A lot of people who had stopped watching the news, because it has all been bad news for quite a while, are now tentatively taking a peak at the news again. Sure, there is still plenty of bad news, and fake news, but lately there is some good news too. An up cycle in the economy definitely seems to be in the works, and that is always welcome news for everybody.
Just how powerful good news is came to me this morning when reading a news article that quoted Hollywood entertainer, Roseanne Barr. Normally the Hollywood crowd are on the far left, so when the interviewer threw her a question about President Trump I was pretty sure I knew what was coming next - but I was wrong about that. Here is what she said:
"The one great thing that I read today is that this is the lowest unemployment level for many, many years. So I think thatís great and I do support jobs for people and I think thatís a great way to fight racism is helping everybody get a job," she said, adding, "I think itís the time to close ranks, and I would really like to see an end to 'hatriotism' in this country."
Wow! A positive comment from Hollywood! And it was inspired by good news. Good news is powerful!
Now, what does all that have to do with the Gospel? For a lot of people; not much. They see "gospel" as a religious word that doesn't have anything to do with current events in the real world. That, in fact, is why I don't much favor the word "gospel." The word is just too remote for a lot of everyday people today.
The specialized religious word "gospel" is no longer an accurate translation for the Greek word it is meant to translate in the Bible. That word is euaggelion and it simply means: good news! Instead of using an archaic religious word shouldn't we just say "good news" since that is the real idea the Bible writers were using it to convey?
In that respect Mark, the writer of the "Gospel of Mark" was not much different from Roseanne Barr. He had heard good news. He thought it was a good thing for people everywhere and he wanted to share it! That's powerful!
You see, Mark was in a very different situation from Matthew, the writer of the "Gospel" we have just finished studying in our online Tsiyon meetings. The story of Matthew is included in his book. It is a very moving story, because Matthew was a hated tax collector. Messiah personally turned him around and set him on the road to life! Why, He even made Matthew one of His twelve apostles. This is an amazing story of redemption. Matthew wrote his book as an eye-witness of what he had seen and heard - words and events that totally changed his life. This is surely news of a very personal kind.
On the other hand, there is no mention of Mark in any of the Four Gospels. He does show up early in the book of Acts, and was active among the early believers after the resurrection of the Lord. It's likely he became a believer literally because of good news he heard from people he knew. At that time Jerusalem was literally buzzing with good news from eye-witnesses who had seen Y'shua after His death and resurrection. There were over five hundred of Y'shua's disciples who each offered a personal authentic account of seeing Him after His resurrection! More than that, there was an awakening to the fact that He is the foretold Messiah of Israel - and He is ALIVE! (1 Corinthians 15:6)
All of that was immediate good news for Israel, and Mark responded to it, as did thousands of others upon hearing the good news about Y'shua the Messiah, the Son of God, from friends and relatives who were elated by what had happened! This is how good news works!
At first, all of this was so present and so all-encompassing that nobody even thought to write it down. Why would you, when you had five hundred friends and neighbors who had actually seen the risen Messiah, and many thousands of others whose lives had been personally touched by him? Really, at that point there was no need to write it down. Only later did the need for such a book become apparent.
You see, Messiah had said "go!" - so eventually, after the big celebration in Jerusalem, many of those eye-witnesses went, taking the good news of Y'shua the Messiah with them, to every corner of the known world. As they spread out, they could not possibly keep up with the hunger for the good news they were bringing to people everywhere. A book was needed in which the good news was written down, which could be distributed everywhere, to people all over the world. Mark, who had responded to the good news himself, much like you and I (except for living closer in time to those events) understood the importance of access to the good news about Messiah. He knew from his own personal experience that if honest-hearted people heard the good news of the actual words and events of Messiah's life they would be moved as he had been, and they would believe. No doubt this is what Mark was going for when he wrote down the words and events reported to him by apostles and others who had heard and seen what Messiah did. That's what Mark was interested in - what Messiah actually did as a man among us! That's what he wanted to tell the world. That beginning of the good news.
All of this is why Mark was written first, very early within a decade or two of the actual events, before any of the other "Gospels." That's probably why Mark is shorter and more fast moving than the other "Gospels" - because it was meeting the urgent need, much like a newspaper, of telling people the good news in a form that was concise and not too long, while easy to reproduce and distribute quickly. Which it was - all over the known world.
While good news about the economy is always welcome, we all know that can change quickly. The good news of Y'shua the Messiah - that's a very different story. It is real news, good news, that changes everything forever. This news is 2000 years old but is as current as your morning newspaper, while being a lot more accurate. Further, the good news offers an eternal hope to everyone who will receive it. It remains a great reason to celebrate!
Learn more about the beginning of the good news of Y'shua the Messiah, and Mark, the man who reported this news, at tonight's Tsiyon meeting.That's tonight, at 8 PM CST at Tsiyon.Net for our online meeting.
Eliyahu ben David
Hi Remnant Brothers and Sisters!
I hope you are all keeping warm and cozy with all this cold weather lately!
The cold and snow has been breaking records in strange places. Amazingly, there was even snow in the Sahara Desert recently, as reported with this headline:
We've had snow followed by quite a stretch of cold weather here in Texas, which slowed down our building project a bit. However, it has warmed up again lately, and we have been making up for lost time on the project.
Here are some pictures of our most recent work:
Sisters doing paint prep
The new floor looks nice
See this video! - September 23, 2017, we were told, would be the date of The Great Sign of Revelation 12. Dire end-of-the-world predictions were made. Yet, after that day of "The Great Sign" came and went, and the predictions failed to materialize, we heard little if anything explaining the failure. This was not the first time this has happened, and won't be the last. Why? Signs in the sky are foretold in Scripture for the last days. True to that prophecy, unusual heavenly signs do occur. In fact, signs in the sky often cause a clamor, with predictions of rapture and the end of the world. Yet, these signs come and go, and the predicted events fail to happen. This, of course, provides an opportunity for scoffers to gloat. Why does this keep happening? Could it be that these signs are significant, but they mean something different than YouTube preachers have guessed? There is, in fact, a unified message in these sky signs. This video, "The Heavens Speak" reveals what that message is.
Click on the title graphic below to view this full length video presentation!
You can also listen with or another radio stream outlet, or directly from our website. You get a lot for free on Tsiyon Road!