"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Jesus' Ministry Begun
Mark 1:21-45 Commentary
by Karl Jacobson
One of the striking things about Mark’s Gospel is that it is not the disciples, first and foremost, who serve to proclaim the Good News; in fact, the disciples are in many ways last to that particular dance-floor.
The disciples are often confused, or disbelieving, or slow to understand. There are others, though, whose first response is to acknowledge what Jesus has done for them (or in the case of the demons to them) by sharing -- proclaiming -- what Jesus has done, and so who Jesus is. Despite his admonitions to the contrary.
In Mark 1:21-45 Jesus begins his public ministry by healing several times. There are three separate stories of Jesus healing: first a man with an unclean spirit (vv. 23-28), then at Simon and Andrew’s house Simon’s mother-in-law (vv.30-31) followed by a multitude of all those sick with various diseases or possessed by demons (vv.32-34), and finally of cleansing a leper (vv.40-45).
The final story is striking in three ways.
First, presumably because word of Jesus has already (in the course of just twelve verses) spread, the man with leprosy calls out to Jesus, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” The force of that statement is striking. The leprous ...
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL205: Jesus' Ministry Begun
January 03, 2016
This podcast discusses Mark 1:21-45, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Jan. 3, 2016.