The Scandal of the Gospel
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not about living up to someone
else’s preconceived notions of what is proper. The gospel is
also not about avoiding offending someone else’s worldview.
Jesus was and is about the business of stirring up trouble.
Every where he went when he walked the earth he became
a walking religious scandal, offending the sensibilities of the
We see through the accounts recorded in Mark 2:1-3:6 that
Jesus is causing conflict with the religious establishment of
his day and these encounters with the leaders of the
establishment led to their determination to destroy him (3:6).
What Jesus was teaching and preaching was revolutionary
and new and would not fit into the religious structure or
traditions of the day. We see in this passage that the scandal
of the gospel is that it forsakes the traditions of men in favor
of a relationship with a Savior.
In Mark 2:18-22 Jesus uses three parables, a wedding feast
(2:19), a piece of new cloth sown over an old garment (2:21),
and new wine poured into an old wineskin (2:22) to illustrate
the newness of the gospel and the freshly inaugurated
Kingdom of God. Jesus’ point is that with his coming and the
inauguration of the kingdom of God the old systems must be
torn down and replaced with something greater. We cannot
simply add Jesus and his gospel to our already existing
structures, traditions, and worldviews. The gospel completely
The question posed by Jesus to his disciples and us by
extension is not whether we will make room for Jesus in our
already full agendas and lives but whether we will forsake
the status quo and join in the celebration of the arrival of the