Mark does not begin with a genealogy or a birth account. Instead, he plainly states his thesis. He wants the reader to understand that this was the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Christ is not Jesus' surname; it is the identifier that Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed of God. Mark speaks of the beginning and then references the book of Isaiah to show that Jesus was the coming Messiah who had been written about in the Old Testament. Mark combines several Old Testament texts from Exodus, Malachi, and Isaiah because this was no accident, it was a fulfillment. When John the Baptist arrived on the scene, the people knew something was happening because God had not sent a prophet for hundreds of years. John the Baptist burst onto the scene and preached baptism and repentance for the forgiveness of sin with was unusual. The people came to him confessing sin and being baptized. John's appearance brought to mind the prophets of old and people came out to see if the rumors were true. People had heard stories about the prophets of old, but to see this man in the wilderness calling people to repentance was remarkable. John the Baptist declared that Messiah was coming and he would baptize them with the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to John and was baptized in the Jordan, and when he came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descended as a voice from heaven was heard saying, "You are my beloved Son, with you, I am well pleased." This is a specific place where the Trinity is clearly displayed. God is one in essence or being and three in subsistences, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Following his baptism, Jesus was sent into the wilderness for forty days where he endured the temptations of Satan, surrounded by wild animals until the enemy left and the angels ministered to him.
John the Baptist was arrested, and Jesus began to proclaim the gospel of God. He declared the time was fulfilled. God determines salvation and its timing. Jesus announced that the kingdom of God was at hand and he echoed John the Baptist by calling people to repentance and faith. Time and history had reached the pivotal moment in history where the kingdom of God was at hand because the King was at hand. Jesus began to call his disciples along the sea of Galilee, telling these fishermen to follow him and they would become fishers of men. These men left their boats, their trade, and their families to follow Jesus. Jesus went into Capernaum on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, entered the synagogue, and began to teach. People were astonished at his teaching because Jesus did not need to cite history or other rabbis because as the Word, he spoke with authority. A man in the synagogue had an unclean spirit, and this demon talked about Jesus power, authority, and even identified him as the Messiah. Jesus exercised his authority over the creature and commanded the spirit to lead the man. This devil had no choice but to obey the King and after convulsing and crying out, the unclean spirit left. The people were amazed to see such authority, and Jesus' fame began to spread throughout the region of Galilee. Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon and Andrew where Simon's mother-in-law was sick with a fever. Jesus healed this woman, and by sundown, the people brought the sick and those oppressed by demons to Jesus. Jesus healed the sick and cast out the demons without allowing them to speak of Jesus' identity. Jesus had ministered for many hours the previous day, but he rose early in the morning and withdrew to pray and spend time with the Father. When the people awoke the next morning, they could not find Jesus, so Simon led a search for him. When they finally found him, they explained that everyone was looking for him, but Jesus did something unexpected, telling the disciples that they were not staying and he traveled through the region of Galilee. Along the way, a leper came to Jesus and fell before him declaring his faith in Jesus for healing. Jesus is moved, and he touched the man who was unclean. Typically, when one touched something unclean, it rendered them unclean, but Jesus touched the man and made him clean. Jesus gave specific instructions to the man telling him not to talk to anyone about what had happened, but to go to the priest and obey the commands of Moses. This man who suffered the death touch was now clean, and he could not contain his joy or keep silent about what Jesus had done for him. He told everyone how Jesus had healed him and as the word spread, Jesus could not enter a town without being mobbed so he stayed in desolate places and the people came to him wherever he was.
Things To Consider:
- Why is it necessary to see that salvation was planned by God from the beginning?
- How did God reveal Jesus through the scripture?
- Why is John the Baptist such a significant figure?
- Why is the forgiveness of sin essential?
- Why was Jesus baptized if he had never sinned?
- Why is the Trinity necessary to understand?
- Why does Jesus call people to repentance?
- What is repentance?
- What can be learned from Jesus' first disciples?
- Is there anything that you need to leave behind to follow Jesus?
- Why do demons recognize Jesus?
- Why did Jesus forbid the demons to tell who he was?
- Why did Jesus go out to pray?
- Do you regularly pray? Why or why not?
- Are you too busy to pray? Why?
- Why did Jesus tell the leper to keep quiet about what he had done?
- Why do you think Jesus stayed in desolate places?
- How can one tell if they are seeking Jesus or just seeking his gifts?