January 28, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL
Ordinarily, when the scriptures are read in worship, the gospel reading would be the last one read. I guess we usually want to have Jesus to have the last word. But today, we are going to read the gospel first, because this Sunday, we want Jesus’ words to come first, and the words of the Apostle Paul to come second.
So our first reading comes from the first chapter of Mark, in which we see the first miracle Mark records, as Jesus heals a very ill man at the synagogue. Mark is, I think, less interested in the miraculous healing, and more interested in us understanding the identity and authority of Jesus. He places that statement of identity and authority in the mouth of an unclean spirit, right in the middle of this story, Let’s listen for God’s word to us in Mark 1:21-28:
They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounde…