As we saw last week, the Gospel of Mark centers around the question, “Who is Jesus?” While the Gospel unfolds, we find the various players in the story asking themselves, “Who is this guy? What’s going on? What is the meaning of all this?”

Fortunately, Mark does not leave his readers in this same position of uncertainty. He wants us to witness the uncertainty of the cast in the story without being uncertain ourselves. He wants his readers to have the right perspective on what’s happening – to know the answer to the questions ahead of time so that they’ll be on the edge of their seats waiting (at times impatiently!) to see how long it will take the participants in the story to figure it out.

Like watching another attempt to undo a puzzle which you’ve already solved – looking over his shoulder and only with difficulty restraining oneself from declaring, “No – don’t turn it that way. That piece goes there. You’re almost there – don’t you get it yet? It’s so simple!” Mark wants his readers to slap their forehead and exclaim, “Don’t these people get it yet?!”

Mark accomplishes this feat for his readers by answering the question, “Who is Jesus?” in the very first words of His Gospel. And it is to these words and their meaning that we turn today.