Mark wrote his gospel to let us know what it means to follow Jesus. To take up our cross and follow Him is really the gospel in a nutshell.
Scripture: Mark 1:1-13
- The gospel of Mark was written by a disciple of Jesus who in turn teaches us how to be disciples of Jesus.
- In the New Testament the disciples humbly acknowledge their weakness and failings: In Acts we find that Mark had deserted Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey; and in his gospel Mark writes candidly about Peter’s weaknesses.
- Mark borrows the language of the Roman Emperors to announce the “good news” of Jesus the Messiah who would change the world for good.
- At the introduction of the good news about Jesus, Mark depicts Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesies.
- Isaiah speaks of the good news of the salvation of the Lord (Is. 40:3; 52:7-10).
- In the wilderness God demonstrates His faithfulness, and announces the coming of the Lord through John, the “Elijah” who was to come (cf. Hos. 2:14, Mal. 4:5).
- John baptises the people for repentance and preaches the coming of the Lord.
- In John’s baptism God is calling the people to a whole new identity, to renounce their old ways, and to anticipate the coming of the Holy Spirit.
- After all this build-up of expectation, Mark says that Jesus, from the lowly town of Nazareth in Galilee, came to be baptised.
- Jesus comes down from the glory of heaven and identifies with us in His baptism. God works salvation in the mundaneness of our day-to-day lives.
- At Jesus’ baptism the heavens were torn open and the voice from heaven declares that Jesus is the Son of God; at the crucifixion the veil in the temple was torn open because Christ had opened heaven for us by reconciling sinners to God.
- Mark alludes to the Old Testament, introducing Jesus as the “only Son” (Gen 22:2) in whom is God’s delight (Is. 42:1), who would be despised and chastised to heal His people (Is 53:5).
- Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days, as Israel was tested in the wilderness.
- The salvation that Christ brings has to do with heaven and earth; Christ defeats the powers of darkness and all of creation is redeemed.
- All the nations would see the salvation of Jesus (Isaiah 52:10; 62:1-2).
- This gospel was written to train us to know who Jesus is and what it is to follow Him.
- The Spirit of God gives us hearts to receive the gospel in repentance and faith.
- What is the purpose of Mark’s gospel?
- How do references to the Old Testament contribute to the introduction?
- What was the significance of John’s baptism?
- Why does choose to God reveal Himself in humble circumstances?
- Outline the cosmic plan by which Christ reconciles heaven and earth.