Fourth Sunday Ordinary Time
I Corinthians 7:32-35
Mark 1: 21-28
The Gospel of Mark, is an amazing piece of work because the writer Mark has Jesus in a hurry to carry on the work of his Father. The Gospel of Mark is the shortest and what is important is not so much the words of Jesus but the actions of Jesus. Mark has Jesus doing in 28 sentences what it takes Matthew and Luke five chapters to do. Slowpokes! In our story today we are told that the people were amazed about his preaching, yet we are not told one thing about what Jesus preached about in this story. Jesus wants to make sure his actions speak louder than his words. Jesus wants to answer the question, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” The simple response of Jesus is “Everything; I want everything to do with you!” Ok, ready, because here we go!
How does he get in? There is no reason for a man who is screaming and yelling to be allowed into the synagogue. Surely, someone would have stopped him and politely or physically escorted him out. If someone came screaming and yelling right now into the church, I would hope that someone would stop him before he got up here to me. Here is how I think the possessed man gets in. There are two parts to the man; there is the evil part that fears Jesus and wants nothing to do with Jesus. This evil side of the man cries out in fear, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, you are the Holy One of God!”
There is also a good part, and this part welcomes Jesus and wants Jesus into his life. The good side of the man says, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I hope so, because I know who you are, and because you are the Holy One of God I want you to get rid of this part of myself so I can and give everything to you.”
We have to answer the question of, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” How many of us came kicking and screaming to church today? How many came thinking just be quiet so we can get this over with, I have other things to do? Our evil side says, “I like to drink excessively, I like to look at porn, and I like to lie, cheat, and gossip. What we need to realize is our evil side, when feeling afraid, or in doubt will always come and tell us we need these evil things to make us feel better. We need to train ourselves to listen to our good side that says, “Lord, I give you everything, and I trust that when I stop doing these evil things, I will know peace, joy, and happiness.”
As we gather we need to answer the question, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, you are the Holy One of God!” May we hear Jesus say to us, “Quiet! Come out!”