Read Mark 1:14-28
I am a bit of an action movie junkie, which may be the reason I am fond of the Gospel of Mark. Mark’s Gospel is the action movie version of the Good News. Mark uses the Greek phrase, kai euthus, “and immediately”, 20 times in 16 chapters. And he uses the word euthus alone an additional 22 times. As a comparison, Luke uses the word euthus only once in his Gospel. There is a breathless quality to Mark’s presentation, much like a good action movie. For example, Alfred Hitchcock would shoot scenes with an average shot length of 9.4 seconds. By comparison, the James Bond film, “Quantum of Solace”, has an average shot length of 1.8 seconds. “And immediately…” We are first introduced to this phrase in verse 18 of today’s reading, and Mark uses it nine times in the first chapter; four times in this short passage. Mark is telling us that this is important stuff. Pay attention! By His actions, Jesus is revealing who He is. You need to be alert, ready to respond.
Look at the things that Mark highlights with this phrase. In verse 18, Simon and Andrew leave their nets and follow Jesus—Immediately! James and John immediately leave their father Zebedee in verse 20. Jesus enters a synagogue and immediately begins teaching (vs. 21), and when confronted, Jesus casts out a demon immediately in verse 23.
Jesus’ proclamation is simple: “repent and believe” (vs. 15). Do not delay. But Mark’s focus is less on the teachings of Jesus than on the revelation of Him as the Son of God in His actions—His healings, deliverances, and miracles. Recognition of Him as the beloved Son of God requires a response from each one of us. And Mark declares that this response should be immediate. As we shall see, Mark is speaking from experience. He faltered and delayed. But the Good News, he declares, is that God is merciful. It is never too late to turn, or return, to God. Do it immediately.