Into the Gospel of Mark
Only three weeks into the gospel of Mark and already so much has happened. (And we haven’t left chapter 1 yet!)
The ministry of John the Dipper comes to fulfilment when he baptises Jesus in the Jordan, and we are left in no doubt that here is the Spirit Man who will carry God’s program forward with strength and purpose.
Immediately Jesus sets about preaching and calling others into the new adventure. “Repent and believe the good news.” We will need to journey with Jesus through the whole gospel to fully unpack just what this call entails – certainly a willingness to be open to the new, and to overcome our prejudice, preconceptions and pride.
Jesus’ first ministry encounter is a provocative one – the man with an unclean spirit in the synagogue (not to be read as any sort of criticism of the synagogue by the way). Here it is revealed that everyone knows who Jesus is – the reader of the gospel, the spirit world, just not the new disciples! They have to discover his identity by walking with him – just like you and me.
Jesus is the one who is about setting people free. Challengingly, we can ask “What enslaves us? What madness infects our culture?”