Our Gospel today is from the first chapter of the Gospel according to Mark.
Mark, as a boy, following Jesus about, had been a hundred percent convinced that he was trailing behind the Messiah promised to Moses. But coming to forty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Mark was more an more hearing people say that Jesus could not be the Messiah, because he suffered and died a criminal’s death.
Before Matthew, Luke or John got the idea of doing it, Mark decided he needed to put into writing the divine impact Jesus had on them all.
He divided that written testimony into two equal parts. Through his first eight chapters Mark brought us along with him and the Apostles as they were convinced over and over that Jesus was the Messiah. Then, at the end of Chapter Eight he recorded how Peter, speaking for all of us, said, “You are the Messiah.”
With that point nailed down, Mark used the second eight chapters of his Gospel to show us that the suffering of Jesus, far from being a cause for people to disregard him, should put them in awe of him. It was his bravely accepted that suffering and that ignominious death that Jesus saved us. It was with every ounce of his courage that he fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that stated,
“While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted, he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins.
“Though he was harshly treated, he submitted, and opened not his mouth, like a lamb led to the slaughter.”
Today’s reading from Mark’s Chapter One treats us to the early evidence that showed Jesus to be our Savior. Jesus taught with authority from heaven. He was recognized by the demons to be the Holy One of God. He drove out those demons by a single word. And, if we read on a few more verses, we will witness his heavenly powers curing every manner of physical and mental ailment.