The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – Mark

A new year with a New Beginning

I hope all the readers will enjoy  running highlights commentary as we read the Word of God through the year.

Mark, better known as John Mark – cousin to Barnabas is the author of the Gospel. However it has been many times called the “Gospel of Peter” this is because of the close relationship Peter and Mark had. Mark was a sort of amanuensis for Peter and wrote all the stories, accounts and memories of Peter.

Mark is the earliest Gospel, of which both Matthew and Luke use almost 70% of Mark’s information in some way or another in their own Gospel. The Greek language used by Mark could be called “common use” Greek. In other words it isn’t very polished. But this is to be understandable when we know that Mark wrote to the Gentiles.

The Gospel of Mark break on to the scene with the preaching of John the Baptist in the wilderness. After some 400 years of silence, there is this rough tough preacher baptizing people as a proof of their repentance. Of course as most people are about something new, they have to go check it out. Repentance for the forgiveness of sins is a message for today. Malachi 4 tells how the LORD will send one like unto Elijah at the great and terrible day of the Lord.

John was the forerunner to Jesus He announced that the Kingdom of God was Coming – Jesus preached that the Kingdom of God was present.
In the first chapter of Mark we find the repetitive use of the word – Immediate – 10 times. This immediate word propels the reader into an anticipation of something new and different is just around the corner.

In the Gospel we will find repeated episodes of where Jesus works miracles on the Sabbath. At his base camp in Capernaum, Jesus begins teaching with authority and power. He casts out demons, then forbidding them to speak who He is. The warfare of Jesus and the demons will continue throughout the Gospel. The demons know and fear Jesus for they knew him before they were cast out of Heaven.
As with any “Good News” of miracles and preaching, Jesus fame grew rapidly. So rapid was His fame because of others giving testimony of healing, Jesus had to live out in the secluded places. There is also the ever-present demonic spirits around, One could ask why was there such demonic presence while Jesus was on earth?

An all-night healing service, crows filled the house with demon possessed, diseased and illnesses. Jesus healed as long as he could – obviously there is more healing to be done than even what our Lord can do in one night.
Verse 35 is a key verse for here we find the prayer life and dedication to removing himself away from the crowds to be with the Father. Even though there had been a great work the night before still the crowds always wanted more. The prayer life of Jesus – he got up early while it was still night – obviously Jesus more rest that comes from the Father than sleep.
Another aspect of Christ’s ministry is he went to the synagogues. It was there that at least 10 families would assemble to teach and learn of the LORD. The Apostle Paul also used this tactic when starting new churches on his missionary journeys.
Vs. 39 –Jesus preaching and casting out demons in the church – a leper approached Jesus touched by the plight of the leper heals him. The leper is told to be quiet, just go do what the priest says to do according to the Law. Like that was going to happen. Jesus didn’t have to promote himself; those who had been touched by Him were advertisement enough.
That is what should be evident today – people who have been touched by Christ – through healing or salvation should noise everywhere where and who healed them! So great was the testimony and witness of the touched people, there was  no publicity campaign was necessary.

Chapter 2 –
This entire chapter is filled with events that challenge the “status Quo” of things. The religious rulers to include the chief Priests, Pharisees, and Sadducee s had developed a system of religion. However, if we look at where Jesus ministered, it was in outlying areas, not the Temple. It appears that the religious system had alienated the people who needed God the most. ***Note – if people cannot find Jesus in our churches, then they will find God elsewhere.

Another repeated word pops up in chapter 2 – the word – WHY – 4 times. Questions and more questions for this one who does works of God, and they are not according to “OUR” laws. When Jesus ceased being their own “little” novelty item, the Jews quickly look for ways to get rid of him. *****Note I think many times we do the same things in our churches; as long as the preacher and leadership do what we expect them to do, great, but don’t go out there and actually try to “save the Lost.”
Why do your disciples not Fast?
Why do your disciples eat grain on the Sabbath?
Why do you say forgiveness of sins?
Why can’t you just conform to our rules?
Jesus is a reformer; I like the expression elephant killer. He always challenges the “religious heretic” as a non-conformist.
Even with all the religious opposition, the people [sick, diseased, demonized] throng to Him from everywhere. There is a New Prophet in town! Jesus keeps healing and casting out demons – they even bow down to Him.
The selection of the 12 apostles – similar to the story of Jethro and Moses [Ex 13:13] Jesus is human, and he needs more than just Him to complete the task the Father has for Him to do.
On a mountain, the 12 are anointed to PREACH and Cast out DEMONS – the very task He did, they would do – not in their power but in His [John 15:5]
Another challenge – parents, Jesus’ own family though he had lost it. Identification is to a NEW FAMILY – not earthly family but spiritual family – those that do the work of God.
After three chapters we find that Jesus has a great popularity with the broken, diseased and outcasts of society; he does most of his work from the synagogue; he has brought on great opposition from the religious leaders of the day to the point they want to destroy him; even his own family is at odds with him.
Jesus deliberately goes against the “norm” and establishes a NEW ORDER.

Let me know your thoughts.  I am new at this so I am sure I’ll make some mistakes along the way.

Blessings to you

Pastor Jim

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