Mark 3

Mark 3

3:1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

(ESV)

Mark 2

Mark 2

2:1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

(ESV)

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

Mark 1

Mark 1

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

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,


  “Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way,
  the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

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. And he preached, saying, “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.”

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

(ESV)

Revelation 22

Revelation 22

22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

(ESV)