I’ve called this series ‘How God Changes the World’. Throughout the gospel we will see that Mark keeps using power language. In the first chapter, he uses the phrases; “the kingdom of God is coming”, “prepare the way of the Lord” and “the time is fulfilled”. People notice Jesus’ power, authority and strength. Even the opening words, “the Son of God” are political dynamite. On coins at the time, Caesar Augustus was called the exact same thing. The ‘Son of God’ title was contested political territory.
So, Mark is about a coming change of power. But almost immediately, we notice that Jesus’ power and authority is operating at a more individual level and in a definitely non-“world-domination” kind of way. Firstly, Jesus is poor and hangs out with poor people. Secondly, Jesus seems concerned with hearts more than politics. Thirdly, Jesus has power over spirits and nature, which probably trumps mere political power.
But most interesting to me is that Jesus seems to act in ways that reject power, rather than take it. Jesus is doing power in a very different way.
So, as we read the gospel of Mark, I am looking for signs that Jesus is doing more than re-branding the kingdom of this world. He is setting up a new kind of kingdom, a new set of rules, a new way of being human and a new way of seeing God. The change is bigger than we think.