Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Daily Lenten Devotion
Gospel Reading Mark 1:14-28
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea – for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
21They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching – with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
“Put your money where your mouth is,” is a phrase we use for saying that someone should do something, especially spend money, to show that they mean what they say instead of just talking about it. “Show me the money,” is phrase made popular by the movie, Jerry Maguire. It has a slightly different meaning. When people say this, they either want to know how much they will be paid for something or want to see evidence that something is valuable or worth paying for. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus by delivering the demoniac is putting his money where his mouth is. He is not just preaching that the Kingdom of God was near, but showing them how close it is. The proof is in the pudding. (Sorry to switch metaphors but I couldn’t resist.) Jesus spoke as one having authority and he backed it up with his actions in behalf of the demon possessed man. Which also had the effect of showing them the money. It showed the people how valuable Jesus is. If what he is saying about God, and what God is doing is true, then he is worth the investment of their lives and ours.
Incredibly loving and present God, I am amazed that your kingdom was so close to people that they could touch it in Jesus. God, he showed them that life was not hopeless and even self-destructive ways could be reversed. He also showed them that what he said was true, that his ways were the right ways. Help me Lord not to dismiss Jesus and his words as either impossible or nearly impossible to do. Give me the courage and strength to make the effort and trust you for the results. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.