“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ And he said to them, ‘Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.’ And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.”(Mark 1:35-39)
As Jesus began His earthly ministry He launched an assault on Evil, on Satan and his forces. He did this not in some arena in a great city with millions watching Him in person or TV or streaming internet video, but in an obscure backwater of the mighty Roman Empire known as Galilee. He attacked the devil by preaching the truth: the Kingdom of God had arrived in Him. He had come to liberate all mankind from sin and Satan. He demonstrated this by loving the people He came to save with words and acts of healing and deliverance. He came to deliver not the high and mighty, nor the self-righteous and self-reliant, but the miserable, humble, and oppressed. These wretched people flocked to Him for help with their troubles, illness, and demonic oppression.
The miracles Jesus performed, the signs and wonders He wrought, were powerful demonstrations of His authority and power. They showed that He is God. Yet as great as those miracles were, Jesus’ most powerful work was His preaching. He gave people real hope and true comfort as He spoke of God’s deliverance from sin, sickness, death, and the devil for it was Jesus who had come to do all this, to reconcile the world to God the Father. He would accomplish this reconciliation on the cross as He offered Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of all.
The world needs to know this Gospel of reconciliation and Love, perhaps more than ever in this time of violence and political chaos. People need to know that freedom and peace come not from self-promotion or the assertion of personal autonomy, but from union with Christ Jesus in His death and resurrection. The Words and authority of God have been entrusted to we who are the Church so that we may bring the gospel to the billions in our world oppressed and enslaved by Satan, to the billions enslaved by the fear of death. And we do this not with displays of signs and wonders but with acts of love, mercy, and compassion as servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.