Summary: Wanting to do something and actually being able to do it are two entirely different things. Jesus may have been introduced as the ultimate action hero but without action it's just a good sound bite. In this study the hero demonstrates His authority and ab
It is one thing to claim you can do something and it’s quite another to actually accomplish it. When I was four years old, like a lot of kids my age, I was enamored with Mighty Mouse. One day I remember grabbing a blanket and running around the neighborhood with it wrapped around my neck like a cape and pretending I was a super hero. Pretending was all that it was, of course, I wasn’t mighty but just a four year old kid.
As we began the gospel of Mark this man comes on the scene and gets dunked in the Jordan River. Yeah, a voice calls from heaven and says “You are My beloved Son; I take delight in You.” But other than a neat trick, why should that make us believe this wasn’t just another of the Messiah pretenders that were all the rage at the time?
Today as we continue looking at chapter 1 of Mark we will see that this man Jesus is much more than words but is a man of action. In fact, His very words are action. He demonstrates complete authority over anyone and anything.
The first thing to understand about the section we are in today is that it occurred a year later. There is a one year gap between verses 13 and 14 of Mark 1. This all happened about 26 A.D.
14 – 15
The same John who baptized Jesus was arrested by Herod Antipas after John publically rebuked Herod for sleeping with his niece who was also his sister-in-law. John’s departure from the public scene meant Jesus’ entrance fully into public ministry.
Jesus then moved from Nazareth about 20 miles to the north. Jesus went to the Galilee region and lived in Capernaum, a large town on the northern edge of the lake. It was a busy place and home to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, also James, and John.
Here the hero proclaims his intentions. Jesus is coming to rescue mankind and that is surely good news. Though the people misunderstood Him, Jesus was talking about rescue from sin, not rescue from political or military occupation.
Jesus says four things:
1.The time is fulfilled. God had set a time in human history when His Savior would come and this was it.
2.Not only was Jesus coming to rescue us He was coming to usher in a brand new kingdom, an everlasting kingdom of God’s making.
3.In response we should firstly repent—change our minds about the kingdoms of this age and point ourselves to God’s kingdom.
4.After repenting we need to cling to Jesus. Believe means to entrust yourself to Him. Jesus’ rescue mission may be too hard to believe, but it’s true!
16 – 20
This isn’t as it first appears. These fishermen had had previous contact with Jesus (John 1:35-49). They had had time to think about Jesus and for some of them they had John the Baptist as well to talk about the Messiah (Andrew, one of John’s disciples). This was then a decision day. These men had to decide whether to stay in the lives they knew or abandon their nets, boats, and businesses to follow Jesus. There comes that time in all of our lives too when we have heard about Jesus, thought about Him, and considered His claims. We might have a trusted person who has told us that He is the Messiah. But the Lord Himself comes “walking” by us at some point and says “now is the time, follow Me.” What is your decision? Would you rather toil at the same life, or risk it and get up and put your faith and trust in Jesus?
These guys were fishermen, using circular nets to gather in a harvest of fish. They knew this business well, and Jesus tells them that they will still fish, but will now focus on a different crop: human souls instead of fish. I’ve found that Jesus often takes us from where we are, and uses what we know but in a new and wonderful way. You may be a carpenter, but in Jesus you build strong lives instead of strong buildings. You may be a mom, but in Jesus you nurture relationships and encourage children to grow into mature disciples of the Lord.
21 – 22
A synagogue could be started by ten families and the practice began around Ezra’s time in 450 B.C. since families could not regularly travel to the temple in Jerusalem. It was customary to invite a visiting rabbi to speak and so it would be no surprise to ask Jesus to preach.
Mark doesn’t give us what Jesus said, though it was essentially the contents of verse 15, but we do have the response. The people were “astonished” when means to be astounded or amazed. Jesus did not speak like the scribes, who were legal experts on Jewish “rules”. They relied on what others said as their authority. But Jesus spoke in a way that they knew He had authority.