Mark 1- 3
With the command, ‘Follow Me’, there is the promise, ‘I will make you fishers of men’ (1:17). Jesus prayed (1:35). Jesus was mighty before men. The power of God was flowing freely. Jesus knew where the power comes from – He was humble before God. There is a world of difference between legal obedience – ‘old wine’ – and Gospel obedience – ‘new wine’ (2:21-22). There is an eternity of difference between belonging to God’s Kingdom and remaining outside of His Kingdom (John 3:3,5,7). Jesus warns against ‘an eternal sin’ – blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (3:28-30). ‘If we say we have no sin’ (1 John 1:8,10) and no need of Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we resist the Holy Spirit who seeks to convict us of our sin and lead us to the Saviour (John 16:8-9,14). Are you anxious about ‘an unpardonable sin’? Let the Holy Spirit lead you to the Saviour.
‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says’ (4:9; Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22). We must listen for the voice of the Spirit. Tell others what the ‘Lord has done for you’ – God will use your words to bring blessing (5:19-20). We can limit the power of Christ among us – by our unbelief (6:5-6)! We can, however, be called, sent and given authority… (6:7) – Never forget: The power and glory belongs to God (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). ‘John the baptiser, Elijah, the prophets of old’ (6:14-15) – none of them can compare with the Lord Jesus Christ. Of Christ alone, we say, ‘There is salvation in no one else’ (Acts 4:12). The storm is raging: ‘they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them’ (6:48). Jesus draws near, and there is peace: ‘the wind ceased’ (6:51).
Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of those who made the tradition of men more important than the Word of God (7:7-9,13). Jesus emphasizes this point: ‘man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7). Which will it be? – ‘Their hearts were hardened’ (6:52) or ‘Loving the Lord your God with all your heart’ (12:30). Jesus feeds those who are hungry – for Him. To those who say, “‘Yes, Lord, even the crumbs’, so long as it comes from You” (7:28), Jesus gives much – and we are ‘satisfied’ (8;8). ‘Who do you say that I am?’ (8:29): Jesus puts this question to all of us. “All things are possible to him who believes’ (9:23). This is not so much an appeal for positive thinking. It is a call to prayer (9:29). Less self-confidence and more confidence in God – This is what we need. God’s greatness is more important than our ‘greatness’ (9:33-35).
Don’t let ‘self’ take the place of Christ: ‘we have left everything…’ (10:28). Don’t say, ‘I have given so much to God, done so much for Him, given up so much for Him’. God has given you more! God has done more for you! God has given up more for you! – John 3:16. Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord for mercy (10:47). ‘How embarrassing’, some people thought – ‘how undignified’ (10:48). When God is at work, some people don’t like it! When God is at work, people get converted. This may not please the ‚critics’, but it pleases God – and that’s what matters. The religious leaders didn’t understand Jesus (11:27-33). Why? – They didn’t love Him. Are we learning to love Jesus? The scribes had all the external trappings of religion – and nothing else (12:38-40)! The ‘poor widow’ had very little, yet she had everything that really matters. She loved Jesus (12:41-44)!
We’re not to be a people whose ‘faith’ is locked in the past! We’re to be a people of hope. We ‘see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory’ (13:26). When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper (14:22-24; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26), let us think little of our love for Him and much of His love for you – and let’s not forget that God is concerned with the whole of life, not just the ‘spiritual’ activities! Jesus remained silent. He was bearing our sin. That’s why ‘He did not open His mouth’ (Isaiah 53:4-7; 1 Peter 2:22-24; 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus didn’t ‘save Himself’. ‘He saved others’ (15:31). He sacrificed Himself for our salvation. His was the sacrifice. Ours is the salvation. There is a Gospel to be preached – the Gospel of salvation (16:15-16). May God help us to preach the Gospel ‘everywhere’ – This will involve all of us, not just a few of us!