Epiphany: Authority in Mark’s Gospel

This past Sunday we found Jesus in the Synagogue teaching and rebuking unclean spirits. In both of these acts Mark introduces us to the authority of Jesus, a theme he will develop throughout the good news he is sharing. This authority is declared both by the people hearing Jesus teach, and the demon that is cast out.

We compared this display of power and authority with Mark’s account of Jesus calming the wind and the waves in Mark 4, noting the similarities in Jesus’ commands, and the response of the those who witness the event.

We concluded with a few essential questions for each of us to wrestle with, and settle in our own hearts, minds and lives. These questions boil down to, “Does Jesus have authority in your life, and if so, what does that look like in your day to day living, working, and relating?”

There are a few resources that helped shape these questions and reflections for me, perhaps they can be helpful for you as well.

http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2343

http://www.workingpreacher.org/craft.aspx?post=3511

http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/MkEpiphany4.htm

http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=218

Grace and peace.

Epiphany

This week we did a brief survey of the main themes we will explore during the season of Epiphany. As we focused on the Baptism of Jesus as Mark records it, we “looked forward and backward” noticing connecting points between the primary images in Mark and listening for echoes from other texts.

The first image we spent time considering is the “tearing open” of the heavens. Helped by http://leftbehindandlovingit.blogspot.ca/2015/01/the-sky-tearing-and-voice-crying.html, we looked to Isaiah and Mark’s passion narrative for a vivid declaration that the distance and barriers between heaven and earth, between God and humanity, have been rent from top to bottom in the incarnation and ministry of Jesus.

The second feature of the baptism account we listened to was the voice, crying out from heaven, “this is my Son whom I love, and with Him I am well pleased.” Again we looked “backwards” to Isaiah to the “servant I have chosen and put my Spirit on” and forward to the transfiguration and the cross where Jesus is declared to be the Son of God.

For more echoes, and help with the themes of the text and message, these 2 sites were encouraging, shaping and helpful for me…

-http://www.workingpreacher.org/craft.aspx?post=3459

-http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/MkBaptism.htm