Jesus announces the good news

This is written by Jeannin Boulter. She has been at St Mary's for ages now, is married to Tom and mum to Bruno and Oona.

Mark 1:14-28

Jesus announces the good news
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 'The time has come,' he said. 'The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!'

Jesus calls his first disciples
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will send you out to fish for people.' 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Jesus drives out an impure spirit
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God!'

25 'Be quiet!' said Jesus sternly. 'Come out of him!' 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, 'What is this? A new teaching - and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.' 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

Reflection

I love this passage where Jesus starts getting busy. Calling his disciples, teaching the people, casting out demons… the kingdom of God feels close (probably because, as he says – it is!) As he begins to exercise his authority, it all starts kicking off. People are amazed, demons start shrieking and the news begins to spread.

What must it have been like for the disciples to go from fishing on a lake all day to such… drama? How did they feel when that demon started shrieking? Overwhelmed? Terrified? What had they (not) signed up for? And what on earth was going to happen next?

As someone who's not a huge fan of 'drama', I find this challenging. If I was Simon, I would be freaking out. Get me back in that boat somebody. We become comfortable in our boats, with the lifeboat to hand, just in case. Provided we don't rock it, we can even stay dry. Jesus calls us to get out, and that can feel uncomfortable.

The disciples don't run away. They could, but they stick with Jesus, even when the 'drama' gets notched up a peg or two. I wonder if this is because, as is so clear from this passage, Jesus knows exactly what he's doing. Everything he does is done 'with authority'. He teaches with authority. He drives out demons with authority. It might feel overwhelming, but he is someone we can trust. It's the demon who says it: 'I know who you are. The Holy One of God.'

Ask God to show you situations in your life where you can trust Him, even though that might be hard, and for the wisdom and understanding to do it.

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