There is one thing about Jesus’ ministry that never changed—have you noticed it? It is the ever–present element of surprise.
There is one thing about Jesus’ ministry that never changed—have you noticed it? It is the ever–present element of surprise. Jesus was always doing the unexpected. He never followed another person’s prepackaged program. When He met John the Baptist, He overturned John’s desire to be baptized by Jesus by requesting that John do that very thing for Him instead. He outmaneuvered Satan’s power plays in the desert not with divine power, but in His humanity. Jesus resisted the earthly paths to power and success and instead won the victory over Satan with a humble submission to the word and will of the Father.
When Jesus began His public ministry, Mark records the crowds’ consistent reaction: “they were astonished at His teaching” (1:22); “they were all amazed” (1:27; 2:12). No one knew what to make of Jesus. What He was doing and saying were completely new and filled with such hope and promise that the crowds quickly swarmed around Him.
Few if any understood Him, because His ministry was guided from heaven and not from earth. Yet that lack of understanding did not prevent a fascination with Jesus from spreading through Galilee like a prairie fire.
- What about Jesus’ ministry is unexpected?
- How did Jesus outmaneuver Satan? How can the Christian outmaneuver Satan?
- Is the theme of “amazement” and “astonishment” a consistent theme in the Gospel of Mark? Where else in Mark do we see the people, crowds, or disciples amazed?
- Read through the Gospel of Mark and find other parallel instances of amazement.