John the Baptist Prepares the Way for Jesus: 1-13.
(Read: Mark 1:1-13)
The message of Mark's gospel is the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy that he would prepare the way for the Lord’s coming (Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3). When Jewish leaders called for strict performance of the Law, John calls for repentance. Repentance means change of heart that turns away from sin to God. John prepared the way for the coming of Jesus by preaching repentance and baptizing people. He baptized those who repented of their sins. Repentance is not merely admitting guilt but also seeking God’s help to overcome sin (1 John 1:9). They see sin as God sees it. John never sought personal comforts but gave Christ glory in all that he did. He said “I baptize you with water but Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). John was not ashamed to admit that he is only an unworthy servant of Christ. When Jesus humbled to be baptized by John, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove on Him and a voice came from heaven saying “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased”. This shows that Jesus is the unique Son of God. At his baptism we see this unique relationship in the Godhead. God eternally exists in three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus was tempted by Satan to hinder him from the mission he came to do (Mat 4; Luke 4). Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Throughout Christ’s life he overcame Satan by relying on his Father and obeying his will. After his temptation angels were sent to minister to Jesus. God is our present help in times of troubles (1 Cor 10:13). Like John the Baptist, all believers should seek to serve others by our God given gifts. Serving Jesus Christ is the greatest privilege and blessing in the Christian life.
Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee: 1:14-45.
(Read: Mark 1:14-45).
Jesus began his ministry by preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is His reign in the lives of his people. It is centered in the finished work of Christ on the cross. To experience the kingdom of God, people should repent of their sins and believe in Christ. Repentance means change of attitude toward sin, self and God. Because of sin we are alienated from God. But God in his love and mercy restores our lost significance and relationship. In verses 16-20, we read about the calling of the first four disciples. Jesus saw Simon, Andrew, James and John and said “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men”. Their livelihood was fishing. They left everything and followed Jesus. Immediately Jesus went to Capernaum and on every Sabbath day he taught in the synagogue. People were amazed at his teaching, for he taught as one who had authority unlike the religious teachers. This authority comes from God. Early in the morning Jesus went out to a solitary place to pray. Jesus wanted to spend solitary time with his Father before doing anything. Praying is our lifeline to God. Also Jesus performed many miracles by healing demon possess man and cleansing the leper. Demon possess man recognized Jesus as the “Holy one of God”. He also healed the mother in law of Peter. Her fever left her immediately and she ministered them. Jesus had mercy on the leper and touched him. He was healed immediately. Jesus had power over the incurable diseases. All of us are infected with the incurable disease called sin. Jesus is the only Savior who pities over those who cannot help themselves. Jesus is willing and able to help the helpless. His blood cleanses us from all our sins (1 John 1: 7-9).