GO INTO GALILEE Tuesday Morning Bible Study, April 18, 2023

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Sinai, with its thunders, says, “You SHALL love God,” But Calvary says, “We love Him, because He first loved us.”

We now come to the closing chapter of the Gospel of Mark of Peter’s preaching and teaching of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. When I confidently approached this book, my quest was to know the Apostle Peter through His preaching; and to know Jesus Christ, more intimately as the Son of Man and the Son of God. However, as with the honor of teaching and preaching all the Holy Writ of God, like the Apostle Peter, I, too, have again been humbled by this great book.

Mark’s Gospel is to the point, and full of action; a feature which would appeal to the practically minded Romans for whom, it was primarily written. The proportion of it, which is devoted to recording Jesus’ deeds, rather than His words, is greater in Mark’s gospel than in the others. Eighteen miracles are related, as against only four full-scale parables. An unusually large number of Jesus exorcizing of demons is emphasized.

Much of Peter’s character in this book is what He doesn’t tell us, but we come to love the great Apostle more and more in his humanity, his weakness, and ultimate humility. The angel singles him out, “Go tell his disciples – and Peter” (vs 7). Oh, what an honor, heaven called His name after his three-time denial and fall!

Except for John, they had all been guilty of unkind desertion. But Peter had been pre-eminent in professions of ardor, zeal, and devotedness, yet proved, in the hour of trial, the first to fail. Peter’s downfall had, indeed, been humiliating.

We have this hope that Jesus is as gracious and merciful to us as He was to the Apostle Peter. Why was Peter not a Judas? It was grace which made all the difference. Grace called him --- grace restrained him --- grace rescued him. Jesus Himself tells that at one time there was truly but a step between Peter and death. There was but one link that prevented the chain of his spiritual life from snapping, but it was the golden link of Christ’s own -ever-living intercession--- “Satan has desired to have you, BUT I have prayed for you that your faith fail not!”

It is the same with us. We can boast of no victory of our own. We are dependent every hour on the upholding arm of our gracious Savior. If that arm is removed, we will sink like lead in the waters. Let us not hold our life of devotion and service to the Lord any higher than by grace we are saved, by grace we were chosen, by grace we do not fall.

The proud, self-sufficient disciple becomes from this day onward a little child. He comes forth from the furnace into which his Lord had cast him purified as gold---humbled but exalted by God as one of the twelve apostles. He appeals from his own truant, untrustworthy heart, to that of the great Heart-searcher, “Lord, You know all things; you know that I love you.”

Verse 1-6 begins with Resurrection Sunday with Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome going to the tomb. Mary Magdalene, His mother, and Salome were the last at the Cross and first at His sepulcher. The women see a young man seated in the vacant tomb, clad in long white clothing---the emblem of gladness. “Go” said the angel-guardian at the sepulcher, go your way, tell his disciples, AND Peter. the startling tidings that the Lord they loved has risen, that He was to go before them into Galilee.

16:7: Go tell His disciples --- and Peter --- that he is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.

He appeared first to Mary Magdalene. She gave the message to the disciples, but they did not believe her. After that, he appeared in another form to two of them. they, too, told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

16:14: Later, Jesus appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

he Gospel of Mark leaves out the story of the Feast on the shore as described in John 21: 1-14.

Afterward Jesus appeared again to His disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias.

The disciples have returned to their native sea. There are the memories where poverty, disease, demon fury and death itself surrendered and succumbed at Jesus’ Word. The very sea and storm had conceded to His might and couched submissive at His omnipotent mandate.

There they had listened to His utterances of matchless wisdom --- there they had been called by Christ to “come follow me. I will make you fishers of men.” Capernaum rose before them with its crowded memories of power and mercy. Yonder were the peaks of the Mount of the Beatitudes where the most wondrous words were spoken. Beyond was the plain and to the north was the green tableland where the barley loaves were dealt out to feed the four thousand. The Apostle fishermen would remember the majestic form of Him who walked on these very waters, and the Voice that rose above the storm, saying, “peace be still --- Fear not, it is I, do not be afraid.”

Seven of them --- James, John, Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, and probably Andrew and Philip have been out on the Lake all night long; but their toil, as on a former occasion, is unproductive “they caught nothing.

Morning begins to streak the mountains of Naphtali---distant Hermon is unveiling its diadem of snow. As they approach within a few feet of the shore, in the grey dawn of that morning light, a solitary figure attracts their eye --- “they did not know that it was Jesus!” The first word He uttered might have told them all --- “Children!” Yet still they did not recognize Him. He bids them “cast out on the right side of the boat.” John (the disciple whom Jesus loved) said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Peter, with characteristic impetuosity and fervor, wraps around him his fisherman’s garment, springs into the sea and swims a hundred yards to shore. The other disciple came in the little boat (for they were not far from land,) dragging the net with fish.

Who can describe the profound emotion of that meeting at that shore? No facts are inserted by the Apostle, not a tear, not a word, not a question is recorded. Jesus had prepared a fire of coals with fish laid on it, and bread.

I received a word of knowledge that these coals of fire came from before the throne of God. 2 Sa. 22:13: Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled. Jesus fed and commissioned the apostles from the flame of Heaven on that beautiful morning by the sea of Tiberias. It is said by one who died and went to heaven that the coals of fire before the throne have names on them. I believe these coals of fire had the Apostles names on them. From these coals of fire came the angel who touched Isaiah’s lips.

John 21:15-17: So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, love you Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yea, Lord; You know that I love you" He said to him, "Feed My lambs" He said to him again the second time, "Simon son of Jonah, love you Me?" He said to Him, "yea, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My sheep"He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, love you Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time," Love you Me? "And he said to Him, Lord,"You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him,"Feed My sheep."

From these coals of a heavenly flame, Jesus commissions Peter to the task of protecting the entire flock of believers throughout the world. He gives this responsibility to Peter alone. The three-fold declaration of love is to blot out his three-fold sin of denial. Just as Peter denied Christ three times standing over a fire of coals, He is commissioned as an Apostle over a heavenly flame of coals.

The grand qualification for the feeding of the sheep is the love of the Great shepherd in the heart of the under shepherds. Nothing can be done acceptably but what proceeds from the Christ motive of LOVE TO CHRIST. Note there is a difference between lambs and sheep, and between feed and tend. Lambs signify beginners in the faith; sheep those more mature. He who loves Christ has charge of both lambs and sheep. We the church must feed the lambs and will tend the sheep. This means to apply stricter care for those more mature in faith. Yet, patience and sometimes long-suffering to the lambs.


Mark 16:15-18: He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. These signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them, they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

The time has come when the Savior is to take a final farewell of Gennesaret’s sacred memories. Jesus stood in the land of Judea --- Galilee of the Gentiles --- to issue this great commission. In an earlier period, when He sent out the twelve Matthew 10:5-6: Jesus said, “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and to any city of the Samaritans do not enter; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

After His resurrection, and the rending of the old temple veil, a new dispensation has dawned upon the world ---the brotherhood of the human family was boldly announced; the leaves of the tree of life were no longer to be for the healing of Judea, but for “the healing of the nations.”

Seated as King in the citadel of Zion, he had examined its armory, inspected its treasures, and the first use He makes of these is to armor His disciples, and send them forth as the conquerors of the world.

What a startling commission! What a gigantic undertaking! What! That handful of Galilean barbarians and fishermen to go forth on the conquest of the human race? --- Men devoid of learning, polish, worldly tact, worldly wisdom, to proclaim a lowly Jew, who lived a lowly life and died an ignominious death, Lord of all? To undertake to wage war against lust, and passion, and self in every shape---to proclaim that there was sin against high Heaven, not in the word and deed only, but in the secret thought of revenge, the rising passion, the unclean look---to hurl the venerated religious systems of ages from their thrones---to dethrone Jupiter, Baal, Jezebel, Ishtar, and Minerva from the Acropolis, and erect in their place the pure, self-denying doctrines of the Cross, and worship of an Invisible God!

And what were their weapons? It was to be a moral victory over mind, conscience, will, a debased nature, groveling passions. It was by a few scrolls written by Hebrew prophets, Jewish fishermen and publicans, that the world was to be “turned upside down!”

At the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the church was sent and commissioned by the Lord to preach the gospel (Mark 16: 15-20). In obedience they preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God.(Acts 1: 1-3): (2b-3) He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen. To whom he also showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 28: 19-20: Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen,

Lo, I am with you always. In the original, this means all the days. Our times are in the hands of Jesus. He counts not our years, but our days. He promises to be with us every day to the last day of all; and when that last day comes, He does not withdraw His Presence, but changes the scene and says, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Mark does not give us the story of Christ’s ministry in the forty-days before Pentecost. Acts 1:3: He presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

Mark: 16- 19-20: So then, after the LORD had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor, Eastgate Ministries Church. 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX.

Scripture from N.K.J.V. I entered the labors of John Ross MacDuff, (1818=1895) Memories of Gennesaret. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to express the views of Dr. MacDuff.

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