Read: Mark 1:14-15
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel. (v. 14)
Jesus’ very first sermon was clearly inspired by John the Baptist. Lots of preachers begin by modeling themselves on other good preachers, and Jesus did too by echoing his cousin John. And it’s a good thing Jesus took up this sermon, because John was no longer free to preach it himself. He’d been arrested, thrown in prison, and would never get out. By the time we get to Mark 8, we will read about the sad end of this great forerunner of God’s Messiah.
It’s very upsetting that John was arrested. And so maybe it seems like an odd time for Jesus to begin whipping up enthusiasm for what he calls “good news.” Can we proclaim good news in a time of bad news? Or, when the world reacts to the proclamation of God’s kingdom by locking up the first preacher who proclaimed it, isn’t that a pretty good indication that the gospel doesn’t have much of a chance in this world?
In truth the world has always resisted God’s kingdom. It put John the Baptist to an end, and eventually would get around to doing the same thing to Jesus and then later to the apostles. But here’s the wonder of it all: the gospel’s light has never gone out. The message has never died. God really is on the move re-creating the world through Jesus. The kingdom of God is near, and there’s no stopping it!
When we feel beaten down by the world, lift our eyes to see your kingdom all around us