Two weeks ago we looked at Isaiah 61 in connection with Jesus’ announcement, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the good news.” We asked ourselves – how do the prophets describe the coming kingdom? When the rule of God manifests itself, what does it look like? What are the types of things the Anointed of the Lord will accomplish? Isaiah tells us that he heals the brokenhearted, proclaims liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; he comforts all who mourn, consoles those who mourn in Zion and gives them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Alongside these untold blessings we are also informed that the Anointed proclaims the day of vengeance of our God – justice too is part of his message.

If we hope and pray that our Lord will foster these types of things in our midst – then we would certainly expect that when our Lord was on earth these were the types of things that characterized his ministry. If the kingdom of God was coming in Jesus, if he was indeed the Messiah, then the prophets would have trained us to look and see what was happening around him. Was righteousness springing forth before the nations? Were the captives set free? Were the brokenhearted healed? Mark, of course, knows that these are the types of questions we would be asking at this point. What happened when Jesus came on the scene? And so he answers our questions by describing a typical Sabbath Day in the life of the new King, Jesus.