The number of times and ways in which the New Testament uses, references and interprets itself based on the Old Testament is astounding. It draws upon its images and symbols; it builds upon Christological types within Old Testament prophets and kings; it explains, expounds upon and even sometimes fulfills ancient prophecies and much more.
However, many readers of the Bible overlook this interwoven meshwork between the Old and the New Testament, and as a result their studies into the New Testament often fall short. There is a need, indeed an imperative, for us to keep this interconnectivity ever before our eyes as we study God’s Word so that we may fully see, know and comprehend its great depths and heights – not merely for study’s sake, but for us to have a proper theological framework from which to enrich our faith.
The Gospel of Mark is a perfect example of the Old and the New Testament weaving together in a complex narrative. For this week, we are going to dwell in its first chapter and look at this beautiful meshwork – or what we would call in literary terms, “intertextual references” – between Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfillments. We are specifically going to look at the picture that Mark 1 paints of the Kingdom of God and, in focusing on its intertextual references, see the kingdom with all of its intricacies, nuances and details. In doing so, we hope that you will see the Kingdom of God in new and fresh ways that will astound you, deepen your understanding of it as well as your role in it.