The beginning of the gospel in Mark 1

The gospel lectionary reading for the Second Sunday in Advent in this Year B is Mark 1.1–8. This is a slightly odd choice, since in a few weeks’ time, for Epiphany Sunday, we will be reading Mark 1.4–11, which goes on to include the brief account of Jesus’ baptism. Four years ago, before all the … Continue Reading

The preaching and call of Jesus in Mark 1

The Sunday gospel lectionary for the Third Sunday before Advent at the end of this Year B is Mark 1.14-20, the beginning of Jesus’ active ministry in Galilee following his baptism in the Jordan and testing in the wilderness. I have to say I have found what the lectionary does with the opening chapter of Mark’s … Continue Reading

The startling authority of Jesus in Mark 1

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 … Continue Reading

The baptism of Jesus in Mark 1

The lectionary gospel reading for this Sunday, the First Sunday of Epiphany, is Mark’s rather compressed account of Jesus’ baptism by John in Mark 1.4–11. Just over a year ago, when such things were normal (remember that…?) I went with my family to see a film—the final episode of the nine main instalments of the … Continue Reading