Biblical Text: Mark 1:29-39
Full Draft of Sermon
I slipped into something of a philosophical frame of mind this past week – I suppose I should apologize to the congregation for that. Some of it has to do with events and people. Some of it has to do with this year’s gospel – the gospel of Mark. If you are anything like most Christians your image of Jesus comes primarily from John – the good shepherd, the wise and all powerful Word. And we round out that picture from the Gospel of Matthew with the Sermon on the Mount. We bring in some parables from Luke like the Good Samaritan. Looking at Mark is sometimes like looking at a fun-house mirror. Many of the same stories are there, but they way more subversive. How Mark places them in context give meanings or allusions that are slightly different.
One of the big things about Mark that you notice is that unless you are directly healed by Jesus in the course of the narrative (like Simon’s mother-in-law), you end up way off course. You think you are following Jesus, but then you realize a mile has opened up between you. Mark seems to be a gospel for these post-modern times. Because ultimately it all rests upon Jesus, not an idea but a person. We’d like to stay as close as possible in that discipleship walk, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Ultimately it is Jesus that crosses that gap between the ideal and where we are at. It is Jesus who came to us – that is why he came, to preach. It is Jesus who has the authority. We might despair of knowing Truth in the way the gospel of John talks truth. We might be hopelessly misguided. But Jesus still has the authority. Jesus still heals and has cast out this worlds demons. The response is ours to figure out. And there are better responses. But the healing is pure grace, and it all rests upon Jesus.