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