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40. The place of Jesus Christ

Mark's life and ministry of Jesus Christ. (Mark 1:1-13).

Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ. The gospel of Mark is the earliest record we have of the life and teaching of Jesus. Apparently Mark listened hard at early Christian home meetings (Acts 12:12), and also learned from his long associations with Paul, Barnabas and Peter (Acts 12:25; Philemon 24; 1 Peter 5:13). God caused Mark to write down

for all to read: ‘The gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God’ (Mark 1:1).

This first verse links together two important things. Firstly, the facts about Jesus Christ. Secondly, faith in Jesus Christ. Mark wrote an account of what Jesus did, so that we may know Who Jesus is.

The beginning of the gospel

If a race was due to start at 3pm and the athletes had assembled, put

down their blocks, stripped off their tracksuits, and the starter came up

holding his pistol ready and said: ‘On your marks,’ you would rightly say

that the race was about to begin. It would also be true that the race

began months before that when someone conceived of the idea, sent out

invitations, stipulated qualifications, scheduled the time, appointed the

officials, marked out the course and so on. The planning, preparation and

programme all worked together to make the start possible.

In verses 2-3 Mark shows that God’s prophets had pointed forward to

Someone very special coming into the human race. The Person was Jesus

Christ, Who is actually first seen here in verse 9. The unusual thing about

the man from Nazareth in Galilee, is that He is also the Lord of heaven

and earth.

God always fulfils His plans, even if they seem improbable. Make it your

life-long ambition to discover and do God’s will.

The baptism of Jesus Christ

John the Baptist prepared the people for Jesus Christ by preaching

‘repentance for the forgiveness of sins’ (v.4). Thousands came to hear

him, were convinced by him and made a confession by being baptised.

Jesus had no sin to confess. He was baptised to identify Himself with the

people, to show that the Son of God had become a true Son of man. He

was baptised to indicate His life’s purpose of bringing God and men

together. By being God and becoming a man, Jesus brought God and men

together. God the Father was well-pleased with God the Son.

The battle Jesus knew

As soon as this public declaration was made, the spiritual battle

intensified. God the Holy Spirit and Satan, the power and person of evil,

both struggled for supremacy in the life of Jesus Christ. Satan offered

Jesus the soft option, the spectacular option and the subtle deviation.

You can read about the temptations in Matthew 4:1-11. However, our

Saviour chose the way of suffering and sacrifice. He chose the way of

distress and death. He chose to glorify the Father and not Himself.

This gospel is good news for all who know the struggle of right against

wrong, of good against evil. Jesus Christ has won the war! He entered

the battle wearing our human colours and lifted the standard high. Jesus

was bruised and He was battered, but He was born to win.

Mark’s gospel began in the heart of God. Those who live the closest to

God’s heart, are the ones who will win in life’s battle.

Discussion guide for ‘the place of Jesus Christ’

Bible reading Mark 1:1-3

1. From where did Mark get his information about Jesus?

2. Why is 1:1 a clear statement of Christian faith?

3. What are the “two beginnings” to this gospel of Jesus Christ,

verses 1,2 and 9?

4. What was the purpose of Jesus’ baptism, Verses 9-11?

5. What do you understand for your own life by the fact that the

Holy Spirit sent Jesus into the wilderness for testing,

verses 12-13?

6. Do you have any questions to pray about and seek help on?


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