That Sabbath in Capernaum's synagogue launched the first half of the Gospel.

Tuesday, 9/2/14

With today’s Gospel we are switching from following Matthew’s Gospel for our daily  readings to following Luke’s. We all have noticed that Matthew’s, Mark’s, and Luke’s Gospels are similar to one another, while John’s Gospel is different.

Each of Matthew’s, Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels break down into two halves. In their second half Jesus moved up toward Jerusalem. That second half culminated with the Last Supper, and the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Less obviously, the first half in all three Gospels leads up to the midway point when Peter, with full conviction, stated that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. That day, immediately taking the ball from Peter, Jesus launched the second half of the Gospel by announcing that they were going up to Jerusalem for his death.

But, back to the first half of those three Gospels. As we have seen, it ends with the Apostles coming to the conviction that Jesus is the Son of God. In Matthew, Mark and Luke the first half of their Gospel got underway with this same Sabbath day in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Their nearly identical accounts pile on the evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. The people recognize that Jesus spoke with unworldly authority. The demons recognized him as “the holy One of God.” They obeyed his command to come out from the possessed man. Everyone there marveled over the power of his words.

In the following chapters of this first half of the three Gospels, with every miracle Jesus performed and with every revelation of his knowledge of heaven Peter and the others were brought to a firmer conviction that Jesus is the Son of God. They wrote their accounts of his miracles and words just to bring us to the same conviction.

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