LAWRENCE IWUAMADI, «HE CALLED UNTO HIM THE TWELVE AND BEGAN TO SEND THEM FORTH». The Continuation of Jesus' Mission According to the Gospel of Mark
The continuation of the mission of Jesus, foreseen and prepared by Jesus himself represents a very important theme in the NT theology. This, however, constitutes an evident lacuna in the contemporary study of the gospel of Mark. There is a tendency to think only of Matthew and Luke/Acts when speaking about the post-resurrection mission of the followers of Jesus, that is, the continuation of Jesus' mission. This is on account of the absence of a post-resurrection missionary commission of the disciples by the risen Jesus in the original text of Mark. It is this situation that has stimulated and provoked this exegetical and theological investigation. Our work has tried to fill up this gap in the study of Mark by demonstrating that the gospel is primarily oriented towards the continuation of the mission of Jesus. The first verse of the gospel (the beginning of the good news that Jesus is Christ, Son of God), immediately demonstrates the missionary character of Mark. The fact that it begins with εύανγέλιον (good news) is an initial indication that Mark intends to link his work to the Church's proclamation. No other gospel narrative begins in this manner.
We further identified and studied other pericopes that show how Mark programmatically develops the theme of the continuation of Jesus' mission. Our primary argument is that mission plays a significant role in the project, theology and structure of the gospel of Mark.
LAWRENCE OSCAR I. IWUAMADI, a priest of the Archdiocese of Owerri, Nigeria, was born in January 1972 and ordained priest in 1997 after studying philosophy and theology at St. Joseph Major Seminary Ikot Ekpene. He obtained the licentiate degree in Sacred Scripture (SSL) from the Pontifical Biblical Institute Rome on January 12th 2006, and defended his doctoral thesis in Biblical Theology (STD) in June 2008 at the Pontifical Gregorian University Rome.
(C) PUG 2008