I, and at least one other friend of mine, have always found the Gospels kind of hard to read. Perhaps because the doctrine of the gospel isn’t as clearly and richly spelled out as we find in the letters. I know that it’s important to read the Gospels, because that is where we truly see Jesus in his earthly ministry, and this is where many people became believers and put their trust in him. It’s quite often confusing, though, especially when we read sections of it without remembering what’s happened so far, so again, hard to read.
I just read Mark in one sitting (I’m a little bit tired now), and while there were many confusing things (the parables, especially, and even the ones I’ve heard sermons on many times before), the picture of Jesus and the development of his ministry (beginning with teaching, healing and driving out demons, to parables and the opposition of the chief priests and teachers of the law trying to trap him, to his revelation to his close disciples and the apostles about his impending suffering and promises of the future gift of the Holy Spirit and suffering of the disciples in his name) is much clearer than if I’d read it a few chapters at a time. This is the man I follow an belong to- what a Man.
It takes a bit of time (it took me over 2 hours this morning, with thinking, highlighting and asking questions, as well as a few moments of distraction) but well worth it, not simple for the task of reading a gospel, but making sure you set aside a good amount of time to read God’s living Word. Like most things, it is a priority thing. Perhaps sitting down and reading an entire book of the bible could become a weekend personal reading time. I think I’m going to aim for that. Galatians is next.