04 Jan

By Rick McVicar             

     Horror is raised in the Gospel of Mark immediately after Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the sabbath, as Pharisees and Herodians begin plotting to kill Jesus (3:6, NIV). Ironically, the Pharisees are offended at health care on the sabbath but are all right with murder planning on that sacred day.             

     Here Mark gives the ending away. Jesus is going to be killed. The only question left for the reader is how. This places the gospel clearly in the horror genre, in accordance with a genre definition found on www.scribophile.com. The genre is further defined as providing a dramatic question as a theme.  

Scared red monster face with wild eyes.

               Click on image to go to animated poetry of Jesus healing on the sabbath (YouTube).

     Up to this point, the question is whether Jesus would do anything to violate sabbath rules. The question is repeatedly answered in the affirmative. By the time the story reaches Mark’s third chapter, the Pharisees are at wit's end. They are now out for blood. The question now becomes: How will the Pharisees deal the deal card? 

     The gospel then follows the road of suspense, as Pharisees lay traps for Jesus as the story progresses. Will Jesus take the bait? The traps will be featured in future blogs. 

     This is why the Gospel of Mark is my favorite book of the whole Bible. It is a quick read, not only because it is a page turner and coffee spitter, but also because it is short. If young writers want to know how to write tight, then this is a book they should study. I find Mark's 
Gospel to be the most journalistic of any biblical book in terms of style, as the entire message of the good news proclaimed by Jesus is packed into a peanut shell. 

     Cracking that shell and carefully extracting the nut has been a sheer joy throughout my life.  This is no dense theological treatise that takes days on end to contemplate. No, the Gospel of Mark has a ripped from the headlines feel to it. The book is a masterful piece of literature, no matter what faith you may hold.   

Painting of trees in pastel colors.

               Click on image to see animated praise of God's blessings (YouTube).

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