Mark Chapter One Thoughts

While reading this chapter today a few things jumped out to me and I thought I would pass them on to you.

Preparation and New Beginnings

Mark 1:1-5 The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare thy way before Thee.
3 The voice of One crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Water baptism was known in the Old Testament but only as a ritual of receiving a Gentile as a proselyte into the covenant community of Judaism. Consequently, John baptizing Jews made a powerful statement, for it meant that being born a Jew was not enough. In verse 3 the Word unto John was “in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord.” The wilderness was the place of preparation and new beginnings. And verse one begins by saying, “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” The greatest change the world has ever known was beginning at this time, and it was beginning in the wilderness. When it was time for Jesus to begin His ministry He was led into the wilderness (verse 12). When He came out He came out preaching “the Kingdom of God and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand” (verses 14-15). Every Christian is prepared for entrance into the Kingdom of God in the wilderness (Acts 14:22). It is there where preparations are made and new beginnings are created.

The Lord of the House

Mark 1:21-22 And they (Jesus and His disciples) went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day He entered into the synagogue, and taught.
22 And they were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

The scribes were the professional teachers of the Law. The study and the knowledge of the Law was their business. Thus, they were the teachers of the Law and the prophets. They could teach the people what was written in Moses and the prophets. The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, was the Lord of Moses and taught with a greater authority. He was the One who revealed to Moses all he needed to know about the past and the future. He was the miracle worker in Egypt and in the wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel. It was He that spoke through the prophets. The scribes studied the Law and the prophets and gave their interpretation, but Christ spoke with the authority of the Lord over Moses and the prophets.

Hebrews 3:1-6 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all His house.
3 For this Man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house.
4 For every house is builded by some man; but He that built all things is God.
5 And Moses verily was faithful in all His house, as a servant for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

The house is God’s people. Moses was faithful in the house; he was faithful to his commission. The Lord, though, was the One who commissioned him. He was the builder of the house and the Lord over it. When Jesus walked into the synagogue in Capernaum, He was walking into His house. He was the Lord over it. He had all authority, and when He spoke the people marveled for He taught as One who had authority, and not as the scribes.

When He enters the Synagogue of His people

Mark 1:23-24 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God.

To get the impact from these verses it is necessary to understand that Jesus came to earth in the weakness of man. Romans 8:3 says that “God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” Again in Philippians 2:7-8 NASB: He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Hebrews 4:15 says that He was tempted “in all points like as we are.” He was subject to the same weakness of flesh. Then in Hebrews 5:8: Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered. And from His own lips He said, “I can of Mine ownself do nothing” (John 5:30).

To the Jews He appeared to be just another man. Only a few disciples understood. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. John 1:11. His goal was the cross, and His own people yelled, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” They did not recognize Him as the Lord and builder of the house. Yet when He entered the synagogue and the unclean spirit cried out, Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God. Isn’t it amazing! The unclean spirits recognized Him even when He was in the weakness of human flesh, but His own people did not.

When He enters the synagogue of His people this time, will they recognize Him? Again, He is coming forth in the likeness and weakness of human flesh. When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. II Thessalonians 1:10-12. Many of His people will miss it again because they are looking for Him in another form.

Copyright © 2009 by Henry DuBose