’The Gospel’ Mark 1:1-13.
Marks gospel is the earliest written of the four gospels AD.55-65 Probably written for Christians in Rome where he wrote the Gospel, he wants them to know that in an environment where people worship many gods, Jesus is the one true Son of God.
Its also the most chronological as most of the stories are positioned as they actually happened. It is believed that Matthew and Luke’s main source was Marks gospel, the other gospels quote all but 31 verses of Mark.
Although Mark was not one of the twelve disciples John Mark accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts.13:13) and spent time with Peter also. Marks main source for his gospel is believed to have been Peter, whilst in Rome being his amanuensis. The whole purpose of Mark I believe can be summed up in two verses (1v1 and 15 v39) Surely this man was the Son of God!
Mark is revealing to us the Messiah who is the Son of God from beginning to end but a Messiah with a twist he is a servant to all (Mrk 10: 45.) who expects his disciples to serve also.
I love those action adventure movies like James Bond, the Bourne identity and mission impossible. They are action packed. The story line is focused upon the leading character out manoeuvring all others, who single handily saves the World from mass destruction!
Marks gospel is also action packed from start to finish he recalls more miracles in this gospel than any other does over the next months we are going to be travelling through Marks gospel. So lets get on our marks and go!
Like the sprinter out of the blocks from the start of the pistol firing, he wastes no time and neither does Mark.
Mark is setting his stall out in v1 in regard to the significance of the story to follow with one opening statement in regard to the Gospel. He is straight to the point a typical evangelist (blunt style).
V1. The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God and then he goes straight into the opening of his ministry with the preparation work of John the Baptist.
Unlike the other authors
Matt.1:1-17 Opens up the genealogy of Jesus takes us back to Abraham and David and then goes into the birth narrative.
Luke3: 23-37 takes us back to the beginning of human history and to Adam and Eve
John.1:1 ¡V14 Takes his reader further back again into eternity
Mark brings us straight to the big event itself he doesnt’ lay as much groundwork. He is not really out to convince us with all the evidence. He doesn’t go into all the details of the genealogy of Jesus he just takes us straight to the revelation of the Gospel. Then onto his earthly ministry where the gospel unfolds at a fast pace until the last week (chapter11) of his passion which takes up nearly half of the book.
1. The Gospel is about a unique event! 1v1 The beginning
Mark is like the Town criers we find all aound the UK they go into public places announcing news all need to hear the announcement.
Mark here is establishing that God is making a new start! A new beginning just like in the Genesis account where God was about His creation, here God is about to break into the world once more and start a new thing!
The word Gospel (message proclaimed) (a book of the Bible) But here its neither, here it’s the earlier meaning it represented good news in the context of a significant event which made a change in the world history.
Like the birth of Roman Emperor Augustus: which changed course of history amd brought about Paxa Romana .
In the Hebrew the verb for gospel means (to announce good news) Meaning when Jesus entered this world it was the in breaking of Gods kingly rule into the world. God is announcing good news to all.
Like the arrival of a dignitary at a banquet is often announced at a state dinner.
Mark is announcing the good news that God has broken into human history. It brings historicity to Jesus we don’t have to imagine it! It happened whether a person believes it or not it cannot be erased! Don’t miss the point of this unique event!
The Wright brothers in Dec 1903 flew 120 feet for the first time so they sent a telegram to their sister to tell her the good news and that they would be home for Christmas. There sister was so excited she went to the local news paper editor to inform him of the breaking news. As he read the letter he just simply said that’s good news the boys will be home for Christmas, He missed the whole point the brother had flown for the first time.
2. The Gospel is about a unique person with a unique message
What’s in a name? Most people names have meanings? My surname is Vaughan that means small. Have you found what yours means?
Mark begins his gospel by telling us that the gospel is about Jesus Christ the Son of God. The gospel is not about good advice on how to live, but good news about a unique person who came to save sinners. So the gospel is a message which is all about its messenger.
a. Who is our Saviour.
What makes him unique? Well it begins in his name.
The name Jesus was a common name amongst Jews until the 2nd century after which Jews avoided using it to avoid any connection with Jesus Christ and Christians didn’t use it commonly out of respect. The name means Yahweh is salvation. God is salvation. Why the name Jesus? Matt1: 21 Because he will save his people from their sins
So the name Jesus is all about a Saviour and so is the Gospel. I cannot stress this enough.
The gospel is not fundamentally about the ethical implications of how we should live but the gospel is a call for the individual to repentance and faith in Jesus because Jesus came as a Saviour!
We see it’s the call in the opening of the ministry of John the Baptist 1v4 and again we see it the ministry of Jesus himself 1:15 the time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!
Repent has bad connotations of an angry preacher but it simply means The Grk metanoia, meta - change noia - mind and attitude.
Jesus is not asking us just to pull our socks up or try a little harder. But to have a complete change of mind and attitude. Acknowledging our sin towards God until we do that we can never know God. John the Baptist called the people to repent Jesus also calls the people to repent.
b. Who is the Christ.
Although we use Christ as a type of surname for Jesus, we need to understand that it isn’t a surname but a special title given it means anointed one.
We must also understand the announcement of the Christ is not just an explanation of his name but a clarification of his status He is King!
Like Liverpool Football club are European Champions 2005 this is their name Liverpool, but also their status ther title: European Champions.
References to Jesus being the Christ in Mark 8:29. Peters response, 14:61, Caiaphas question.15:32 Chief priests and teachers mocked him. Let this Christ the King of Israel come down from the cross that we might see and believe.
Anointing Big in Jewish history
Its reference to God anointing a person with power, it takes us back into the OT where God appointed kings to rule Israel. They were called anointed ones.
Of course King David was the most famous of those Kings who reigned 1000 years before Christ.
In the coronation ceremonies it would involve a priest/prophet pouring oil over the head of the one chosen. This outpouring of oil symbolized the outpouring of Gods authority upon the individual. 1Sam.16: 1-13. The anointing of David v13.
The people had an expectancy
The hopes of the people were always of the anointed King leading the people into freedom and unity with GOD. It gives rise to prophecies that one-day the Christ would come and lead the people.Isaiah: 9: 6-7. 11.1- 2.
John the Baptist had expectancy v7
It had been 400 years of silence since the last prophet Malachi and so when the prophet John the Baptist burst upon the scene people began to take notice to his message. He knew he was just preparing the ground v2-3. As promised Isaiah 40: 3. For the one who was greater than he the Christ V7.
Anointing of the Christ.
1v9 In the Baptism we see the Trinity at work in the anointing of Jesus with God the Father pouring out the Holy Spirit upon Jesus. It was here that the Holy Spirit anointed Jesus to begin his ministry.
As the Christ Jesus has Authority as Gods spokesperson (king of Kings) Luke. 4:14-22 The scroll of Isaiah in Nazareth v21 He claims its all about him.V18 that God has anointed him with Gods Spirit in order to make statements on Gods behalf.
Authoritative voices competing for our attention in the world, politicians to advertisers to the Media to the press all try to tell us whats important. The voice of Jesus is a healthy alternative above all others to listen to!
The Authority to teach 1:22 The people were amazed at his teaching, he taught as one who had authority. V27 New teaching with authority. 1:17. The authority to lead others 6:7. Gives authority to his disciples. 3:15 the authority to drive out demons.
Mark .8:29 who do you say I am? You are the Christ!
Here we have the climax of all that took place with this question to his disciples after seeing all that had took place and hearing the words of Jesus must of caused them to think who is this?
The authority to forgive sins 2:5-10.
Life can be very unforgiving people hold resentments, grudges we are a stubborn people. But God hands out forgiveness to anybody through Jesus to any that will turn around and believe in him!
c. Who is the Son of God
Socrates once cried out "That someone would show us God." Marks wants to make it clear that Jesus did just that from the outset the unique standing of Jesus Christ is that He is the Son of God!
As the Son of God he has an eternal relationship to his Father. The Gospel of John takes us further back as it were at the opening of his gospel Jhn 1v1, In the beginning was the Word.
As the Son of God he is equal with the father and the Holy Spirit and their relationship stems from eternity they are one.
The Angel Gabriel: lke1:35 that the Holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
At His Baptism
1v11. You are my Son whom I love. Here we see again it being reinforced that Jesus is the Son of God at His baptism when the voice from heaven spoke.
At his transfiguration also Mark.9:7. A voice came from the cloud: This is my Son whom I love listen to him. (ineffable union within the Godhead)
As the Son of God he is the perfect revelation of God to the human race.
Jhn1: 18. No one has ever seen God but God the one and only who is at the Fathers side has made him known.
Jesus said to the Pharisees Jhn 10: 31. I and the father are one.
John 1:14 the word become flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Col.1: 15. He is the image of the invisible God.v19God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Him.
As we read through Mark, the Son of God title will occur naturally through it, time and time again. It is interesting to note that right at the beginning it is mentioned and at the end it comes with the realization of a gentile Roman centurion
Mrk.15:39 surely this man was the Son of God.
The Gospel message is about its messenger Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. Who would come to this world and be crucified for sinners so that they can be saved and anointed with Gods Spirit and worship Him for evermore!
The Gospel has broken into the world this is the good News in action as the messenger and message go forth to the cross and unto His glorious resurrection.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate action hero. He has the credintials. He is the one who has single handedly saved this world from Mass destruction.