Mark is to the point, simple, pithy and condensed. It’s the shortest Gospel and starts at the start of Jesus’ ministry.
The first sentence declares Jesus “Son of God” – to Jews that’s an assertion He is God. That’s what we needed a saviour who is God!
The next sentence shows us that Jesus fulfils Scripture. John The Baptist’s forerunner ministry fulfils Isaiah’s prophetic word. The old Testament points to Jesus. From Gen 3:15 prophecy that woman’s offspring would crush the Serpent’s head, through the rest we find that “these are the Scriptures that testify about me” John 5:39
John the Baptist experienced a mini-revival of repentance and then points to Jesus, who will baptise not just in water, but the Holy Spirit. We don’t just get our past dealt with, but we get power for the future too!
The Father spoke from heaven “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased” – The Father was affirming Jesus before he had done any of his earthly ministry and did it audibly so ever one could hear. I often the clearer the revelation (audible voice here) the more you will need to rest on the fact God had spoken. Jesus was about to undergo the hardest calling – to die for us, so the Father affirms Him audibly.
The message is simple!
The Kingdom is at hand – God’s reign and rule is breaking in
Repent – change the way you have been thinking
Believe in the good news – put your trust in Jesus
Jesus calls his first disciples – ordinary working class men – casting nets and mending them as fishermen.
They are called firstly to relationship with Jesus – Follow me! and then secondly to mission – be fishers of men.
The next section begins the long list of miracles of Jesus – healing and deliverance. The demons are told to be quiet – they know who Jesus is, but they don’t know Him. Luther said “The life of Christianity consists of personal pronouns”. It is one thing to say Jesus is a Saviour. It is quite another to say He is my Saviour and my Lord. The devil can say the first, only a believer can say the second.
Verses 35-39 give us a glimpse of Jesus’ prayer life – early and alone.
Jesus prayed a lot
- When he was baptised Luke 3:21
- When he was transfigured Luke 2 9:29
- Before he chose the twelve Luke 6:12
- When people were wanting to make Him king, he went away to pray Matt 14:23
- When in Gethsemene Mark 14:32
Jesus prayed a lot, on all occasions. That’s a challenge to us. As JC Ryle put it “It will always be found that when prayers are few, grace, strength, peace and hope are small”