I have always known that Mark's gospel makes regular use of the word "immediately". But, until recently I had never thought to look at the where he uses it. This past Sunday's sermon was out of Mark 1:21-28, a chapter that begins with the purpose of showing that Jesus' coming was also the coming of the kingdom of God. The first words of Jesus in Mark are that "the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel" (1:15). Before and after that pronouncement, Mark uses "immediately" seven times and in connection to the theme of God's Kingdom coming into space and time. I think that Mark uses "immediately" to signal conflict between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan.
Below is a chart containing the references and a summary of those verses' content. This word isn't used in Jesus' teaching or in other scenes. It is only used in scenes where there is a conflict between the two kingdoms. This conflict manifests itself in various ways. Jesus' baptism and calling the disciples doesn't look like conflict, but the changing from a non-believer to a follower of Christ was in Paul's mind (Ephesians 2:1-10). The miracles of Jesus are meant to be clear demonstrations that the Kingdom of God was present, that Jesus was the one who ties up the "strong man" to plunder his house (Mark 3:27). This is, in part, the reason why Mark 1:14-8:26 are filled with healings, exorcisms, resurrection, and other miracles.
Other examples, like 3:1-6, continue this theme of kingdoms in conflict by showing the allegiance of the Pharisees. If they belonged to God (as they claimed) then they would believe Jesus and follow him. But they don't, and thus show that they belong to Satan (John 8:39-47).
What do you think? Is Mark's use just a coincidence or is he pointing out the Kingdoms in conflict?