Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

From Message to Church

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

From Message to Church

Article excerpt

Isaiah 40:21-31; Psalm 147:1-11, 20; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23; Mark 1:29-39

As Jesus' public ministry continues, Mark describes several miracles as by-products of Jesus' actual mission: to proclaim "the message ... for that is what I came out to do" (Mark 1:38). Nowhere in Mark's gospel does Jesus claim that his ministry is about miracles; nor does he heal someone without being asked or approached. Instead, Mark describes Jesus" primary mission--"proclaiming the message in their synagogues"--followed by its effects: "and casting out demons." Jesus' healing of Simon's mother-in-law is a beautiful example of how the message and the miracles fit together. After leaving the synagogue, Jesus is asked to help the woman: "'He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up." Jesus raises her physically, but also symbolically, restoring her to wholeness and a rightful place in the community. In response, she enters the new reign. Putting message into practice, she "immediately began to serve."

Translating Jesus' message into practice is a struggle well-known to the imperfect but ever-faithful Paul. …

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