Sunday, January 31, 2021

Epiphany 5 Series B

Epiphany 5 Series B 
7 February 2021

Isaiah 40:21–31
1 Corinthians 9:16–27
Mark 1:29–39

The Son of God, Christ Jesus, Makes Us a New Creation

Collect for Epiphany 5O Lord, keep Your family the Church continually in the true faith that, relying on the hope of Your heavenly grace, we may ever be defended by Your mighty power; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord alone “is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28). He “sits above the circle of the earth” and “stretches out the heavens like a curtain” (Isaiah 40:22). Yet His almighty power is demonstrated chiefly by His mercy and compassion. “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29). The only begotten Son of the Father, the very Word by whom all things were made, becomes flesh and takes all the poverty and weakness of our sin and death upon Himself, bearing it in His body to the cross. As He dies for us there, He also raises us up, a new creation, in His resurrection from the dead. Thus, by the preaching of this Word, He heals “many who were sick with various diseases,” and He casts out “many demons” (Mark 1:34, 39). And His preaching continues through those whom He has sent, who are “entrusted with a stewardship” to “preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16–17). Thus, we are set free by the Word of Christ, and we exercise our freedom in loving service to others.

Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” (Mark 1:38)     
Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege

Mark the evangelist was inspired to magnify the fact that Jesus came to preach.  In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus explains that He and the first Apostles had to go to the other towns so that, as Jesus explains, I may preach there also, for that is why I came out [1:38].  

Saint Mark’s first recorded words of Jesus indicated that Jesus was… proclaiming (literally “preaching”) the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” [1:14,15].  This preaching involved teaching, and it often included the exorcising of demons and the healing of the sick and maimed. Thus when He preached in Capernaum, the people were astonished at His teaching [v 22], which included healing folks and casting out demons.      

This preaching of Jesus can be traced throughout the Gospel of Mark, especially in the initial chapters.  In Mark 1:38 Jesus again explains to His new Apostles that preaching was His purpose:  Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.  He came out to preach!  In Mark 2:2 Christ’s preaching is recorded this way:  And He was preaching the word to them.  Again in 2:13:  …and He was teaching them.  Other descriptions: Again he began to teach beside the sea…And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them… [4:1,2].  A final example of Jesus’ emphasis on preaching:  And He went about among the villages teaching[6:6].  

As Jesus preached, the gospel of the kingdom was unfolding.  By His preaching (which included teaching, exorcisms and other loving miracles), Jesus was unfolding His identity, for He is the great King and His Kingdom has come. He also preached, as did every prophet, the centrality of repentance. These are foundational to the gospel: Jesus is truly the King who came to create and distribute forgiveness. 

Uniquely, as He spoke to His Apostles, Christ shifted gears with His preaching/teaching. After Peter’s great confession of faith Mark records: And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again [8:31].  As recorded by all four Gospel accounts, Jesus’ goal was to head to the cross, and of this goal He emphatically preached to His Apostles.  After unfolding His Kingly identity through the manifold aspects of His preaching Jesus now begins to teach about His climactic kingdom work—His death and resurrection.  In His death and resurrection He would create the source of forgiveness and eternal life, foundational elements of His Kingdom.

After His death and resurrection the Lord Jesus Christ was ready to turn over the preaching to His appointed men.  These men, like Jesus, would enter communities to preach.  They had to preach, for Jesus commissioned them, Go into all the world and proclaim [preach] the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned [16:15,16].  Preach and baptize, and thus distribute salvation by pointing to and connecting people with Christ’s cross and the empty tomb.  

Baptism and preaching (teaching) summarize the work of Christ’s pastors, as also emphasized in Matthew’s description of the Great Commission [Mt 28:19,20].  Of preaching it is not surprising that Saint Paul would primarily exhort Pastor Timothy (and all pastors), Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season [2 Ti 4:2]. The Apostles (and pastors after them) are uniquely called upon to preach the gospel of the Kingdom, a gospel and teaching centered in Christ’s death and resurrection.

Jesus Heals Many
Mark 1:29 
Καὶ εὐθὺς ἐκ τῆς συναγωγῆς ἐξελθόντες ἦλθον εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σίμωνος καὶ Ἀνδρέου μετὰ Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωάννου
And immediately he[a] left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

Mark 1:30 
ἡ δὲ πενθερὰ Σίμωνος κατέκειτο πυρέσσουσα, καὶ εὐθὺς λέγουσιν αὐτῷ περὶ αὐτῆς
Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her.

Mark 1:31 
καὶ προσελθὼν ἤγειρεν αὐτὴν κρατήσας τῆς χειρός• καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτοῖς.
And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

Mark 1:32 
Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης, ὅτε ἔδυ ὁ ἥλιος, ἔφερον πρὸς αὐτὸν πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας καὶ τοὺς δαιμονιζομένους• 
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons.

Mark 1:33 
καὶ ἦν ὅλη ἡ πόλις ἐπισυνηγμένη πρὸς τὴν θύραν
 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.

Mark 1:34 
καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν πολλοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις, καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλεν, καὶ οὐκ ἤφιεν λαλεῖν τὰ δαιμόνια, ὅτι ᾔδεισαν αὐτόν.
 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

Mark 1:35 
Καὶ πρωῒ ἔννυχα λίαν ἀναστὰς ἐξῆλθεν καὶ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς ἔρημον τόπον κἀκεῖ προσηύχετο.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 

Mark 1:36 
καὶ κατεδίωξεν αὐτὸν Σίμων καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ
And Simon and those who were with him searched for him,

Mark 1:37 
καὶ εὗρον αὐτὸν καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ ὅτι Πάντες ζητοῦσίν σε
and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”

Mark 1:38 
καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς• Ἄγωμεν ἀλλαχοῦ εἰς τὰς ἐχομένας κωμοπόλεις, ἵνα καὶ ἐκεῖ κηρύξω, εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐξῆλθον
And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 

Mark 1:39 
καὶ ἦλθεν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν εἰς ὅλην τὴν Γαλιλαίαν καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων.
And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software
Luther’s Seal © Higher Things
LCMS Lectionary Summary © 2016
Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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