At SLC, we are walking through the Gospel of Mark. Save for sounding like a Biblical Commentary run amok, the book of Mark is absolutely exciting when we realize the original intent of the author. The main point of Mark is that God is known as sovereign, and is King…
Mark 1: 1-13
1 This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.
This first chunk of scripture is setting the stage to grab people’s attention using the terminology “Son of God’. If you were living in the times of the gospels being written, you would have heard or understood what was being said when someone said ‘Son of God’. A HUGE claim had been made, one that connected the stories/history you may have learned growing up. No matter what, a person’s natural reaction in place of our modern day apathy would have been awe and wonder.
It began 2 just as the prophet Isaiah had written:
“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way.
3 He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’”
Mark brings out the big guns here! Isaiah, one of the prophets of old, is quoted. The old claims and promises are being pulled/yanked out of the past and driven into present day, not by force, but by divine situation.
4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 5 All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 6 His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.
Further, Mark points out that someone named John has come dressed in the clothes that a prophet would have worn from back in the day. Camel’s hair with a belt… a far cry from Armani’s style, yet unequaled in class. His message was one of recognizing God, and the human condition in view of Him…
7 John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”
9 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
Here prophecy gets fulfilled. Prophecy is not someone saying to you, “YOU WILL HAVE ICE CREAM TODAY” in a spooky voice…later to find yourself with Rocky Road dripping onto your fingers from the edges of a waffle cone…
Prophecy is something promised, something delivered. Mark focuses on the delivery. Jesus himself was baptized, Heaven was torn open (schizo in the Greek), God is revealed in trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit (like a peaceful dove))…in short, prophecy was fulfilled.
12 The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, 13 where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.
One of the most amazing things to recognize through reading this gospel, or any message about Jesus for that matter, is that there is a tremendous, exponential amount of vengeful power released on mankind. Jesus holds back from doing what he could choose to do, impose his will, and instead allows each and every man to decide exactly what Mark begins this gospel with…
Is Jesus the Son of God, or not?
At SLC we continued our simple Bible study of Mark. We are not trying to jump through the Bible, but to carefully read, understanding the original author’s intent, find the meaning, and apply to our own lives. We invite you to do this along with us!
14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”
This passage is loaded with meaning. Jesus was signaling the beginning of his ministry, although we could probably argue that He had already accomplished so much via birth and life already.
The First Disciples
16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.
19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.
During Bible study, a few different ideas arose from our time together.
- The disciples immediately followed.
- The disciples may have gone through Rabbinical schooling, yet didn’t measure up to the intellectual challenges. Now they serve as fisherman, largely a generational work.
- In another gospel, Luke chapter 5, another account of the scene with Simon Peter starts with the miraculous boatload of fish, that may have spurred the disciples on in the immediacy of their response.
Jesus Casts Out an Evil Spirit
21 Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike the teachers of religious law.
23 Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit began shouting, 24 “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. 26 At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.
27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.
Simple things to notice about this passage:
- People were amazed at how Jesus taught at the beginning
- People were amazed with how he healed at the end of the passage
- Those who were teaching the law weren’t teaching with authority.
- Mark points out something huge here: Jesus is stronger/bigger/impactful on earth – to a spiritual degree.
Wrapping up our time in Mark chapter 1 this week! This last Sunday morning as we read together, we discovered :
- Peter’s Mother in Law gets healed (Simon Peter was married)
- Jesus takes a time-out
- A man with leprosy
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her.31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
We found out that Peter, since he did have a Mother-in-Law was married, which developed our understanding of him a little bit
Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.