Jesus’ Ministry Begun
This is ministry in a nutshell. There are two parts:
- Proclaim the Message
- Cast out demons
Jesus models this mission here, then later sends his disciples out to do it themselves. We, too, are called to carry on this simple, yet world-changing, mission.
The message can be found in Mark 1:15, “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Good News (see my commentary on that).” The way of God is everywhere. Change your perspective and trust that you are loved by God and part of what God is doing in creation.
The world is overshadowed by evil and most people live consumed in their own shadow self and believe they are either in isolation or at odds with everyone else. We each have our demons from which we must be released.
Why does Mark highlight this one encounter of healing? I believe it summarizes Jesus’ entire ministry. Religious society has deemed this man to be unclean, thus not worthy to be included among God’s people. Jesus rejects that and chooses to touch that which is considered unclean. In touching the leper, Jesus heals him by including him.
It is not an accident that Jesus instructs the man to go to the priest. This man is welcome among God’s people, as is EVERYONE.
The man talks.
Jesus’ fame spreads.
He is driven into the wilderness in order to accomodate the crowds.