Image credit: AudreyFerguson
If Jesus is the answer – what is the question? The gospel of Mark starts with a quotation from the book of Isaiah, about God sending John the Baptist before Jesus (Mark 1:1-3). Mark starts his gospel by letting us know that Israel was expecting a savior as prophesied in the Old Testament.
The savior’s mission was stated in Isaiah 61:1-3 (The Message Bible): “The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace – a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies – and to comfort all who mourn…”
The Old Testament prophets, preached against corruption, evil, and injustice. They preached that these problems in society come from the hearts of men and women. Thus the answer was to provide relief for people who are suffering, and most importantly transform our hearts from seeking to do evil to seeking to do good.
Thus in Mark 1:14-15 (The Message Bible) we read: “After John [the Baptist] was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.””
Jesus starts his preaching, by announcing “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here” – to Israel; they had heard John the Baptist preach that the savior is coming, now Jesus is saying I am the awaited savior, I am the answer to all your problems. Next week we will see how Jesus went about proving to all that he is the answer!
Lord God, show us how Jesus answers to our deepest needs, Amen!