Why will we read through Mark and John this Lenten season? If you read our last post, you know we’ll be starting the 40 Days with Jesus Reading Plan for Lent next week. (Don’t miss the printable bookmark to help you track your reading. We’ve even given you a pretty freebie image!)
But again, why Mark and John?
As I mentioned in the last post, Lent is a beautiful season where we can steep in the beautiful reminder of all Jesus has done for us in His life, death, and resurrection.
Traditionally, Lent is a 40 day (46 days total when you include Sundays) period of intentionally dwelling on the life, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus.
It’s the reminder of what exactly He did up on that cross and through His sacrificial death! And it makes the celebration of His resurrection on Easter Sunday so much sweeter as we understand the victory we have in Jesus– the Overcomer!!
Ultimately, Lent is a humbling time of reflection on all God has done for mankind.
And what better place to read about all He’s done than the Gospels?
A Little Background
The Book of Mark was written by Mark (of course!), the companion of Peter and missionary partner of Paul. He wrote to Gentiles (Romans in particular), so his book doesn’t contain the genealogy of Christ. His intended audience wouldn’t have been interested much in His Jewish ancestry or in all the prophecies He fulfilled that were given in the Old Testament. What would they have been interested in? What He did.
So for Lent, we’ll be focusing on the actions of Jesus. What He did and what He accomplished through what He did.
Now, the Book of John was written by the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:20) and gives detailed inside information that only John can give. The most theological of all four Gospels, John mainly focused on explaining who Jesus is. We can’t walk away from the Book of John without seeing His divine nature! John gives us the “I am” statements that Jesus made (equating Him with Yahweh- the great I AM of the Old Testament). But not only does John stress Jesus’ deity, he stresses His humanity. He tells us that Jesus thirsted, hungered, wearied, and so on. Fully human, and fully God.*
So for Lent, we’ll also focus on the person and nature of Jesus. His divinity and His humanity.
I pray you’ll join us as we read a chapter(ish) a day and focus on these two Gospels for 40 days! Are you ready to focus on His actions and nature?
Remember, we’ll be posting here twice a week, beginning next Tuesday. We’ll share our thoughts and lead you through this reading plan for Lent. If you’d like to join us for discussion, you’re always welcome to post a comment here on the blog. You can also join our discussion group on Facebook. We love hearing from you!
*John emphasized Jesus’ divine nature. This was especially important at this time in history. A group called the Gnostics were purporting that Jesus was not human. Unfortunately, the heresy of Gnosticism is making a comeback.
“The Gnostics believe that Jesus’ physical body was not real, but only “seemed” to be physical, and that His spirit descended upon Him at His baptism, but left Him just before His crucifixion. Such views destroy not only the true humanity of Jesus, but also the atonement, for Jesus must not only have been truly God, but also the truly human (and physically real) man who actually suffered and died upon the cross in order to be the acceptable substitutionary sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 2:14-17). The biblical view of Jesus affirms His complete humanity as well as His full deity.” For more, click here.