The gospel lectionary reading for Epiphany 4 in Year B is Mark 1.21–28, Mark’s account of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. It is, like all the early parts of Mark, highly compressed, but it is packed full of fascinating detail which begins to set the agenda for Mark’s portrayal of Jesus.
The episode is striking within the gospels, in that it is the only one which is included in Luke (Luke 4.31–37) but not included in Matthew. Luke positions his account following Jesus’ rejection in Nazareth, which Mark postpones to chapter 6, whilst in Mark it immediately follows the call of the first disciples, which Luke postpones until the miraculous catch of fish in Luke 5. The effect of this in Mark is to suggest that the disciples were immediately thrown into the dynamic of Jesus’ ministry.
Come and join Ian and James as they exploring the passage and its implications.
(Written commentary can be found here.)