Archive for June 12th, 2017

Mark 1

Mark 1 begins the second author’s version of Christ’s life.  Mark begins with John the Baptist. He had a simple message and was doing God’s work in a very powerful and specific way: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” was the purpose of what he was doing.  And in the wilderness he spent his days “proclaiming  a baptism of  repentance  for the forgiveness of sins”.  John was a different man.  “John was clothed with camel’s hair and  wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey”.  He didn’t ‘fit in’ to the mainstream culture of the day.  He lived his way but did God’s work.  His mission was to prepare the way of the Lord.

John preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”.  He obviously wasn’t a favorite among the religious leaders of the day either.  But God makes clear who Jesus is as part of John’s work. God introduces His son, sends Him out to be tempted, and prepares Him for the ministry ahead. “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased….The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness….he was in the wilderness forty days, being  tempted by  Satan.

When Jesus comes back from the forty days of wilderness time and Satan’s attempts to tempt Him, He reinforces what His mission is here on earth.  He came to lead people to “repent and believe in the gospel”.  Jesus’ life is about leading people from sin to life.  He begins assembling His team that would become disciples or Apostles and would carry the message of the gospel with Him.  He sees Peter and Andrew, and then James and John and invites them with “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men”.  Ten short words that literally change the world forever.  He leads them to the Synagogue in Capernaum, and he began teaching and “they were astonished at his teaching,  for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes”.  Jesus is who they have been waiting for as the answer to their prayers, but they don’t know it.

He begins ministering to people through teaching and healing.  “At once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee”.  People came from all over to see and hear Him, and to have Him heal those who were in need.  The world pressed in on Him, so “rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed”.  Jesus didn’t ever lose sight of the fact that His power and ministry were connected to God.  He had the spiritual disciplines in place, and was faithful to stay connected to the Source of all.  He tells His disciples how important that discipline is, and we need to follow it in our lives if we want to walk with Him.

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