After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’
The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, ‘What is this? A new teaching – and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.’
Mark 1:14-15 , 22, 27 (NIV)
Mark’s gospel contains details of Jesus’ ministry on earth and presents the evidence to back up the claim that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (Mark 1:1).
In presenting the evidence, Mark uses particular words to draw attention to how mind-blowing the good news is to those listening to Jesus and witnessing the miracles. It was true then and it is true now!
One word repeated again and again in Mark is ‘amazed’. Mark uses the word thirteen times in his gospel. In seven of the instances it is the people (generally crowds) who are amazed at Jesus’ teaching. In three instances it is the disciples who are amazed. One instance relates to the religious elite (Pharisees and Herodians) and once it is Pilate who is amazed at Jesus’ composure under questioning.
In the majority of instances it is what Jesus teaches about repentance and believing in God that produces amazement in his listeners.
The final instance of Mark’s use of the word ‘amazed’ relates to Jesus himself and is found in Mark 6:4-6:
Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.’ He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few people who were ill and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.
Take time to read Mark’s gospel and weigh up the evidence being presented in support of the claim that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. In Mark 8 we read:
Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah.’
Mark 8:27-29 (NIV)
So what do you think? Who is this Jesus?
[Archives – click on the icon at the top of the page]