We all remember English Composition class. Write an opening statement, something warm and fuzzy, or funny, to warm up your audience. Then write a thesis statement. After this write three main points, and expound on those points using the five “W’s.” Then rewrite the thesis. Koine Greek Composition uses the same rules and St. Mark uses Koine Greek Composition rules. If so, where is the thesis statement in the Gospel of St. Mark? It is in the readings for this coming Sunday that we will read at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada and in every parish in Reno.
A voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” At once, the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness, where he remained in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan/the Great Accuser. He was among (Living Beings in Aramaic) and the messengers ministered to him. After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming, “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
When confronted with two traditions the writers of Torah and Gospel relate both traditions, asking us to wait until Elijah comes with the correct tradition. One tradition about Jesus comes to us from St. Matthew and St. Mark, another from St. Paul and St. Luke. This later tradition tells us that Jesus was thirty years old when he started his ministry. St. Luke’s thesis reads differently than that of St. Matthew and St. Mark, and is in Luke 4.
St. Matthew has the Magi and the star, which appeared in 7 B.C. For all the Gospel writers Jesus died in the year 33 A.D. Now, 7 B.C. plus the 33 A.D. means, Jesus was 40 years old when he began his ministry in St. Mark. Jesus was in the wilderness 40 days/years, tempted by the Great Accuser/personified by the Pharisees, and the messengers, the apostles ministered to him.
One Jewish tradition of the Messiah is that he will come on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. His message will be that of Repentance/Going back/return/תשובה. This תשובה from שובה is in the imperfect/uncompleted sense. Repentance is something we continue to do. Jesus comes teaching repentance, after John the Baptist. Repentance is returning to the presence of Almighty God, Abba/Father, The One who is to Come, Haba, and who is love/Ahabba.
Next come details, about the apostles. Our Gospel for Sunday tells us that the first apostles were fishermen. Our Cathedral first reading is from Jonah and relates how God sent Jonah to Nineveh/Aramaic for Fish City. He also taught תשובה/repentance. The thesis statement of St. Mark is that Jesus lived with us, fishermen/the-common laborers of life who preach the return to Abba, the One Who is to Come, Blessed be He, who is love and the concern for others incarnate. We are the messengers, the angels of God, when we deliver his message to others, the message that Abba is Haba, the One Who Will Return, and who is love, Ahabba. We do so with action, ministering to Jesus in the less fortunate: those with inadequate food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and transportation.