How’s That For Setting A Scene?

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

November 20, 2022

Gospel – January 14, 2020 – Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers,
and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

My youngest was in musical theater but also did acting in a few plays. I loved going to see all my kids perform but also learning what they were doing (like my dad before me).

In her acting they would “setup” a scene by someone (narrator) telling you how we got there are a time spent in the play itself.

You ever seen a movie where you just don’t understand what’s happening? That’s usually due to poor setup by the writers or director or both.

Today’s Gospel from Mark is setting up for what’s coming. A new guy no one knows, a synagogue (which is a new thing for the Jews), men gathered on the Sabbath. That’s setting the expectation.

Jesus, with Peter, Andrew, James and John, enters the synagogue and takes a scroll and begins to read. People are astounded by his presence – he reads and preaches with authority – but no one knows him. (What must the four newly minted apostles be thinking?)

Then a demon occupying a man cries out in fear acknowledging for all that Jesus is “theHoly One of God”. Jesus rebukes the demon and tells him to come out of the man – and it does.

What do you think of the first scene? Do you now understand the power in this young man? Do you get the charisma that would draw thousands to him in his life? Millions after his death?

That he does this in a strange region for him also allows people to see him for what he is with no preconceived biases.

“His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.”

And it will continue. That’s how we begin the story all can follow.

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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