“And when they arrived, they gathered the Church together and declared all that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.” — Acts 14:27
Belief in Jesus Christ
In this Year of Faith, exactly what do we have faith in? The answer is not “what” but “Whom.” In order to keep our gaze on Jesus, (and have faith in Him) we have to read the Gospels to get to know Him. We also have to read Old Testament references to understand how He fulfills the prophecies.
For instance, St. Matthew’s Gospel was written for a community of Jewish Christians so he frequently points out Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
As we skim through this Gospel, we can look for the phrase, “This was to fulfill. . .” The Bible will reference the Old Testament verse for this New Testament verse. I looked up Matthew 1: 22-23 “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken to the prophet: ‘Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.’ (which means, God with us.)”
At the bottom of my page, I see that this verse references Is 7: 14. “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call him Immanuel.”
Try this with Matthew 2: 15 and 8: 17.
Mark 1: 15
” The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.”
As we can see, from the earlier discussion above, the time fulfillment and the kingdom’s presence depend upon the presence of Jesus.
He demonstrates the power of the Kingdom by casting out demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead–again, fulfilling Old Testament promises.
However, the content of the Gospel goes beyond the announcement of the fulfillment of time and the nearness of the kingdom of God. Jesus also taught many things “as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mk 1: 22
Read these passages in Mark ( 1: 21-27; 5: 1-19; 9: 14-29) that recount exorcisms by Jesus (whereby demonstrating Jesus’ power and authority) For further understanding, read CCC 550.
In Mark 1: 21-27, how do the people in the synagogue react?
In Mark 5: 1-19, what is the reaction of the man from whom the legion of demons is cast out? What does the Gentile crowd from the “country of the Gerasenes” do?
In Mark 9: 14-29, what is Jesus’ reaction to the father’s lack of faith? (For further understanding: CCC 162; 2610)
After reading these verses, how do I react to Jesus’ power over the demonic forces?