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Bible Commentaries

Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible
Mark 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-8
  1. Intro:
    1. Why Mark?
      1. I thought it was time to get back into one of the Gospels.
      2. The Gospel of Mark is the most translated book in all the world. No other book appears in as many languages.
      3. Marks aim?...is the Gentile ear. Who’s ear do you have? Who is your audience?
  2. MARK OVERVIEW!
    1. ​​​​​​​WHO IS MARK?
    2. His full name was John(Heb) Mark(Latin). He was the Cousin of Barnabas(Col.4:10). He was the son of Mary, a leading woman in the Jer. Church (Acts 12:12 - Remember when Peter was released by the angel from prison & he went & knocked on a door? That was Mark’s mom, Mary, prob wealthy, big house “many” inside praying). - Mark also, helped Paul & Barnabas on their 1st Missionary journey.
    3. HOW DID MARK GET SAVED?
    4. 1st Pet.5:13 suggests he was converted through Peter’s ministry. Peter calls him, Mark my son.
    5. WHY WAS HE WRITING?
    6. Many Bible Scholars believe that his gospel is a record of Peter’s reports of the ministry of Christ.
      1. Justin Martyr(100-165) referred to Mark’s gospel as the “Memoirs of Peter.”
    7. Mark was the 1st of the synoptic gospels (which describe events from a similar point of view).
    8. WHO DID MARK HAVE IN MIND WHEN HE WROTE THIS GOSPEL?
    9. He wrote w/the Romans in mind.
      1. Possibly even written in Rome, to the Romans (the believers there).
    10. Note: Mark omits a number of things that would not have been meaningful to Gentiles.
      1. Genealogy of Christ. Fulfilled prophecy. Reference to the Law. Reference to Jewish Customs. He interpreted Aramaic words. He used a number of Latin terms in place of their Greek equivalence. (Aramaic words(3:17; 5:41; 7:34; 15:22). Latin Terms(4:21; 6:27; 12:14,42; 15:15,16,39) Adapted from Talk Thru the Bible; pg.320)
    11. Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith said, “There are five Gospels: Matthew Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four.”
      1. Thinking about this quote, What people group has God brought your way? Co-worker people group; unique neighbors people group.
      2. Have you adapted? No, not the message...the delivery?
    12. WHAT IS MARK’S MAIN MESSAGE?
    13. To present Jesus as the Servant of God!
    14. Key verse: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mk.10:45.
      1. 1st ½ of book shows Him Serving; 2nd ½ shows Him Giving…Himself!
        1. See book break in between 8:30,31.
        2. A good book title is, Service & Sacrifice!
        3. Or, Servant on the Move! (why on the move?...)
    15. Key word: Immediately [36x’s in the book (actually the Greek word is used 42x’s); 8x’s in ch.1 alone]
      1. Why immediately? – For he is describing a Servant busy obeying His Father, and meeting the needs of people.
        1. Mark is known as the Go Gospel! - Or, as I call it the GOspel!
          1. Put on your running shoes because it moves fast.
      2. The Romans were people of action, thus he portrays Jesus as a man of action! [Emphasizing his miracles & personal encounters, more than his discourses & sermons]
        1. Mark lists only 18 of Christ’s 70 parables. But over ½ of Christ’s 35 miracles.
        2. Mark lists more miracles than the other gospels, yet does it in little News-briefs.
        3. Mark is CNN’s Embedded Reporter.
    16. Dead center of the book: The books bulls-eye (8:27) Jesus asks, Who do men say that I am?
      1. This is the unavoidable dividing line that everyone must face…Who is Jesus???
        1. A great man/teacher/prophet/ or God come in the flesh?
      2. Your answer puts you on the side of belief or unbelief!
    17. HOW IS THIS BOOK LAID OUT?
    18. Ch.1-9 in Galilee. Ch.10 journey to Jerusalem. Ch.11-15 in Jerusalem.Ch.16 His Res/Ascension
    19. WHAT IS PECULIAR TO MARK?
    20. Mark shares the Emotions of Jesus more then the others!
      1. He sighed deeply in His spirit. He was moved with compassion for them. He marveled because of their unbelief. He had looked around at them with anger.Regarding the Rich Young Ruler only Mark adds, then Jesus, looking at him, loved him. (Swindoll; pg.23) [That little personal note might suggests that Mark was that rich young ruler?]
      2. Also, only found in Mark was the story of the bibles first “streaker”. During Jesus’ arrest it said, Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked. Mrk.14:51,52
      3. Brian speculation or a Brieculation...Maybe Mark was the Rich Young Ruler who went away sad, because he had great possessions, but later did not remain sad, having thought things over, he made the commitment Jesus required of him: he gave away all that he had. He gave up his inheritance, and all he had left was a robe - and he lost even that! (Developed from Ray Stedman in his opening of the Gospel of Mark.)
    21. The most important question I can ask myself isn’t, “what will I make of this Gospel”, but “what will it make of me!”
    22. Martyrs Mirror: Mark, he writes, having been sent by Peter to Egypt, faithfully preached the Word of truth there, and nobly sealed the testimony thereof with his blood. All the ancient and modern, Greek and Latin, martyrologies agree with this. Histories state the following concerning the manner of his death: That in the eighth year of Nero, when he, at the feast of the passover, preached the blessed remembrance of the suffering and death of Christ, to the church at Alexandria, the heathen priests and the whole populace seized him, and with hooks and ropes which they fastened around his body, dragged him out of the congregation, through the streets and out of the city; so that his flesh everywhere adhered to the stones, and his blood was poured out upon the earth, until he, with the last words of our Saviour, committed his spirit into the hands of the Lord, and expired. (Martyrs Mirror, pg.78. Anton. p. 1. cap. 6. 16. Procop. Dia Metaphr. Ado. 25. Apr. de Fest. Apost.)
  3. JOHN THE BAPTIST! (1:1-8)
    1. ​​​​​​​(1) In the Christmas story we heard, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. - This is the Gospel/Good News about Jesus!
    2. JOHN’S RED CARPET! (2,3)
    3. John was prophesied of 400 years before he was born; John was chosen to be the forerunner, Jesus’ front man.
    4. Mark begins his account by quoting from 2 OT prophets:
      1. Malachi, who spoke of God’s messenger (Mal.3:1) The messenger is John the Baptist.
      2. Isaiah, who spoke of God’s message (Isa.40:3) The message is, “Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming!”
        1. Using hyperbole, the prophet called the people to smooth a highway in the desert.
          1. These words demand a spiritual renewal in preparation for Messiah’s advent.
          2. Hearts must be prepared in repentance, & then Messiah can come.
          3. It is the picture of making a Highway for God, along which He will move toward His ultimate accomplishment.
        2. Our highway system seeks to do the same thing. Get on the I-15 South. Just south of Temecula, part of the valley is filled in. And then, as you drive through the great arched bridge where the hill is cutaway for the road to go through a deep canyon.
        3. There are no mountains too high for God, nor for the people of faith.
          1. God could sing with the Supremes backing Him up, “Ain't no mountain high enough. Ain't no valley low enough. Ain't no river wide enough to keep me from loving you!”
            1. Which mountain is in front of you?
            2. Are there any obstacles that need to be removed in your life?
            3. Have you rolled out the Red Carpet for Christ in your life?
      3. Ok, but this was about John’s life from 2000 yrs ago...What does it have to do with me today? Will we be as faithful as John & run before Jesus, proclaiming His next Coming?
    5. JOHN’S BAPTISM & MESSAGE! (4)
    6. His baptism was a statement!
      1. This baptism was wholly novel. (William Lang; Marcan scholar. Pg.49.)
      2. No one had done it before! (Yes they had water Michva’s “collection” of pure water)
      3. Gentiles whom converted to Judaism were baptized…but never Jews!
      4. Thus he received the title “the Baptist” or “baptizer”!
    7. His Message was fearless, passionate, & clear!
      1. His was a message of repentance from sin.
        1. To the Pharisees & Sadducees, Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
        2. To the common people, He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.
        3. To the tax collectors, Collect no more than what is appointed for you.
        4. To the soldiers, Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, & be content w/your wages.
    8. Not only was it a message of repentance but also of remission/forgiveness.
      1. Remission of sins - “pardon, to send off, to hurl(throw), to release, to let go, to let be.”
      2. We must preach both (law/grace; sin/forgiveness).
      3. For as Alexander Maclaren has said, “preaching only half would be preaching half a Christ…and the vital half is missing”!
    9. JOHN’S POPULARITY! (5)
    10. Where he did this made a statement!
      1. They went out to him. i.e. “the wilderness” was his venue.
      2. Remember it was originally to the wilderness that Israel came out of Egypt.
      3. Some say as many as 300,000 came out to John for baptism! (Kent Hughes, Mark, pg.24)
    11. JOHN’S PECULIARITY! (6)
    12. Though John wasn’t making a fashion statement, he was making a passion statement! [simplicity, self-forgetting, humble]
      1. ​​​​​​​This type robe was worn by the very poor.
      2. The cheap leather belt spoke of his simplicity.
        1. Donning the garb of the ancient prophet Elijah!
      3. His idea of eating out was a couple of locusts dipped in wild date honey.
      4. His dress & lifestyle were a protest against the godlessness & self-serving materialism of his day. (Kent Hughes, Mark, pg.21)
        1. What’s our passion statement? What’s your passion statement for 2013?
        2. Make it a statement what you’re for, not what you’re against!
        3. I’m for the unborn. I’m a voice for the voiceless. I’m an Abolitionist! I’m going to be about preaching good tidings to the poor. I’m going to heal & bind up the brokenhearted. I’m going to proclaim liberty to captives. I’m going to help open prison doors to those who are spiritually or physically or emotionally bound. I’m going to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. I’m going to comfort all who mourn. I’m going to point people to seeing beauty in the midst of their ashes. I’m going to be the oil of joy for those in mourning. I’m going to wear the garment of praise for those who have the spirit of heaviness.
        4. What will be your passion statement for 2013?
    13. JOHN’S HUMILITY! (7,8)
    14. Bishop Quail asked, “Preaching is the art of making a sermon & delivering it?” To which he answered, “Why no, that is not preaching. Preaching is the art of making a preacher & Slide#26 delivering that.”
      1. John embodied his message…he was his message! :)
    15. He was simply the friend of the bridegroom.
      1. He must increase, but I must decrease. He must become greater; I must become less!
        1. Just like his attire, he was a man of downward mobility.
    16. Humility - Every young student knows of Isaac Newton's famed encounter with a falling apple. Newton discovered and introduced the laws of gravity in the 1600s, which revolutionized astronomical studies. But few know that if it weren't for Edmund Halley, the world might never have learned from Newton.

      It was Halley who challenged Newton to think through his original notions. Halley corrected Newton's mathematical errors and prepared geometrical figures to support his discoveries. Halley coaxed the hesitant Newton to write his great work, Mathematical Principals of Natural Philosophy. Halley edited and supervised the publication, and actually financed its printing even though Newton was wealthier and easily could have afforded the printing costs. Historians call it one of the most selfless examples in the annals of science.

      Newton began almost immediately to reap the rewards of prominence; Halley received little credit. He did use the principles to predict the orbit and return of the comet that would later bear his name, but only after his death did he received any acclaim. And because the comet only returns every 76 years, the notice is rather infrequent. Halley remained a devoted scientist who didn't care who received the credit as long as the cause was being advanced.
    17. What will be your passion statement for 2013?
      1. Happy New Year!

Verses 9-13
  1. Intro:
    1. Last week we looked at our author Mark & his story. And, we looked at the forerunner John the Baptist & his unique roll in rolling out the Red Carpet for Yeshua Ha Meshiah.
      1. Now, Mark introduces us to Jesus, but not as a babe. Not as a jr. higher down at the temple answering questions. But as a 30 year old man starting His ministry.
        1. All we get from His past is that He came from Nazareth of Galilee. (9)
          1. Galilee, always used in contempt by the Judean’s.
        2. For 30 years, the “self emptied One” was just one of the people. Undistinguishable from other men; undiscovered as to any deep secret of personality, or any profound anointing for service. He had a most common names of the day Joshua. No halo round his head. Nothing strange about Him. He was one of the crowd, a man among men. (Adapted from G.Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According to Mark, pg.18.)
        3. He has now lived over 10,000 busy days on planet earth. An ordinary workman, honing His craft, mastering His tools, meeting carpentry deadlines. Bearing ordinary human responsibilities & entering into ordinary human experiences.
      2. This morning we’re biting off only 5 verses that are given to explain his Ministry Prep
      3. If Jesus needed Ministry Prep do you think you do? Do you or will you willing submit yourself to that? What is ministry prep for?
    2. God was well pleased with John’s ministry that He gave him the greatest of honors… the baptism of His Son.
    3. John could only drench them externally w/water; but One was coming that could drench them internally w/the Spirit.
      1. In water baptism every part of your body is completely soaked.
        1. Thus when we are baptized/immersed into the body of Christ at salvation we are drenched head-to-toe with Him.
      2. And, When we are baptized by the Son, w/the Holy Spirit, we are “filled” to overflowing.
        1. Whether you’ve been dipped, sprinkled, or dry cleaned, you are not one of His unless you have received, the regeneration of the H.S., His cleansing from sin, & His empowering to godliness!
  2. JESUS’ BAPTISM! (9-11)
    1. ​​​​​​​Jesus credentials?
      1. He was prophesied by Malachi & Isaiah (vs.2,3).
      2. He was announced by John the Baptist.
      3. He was commended by both the Father & the H.S. (vs.10)
    2. Why was Jesus baptized?
      1. He was sinless, He needed no baptism.
      2. But in is baptism He associated w/us sinners & placed Himself among the guilty.
        1. Not for His own salvation but for ours.
        2. Not for His own guilt but for ours.
        3. Not because He feared the wrath to come, but to save us from it.
    3. What did He see?
      1. The heavens (lit.) “torn open”. Then, He saw…
      2. The H.S. in the form of a dove.
    4. What did he hear?
      1. A voice of confirmation from the Father.
  3. JESUS’ TEMPTATION! (12-15)
    1. ​​​​​​​Heaven had opened in vs.10, now Hell opens up!
    2. He felt such a strong compulsion to head into the wilderness to duel Satan.
      1. Actually the wording is the Spirit drove Him = is from a strong verb ekballō meaning “drive out, expel, send away.” (later in NT used of casting our demons by Christ)
        1. No leisured meditative walk, but driven to face the forces that ruin & blight & blast & spoil humanity.
      2. In Jewish thought the wilderness was viewed as a place of danger, gloom, & the abode of demons.
      3. Example: Lk.8:29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. (also Mt.12:43; Lk.11:24)
      4. The wild beasts speaks to this also.
        1. Remember the fear of the Bermuda Triangle back in the 70‘s? There was a # of aircraft & surface vessels said to have disappeared in the triangle under unknown circumstances. Popular culture has attributed various disappearances to the paranormal or activity by extraterrestrial beings. Later refuted in 1975 by researcher David Kusche [The # of ships and aircraft reported missing in the area was not significantly greater, proportionally speaking, than in any other part of the ocean]
        2. Or, the Air Force installation in Nevada...Area 51!
    3. Tempted means “put to the test, make trial of” in order to discover the kind of person someone is. It is used either in a good sense (God’s testing) or in a bad sense of enticement to sin by Satan and his cohorts.
      1. Both senses are involved here:
        1. God put Jesus to the test (the Spirit led Him/drove Him into it) to show He was qualified for His messianic mission.
        2. But also Satan tried to draw Jesus away from His divinely appointed mission.
    4. These details are from Matthew & Luke’s accounts (ch.4)
    5. Temptation #1 You’re hungry…Eat! - If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.
      1. This 1st temptations plays upon the very last event & the words, You are my beloved Son.
      2. Seems so harmless “eat”, but the Son came to do the fathers will & nothing else!
        1. “It is better to starve than to be fed apart from the will of the Father!”
        2. Do you ever face temptation that are not bad things per se, just not God things for you?
      3. To the 1st temptation Jesus gave a resounding, NO!
    6. Temptation #2 Highest point of the temple…Jump! - If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' * and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
      1. Slight misquote of Ps.91:11,12 leaving out the phrase * “to guard you in all your ways,” which means “in all your righteous ways.”
      2. This will be a great act of faith on your part…come on jump!
      3. “Don’t put your God to the test!” – God doesn’t appreciate being tested.
        1. God expects obedience not gymnastics!
      4. Don’t fall for the Good; determine to do God’s Will alone!
        1. Like Jesus, determine to do the right thing, determining that in every situation you will worship God, & Him only you will serve!
      5. 2nd temptation Jesus said, NO!
    7. Temptation #3 An exceedingly high mountain…Look! - All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.
      1. Here all the nations stood ready to abandon their idols & follow Him.
      2. Here He could win the world w/o pain.
      3. Here was the easy road to King-ship.
      4. Here was the ability to be the “Shortcut Savior”.
      5. Here lied the ability for instant exaltation, or the long agony of the cross! (all it took was one quick bow!)
        1. Hard way...or Easy way?
      6. 3rd temptation Jesus said, NO!
    8. I don’t know how you picture Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness? Slide#11 :)
      1. But here is one of my favorite depictions of this scene…
      2. Ron DiCianni - Tapestryproductions.com
        1. Painting: In The Wilderness
        2. Ron said, In this painting, I wanted the isolation of that time to come through to the viewer. It begs the questions, “Did Jesus get weary? Was the temptation hard for Him? Could it be that He, the very Son of God, felt the pain of loneliness?”
    9. Jesus & Satan would meet again, but the 1st great battle was over! Jesus 1 - Satan 0
      1. ​​​​​​​We need to flee temptation and not leave a forwarding address!
    10. Let’s learn 2 things from this!
      1. [1] You must be filled with the Holy Spirit to fight temptation!
        1. Rom.8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
        2. When Martin Luther was asked how he overcame the Devil, he replied, “Well, when he comes knocking upon the door of my heart, & asks, ‘Who lives here?’ the dear Lord Jesus goes to the door & says, ‘Martin Luther used to live here, but he has moved out. Now I live here!’”
        3. Jesus did not use His divine powers to win the victory; He used the same spiritual weapons that any of us can use, if we will yield to His H.S.!
      2. [2] You must be filled with the Word of God to fight temptation!
        1. In response to the 3 temptations Jesus responded with Scripture! (Deut.8:3, 6:16, 6:13)
        2. Jesus understood the truth of Ps.119:11, Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!
        3. There is nothing magical about the words of Scripture. Jesus is saying, “here is a principle to live by…& I will live by it!”
          1. God’s word is given to be lived.
          2. Here is where Jesus found victory, & in doing God’s word is where we’ll find ours also!
      3. Anatoli Shcharansky, a dissident Soviet Jew, kissed his wife goodbye as she left Russia for freedom in Israel. His parting words to her were, “I’ll see you soon in Jerusalem.” But Anatoli was detained and finally imprisoned. Their reunion in Jerusalem would not only be postponed, it might never occur. During long years in Russian prisons and work camps Anatoli was stripped of his personal belongings. His only possession was a miniature copy of the Psalms. Once during his imprisonment, his refusal to release the book to the authorities cost him 130 days in solitary confinement.

        Finally, twelve years after parting with his wife, he was offered freedom. In February 1986, as the world watched, Shcharansky was allowed to walk away from Russian guards toward those who would take him to Jerusalem. But in the final moments of captivity, the guards tried again to confiscate the Psalms book. Anatoli threw himself face down in the snow and refused to walk on to freedom without it. Those words had kept him alive during imprisonment. He would not go on to freedom without them. (From Discipleship Journal, Issue #43 (1988), p. 24)
    11. I heard there was 2 signs posted on 2 of the bridge's pylons before you plummet 180’ into Niagara Falls…
      1. The 1st reads, "Do you have an anchor?" followed by, Slide#17b "Do you know how to use it?"
        1. And so, the Lord gives us plenty of warnings before we go over the edge...in any sin!
        2. Danish proverb, “No one can be caught in a place he does not visit.”

Verses 14-28
  1. Intro:
    1. Last week we talked about Jesus’ Baptism & Jesus’ Temptation. Two symbolic pictures:
    2. Our Lord’s 40 days in the wilderness remind us of Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness.
      1. Israel failed when they were tested, but our Lord succeeded victoriously.
    3. The second picture is that of the last Adam. (1 Cor.15:45).
      1. The first Adam was tested in a beautiful Garden and failed; but Jesus was tempted in a dangerous wilderness and won the victory.
    4. Here we now mark the transition from John’s ministry to Jesus’.
      1. Vs.14 says, After John was put in prison, Jesus came
      2. So we close the door on the Baptizer & open the door to the Galilean ministry.
  2. TREBLE HOOK! (14,15)
    1. ​​​​​​​What was his Good News & what response was he calling for?
    2. Jesus preached that people should repent and believe in the gospel. [our treble hook]
      1. Repentance alone is not enough to save us, even though God expects believers to turn from their sins.
      2. We must also put positive faith in Jesus Christ and believe. Believe in...?
      3. Believe in the Gospel - the good news of the Kingdom of the God.
    3. Repent!
      1. ​​​​​​​Why is repent such a bad word in our day & age? [I guess goes back to sandwich board days]
        1. Repent isn’t a bad word, it is a needed action!
      2. It means...a change of mind that changes the direction of your life.
        1. You can’t turn to Jesus unless you turn from your sin!
          1. Sin is repulsive, it is repugnant, it’s serious, it is ugly, it’s hideous!
        2. Reject the idea that one can hold onto their sin with one hand, & take Jesus w/the other!
        3. When the prodigal son made up his mind to go to his fathers house, he had to leave where he was…to go to his father.
      3. Repentance without faith could become only remorse, and remorse can destroy people who carry a burden of guilt, but do nothing with it.
    4. Believe!
    5. This of course is not just the believing in your head but the believing in your heart!
      1. Rom.10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    6. So repentance & faith/belief are the 2 sides of a coin.
      1. Picture a coin then when sharing your faith:
        1. Heads (usually a man’s head) - the reminder for man to repent; and
        2. Tails (usually a building/i.e. place/heaven) - believe on the One who left heaven to find you.
    7. Gospel!
    8. Our Lord’s message was the Gospel of the kingdom of God, or the Gospel of God (some texts omit)
      1. No doubt most of the Jews read “political revolution” into the phrase “kingdom of God,” but that was not what Jesus had in mind at all.
        1. His kingdom has to do with His reign in the lives of His people; it is a spiritual realm and not a political organization.
        2. The only way to enter God’s kingdom is by believing the Good News & being born again
        3. Kingdom of God is present wherever God is ruling & reigning.
          1. So Jesus could say the kingdom of God was here, when He was here present in our world. He says it’s in you, when you have God living inside you. It is to come, when He returns to rule & reign for 1000 years.
            1. So, the kingdom has come; it is amongst us; it is yet to come!
    9. The Gospel’s many names:
      1. The Gospel is called the Gospel of God because it comes from God and brings us to God.
      2. It is the Gospel of the kingdom because faith in the Savior brings you into His kingdom.
      3. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ because He is the heart of it; without His life, death, and resurrection, there would be no Good News.
      4. Paul called it the Gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) because there can be no salvation apart from grace.
        1. There is only one Gospel, and it centers in what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.
  3. SETTING THE HOOK! (16-20)
    1. ​​​​​​​Jesus did not invent the term fishers of men. In that day, it was a common description of philosophers & other teachers who “captured men’s minds” through teaching & persuasion. They would “bait the hook” with their teachings and “catch” disciples.
      1. It is likely that as many as 7 of our Lord’s disciples were fishermen. (Jn.21:1,2)
      2. Surely the good qualities of successful fishermen would make for success in the difficult ministry of winning lost souls: courage, the ability to work together, patience, energy, stamina, faith, and tenacity.
        1. Professional fishermen simply could not afford to be quitters or complainers!
    2. Setting the hook - swift jerk upwards (depending on the species) & then keeping line constantly taught. Although, in this case its net fishing.
    3. Here are 4 fishermen that got caught in Jesus’ net!
      1. He calls ordinary men. (Look who He called in bible times? Look who He calls today!)
      2. Abraham Lincoln said, “that God must love the common people, He made so many of them!”
      3. “Give God your ordinary life (you, as you are now) and God will give you back an extraordinary calling.”
        1. Notice the...I will make you! (17)
        2. I heard YWAM director Lauren Cunningham say, “God doesn’t call the qualified, but qualifies the called!”
      4. Isn’t it great that their 1st titles aren’t “bishops, pastors, elders, nor deacons”,…but fishers of men!
    4. What a simple challenge…follow me.
      1. They responded immediately.
        1. Oh that we might respond so punctually…& put into practice what we hear right on the spot!
      2. They responded w/a “don’t-look-back faith” that Jesus was looking for!
        1. Peter/Andrew left their nets; James/John left their father; Matthew left his booth (2:14)
      3. We cannot follow Jesus until we are willing to forsake our own plans & wishes.
        1. This doesn’t mean He will always take you out of your present job & put you on staff at a church, or in a missions organization, or on the mission field!
          1. Follow Him right-where-you’re-at!
    5. (17) I’ll make you fishers of men - “If the Bible is a missionary book, the people of the Book are charged with being a missionary people.”
    6. How do you presently fish for men? women? children? The elderly? The ragamuffins? The misfits? The antagonists?
      1. I have fished since a little boy – Here’s what I’ve learned.
        1. I have learned I must take time to go fish. I must have a hook. I must fresh bait, or a lure. I must be patient. I must never yell at the fish for not jumping on my hook. Sometimes I’ve had to go back to the same pool a few times before I can catch a certain one. Sometimes I’ve tried & tried & have had to walk away to no avail. Sometimes I’ve tried others techniques & they haven’t worked for me personally. Sometimes I’ve learned awesome techniques that I am indebted to friends for showing me them.
    7. Thomas Boston (1699) the famous ‘Scottish Puritan’ once depicted it as, The art of Manfishing!
      1. ​​​​​​​Prov.11:30 He who wins souls is wise.
      2. Dan.12:3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.
      3. The greatest work in the world is soul winning. There is nothing like it. Do it right where you are at: in your neighborhood, at your job site, in the office, at school!
    8. If you follow Jesus He says He WILL make you become fishers of men [few fishing tips]
      1. Don’t keep telling only old fishing stories, when your boat was full of fresh fish.
      2. Enjoy fishing. We as fishermen remind each other when the fish aren’t biting, “it’s not called catching, it’s called fishing!” Cuz it’s about patience, waiting, trying again.
      3. You wont catch any fish if your hook is not in the water. Get it in the water.
      4. Always work on being a better fisherman. Listen, watch others, read, & esp FISH!
      5. Fishing is telling your story. Learn to enjoy sharing your story. Learn to enjoy fishing, by fishing.
      6. Go where the fish are. Go to them..Lake, stream, salt water.
      7. Use the right bait. We are not trying to trick people. It’s finding what interests them. Where they are hungry. We are not luring them to their death but to lead them to a new life in Jesus Christ.
      8. So far...Follow Him!Go Fish!
  4. ​​​​​​​FISHING IN THE AQUARIUM! (21-28)
    1. ​​​​​​​Let’s step into Jesus home church for a minute.
      1. Capernaum was His headquarters of His earthly ministry.
      2. In their service it was common for one of the rabbi’s, whether visiting or passing through to speak.
      3. This time Jesus was asked, & He was different (w/authority)
        1. The scribes normally split hairs about trivial matters. Or would just quote what one rabbi said about another rabbi, quoting another rabbi.
      4. What freshness this must have brought this synagogue that day.
    2. (23) I found this picture of a church sign that reads, Go To Church or the Devil will get you!
      1. ​​​​​​​Actually, in this case...the devil was in church!
    3. I have 2 questions: How long had this man been attending & How has he gone unnoticed?
      1. Imagine a man in your home study group blurting out all vs.24 while you’re teaching!
      2. “Bring Jesus into a dead service & things change!”
    4. Why in the world would a man possessed by demons even be interested in going to the house of God? - Why would the devil want to go to church?
      1. Because the devil has always been religious. He’s rather orthodox in some of his beliefs (even the demons believe & tremble). He’s monotheistic (knows there’s only 1 God). Problem is, he doesn't worship God.
      2. When he shows up at church it is not for true worship but rather for false worship. He comes to church to get folks to talk about other worshippers. To try to stir up gossip, or gloat on glory stories of the week. To preoccupy us with being critical towards worship leaders, or pastors, or spin on hurt feelings.
      3. The devil is opposed to Christianity, but not to churchianity!
        1. He loves when we have a form of godliness but deny its power. (2Tim.3:5)
        2. 2 Tim.3:1-5 Msg - Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.
        3. Don’t be so naive as to neglect the fact that we war with the devil even when we come to church!
    5. (26) Some fish are taken unexpectantly by the net. And so are sinners by the gospel.
      1. Paul wasn’t thinking about sweet thoughts of Jesus, when God met him on the way!
      2. Zaccheus was thinking little of salvation.
      3. I personally didn’t see the net fall about me when I was caught!
        1. I had the idea that since this was God’s ocean; we must all be in His care already.
    6. (27) Some fish touch the net & draw back…What is this? What new doctrine is this?
    7. In the card game Go Fish - when you ask if they have a certain card, & they don’t have it, they say Go Fish! –
      1. Then we get to draw at random, from the pile in the center, not knowing what we’re going to grab. We get to fish.
      2. After our last song...let’s GO FISH!

Verses 29-45
  1. Intro:
    1. Notice so far: We need Jesus in our lives (repent & believe; 14,15), in our sights (Follow me; 16-20); in our church (synagogue; 21-28). And Today we’ll see we need Him...in our homes (29-31); in our cities (32-34); in our quiet time (35-39); in our deserted places (40-45).
    2. After church what do you do? Sunday Brunch!!!
      1. They march right outside of the synagogue & right into Peter’s house(explain)
        1. 3 Pictures: #1 synagogues front door; #2 distance from Peters house to syn; #3 Pete’s house
  2. JESUS LOVES MOTHER-IN-LAW’S! (29-31)
    1. ​​​​​​​Here was a home loved by Jesus, near to Jesus, & yet sickness came.
    2. He was promptly told that Simon’s mother-in-law was lying in bed burning with a fever.
      1. In compassionate response, Jesus stood beside her and w/o a word simply grasped her hand and raised her up.
      2. The fever left completely, and without weakness she began to serve her guests.
    3. Peter’s house became a place of healing for the whole city!
      1. How important it is for us to “take Jesus home with us” after we have worshiped.
      2. The Lord met the need in the home, then used the home to meet the needs of others
  3. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVERS! (32-34)
    1. ​​​​​​​And the whole city was gathered together at the door.
      1. The crowds did not come until the Sabbath had ended because of religious tradition.
    2. Mark made a distinction between those diseased and those who were demon-possessed.
      1. While some physical affliction may be caused by demons (Lk.13:10-17), not every disease is demonic in origin.
    3. How did they get there? (vs.32) “They brought to Him…”
      1. Some couldn’t have made it to Jesus unless someone brought them!
        1. We need to go to our cities & bring Jesus to them, or bring them to Jesus!
        2. We need to go to the sin-sick & bring them to Him!
        3. In my Fathers net are many meshes. If it were not so I would have told you so.
          1. These are sweet meshes of grace. Every nylon strand in perfect place for one purpose…to catch fish!
            1. “You catch em, He’ll clean em!”
    4. DONT JUST DO SOMETHING, SIT THERE! (35-39)
      1. ​​​​​​​Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There! (35)
      2. Most of us our too busy to stop & do nothing. We feel like we need to be active every minute of the day. We confuse busy-ness with being productive, successful, efficient, effective and meaningful. Let’s admit it...prayer just doesn't feel busy or active enough! Busy makes us feel worth while. If we’re not doing something it makes us feel we are feel lazy, or that we’re wasting our time.
        1. A generation or two ago, the life of the family was going to be revolutionized by the automatic washing machine. Until then, washing the family’s laundry literally took an entire day. People referred to 1 day of their weekly routine as wash day.
        2. Then technology came through with the washing machine, and you could throw the clothing into a machine, and then leave it and go do something else. What a time saver. [note on pic: saves “nerves”! - ‘blue Monday’]
          1. So what happened? Did we get more time to relax? No, we filled our time w/other duties.
        3. The computer was the same way. It enables us to do more of our work in a lot less time. But do we get off work early? No. We simply do more work. We live in a Martha world!
      3. So it comes as a surprise to read Mark and to find Jesus, not being so busy with life. In fact, in the midst of a very busy time in his life, He sneaks off to a solitary place and prays.
      4. Now in the morning - After a full day of ministry & long into the evening...If ever a time to sleep in, or at least hit the snooze alarm a ½ doz times…THIS was surely the morning!(Nope vs.35)
      5. Jesus did not allow the demands of the day rob Him of the time needed to renew His strength.
        1. In the stillness of the morning. In a solitary place. He poured out his heart to God the Father.
        2. In the Lord’s service you cannot “run on empty”!
          1. He knew, “to give out you must take in!”
        3. In Jesus outward life we notice waves were always breaking over him; but inwardly He was a sea of glass!
    5. Explain: project at Fullerton J.C. for photography.
      1. Homemade shoe box camera/Pin Hole Camera (taped a piece of bare film on the back of the box – made a swing door on the opposite side). I shot an old Victorian house.
      2. The longer I held the little swing door open…the longer the exposure…the clearer the image burnt onto my film.
      3. [delayed blast] E. Stanley Jones once described prayer as “a time exposure to God”…& thus my analogy.
        1. The longer we are exposed to God, the more we will bear His image!
    6. “Though Jesus was God, He did not live His life as God apart from the Father, but rather as a man in dependence upon God.” (Kent Hughes, pg.49.)
      1. Jesus wants us to follow His example. A Godly life full of power.
      2. Praying w/o ceasing is not an excuse for not having an actual time of private prayer!
        1. We need to find/make times to get away w/Him! – Get up early. Get away from distractions. It may be your dining room table. Your backyard. The Santa Rosa Plateau. A run. But somewhere, you can find Him, sit with Him, connect with Him.
        2. Reflection, meditation, prayer & communion with God. It’s recharging your spiritual batteries.
        3. In Mrs. Lettie Cowman’s book, Springs in the Valley, she shares a tale from African colonial history: It was a century or more ago that in the deep jungles of Africa, a traveler was making a long trek. Natives of the area were hired to carry the loads. The first day they marched rapidly and went far. The traveler had high hopes of a speedy journey. But the second morning these jungle tribesmen refused to move. For some strange reason they just sat and rested. When asked about the reason for this strange behavior, the traveler was informed that they had gone too fast the first day, and that they were now Slide#17 waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies. (Mrs. Lettie Cowman’s book, Springs in the Valley (pp. 196-197), A tale from African colonial history:)
          1. Ps.23:1-3 MSG God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
      3. Try scheduling time alone w/God at the beginning of the day!
        1. Ps.119:147 I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.
        2. Ps.5:3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up. [David]
        3. Ps.88:13 But to You I have cried out, O LORD, And in the morning my prayer comes before You. [sons of Korah]
        4. Is.26:9 With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early.
      4. One mother heard her 3-year-old daughter answer the phone in the next room, while doing her devotions…"My mom is having her emotions now. Can she call you back?"
        1. ​​​​​​​“Meet Him in the morning if you want Him through the day!” (Jerry Vines, pg.27.)
      5. Stare into His face…& don’t move! [like the camera!]
    7. I wonder if daily our faces showed, like the cameras film, registering how much exposure we had to God that day, if we’d be a little more diligent to this important task? (Like Moses w/10 comm)
    8. Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something! (36-39)
    9. Prayer should end in Action! - When you say Amen, you should hear God yell, Action!
      1. At the end of your prayer, when you say AMEN, what ACTION do you do?
      2. Do you pray for the sick and then leave it at that? Or do you pray for the sick, and then pick up the phone and call them to let them know you are thinking about them. Do you ask if you can do anything for them? A hot meal brought to their home? Any medicine they need to have picked up?
      3. Do you pray for the poor and hope God does something about the poor? Or do you pray and ask God to use you? Do you put actions to your prayer, giving to the poor yourself, or donating food to our CARE Ministry?
      4. Do you pray for church/kingdom growth and then hope that God inspires someone to do something about it? Or do you pray and then say as Jesus said, “I have to go somewhere so I can tell someone about the Good News of Jesus.”
        1. When you say Amen, you should hear God yell, Action!
  4. SEE SPOT RUN! (40-45)
    1. ​​​​​​​SEEING SPOTS! (physical leprosy)
    2. Leprosy (or called Hansen’s disease, by the man who diagnosed its cause) - Luke tells us he was “full of leprosy” (5:12) [i.e. consumed by it]. [we’re only 10 days away from the World Leprosy Day Jan.30th]
      1. Its progression: tired, fatigue, joints sore, little white spots, begin to harden into nodules, turn from white to pink to brown, become scaly, spreads all over the body, the face begins to appear like a lion, the nodules ulcerate/producing a foal odor, breath w/a wheezing sound, eyebrow fall out, hair turns white, pus oozes out, loss of all sensation of pain (& pleasure), fingers & toes start to fall off, a leper was “walking death”!
        1. Disfigurement is solely because the body’s warning system of pain is destroyed. The disease acts as an anesthetic, bringing numbness to the extremities.
      2. There was physical rejection; but also social rejection & psychological rejection as well.
        1. Ken Gire writes in Incredible Moments w/the Savior, “There he lives. W/o love. W/o hope. W/o the simple joys & dignities of life: being smiled at…being greeted on the street…buying fresh fruit in the market… talking politics by the public fountain… laughing…getting to go to work…operating a business…haggling over prices w/a shopkeeper…getting a wedding invitation…singing hymns in the synagogue… celebrating Passover w/family. – All these barred to him. Forever. I wonder. How long has it been since someone has shaken his hand…patted him on the back…put an arm around his waist…rubbed his shoulders…hugged him…stroked his hair…touched his cheek…wiped a tear from his eye…or kissed him?”
    3. (41) Jesus response! - Note: His Compassion; His Touch; his Word.
      1. Hitch hiker I picked up once: I reached over to shake his hand (mine already extended; mid-80’s when the world was just getting educated about AIDS)…he had open sores all over his hand.
      2. Jesus didn’t need to touch to heal, but He obviously delighted in touching needy people. This touch meant, “to fasten, adhere to.”
    4. If we define Lepers as those who are isolated, unwanted, the discards of society…
      1. Who are the Lepers in our society today? Who are the Lepers in your sphere of influence? Who are the Lepers in your extended family? Who are the Lepers in our church? Who are the Lepers in the Murrieta/Temecula Valley?
        1. Who is the 1 person on your child’s sports team that no one likes? Who is the 1 parent that’s so obnoxious? Who is the biggest complaining neighbor on the block? The 1 relative that everyone runs from when they come into the room? The 1 youth you see that dresses the most promiscuous?
        2. This is the very essence of Christianity...to touch the untouchable; to love the unlovable; to forgive the unforgivable.
    5. SEEING MY SPOTS! (spiritual leprosy)
    6. No disease in the bible pictures the devastating results of sin in a life as does the disease of leprosy.
      1. The leper was not worse then any of his countrymen. But it is nevertheless a parable of sin, an “outward visible sign of innermost spiritual condition.” (R.C.Trench)
      2. Adam himself became a carrier of this disease! (you are a carrier too!)
    7. Leprosy has a subtle beginning & slow progress. It’s a destructive power & brings decisive ruin…making it a powerful symbol of moral depravity!
      1. Apart from Christ we are “spiritual lepers”. Simply “walking death”!
      2. Sin often acts as an anesthetic, bringing numbness to our souls.
        1. It lies & whispers either, “there’s nothing wrong with you”, or “you are so bad your case is incurable!”
      3. Religious band-aides won’t help. Going-to-church-gauze is not a cure. Being a do-gooder is a placebo.
      4. We must wake to the fact that our old nature it is terminal! Our whole nature is wrong. It, like leprosy, is more then skin deep. Paul called it being, “dead in sin”.
      5. Jeremiah said, Can the Ethiopian change his skin (a dark skinned man change his color pigmentation) or the leopard its spots? (become spotless) Then may you (Judah) also do good who are accustomed to do evil? (Judah was incapable of reforming herself) (13:23)
      6. Jeremiah also said just after that, Will you still not be made clean? (13:27)
        1. Can you see your leprosy? - Can you say, “Unclean! Unclean! & really mean it?”
          1. When we do, then & only then can we cry, “I’m clean! I’m clean!”
    8. Hate the Leprosy, love the Leper!
      1. Story: Father Damien of Molokai. In 1873 a Belgian Catholic Priest was sent to minister to lepers on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. When he arrived he immediately began to meet each one of the lepers in the colony in hopes of building friendships. But, wherever he turned people shunned him. It seemed as though every door was closed. He poured his life into his work, erecting a chapel, beginning worship services, & pouring out his heart to the lepers. But it was to no avail! No one responded to his ministry. After 12 years Father Damien made the decision to leave. Dejectedly, he made his way to the docks to board a ship to take him back to Belgium. As he stood on the dock he wrung his hands nervously as he recounted his futile ministry among lepers. As he did he looked down at his hands & noticed some mysterious white spots & felt some numbness. Almost immediately he knew what was happening to his body. He had contacted leprosy! It was then that he knew what he had to do. He returned to the colony & to his work. Quickly the word about his disease spread through the colony. Within a matter of hours everyone knew. Hundreds of them gathered outside his hut; they understood his pain, fear, & uncertainty about the future. But the biggest surprise was the following Sunday.

        As Father Damien arrived at the chapel, he found 100’s of worshipers there. By the time the service began, the chapel was crowded, & many were gathered outside. His ministry became enormously successful. The reason? He was one of them. He understood & empathized w/them.
    9. What do you need Jesus to touch today?
      1. Touch your heart that you might Learn to Love a Leper this week?
      2. Or, to touch YOUR spiritual Leprosy?
        1. Hear from Jesus this morning, “I am willing, be cleansed!
        2. He touched this leper; He yearns to touch you this morning!
          1. Say like the leper this morning, “You can make me clean!” - He will!
      3. Just understand: Salvation isn’t a blind leap; Slide#28 it is being saved from the enemy; Slide#29,30 blank & brought safely to Jesus.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Mark 1:4". "Brian Bell Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cbb/mark-1.html. 2017.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, February 22nd, 2020
the Sixth Week after Epiphany
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