross and the empty tomb, go back and reread my gospel. Because the whole thing is just the beginning. Now the story continues through you. Don’t let it end in silence but tell the whole story of how in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the whole world is being made new!”

—Scott Hoezee

Father God, open our lips that they may speak gospel truth.