MARK

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Study of Mark

Notes on Mark 1

 

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

John Mark was the same person to whom Paul the Apostle had problems with causing the split between Paul and Barnabus. Paul then took Silas with him and Barnabus took Mark. Later though we see that Paul's opinion of Mark changed and Mark was in Paul's good graces again. This goes to show that we can disagree but still be of the same mind and one accord for the purpose of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. It doesn't have to be "my way or the highway." The gospel is to be taught and preached to the whole world as the spirit leads and directs God's messengers to go. I'm not advocating a false unity where false teaching and truth is mixed. False teaching is to be avoided if that teaching is clearly dangerous to the eternal soul of one who gets involved in it.

Mark skips the details of Christ's birth unlike Matthew and Luke but he gets right to the point of the gospel. Of course there is a place for the historical accounts of the nativity story but we probably do not need it told four times, so Matthew and Luke is left with that purpose while Mark and John get to the matter of the gospel only.

Now we see Mark opening up his message with "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."

He acknowledges Jesus the Christ clearly as the Son of God. Jesus is deity, Jesus is God, that came in the flesh or came as a human being to point the way of salvation to anyone who would believe in Him.

Mar 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mar 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

This was all foreordained and planned by God. God's will is that all come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and all are saved from sin. Its never His will that any perish.

Most great kings that visit a foreign land is preceded by a messenger or herald that announces his coming. John the Baptist, not John the apostle was chosen of God to be that messenger. He was a prophet of God.
This was foretold in Isaiah 40

Isa 40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Isa 40:2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.
Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Although the first coming of Christ is hidden in the Old Testament, the coming of John the Baptist as a forerunner of the first coming is foretold and it could also refer to the one that is to herald or proceed the second coming of Christ. Sometimes prophecy is a pattern, foretelling something immediate and something for the end times. That is why people get confused and think if it already happened once it will not happen again.

In Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord,  we see also a similar prophecy that could refer to both comings but it looks more like the second coming because of the warning of who can stand when He comes. I would guess that this is the time of the future tribulation probably near the end. The day of the Lord is usually associated with God's judgment as opposed to God's deliverance.

John the Baptist came before Christ's first coming in the spirit and power of Elijah.  Many believe Elijah himself will come just before Christ's second coming just before the great tribulation. 

Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

John's message of repentance did not change at the coming of Jesus. Both preached repentance. Repentance is necessary in order to be saved and reconciled back to God. The gospel of grace was never meant as a license to believe in Christ and still be able to sin and still inherit eternal life. In order to receive forgiveness and eternal life, one must repent or turn away from sin and turn to Christ for forgiveness and power to overcome sin.

Mar 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Notice the fruit of believing to the point of genuine repentance. In this case the preaching of John caused many to be baptized but at the same time they confessed their sins. It doesn't state here who we confess our sins to. We know that we confess to God. Further than that the bible does not require us to confess sins to anyone in particular. The safest thing is to just confess them to God. There is a scripture that says to confess our faults one to another that we may be healed. This shows our sincerity in that we want to turn away from sin but in that we have to be careful because not everyone can be trusted to keep confidence so the safest thing is to confess before God. Confessing to a priest is not necessary for salvation. Our salvation is through Christ alone. Public confession may help us vent and make things right in the sight of men, but the salvation comes from confessing to God and asking Him to forgive our sins. We then are born again by the very spirit of God. Our sins washed away and forgiven.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Again we see there is no set person except God to confess ours sins to. We can confess to another but that alone does not bring salvation. We confess before God is the thing necessary for salvation. Whether or not another person is involved does not matter. We could be alone in the wilderness and be saved the minute we turn to Christ confessing that we have sinned and need His forgiveness and salvation.

So why do we need to repent or confess sin? Because if we come to Christ and are unwilling to change our minds or turn away from sin, the sin will remain within us. We still will be a slave to sin. Jesus came to save us from sin, not in our sin. He came to free us from that bondage and that awful thing that is hurting us and separating us from God.

Will we have a problem with sin after we come to Christ? Yes, but we also have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us overcome sin. Again 1 John 1:9 applies not just to sinners but to us who fail after we have come to Christ. We also continually trust in His grace that He will be faithful to show us when we do sin. The Holy Spirit will show us and convict us of sin if we do sin. The only time He stops is if we continually shut our minds off and do not listen to Him when He does. If we continually harden our hearts against the Lord's correction, we will be able to sin without any conviction. This is a dangerous state to be in. Count it a blessing if we still hear that voice from the Holy Spirit telling us what we are involved in is wrong.

I will add here that we continually trust in His grace at all times. There are times when a person does not forgive himself and we keep trying to repent of the same past sins. This is a trap that we must avoid. Once we turn away from sin and turn to Christ, the sin is gone. If its still in our hearts and we have not genuinely repented, it is not gone but if we hate the thing and have repented and stopped the sin, it is gone. We have to continually trust Christ in this so that we can be assured of our salvation.

In Acts 2:38 it says: then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Mar 1:6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Mar 1:7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

The baptism of the Holy Ghost is greater than water baptism. This comes after one believes in Jesus for salvation. The outpouring of the Holy Ghost is described all through the book of Acts. When we repent of sins and turn to Christ, we are born again by the Holy Spirit at that time. We do receive the Holy Ghost. Here is where the controversy comes in. Some believe that we at that time or later receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost in which signs will follow such as speaking with tongues as the spirit give utterance.

Some believe this also but believe other signs may follow and not all speak with tongues. No matter how we believe about this, we do need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Completely immersed in the Holy Spirit. The best way is to receive everything at once when we first come to Christ for salvation. It could be that some of us hold back a little and are baptized in the Holy Ghost later. Whichever way we believe about this we need everything God has given and no gift of the spirit ended after the apostles died or after the canon of scripture was completed. God doesn't give something and then take it back.

In 1 Corinthians it speaks of when that which is perfect shall come, that which is in part shall vanish away. The only time we do not need the gifts of the spirit is at the return of the perfect one, Jesus Christ. Until everyone is saved and all become mature in the Lord, we will need the gifts of the spirit in the church.

For some reason tongues offend people more than any other gift but we must remember that it is a gift of God and no gift of God should bring offense. Just because we may not understand everything does not mean that it is something to be avoided. Our attitude should never be, "Do I have to speak with tongues" but "Do I get to speak with tongues." I was glad the day when I was baptized with the Holy Spirit and did speak with tongues. I knew for sure then the Holy Spirit was within me. Whether or not He was already there and I just didn't know for sure, I don't know but I do know for sure when I began to speak with tongues. I was not in church at the time so no one can say I was repeating anything someone else spoke. I was not worked up or under any kind of pressure. I was alone in the backseat of a car my dad was driving and my step mom was beside him. They witnessed what I received and rejoiced along with me but they were surprised as I was. They were not praying at the time that I know of. I just remember being thankful for God and just felt like praising the Lord and when I started to praise the Lord, I started speaking in a language I had never spoken before. I haven't stopped since. I kind of laugh when someone tells me that the gifts ceased after the days of the apostles, because if that is the case, the Lord made an exception with me. He seemed to have forgotten that He doesn't give that gift any more.

We must be careful not to add to God's word or try to explain away something we don't understand. Leave it alone and leave it in the hands of God. Better yet, ask God to show us what something means.

James says, if anyone lacks wisdom let him ask.
Jamess 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Mar 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mar 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

This may be a little controversial but this is just what I see after reading about Jesus being baptized. First of all it shows us that we still need to be baptized in water. Baptism means complete immersion. This shows our obedience to the faith we received and is a sign that we have confessed our sins and have been cleansed by the spirit of God. The water itself does not cleanse but symbolizes what has taken place in the heart. Being baptized does not save us from sin, we are baptized because we have been saved from sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be baptized by John with water to fulfill all righteousness.

Notice that immediately Jesus was baptized also with the Holy Ghost. We know Jesus already had the spirit of God or the Holy Ghost but this shows that He was baptized with the Holy Ghost after His water baptism. So this may indicate that being baptized with the Holy Ghost may be a separate event from our new birth or salvation. Again this is very controversial and the Lord has to show us individually the truth of these things. It is a dangerous thing to tell someone that he or she doesn't have the Holy Spirit or that he or she does have the Holy Spirit. That has to be something so holy and precious that the individual and God has to work out. It would be good of the Lord to give us a sign of the Holy Spirit's indwelling and like we some of us believe, tongues does just that. However, I do know godly people that have never spoken with tongues and they appear to be filled with God's spirit. However, I'm not going to say they do or don't. I just am glad for the sign of tongues myself and I refuse to explain it away. I do know for sure that it wasn't just a one time event on the day of Pentecost because we see it other times in the book of Acts after Pentecost.

Mar 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

Once we are filled with God's spirit, we then learn to walk in the spirit or be led by the spirit. In this case Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to fast and pray. This also was a time of temptation. He had to go through what we would later have to face. He had to do everything first. The only thing He couldn't do was confess sins because He had no sin. Yet we see that Jesus was baptized in water, filled with the Holy Spirit, fasted, prayed, faced temptation, suffered in the flesh just like someone who deserved to go through all that because of sin. We now know that He didn't do this for His own sins, since He was sinless but did these things for our sins. We are the ones that have sinned and we are the ones that need His salvation. He suffered all these things to make the way for our salvation. He literally died for our sins. The penalty for sin is death of the body and the soul being lost and separated from God. He paid the penalty on our behalf and overcame death by rising again from the grave. If he had of sinned in one point, he could not have risen from that grave. His soul would have went to hell and stayed there. He arose that we can rise. He died that we could live and have eternal life. We are saved when we believe and embrace this in our spirit.

Mar 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

I often wondered why God didn't send angels to minister to some of us but actually He does when it is necessary. If we faced what Peter, Paul and Jesus faced and God thought it warranted an angelic visitation, I believe He would send it but we now have access to the very spirit of God, the Holy Spirit living within us as a teacher, a comforter, a guide and many more things. We are never alone.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

He abides within us by way of the Holy Spirit. Concerning angels though in Hebrews we see that they are ministering spirits to help God's believers or those that are to inherit salvation, when needed.

Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Mar 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Now we see Jesus preaching the same message as John to repent and believe the gospel. Gospel means the good news that God was reaching out to all human beings to save them from their lost condition by sending His own Son, Jesus to pay the price for their sins and buy them back or redeem them from the curse and grant them everlasting life.

Mar 1:16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Mar 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

Their goals, hopes, dreams and their way of life is about to change and they would be vessels God uses to preach the good news of salvation to all who would hear them. Instead of fishing for fish, they would fish for the souls of men (always meaning women also.) There were times that they temporarily returned to fishing to help their families but basically they gave it up to serve the Lord when they received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Mar 1:18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

This is what happens when a calling is from the Lord, jobs and other things take second place or is abandoned altogether.

Mar 1:19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
Mar 1:20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

Notice that they still were responsible people. They left the work to the hired servants to help their father. They obeyed the Lord and began to follow Him. It does show the need to support families but it also shows us that the things concerning salvation and eternal life is of a greater importance than the temporal things of this world. This is not an excuse to abandon responsibility but to emphasize the greater need. The things of this life is temporary. While we should be faithful in taking care of our loved ones, we must remember the words of Jesus, "What profit is it if we gain the whole world and lose our souls? We need good education too somewhat but again, if we earn the highest degree in the world but lose our souls, what profit would it be?

Mar 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
Mar 1:22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

Wouldn't that be the ultimate bible study to attend.

Mar 1:23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
Mar 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
Mar 1:25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
Mar 1:26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
Mar 1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
Mar 1:28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

I do notice here that Jesus didn't go in and teach, give an altar call and beg anyone to believe. Not that to do so would have been right or wrong but my point is that just His presence and His teaching stirred up the demonic spirit that was in that man.

Mar 1:29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
Mar 1:30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.
Mar 1:31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

Signs follow them that believe. Everywhere Jesus went signs of the power of God within Him followed Him. Peter's mother was healed and she immediately began to minister to those in her house. Hospitality was a common practice. In their culture, the lady of the house always made sure visitors were fed and make comfortable.

Mar 1:32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
Mar 1:33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
Mar 1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

Why He forbid them to speak I don't know. I can only guess that perhaps He wanted people to believe because of His own words or works and not because the devils know who He was. Again this is my own speculation. Perhaps also He did not want people to make Him some kind of king or great dignitary. He wanted only to preach the gospel and die for our sins at His first coming.

Mar 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Jesus didn't go on retreats or vacations but He did need to leave the crowds on occasion and be refreshed in the spirit by speaking to God His Father. If Jesus needed this time apart with God how much more to we. Jesus said that without Him we can do nothing. Nothing we do outside of Christ has any lasting value. We need to continually abide in Him.

Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Mar 1:36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.
Mar 1:37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.

I would truly hope that all persons would seek for Christ.

Mar 1:38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

He work was not to stay in one play and build a huge following but to go to other places and preach the gospel to everyone possible.

Mar 1:39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
Mar 1:40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Mar 1:41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
Mar 1:42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
Mar 1:43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
Mar 1:44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Jesus had not yet died for sins and changed made the way for cleansing to be done by the spirit instead of the ordinances made by the law God made through Moses. This law was in place until that perfect sacrifice was to come. That being Jesus Christ and then His death for sin to pay the price for all our sins. At this time though they were sitll under the law. He was not to speak with anyone but go fulfill the law concerning leprosy. Healing was an important part of the ministry of Jesus but He always had to be careful that people would not major on the miracles so much so that they would try to make him a king and possibly bypass His death and resurrection. That was necessary for the salvation of the lost. He death and resurrection had to occur so that all who believed would be saved from sin and reconciled back to God the Father. Jesus couldn't yield to any temptation to be a king and rule over Israel ahead of time. (That is to happen at His second coming). His first coming was to become a final offering for sin. Without that final offering of Himself, no one could have eternal life because we would remain in sin and separated from God.

Mar 1:45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

Jesus continually had to avoid being set up as a person who was to take over the government and reign as kind. Even Satan offered Him this position when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. Signs and wonders are to follow all believers but even we must remain faithful to the main purpose of signs. They are to bring people to Christ to be saved from sin. We are never to use the signs to gain followers after ourselves. This is a mistake we make continually. We are to use the gifts of the spirit to bring souls to Christ. Jesus used the signs to bring people back to God and to show them that He was the only way to salvation. This purpose caused people to stumble. They didn't want a savior from sin. They wanted a great kind to deliver them from the Romans and make them a nation again. This will happen later, but first an offering for their sins had happen first.

Notice the guy that was healed of leprosy didn't obey the words of Jesus that told him to not speak to anyone but go to the priests to fulfill the law given to Moses to be cleansed of that disease. Jesus didn't come to break the law but fulfill it. Until His death, burial and resurrection, it wasn't yet fulfilled at that time. The leper was to do his part as the law indicated.

We today still have problems with listening to God even after He saves us from sin. Part of being fruitful and walking with the Lord is being obedient to His word. His word is to continually abide in us.

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

 
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