Mark 1-2 B

I enjoyed Carly’s thoughts from last time.

It’s a fun jump, going from the very last verse of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:6) to Mark 1:1-8. The LORD says He will send Elijah, and in the first verses, we meet John the Baptist, the second Elijah.

Here is Jesus arriving as the Messiah, fulfilling Scripture, but at the same time, being nothing like what people expected. He kept announcing that the Kingdom of God was at hand (1:15). If I would have been there, upon hearing these words, I think I would have dramatically looked around: above, behind and beside, saying, “What? WHERE?!” Peter was working when Jesus showed up. People were going about their ordinary, daily lives, and suddenly the LORD, whom no one had heard from in over 400 years, was allegedly at hand?

This book is action packed, and Mark uses the word “immediately” a lot. Tradition states that Mark’s account is a recording of Peter’s account. I feel as though that makes sense with the personality we glean from Peter. Definitely intense. He jumps right into the miraculous: all kinds of healings and demons having major reactions.

It was pointed out to me, only in the last few years, that demon possession didn’t seem to be a common issue in the Old Testament. Where did that come from? When did it become so normal? How were they addressing this problem before? Was it just some major, crazy, hopeless pandemic? Perhaps I need to do some research on this. Interesting how Mark just calls them “unclean spirits”.

In any case, it would have been very interesting to see the effect this new Rabbi was having on the spiritual realm. What a bonkers introduction to society.

I’m excited to have Jesus on the scene. What stood out to you in your reading today?

-Bethany

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