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Have you ever had the opportunity to hear from someone who was an eyewitness to an important historical event? My grandmother, who was born in 1903, left her family a journal she kept during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. During high school, a friend’s father told me what it was like during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Then, years later, parents of a student Kathy had during her time teaching English in Japan, shared with us their experience when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Finally, a friend told me what it was like on September 11th, 2001, when, seated at his desk across the street from the World Trade Center, he heard an explosion, and looking out the window, saw smoke pouring out of one of the towers.
While It’s great to read about an important historical event, it’s even better to talk to someone who was there. In the New Testament, there are four biographies of Jesus. Each tells the story of Jesus’ life from a different perspective. The shortest and earliest of these, and the one I often recommend to those who’ve never read the Bible before, is Mark. Full of action, with few editorial comments, it reads like a good newspaper.
What I find fascinating is that, according to tradition, Mark, the author of this biography, got much of his information directly from Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter had a front-row seat during Jesus’ time here are earth. It’s thought that Mark interviewed Peter extensively to capture the most important events of Jesus’ life, into a short, compact biography.
In the next couple of months, we’re going to look at the final section, chapters 14-16, of this biography. Here we have an account of the last few days of Jesus’ life, a story shared directly with Mark by Peter. So join us online or in-person.