The Gospel of Mark
In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus sends out the 12 apostles to preach the Gospel of repentance. They were instructed to travel light, trusting in God’s provision, and to travel in pairs, avoiding isolation. We are also part of God’s plan to reach the world. Let us be faithful to our calling, not withholding the truth, so that we can declare with Paul, “I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all (Acts 20:26 ESV).
In Mark 6:1-6, Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth and is greeted with contempt and unbelief. Jesus limited His miracles there because of the obstinance and cold-hearted indifference of the people. Those who reject Christ miss His blessings and face the prospect of dying in their sins (John 8:24). Following Him in discipleship involves listening to Him, learning from Him, and deepening in our devotion to Him. He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples…
Jesus displays His awesome power by raising the daughter of Jairus from the dead in Mark 5:21-43. We can also take hope in the assurance that death has been defeated. Those who believe in Christ immediately go to be with Him at the moment of death, and their bodies will one day be raised when Christ returns.
The woman healed by Jesus in Mark 5:24-34 had spent 12 years living with illness and the isolation of ceremonial uncleanliness. She reaches out to Christ in faith, is healed, and then wishes to slip back into obscurity. Jesus calls her out in order to give her words of encouragement and to take her from timid faith to testifying faith.
Jesus the Son of God, came to our world on a mission of mercy. His miracles reveal His compassion, His omnipotence, and His rescue of us from the powers of sin and darkness.
The account of Jesus calming the storm at sea in Mark 4:35-41 reveals much about His true identity. Jesus understands what it means to share our humanity as he falls asleep in the boat, exhausted from a long day of ministry and opposition. Jesus demonstrates that He is sovereign over creation as He instantly calms the storm.
The disciples had many inaccurate expectations about the Kingdom of God. They wanted Jesus to powerfully crush His enemies and set up a physical kingdom on Earth. In His parables, however, Jesus revealed a very different vision for His kingdom.
The Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:1-20 could also titled the Parable of the Soils. Seeds are sown whenever people are told about Jesus and the Gospel, but not all of those seeds bear fruit.
Our salvation comes by faith in Christ alone, but the validating mark of the believer is a life of increasing obedience to the word of God. It is not enough to merely listen to the teachings of Christ. We must obey His Word as revealed in Scripture confessing our sins when needed. Jesus said that His redeemed, eternal family members are those who listen to and obey His teachings.
What is the unpardonable sin? In Mark 3:22-30, Jesus responds to the teachers of the law who accuse Christ of being possessed and empowered by the prince of demons. His response contains both a sober warning and a sweet promise of assurance. Christ will forgive all sins for those who repent and come to Him in faith. The unpardonable sin is the settled, determined, hostile rejection of the Gospel.
The twelve apostles, specially called by Jesus in Mark 3:13-19, became the foundation of the church. They preached the Gospel with the authority given to them by Jesus. Like the apostles, we are to be devoted to spending time with Christ — for us, this happens through prayer and reading of the Scriptures. We are ordinary people who are part of God’s plan to spread the Gospel throughout the Earth.
Jesus is recognized as the Holy Son of God by the Father and also by demonic forces. The miracles of Jesus in Mark 3 show His compassionate heart and fulfill Old Testament prophecy to verify that Christ is God’s Son.
The righteous anger of Jesus is directed at the Pharisees in Mark 3:1-6. Christ is justifiably angry at their hypocrisy and the hardness of their hearts. It is important for us to examine the anger of Christ and to learn how to follow Him in sincerity and truth.
In Mark 2:24-27, the Pharisees accuse Jesus of breaking the Pharisaical view of the Sabbath. Their pride and self-righteousness caused them to add repressive rules to the Biblical view of the Sabbath. We must resist being modern-day Pharisees who hold others in contempt. We also must approach the Scriptures with humility, depending on the Holy Spirit. Finally, we must worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath and divine Son of Man.
Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom in Mark 2:19, thus proclaiming His divine nature and fulfilling the portrayal of God as our bridegroom in 20 books of the Bible. The disciples of Jesus did not fast while the Bridegroom was with the, but today it is appropriate to fast when seeking wisdom or in times repentance and crisis. It is also appropriate to feast in celebration of God’s redeeming grace. As we await the return of the Bridegroom, “All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.” John 3:3 (ESV)
Jesus went again to the Sea of Galilee to teach. While there He passed by Levi, a tax collector, and Jesus commanded him to “follow me.” Levi did. Shortly thereafter, Jesus joined Levi at his house with many of his friends. They were described by the scribes of the Pharisees as tax collectors and sinners. Jesus saw them as individuals needing salvation. We can learn at least four principles for sharing our faith with others from this example of Levi.
When Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man (first in Mark 2:10 and many other times in the Gospels) this title holds deep significance. Son of Man is more than just a proclamation to Christ’s humanity. It is a reference to Daniel’s vision in Daniel 7 of the Son of Man who comes with the clouds of heaven, appears before the Ancient of Days, and is granted authority to judge the nations. Jesus has the authority to forgive our sins immediately, fully, and permanently.
In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus is preaching the Word, the timeless, binding truth which sets us free. The four friends of a paralytic resolve to overcome all obstacles to bring him to Jesus. Christ first forgives the man’s sins, because the greatest need of all of us is to have our slate wiped clean: instantly, totally, and eternally. Christ then miraculously heals the paralytic, demonstrating His authority as the Son of Man, the Christ, to take away our sins.
Miracles of physical healing by Jesus demonstrate the Lord’s compassion, His kingly power as the Messiah, and His ultimate mission to cure our sin-sick souls. Jesus was very willing to extend mercy to a leper suffering from an illness which had left him deformed and isolated. We, also, need a merciful healing from our sin problem. Reach out in faith and obtain mercy and cleansing.
Jesus commands us to pray, encourages us that our prayers will be answered, and gives us His Spirit to help us pray. But before any of those, Jesus set the example of how to pray. For Christ, prayer was a habit, and expression of His loving relationship with the Father, and a necessity in order for the work of God to be accomplished. Like Christ, let us “pray without ceasing.”