Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
The Beginning Facts Of The Gospel
Mark moves quickly to set before his readers many of the beginning facts of the good news of Jesus Christ, God"s Son. (Mark 1:1) The good news or gospel of Jesus Christ is the New Testament message. The words of the gospel are "true and faithful" (Revelation 22:6) Jesus was the promised and expected Messiah and Mark writes Jesus" gospel.
The fact of John preparing the way - Mark 1:1-8 : Malchi had prophesied of John who would introduce the New Covenant and Jesus Christ. "Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts." (Malachi 3:1) Isaiah also wrote of one who would be a voice crying in the wilderness. His message would be, "...prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (Isaiah 40:3)
The law and the prophets were till John. From John onward the kingdom of God is preached. (Luke 16:16) John was a powerful preacher. He preached, (1) Baptism (Mark 1:4), (2) Repentance (Mark 1:4), (3) Remission of sins (Mark 1:4), (4) The greatness of Jesus, and (5) The power of God"s Son. (Mark 1:8) Jesus later said, "...Among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (Luke 7:28)
The fact of Jesus" baptism and temptation - Mark 1:9-13 : Christ"s obscurity in Nazareth ends as He came to be baptized by John. Jesus" life was a life of humility. (Philippians 2:5-8) There are a number of years in the life of Jesus of which we have no details. He quietly and humbly prepared Himself for the work He came earth to do. Jesus was baptized to fulfill all of God"s requirements. He said, "...Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he allowed Him." (Matthew 3:15) After Jesus" baptism He was confessed by God. "Then a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mark 1:11) Baptism is still a vital part of God"s plan for our day. (Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27)
Mark also allows us to observe that Jesus was tempted by Satan. Satan, (1) Has powers and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9), (2) Deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9), (3) Hinders those who would serve God (1 Thessalonians 2:18), and (4) Takes advantage of people. (2 Corinthians 2:11) It is from the power of Satan that Christ came to bring deliverance. (Acts 26:18) Jesus faced temptation using what was "written." As temptation comes our way let us also use "what is written" in the word of God to resist the Devil.
The fact of Jesus" Galilean ministry - Mark 1:14-34 : John prepared the way. Then Jesus began to preach "the gospel of the kingdom." (Mark 1:14) Jesus came to set up His kingdom; His one church. The kingdom was "at hand" during His personal ministry. (Mark 1:15) It was to come in the lifetime of some of those who heard Him speak. "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power." (Mark 9:1) The message for those that would enter the kingdom is faith plus obedience. At the end of the world the kingdom will be delivered back to God. "Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power." (1 Corinthians 15:24)
Mark also allows us to observe Jesus as He called His disciples. (Mark 1:16-20) Jesus is the Master teacher and therefore He called for men to be His disciples. Among those early disciples were four fisher-men, Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Jesus made use of ordinary men in setting up His kingdom. Whatever your circumstance or situation God can use you to build up this same kingdom. Those that follow Jesus are to become "fishers of men." "Then Jesus said to them, follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." (Mark 1:17) The early disciples left all to follow Jesus. Are you making any sacrifices to follow Jesus?
During His person ministry Jesus offered proof that He was the Son of God by miracles that he did. Mark records several of those miracles. Much of Jesus" teaching in Galilee was in and around Capernaum. He carefully observed the Sabbath. He lived as a Jew under the Law which required, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8) Jesus was different from the preachers of His day. There was much in His doctrine which is astonishing. Jesus worked genuine miracles for confirmation of His powerful doctrine. On this occasion Jesus cast a demon out of a man in the synagogue in Capernaum. The result was, "...immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee." (Mark 1:28)
Even after the fame of Jesus spread, He continued to do good. Wherever Christ went He went to do good. He entered Peter"s house and healed his mother-in-law of a great fever. (Mark 1:29-30) The touch of the Master healed her and strengthened her. Think of what the touch of the Master can do in our lives!
Jesus was able to cure all that were sick or demon possessed. (Mark 1:32-34) All the city gathered at Jesus" door to ask help. "But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings..." (Malachi 4:2) Jesus preached and healed publicly and house to house. Even those that denied that Jesus was the Son of God could not question the reality of His miracles.
The fact of Jesus preaching and healing in Galilee - Mark 1:35-45 : The preaching of Jesus was preceded by prayer. (Mark 1:35) Secret prayer prepared Jesus for powerful public preaching. No man has any business teaching in public until he has prayed in private. Jesus preached wherever there was opportunity. Lift up your eyes and look for teaching opportunities.
A leper came to Jesus with great humility and great confidence in His power. "If you are willing, you can make me clean." (Mark 1:40) Jesus was a man of great compassion. He even reached out and touched the man with leprosy. The man could not keep quiet about what Jesus had done for him. (Mark 1:40-45)
Mark writes a powerful account of the gospel; concerning things Jesus did and said. His is a gospel of action. He moves quickly to present the powerful Savior. Read Mark chapter one and be impressed with Jesus, the SON OF GOD. The design of the gospel is that all will learn who Jesus is, come to appreciate His sacrifice and submit to His will in humble obedience.
Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
the Fourth Week of Lent
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