GOSPEL OF MARK - CHAPTER 1: 1-27
THE GOSPEL OF MARK – Chapter 1: 1-27
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
October 11, 2022, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
To our readers who may not have followed the teaching of the Book of Acts and the last seven years of Paul’s life, I affirm that I am persuaded that The Gospel of Mark was dictated i.e., preached by Peter; and Mark recorded it. Also, that Mark was with Peter in Rome during the last year of Peter’s life.
1 Peter 5:13: "The church in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so, does Mark my son."
Babylon is a code word for Rome.
Hieron: “Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, being sent from Rome by brethren, wrote a concise gospel.” (Matthew Henry Commentary).
Tertulliam (155 AD-220AD): “Mark, the interpreter of Peter, delivered in writing the things which had been preached by Peter.”
I have prayed and asked the Lord to grace us to be able to preach this gospel with the authority of Jesus Christ; and the commission given to His first chosen disciple, the Apostle Simon Peter; and to preach with the faithfulness of Mark.
As the story unfolds, it begins where Peter entered the ministry of Jesus. Peter was a disciple of John the Baptist.
The thesis of this gospel is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God which states what the New Testament is. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark 1:1: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
Mark informs his readers that the Old Testament prophets (Mal. 3:1 and Isa. 40:3) had prophesied that the arrival of the Messiah would be preceded by the coming of a forerunner.
Mark 1: 2-3: As it is written in the prophets, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before three. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
The voice of prophecy had been silent for four hundred years. God had sealed up the vision since the days of Malachi. With the exception of a few devout souls, who, like Simeon and Anna, “waited for the consolation of Israel,” the spiritual life of Judah was well-near extinct---religion had degenerated into a round of empty forms and worthless routines.
The temple in type was like that of Ezekiel’s Valley, filled with dead men’s bones and skeletons. But the long night of darkness had at last ended ---there was a coming dawn. News spread that the prophetic spirit had again revived---that a prophet in the spirit of Elijah, if not the great Tishbite himself, had appeared in the remote wilds of Judea!
One had risen, bold enough to make his voice heard, summoning, like the old prophets, the degenerate nation to repentance. “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough ways shall be made smooth.”
John the Baptist began his ministry warning the Pharisees to “flee from the wrath to come”. He ends his ministry that whoever does not believe that the Christ is the Son of God, the wrath of God abides on him. Paul confirms in 1 Thess. 1:10: that Jesus Christ has delivered us from the wrath to come.
Mark 1:4-5: John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John’s message was twofold:
(1) he called men to repentance, adding that if they did so, his cleansing of their bodies in baptism would symbolize God’s cleansing of their souls from sin.
(2) He announced his Successor who would baptize people with the Spirit.
The desert was alive with crowds hurrying to listen to his message. They were laborers, unlettered peasants, and fishermen from northern Galilee. There were Roman soldiers from the barracks of Herod Antipas; tax collectors, Pharisees and Sadducees. The crowds came out to the wilderness pulpit hungry for God and curious to listen to this great forerunner; and to partake of this mysterious baptism in the rapids of the Jordan. There had to be an anointing of the power of God on him.
This hallowed ground where the thousands of Israel had crossed the Jordan when in full flood, or perhaps he was near also to the place where Elijah divided the river with his mantle. Here in the great Temple of nature was a fit sanctuary surely for the thunder-voice of the new prophet; its walls the precipices of the Jordan. Its canopy the sky---the worshipers a mingled congregation of earnest souls---brave men in tears, hard men softened, careless men arrested, men of business, men of learning, men of public life---all coming forth to hear a preacher in the wilderness, a Bedouin of his day---a man with no priestly consecration, yet the son of a Priest.
Mark 1: 6-8: John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
His clothing like the Tabernacle of Moses was of animal skins. Hi watchword was the rallying cry of Matthew 3:2: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
Mark 1: 9-11: It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “you are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus received baptism from John by way of identifying Himself with sinners. Both the Holy Spirit and the Father bore witness to Jesus as being the Messianic Son of God. The Spirit in the form of a dove, and the Father in words echoing
Psalm 2:7 and Isa. 42:1. Psa. 2:7: I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, “you are My son. Today I have begotten You.”
I am reminded of Sunday’s sermon on “The Elect.” 1 Peter 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Heb. 1:5: To which of the angels did he ever say: “You are My son. Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.”
Isa. 42:1: Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, my Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him. He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax, He will not quench. He will bring forth justice for truth. He saw the heavens opened. Matthew said, “The heavens were opened to him.”
The Holy Scriptures record six men for whom the heavens opened:
1. Ezekiel (1)
2. Jesus (v.10)
3. Stephen (Acts 7:56).
4. Nathaniel (Jn. 1:51)
5. Peter (Acts 10:11)
6. John (Rev. 4:1).
Nathaniel is interesting because Jesus promised that hereafter, “you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” Hereafter, extends the blessing of seeing the heavens opened to future generations. Many are blessed to be able to see the heavens open.
I find myself wanting to go to the gospels of Matthew and Luke to fill in some of the beloved passages, but in the spirit of the gospel, I desire to stay in the flow of the spirit as this gospel was preached and written.
Mark 1: 12-13: "Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him."
The good Spirit that descended upon him, let him into the wilderness. The evil spirits which ruled the Roman Empire were busy with him. He was tempted of Satan. It is no sin to be tempted. The sin is to come into agreement with the evil spirits and thus to sin.
Mark alone, of the evangelists, mentions the presence of the wild animals during Jesus’ temptation.
Mark 1: 14-15: "After John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The faith of many would have sunk altogether under the reverses experienced by the Baptist. Arrested by the tyrant of Galilee, he was cast into prison at the age of About 31. If he was born a year before Jesus, and Jesus was crucified at 33. According to my calculation, John would have been a mere 31 years of age.
John might have appeared to men at that time, a reed shaken in the wind; but the lips of infallible truth said of him. “He is a prophet, yes, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.” I would ask what is more than a prophet? Jesus answered: For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you…for all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. If you will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that has ears to hear, let him hear." (Mt. 11:8-15).
“More than a prophet” then means John was himself the fulfillment of a prophecy. No other prophet was ever the fulfillment of a distinct prophecy, and what an important prophecy it was!
When Jesus said “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” God’s appointed time for the earthly ministry of the Messiah has been fulfilled. The Kingdom of God is at hand for all who will receive God’s kingdom through His Son, Jesus Christ. To repent and believe the gospel is to believe the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Mark 1: 16-20: "As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. When he had gone a little farther from there, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him."
We know that all the apostles were “Elect” of God and chosen by Jesus. John’s gospel confirms the disciples had a previous knowledge of Jesus and already believed him to be Israel’s Messiah.
John: 1:35-41: "The next day. John stood with two of his disciples. Looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” they said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), where are You staying?” he said to them, “Come and see.” they came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard john speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother."
Jesus’ first public ministry begins in Capernaum. This is where he met James, John, Peter, Andrew and Matthew. I find that interesting because Capernaum was a doomed city.
Matthew 11: 23-24: "And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment."
Yet, it was where Jesus took up residence beside the sea and he called it His “own city.” It was chosen by Jesus as the center of His ministry in Galilee.
Matthew 4:13-16: "Leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet saying, “the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”
O favored Capernaum! Honored for three long years as the abode of “God manifest in the flesh.” How surpassing your privileges! The great cities of Rome could compare with the honor enjoyed by Capernaum. Within these honored walls dwelt the prince of the Kings of the earth, Christ, the Power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Mark 1:21-27: "Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath, He entered the synagogue and taught. They were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."
We will begin here next week.
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Matthew Henry Commentary, F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary and Sermons of John McDuff. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors