Mark 1: 1-15
Thursday, 21 July 2021
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” -Mark 1:1
Quite often the question asked is, “What is the Gospel?” Through today’s reading we will soon realize that the Gospel is not a “What,” rather the question to be asked is “Who is the Gospel?” The term “Gospel” translated from Greek, means ‘Good News.’ Any Good News needs to be shared; so Mark, as one of the Gospel writers targets an audience in the Roman Empire, unfamiliar to the religion of the Jews, to hear about a God who came to serve and to give His life as ransom to many. (Mark 10:45).
The entire life of Jesus from His birth to resurrection is the “THE GOSPEL” [THE GOOD NEWS].
How does this ‘Good News’ impact our lives in the present day? There are three truths that Marks lays out for us that will surely lead us to be impacted by the Gospel.
Identified with us (V.9)
Mark specifically tells us where Jesus came from – Nazareth of Galilee. Why is this important? In John 1:46 we read Nathaniel’s exclamation: "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Why would he say this? In those days people from Nazareth were not held in high esteem; they were considered “no-bodys” -not having a great reputation. This is to fulfill the prophecy written in Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Even though in V.11, God declares Jesus as His Beloved Son in whom He is well pleased, Jesus still came down to be recognized with us – trashy, backward, “no-good” people.
Why? So that “….In Him we would all be sons of God, through faith.” [paraphrased Gal. 3:26] Rejected by men but chosen by God and precious (1 Peter 2:4). This is our identity today- From Trash to Treasure!! Is this how you see yourself?
Tempted for us (Vs.12-13)
In the Garden of Eden we see the first Adam failing miserably to resist the temptations he faced. But here in these verses we read that Jesus was led by the Spirit to the wilderness to be tempted. Why would He want to do this? Jesus not only identified with us in our lowliness but also in our temptations. But the difference and victory is that the Second Adam did not succumb to the baits of the tempter. He overcame the tempter by the Word and today lives as our High Priest and intercessor, who is able to aid all those who are being tempted, because He though being tempted did not yield to sin; He now offers us His help and grace in our time of need so we could also become overcomers of sin through Him. (Hebrews 4:15-16). Is He your Victory?
Preached to us (Vs.14-15)
The message and ministry of Jesus written in these verses has a great significance to each of us. In V.14 we read that Jesus began His earthly ministry in Galilee. How does this affect us? His ministry is significant because it did not begin in Jerusalem but in the Gentile territory of Galilee and thus this message is for all people, fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 9:1&2. Because He began with the Gentile territory, you and I are included in His eternal plan. Isn’t that a great reason to rejoice?
His message is so relevant because it consists of only 2 words –
Repent – Every human being is struggling with sin and the only way to get out of it is to recognize it and repent –meaning, take a U- turn from the wrong way of life and then,
Believe – This is crucial because thus far we have been believing our good works or our religious practices and that has only led to an empty way of life. Here Jesus calls us to Believe Him - THE GOSPEL – THE GOOD NEWS –“the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16 )
Have we heeded His message? If not, “THE TIME IS NOW!”
QUOTE FOR THE DAY: “Many criticize me for taking the Gospel so seriously. But do they really think that on Judgment Day, Christ will chastise me, saying, 'You took Me too seriously'?” ~Leonard Ravenhill