Summary: Jesus springs on the scene with no pedigree, no history, and only a strange man to vouch for him. And yet people were instantly drawn to Him - why?
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Jesus: The Man From Nowhere
Pastor Tom Fuller
Mark is Peter’s gospel. We get that from a quote written just after the turn of the century. The early church historian Eusebius quotes from Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis:
“Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatever he remembered of the things said and done by the Lord, but not however in order.”
It was written from Rome, at a time when severe persecutions were breaking out in Rome, and many eye witnesses were being executed – so writing down what Jesus said and did became very important.
Peter himself said this:
Acts 2:22-23 Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
This, in a nutshell, is an outline for the gospel of Mark as told by Peter to the crowds in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
Mark is the “plain Jane” of the gospels – not a lot of frilly speech – just the facts, ma’am. This goes well with Peter’s personality – Peter wasn’t a trained writer or speaker, but he had a passion for Jesus that few matched.
Each gospel has a personality – in Matthew, Jesus is the king, the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” In Luke He is the “Son of Man,” while in John Jesus is the Son of God. Mark portrays Jesus as the servant.
Some other things that set Mark apart:
A. One of the most unique features of Mark’s Gospel is his omission of some of the most important events in the life of Christ. There is...
• No mention of the virgin birth;
• No mention of the visit of the wise men;
• No mention of the Sermon on the Mount;
• No quotation about Jesus from the Prophets (1:2);
• No mention of Divine Titles;
• No mention of His work being finished;
• No mention of the Kingdom Parables;
B. Six of the 15 times the word Gospel is used in the four Gospels are found in Mark.
C. Twelve of Marks 16 Chapters begin with the word “And”.
D. Mark only records four parables.
(from Travis Moore – NewSong Community Church)
Who is Mark? Many believe he was John-Mark – about 12 years old when Jesus died, first introduced to us in Acts 12:12. It was to Mark’s home that Peter went to after an angel freed him from prison. Mark’s uncle was Barnabas – Paul’s companion on many missionary journeys.
Mark left Paul and Barnabas – and it caused a real problem between them. Later, Paul asks for John-Mark to come to him, and many believe it was while Mark was with Paul in Rome that he wrote the gospel – probably the earliest of the 4 gospels, written around 63AD.
So what are we going to see in this first chapter of Mark?
• A strange announcement by a strange man
• The beginning of Jesus ministry through baptism by John
• A very scant account of the temptation – focusing more on the wilderness
• The calling of two sets of brothers
• The first teaching – and 1st miracle – an exorcism with a hint at Jesus’ true identity – and a stern warning to be quiet
• Jesus priority of prayer, and inability to be “managed”
• His first physical healing – again with the warning not to reveal it
• The anonymous man from nowhere now has nowhere to go anonymously
1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark doesn’t begin with the birth of Jesus, but with the “gospel” of Jesus – His ministry, not his family. Mark writes about Jesus as the servant – no one cares where a servant comes from. His pedigree doesn’t matter. In fact, Jesus is like someone who appears out of nowhere – and yet Mark gives it the weight of prophecy:
2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet:
"I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"- 3 "a voice of one calling in the desert, ’Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’"
It kind of sets the stage for this stranger, Jesus – “one calling in the desert.” The prophecies are actually a combination from Isaiah, Malachi, and Exodus.
4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."