A Gospel of Jesus
The first of the Gospel writers is Mark. His early writing displays Jesus as the Son of God who came to serve.
As an early writer he is concerned about the end of time and the world. He believes that Jesus is the Messiah. A Messiah who was victorious over sin and the effects of sin, namely death.
"Jesus Victor" was returning very soon to gather the faithful to himself.
He had come as Son of Man and Son of God who served the will of the Father in order to usher in the end time.
By signs of power and the wonder of miracles, Jesus proved himself to be Messiah.
Those who had eyes to see and ears to hear would know the truth about Jesus and understanding the meaning of Jesus' presence they had insight into the secrets of the kingdom.
Knowing Jesus is a Sign of the Kingdom
Mark's emphasis upon seeing and hearing Jesus immediately results in the calling of the Twelve. The Twelve are the select ones who will be Jesus' traveling companions, his inner circle and his closest friends.
Then there is a suprize twist-the demons acknowledge Jesus as the Holy One of God. Mark 1:24
Jesus, the servant Messiah, shows his power over illness and demons and the people are amazed. Note the emphasis of the writer at Chapter 1:34
In Mark's Gospel the power and authority of Jesus are shown by:
The healing of many who had various diseases
He also drove out many demons
but he would not let the demons speak
because they knew who he was.
So far, what is the testimony given by the writer that his claim in favor of Jesus Messiah is true?
The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah, as recorded in the sacred scripture, testifies of Jesus. - MK 1:2
John the Baptist tells of Jesus. - Mk 1:7
The Spirit of the Lord witnesses to Jesus. - Mk 1:10-11
The response of the Twelve tells of his call. - Mk 1:18
The demonic spirits acknowledge him. - Mk 1:24 & 34
The response of the people shows his draw. - Mk 1:37 & 45
All this testimony is a crescendo to Chater 2:1-11
It is now obvious tht Jesus can heal the sick, command demons and call for the loyalty of the selected Twelve. But what is the central meaning of Jesus ministry?
Chater 2 verse 11 gives us the answer:
... that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins
The people may be amazed at Jesus teaching; 1:22;
They may be amazed at his authority over illness and demons; 1:27;
But the true amazement is Jesus' claim to not only say the words, "your sins are forgiven." - to merely say the words is like a hope or a wish without any consequence.
But when Jesus says the words, "Your sins are forgiven" then our sins ARE forgiven on earth and in heaven.
With this visible illustration of his authority, Jesus displayed the validity of the claim that he is, in himself, both the Son of Man and the Son of God. He is both.
And he holds both titles not by acclamation but inherently within himself as Jesus Messiah.
And what is the expected response to this fact? We have seen it all along. It is to follow Jesus as disciples- Mk 1:17-18 & 20.
It is not enough to be impressed with Jesus, that is, to think that he is a great man.
It is not enough to be sincerely awestruck by Jesus, that is, admire his teachings.
It is not enough to seek Jesus, that is, to look for him and seek his help - note Jesus reply at 1:38.
If you want to healed of all the things that paralyze you,
if you want to be whole and a complete human person...
Then you must be willing (1:40) to reach out in full trust and faith and then you will see that Jesus, too, is willing. 1:41
What is the effect of all of this?
We see it in the man who is paralyzed.
Because he is willing and because Jesus is willing then the man is empowered to get up, fold up his mat of weakness, (like a wheelchair!) and WALK out.
And the people said, "We have never seen anything like this!"
The Gospel of Mark, like all the Gospels, is good news for people. It is a message from God that seeks our restoration to the wholeness we had at the first creation.
The sign board of Mark's Gospel announces that Jesus is the one who was promised from the beginning. He is the Messiah who was sent to save us.
Indeed, you may be unaware of your sickness, or weakness, or paralysis, or fever, (1:29)
Nonetheless, if you will open your eyes to see and ears to hear and if you are willing to adventure with God, then God is willing to adventure with you.