Our church is currently doing a course called “Christianity Explored” which is based on the gospel of Mark. During this course we have discovered that Mark is really asking a question in the first half of his gospel: Who is Jesus?
Jesus himself asked his disciples: “Who do you say I am?” and Peter responded to this question by saying “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29).
One of the things that has struck me as we have read through Mark is the number of miraculous signs and healings that Jesus did. The following are all recorded in Mark’s gospel before Jesus asked his disciples the “Who do you say I am?” question:
- Driving out an impure spirit (Mark 1: 21-28)
- Healing Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31)
- Healings and driving out of demons (Mark 1:32-33)
- Healing a man with leprosy (Mark 1:40 – 45)
- Forgiving and healing a paralysed man (Mark 2:1-12)
- Healing a man with a shrivelled hand (Mark 3:1-6)
- Healings and driving out of demons (Mark 3:10-11)
- Calming of the storm (Mark 4:35-41)
- Healing and restoring a demon possessed man (Mark 5:1-18)
- Raising a dead girl and healing a sick woman (Mark 5:21-43)
- Healings (Mark 6:5)
- Feeding the five thousand (Mark 6:30-44)
- Walking on water (Mark 6:45-52)
- Healings (Mark 6:55-56)
- Driving out of a demon (Mark 7: 24-30)
- Healing a deaf and mute man (Mark 7:31-37)
- Feeding the four thousand (Mark 8:1-9)
- Healing a blind man (Mark 8:22-26)
It’s amazing when you consider all those wonderful miraculous acts that Jesus performed in the first half of Mark’s gospel. For Peter there was no other way to respond to the question: “Who do you say I am?” than to declare that Jesus was the Messiah.
I wonder if we perhaps are sometimes guilty of losing the amazement of what Jesus did due to the familiarity of the gospel readings to us? When we ponder the wonderful works that Jesus did let us allow ourselves to be amazed at what he did.
Also, like Peter let us answer confidently and boldly the question: Who is Jesus?