Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mark, Chapter 1: No virgins here

All that stuff about virgin births, mangers, shepherds, stars and myrrh that leads to broomstick brawls? Not in Mark. Nope, we get a cold open on John the Baptist, hanging out in the woods, baptising and eating locusts. After awhile, Jesus comes along to be baptised. This time there's no arguing, he just submerges him and when he comes back up, god says that's awesome.

Then events start happening in a whirlwind, with no pauses for description: desert, temptation, John goes to prison, Jesus walks around telling everyone to repent or go to hell.

He picks up Simon, Andrew, James and John, the fishermen, and they all go to Capernaum to preach in the temple. Everybody finds this most irregular. A crazy dude in the temple recognises him and asks him if he's there to destroy everything. Jesus calls out the evil spirit that is making the guy crazy and tells it to shut up. It obeys. The people around him are amazed, and more than a little wary of this stranger who can control schizophrenics.

Word quickly spreads that there's a guy in the temple who can cure mental illness, so people start bringing their weird uncles and such to him just to get a bit of peace at dinner. Jesus casts out each and every devil, swearing all of them to secrecy. He also cures Simon's mother-in-law of a fever.

The next day, Jesus gets up before dawn to go and pray. The disciples find him and say people are asking for him, but Jesus wants to get a move on. They travel around Galilee, curing people and casting out devils. At one point, a leper waylays them and Jesus does his usual magic and swears the guy to secrecy. But the guy starts blabbing, and pretty soon they can't enter the city anymore, so they hang out in the desert for awhile, curing and casting.

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