Going Deeper

Going Deeper

Revelation 19-22 & Mark 1 (8.10.19)

Grab your Bible and let’s go deeper into Mark chapter 1.

First, who is Mark?

Mark was not an eyewitness of Jesus’ life, but was a secretary/translator for Peter who was one of Christ’s disciples. Mark took Peter’s eyewitness testimony and pieced it together into the narrative that is the Gospel of Mark that we know today. This then helps make sense of the fact that Peter is present in every part of Mark’s Gospel.

What are the Gospels?

The word gospel means “news”, specifically, good news of an event.

THE GOSPEL–the GOOD NEWS–the greatest news of the biggest event in all of history is about Jesus Christ. Specifically, the perfect life, torturous death, miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ that gives new life for those whom God calls to repentance and sanctification.

There are four specific Gospels in the New Testament that tell Jesus’ life story. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. For the next few weeks, we will journey together through the Gospel of Mark as we finish this year’s Bible Reading Plan.

What is unique about Mark’s Gospel?

A few things that make Mark’s Gospel unique are:

  • It is written in the present tense. A fast-paced, action-packed narrative helps Mark able to be read with urgency and importance as to who Jesus is.
  • Mark’s Gospel recounts less of Jesus’ teaching and more of Jesus’ doing. I pray that this is a reminder to us not to just hear but to witness and respond likewise with action instead of contemplation only.
  • It is a mosaic of events that tell us about Jesus’ ministry on earth. Even though the overall format of Mark’s Gospel is narrative or story, it does not possess a continuous story line, but is a collection of discrete units. The result is a collage or mosaic of the life of Jesus. As you study, put yourself in the position of Mark’s traveling companion as he assembles his documentary on the life of Christ based on Peter’s testimony.
  • Finally, there is one more unique characteristic to Mark’s Gospel and that is that Mark’s telling of Jesus’ ministry is given to us in two distinct acts.

ACT 1 (Mark chapters 1-8) is all about Jesus’ identity and authority as KING over all things. The King of Glory, the King of Kings, the Crown of Gold.

ACT 2 (Mark chapters 9-16) is all about Jesus’ sacrifice and death on the cross and the purpose for it. The sacrificial Lamb, the servant Leader, our substitutionary Atonement, the Crown of Thorns.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Mark is said to have been the first Gospel that was written so it is fitting that it begins with that phrase.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The central figure of the Gospel is Jesus Christ. He is the good news.

He is the central figure of all of life, our world, and all that exists.

Jesus Christ is the most significant man to have ever lived in the history of the world.

In fact, human history is divided around His life. We have B.C. which is “Before Christ”

and A.D. which is “Anno Domini” or “the year of our Lord”. Our history literally hinges on this man.

The Scriptures tell us the name we will sing and celebrate of for all of eternity is Jesus Christ. The Scriptures tell us that the world was created at the word of Jesus.

Jesus lived a relatively simple life. He never traveled more than 200 miles from His home. He never wrote a book.

He never married. He never had children, never ran for political office, never oversaw a large company, never made a lot of money. The first 30 years of His life were spent in great simplicity while working a blue-collar job as a carpenter with His dad.

The part of Jesus’ life that this book covers is the last three years of His life. He spent them doing ministry, preaching, teaching, performing miracles while mentoring a small group of average Joes. Jesus Christ was then falsely arrested & publically tortured and murdered at the age of 33!

This is the beginning of the Gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

We are given two titles after Jesus’ name. Christ and Son of God.

Let’s look further at these important titles to better understand who Jesus is.

Christ:

The Greek word is “Christos” meaning “an anointed royal figure”.

Christ is also translated in the Hebrew as “the Messiah”.

The Messiah was the ONE foretold in Jewish history who would come reconcile God’s people to God. The Redeemer.

So, Jesus CHRIST is the anointed royal Figure. A KING!

He is not just a KING.. He is THE King. The ONE mankind has been waiting for.

He is the One who would redeem God’s people from the slavery of sin and death and deliver us to eternal victory in life with God.

Son of God:

Mark ups the stakes all the way by also using the title SON OF GOD.

In other words, He is “Divinity”. He is God.

A minute ago, I said He was not just “A King” but “THE King”.

SON OF GOD takes His kingship to another level. He is not just a King, not just the greatest King to wear a crown. HE is the KING OF THE KINGS, THE LORD OF LORDS, the Creator and RULER of the Heavens and the Earth.

He is The SON OF GOD. Upon which NOTHING holds a higher rank! NOTHING.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

In the first twelve words of the Gospel of Mark, we are told that:

this is a story

about a man named Jesus

who is the Christ, the anointed royal One, the Messiah

who has been foretold since the most ancient roots of Israel that He would come and reconcile God’s people once and for all to God Himself.

And if that were not enough:

this Christ, this Messiah, this royal Redeemer is not an angel, not just a man, but the Son of God in human flesh. He is the divine Redeemer King.

To cement and validate this epic introduction, Mark refers back to Isaiah’s famous prophetic passage about the man who would announce the Messiah’s arrival.

Mark 1:2-3 It is written in the book of Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way—

a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

Then in verse 4, he goes on to say that John the Baptist is the announcer, the preparer, the messenger, the voice!

Mark 1:4-6 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.

The wild hippie man, John the Baptist, was the one who would announce the arrival of the Messiah, the Redeemer, the LORD.

John definitely understood the power, the magnitude of the One he was setting the table for. As he says in Mark 1:7-8, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Not even worthy to untie his filthy sandals. That is like me walking up to you and saying, “I am so below you that I am not worthy to wipe snot from your nose with my bare hand.”

Now, this is either a recognition of how low you are or how HIGH the person you speak of is.

In this case, it was both. He understood how low he was in the towering shadow of the Son of GOD!

Back to Mark’s introduction of Jesus to us.

He has made it clear that Jesus is royalty like no other the world has ever known and the One who has been prophesized about and expected like no other. He is the KING.

Our first glimpse of Jesus in Mark’s telling of his story is not His birth or childhood experiences like other Gospels tell. Instead Mark skips right to His baptism. This is Jesus’ commissioning for ministry. In His baptism, we get to see an even fuller picture of who the SON of God is.

Mark 1:10-11 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

In these two verses, we get to see the Trinity at work.

The Triune Godhead, a tri-unity, or three in oneness.

The Scriptures teach us that there is one God who eternally and equally exists in three Persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each Person is fully God and the three make up our ONE GOD.

Here we see Jesus, GOD THE SON, being baptized.

GOD the Father saying “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

GOD the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove.

Now the imagery of the dove to you and me is not unusual if you have been in the church for any amount of time.

But, it is super significant here. The only other time in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is likened to a dove is in Genesis 1:2, “… the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The way the Hebrew rabbis would commonly translate Genesis 1:1-3 is like this:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttered above the deep like a dove. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Just as all three were active in the Creation of the universe, they are active in Jesus’ baptism.

Mark, right out the door, wants us to see the Trinity. Not just Jesus! But all three as GOD.

He wants us to see that God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is going to be instrumentally active in the redemption process and renewal of all things.

Now, look at what follows. The Trinity is at work in Jesus’ commissioning to ministry.

Mark 1:12-13 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

The first glimpse of Jesus in MARK is at His baptism where the Trinity commissions Jesus to ministry.

But where does it go next? To the desert where Jesus will be tempted by Satan just like Adam and Eve were tempted in the Garden.

Jesus, like Adam, will know and experience the amazing perfection of the Trinity and then have to contend with temptation and the threat of death.

Now, that is the end of our passage for today. The question here needs to be, “So, what?”

Why is this good news? This is good news to us because the first Adam failed.

Mankind chooses to be self-centered and rebel against life, against God.

We try to make this life around our self-centered, sinful existence.

In this, we choose the battlefield that we now know as life in this world–full of sin and death.

This is what Satan tempted Adam and Eve with, “Eat the Apple and make the world revolve around you.”

Now, Mark’s account of Jesus’ temptation doesn’t tell us what the temptations were.

But Matthew’s account does. The temptation is the same thing Satan used successfully on Adam.

He basically tells Jesus, “You can make it all about you. Have it all revolve around you!”

BUT, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer King, He stood face to face with the enemy on the battleground you and I face every day and instead of saying, “Ok. Let’s make it all about me.” He chooses to stay in the dance of the Trinity. He chooses to not be self-centered, but to remain other-centered, to remain in LOVE and the glory of the Godhead. He chooses life.

Now watch this:

God told Adam and Eve to obey Him regarding the tree in the middle of the garden. Right?

DO NOT eat of it. But they did eat of it and denied God and chose death. We all did.

God the Father told God the Son, Jesus, to obey Him about a tree too. That tree was the cross.

But the flip was that in obeying God the Father, Jesus would die.

He willingly stepped into the heart of the battle so that He could draw you and me into the heart of the Trinity–into LIFE.

What Jesus has known and experienced for all eternity is the beauty and love and satisfaction of the dance and He has come to offer it to you.

He has come as the KING of royalty above all other kings but He has also come as the King of sacrifice who would exchange His crown of gold for a crown of thorns so that you and I could live forever with Him and for His glory.

This is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. May our entire lives be all about it.

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC