MARK 1 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which is broken.

Verses 1-3  Why did Mark begin with Jesus Christ’s ministry, rather than with the story of His birth? Because he wants you to know RIGHT AWAY that this Jesus Christ is the One foretold by Isaiah in Isaiah 40:3 (the voice of one crying in the wilderness . . .) and Malachi 3:1 (Behold I send My messenger . . .).

Mark’s goal is to speak of Christ’s ministry, so you may know that He indeed is the Christ prophesied in the Old Testament (OT).

Verse 4-8 So the messenger in Isaiah 40:3 is John the Baptist. He baptized with water for repentance, for the forgiveness of sins. But Someone was coming who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. It was to be a whole new kind of baptism! This Someone was more powerful than John the Baptist.

Verse 9 But Jesus came from Nazareth, where He was raised, to John the Baptist. Why did the Son of God, the Christ, need baptism? He was perfect and sinless, so he had no need to repent. He needed no baptism of fire. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). But He submitted to baptism according to His Father’s will.

Verse 10 Immediately after Jesus was baptized, God the Father gave visible signs — the  heavens opening, the Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove, and the Father’s words that this is His Son, and He is pleased. Again, Mark says to you, “This is the Christ, God the Son!”

Mark only briefly mentions the wilderness temptation of Christ, because it is not important to the central message of his particular testimony of Christ. (NOTE: It is believed that Mark’s gospel was actually dictated to Mark by Peter, so it is believed that the Book of Mark is Peter’s testimony.)

In Mark 1:14 and forward, we see what Christ’s ministry looks like:

— He preaches the gospel of God to you, as follows:
— Now is the time, the Kingdom of God is near (so close, you can touch the King)
— Repent and believe in the gospel
— When He selects you, there is no dawdling or hesitation. When He speaks, you drop everything and follow Him. And He will make you a fisher of men.

Why doesn’t Jesus form a new church, right then and there? It is not time. He must die and be raised, ascend and be glorified. Then the church begins.

So in Verse 21, Jesus goes to the synagogue at Capernaum, to teach His people (He is born to a Jewess, so in the natural, He is a Jew).

He teaches as one having authority (Mark 1:22). That’s exousia, superhuman power. The scribes know the scriptures right side up, upside down, backwards and forwards, but they do not know the God of the scriptures, so they have no power when they teach. It is dry and dead.  A good lesson. It is important to first know Him and be filled with His Spirit. Then you will have the power to teach His Word.

Note in Mark 1:24 that demons are quicker to recognize God than the synagogue officials. And note that driving out demons takes no effort at all on Jesus’ part. He speaks, and it must be done.

I hope you are getting this very important characteristic of Jesus. He says follow, and people must follow. He rebukes demons, and they must flee. Whatever He speaks must happen. Only God can do such things. So again, Mark cries, “Jesus is the Christ, God the Son!”

Verse 27 —Everyone is amazed that Jesus can do these things. That is because they see Him as a man, not God in the flesh. They spread the news of this Jesus.

Verse 29 — Just as soon as Jesus leaves the synagogue, He and the others come into Simon Peter’s house. Note that Simon’s mother-in-law is sick. Jesus takes her by the hand, and the fever leaves. She is instantly healed. Her response? Service. She serves them. That’s what happens when Jesus touches you — you immediately begin serving Him.

Verse 32-34 — All who were ill and demon-possessed were healed. It says “many” in Mark 1:34. That Greek word means “altogether.” As Matthew says in Matthew 4:24, He healed all who came or were brought to Him. No disease or demon is too powerful for Him.

Verse 35 — Note that Jesus goes off to pray by Himself. That’s important. He spends time with the Father while the rest are sleeping. It is His quiet time, where He communes with the Father and prepares for the next steps.

Verse 37 — Everyone looks for Jesus. It is not so true today. Few look for Him. Most are offended by Him, because He saves sinners, not those who think they are good.

Verse 38 — He moves on to other towns, preaching and casting out demons. How many Christian preachers do you know who do such things today? The church is in a fallen state.

Verse 40 and forward — There is a VERY important lesson for all of us. Lepers were forced to cry, “Unclean, unclean,” as they walked about, so no one would catch leprosy from them. He wants Jesus to make him clean, to heal his leprosy. He knows Jesus can do it — “You CAN make me clean.” He just isn’t sure it is God’s will.

Do not pray, “If you are willing, please heal me.” This is the VERY important lesson: He is willing — no ifs, ands, or buts. It is ALWAYS God’s will to heal. Note also that Jesus was moved with compassion — He literally was inwardly moved with pity.

Note that it does not take a long time for the leper to be healed. It happens immediately (Mark 1:42).

Now what’s this about the leper showing himself to the priest as a testimony? The Old Testament speaks of lepers being sent out into the desert. When they came back, the priest had to examine them and declare them healed.

Who healed them? Only God can heal leprosy. God healed them in the desert. This leper, by the fact that he is healed, is a testimony that God is here, and God has healed him of leprosy. Again, “Jesus is the Christ, God the Son!”

Why does Jesus tell him not to tell anyone but to go to the priests? Because He already knows how the Jewish leaders and priests will react. They will feel threatened. They will be jealous. They will come after Jesus. But Jesus knows the healed man will speak anyway.

How can I keep it a secret, when Jesus heals me?

The leper’s testimony draws people from all over. So will yours.

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WHAT ARE YOU EATING?

[SW208] 11/13/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“What Are You Eating?”

The food  you give your physical body affects your health. And the food you give your spirit affects your spiritual health.

Jesus Christ is returning for a healthy church, and He and I want you to be ready.

Text: Hebrews 5:11-14

Here are some believers who were doing well, but they have gone backwards. They ought to be so spiritually healthy that they are able to instruct others, but instead, they need to be taught spiritual truths all over again.

They need milk — basic spiritual principles. They can’t digest meat — the deeper things of God, the word of righteousness — any more.

Something happened to their spiritual digestive system. They stopped eating meat and went back to milk. Now they can’t digest the meat they need, the meat that will bring them to a place of surrender (Romans 12:1).

Infants must have mother’s milk or formula, but as children grow, they begin to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. If they return to drinking milk only, their physical health takes a nosedive.

As an adult, you eat things that are good for you. But then you become attracted to junk food — food packed with calories but not nutrition — and your physical health takes a nosedive.

Both of these things were happening spiritually to the Hebrew Christians, and these things are are happening in the church today.

What is the milk that the church is drinking once again? What is the meat that she used to eat? What is the junk food the church devours?

The milk is the elementary principles of Christianity. What are they?

Repentance from sin
Repentance from believing good works get us to heaven
Jesus Christ as Savior from our sins
Eternal judgment
Resurrection of the dead
Healing
Deliverance
God’s blessings

The meat is the word of righteousness. What does that mean?

God calls us to continuously live in a right relationship with Him
Full surrender to God, offering ourselves as living sacrifices
Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire, to purify our hearts and fill
us with God’s own love and holiness
Crucifixion of our sinful nature
Partaking of the divine nature
Deliverance from slavery to sin

What is the junk food that is making the church spiritually sick?
Easy-believism — no mention of sin or repentance.
Jesus just came to do good things
Hypergrace
You can’t help but continue to sin
God is your sugar daddy
God is your Santa Claus
Name it and claim it, regardless of how you are living (disobedience)
God wants to make you successful and very rich
Legalism — all about outward appearance, not about your heart condition

And the list goes on!

At one time, the church ate meat. When I look back at sermons preached by men and women from the birth of the church to the first half of the 20th century, there’s meat there! There is the call to righteousness, to holiness.

And those who ate the meat came into the wonderful rest (Hebrews 4:9) —where we rest from our works and then God works through us — that God has for each of us. Those who eat the meat enjoy holy intimacy with God the Father and God the Son, fellowship through the Holy Spirit!!!

But now:

— The leaders of the church have decided that they will serve milk only. Just the basics.

The meat is too difficult for the congregation to digest. There are infants among the congregation. They won’t understand it. Let’s just talk about Easter.

So the whole church goes backwards. When she finally hears the word of righteousness somewhere, she scratches her head, never having heard it before.

“Rouse yourself out of your spiritual stupor and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God,” Paul had to tell the church at Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 15:34)! They were back on the the milk bottle and had settled down for their afternoon nap.

But if the church repeatedly was taught AND EACH CHRISTIAN MEDITATED DAILY UPON God’s Word, she would see His call to be holy as He is holy and perfect as He is perfect, and she would grow to the point where she says, “I can’t live this way by my own strength! I must seek to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit and fire!”
Then comes FREEDOM and the ability to EASILY walk with Jesus Christ and obey Him. He enlarges your heart so you run in the way of His commandments (Psalm 119:32). Running means it’s easy!!

— Or the church eats popular, ear-tickling preaching, the junk food of this generation.

Her spiritual arteries are so clogged with false teaching that she’s in danger of having a heart attack.

Her spiritual digestive system is a wreck. Again, unless she reads and meditates upon God’s Word, she’ll never detect the junk food. Sounds good, tastes good. but it will kill you.

— Or the church adds the things of this world to that deadly meal. She eats what the world eats, chases after treasures that moth and rust destroy and thieves steal. She clogs her arteries with godless TV programs, violent sports, drugs, alcohol and pornography . . . what are you eating?

Beloved, the writer of Hebrews tells us that God speaks correction and discipline to you because you are His children (Hebrews 12:4ff).

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin. That means you have not yet crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).

You have not said, “I can’t be obedient! Lord, purify me, fill me with Your holiness and righteousness, so obedience is natural and easy!”

Strengthen your hands (with which you do things) and your knees (with which you walk)! Seek HIS strength, and it will be easy to do right and walk right!

Pursue peace, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Amen.