Instagram Jesus Week 3: Devotional Day 3
DAY 3 – Wednesday
Mark 1:14-15; 4:26-34
What does Mark teach us about the kingdom of God?
Recall that at the time Jesus arrives on the scene in Galilee, the people of Israel are living under oppression by the Romans. The oppression they faced likely made them all the more eager for the kingdom of God to come. For the Messianic King to liberate them from oppression, as had been foretold in the Old Testament. With this in mind, what do you think the initial reaction would have been to Jesus’ first words recorded in the Gospel of Mark, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand”?
In response to Jesus’ declaration that the kingdom of God was at hand, there was likely a lot of excitement. Finally the time had come! The King was here to save us! Mixed with this excitement, however, was a heavy dose of doubt and confusion. Is Jesus really the Messianic King we were waiting for? If he was, shouldn’t he be gathering an army or doing something to confront the power of the Romans? If he is the king, where is his kingdom?
Fitting with the theme of immediacy in Mark, the people were expecting an immediate, grand arrival of the kingdom. The kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed, however, countered this expectation, much like what we saw on Day 1 of this week with Peter’s expectations of the Messiah. Take a look at Mark 4:26-34. What we see in these verses is a kingdom that starts small and grows large. As the ESV Study Bible points out in their notes on these verses, the grand reveal the people were waiting for was still coming in the second coming of Jesus, but till it reaches this “glorious culmination point” the kingdom “grows slowly but steadily in the mist of much adversity.”