“The time is fulfilled!” he said; “God’s kingdom is arriving! Turn back, and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
In Mark, and for us who start this year reading this gospel, these are Jesus’ first words. What great, revolutionary words! Not “there is a kingdom waiting.” Not “follow me to a kingdom beyond the azure blue.” No, the good news is that God’s kingdom is arriving. Here. Now. In Galilee. And in Memphis. In America. In Afghanistan and Iran. In your living room and the church conference room and in the projects.
That’s pretty cool news! That’s worth turning around from whatever other news we have been paying attention to today.
There was other news in Jesus’ time too. The news of the Caesar and his Empire. The news from the “legal teachers” (1:22), as Wright calls the Jewish religious leaders.
But in the midst of much other news the people of Galilee are “astonished” by Jesus:
“What’s this?” they started to say to each other. “New teaching — with real authority! He even tells the unclean spirits what to do, and they do it!” (Mark 1:27)
A new way to think. A new kind of authority. A new power. A new hope. That’s good news!
What verses impacted you in today’s reading?