Mark 1:14-20 “Big Call”

In Mark 1:14-20 Jesus is making some ‘big calls’. He makes two specific claims regarding God’s
Rule and Discipleship which necessitate a response. The particular response Jesus expects is for us to acknowledge his Kingship/Kingdom, to repent, believe and follow him. In reality we can either treat Jesus’ claims here as either fictional self promotion or the truth.

How will we respond?

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Mark 1:14-20

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;[a]repent and believe in the gospel.”

16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[b] 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

Mark 1:12-13 – “Encountering Jesus, One who passes the wilderness test.”

What made JesusWilderness Test so extreme?  This only becomes clear when we understand the Biblical reality of the Wilderness.  The Bibles idea of the Wilderness, combines several ideas.

In the Wildernesswe will experience spiritual tension – often arising out of a physical situation, have our faithfulness tested and be exposed to Satanic temptation.  As a result we might begin to doubt our commitment to God and our faith in the goodness or even existence of God.

During a Wildernessseason we will often realise just how fragile our faith really is.  In Mark 1:12-13 we see Jesus in his Wilderness experience – the only difference being that he remained perfectly faithful.

This is encouraging for us as we remember/realise that if we are in Christ – because of his faithfulness – we have been declared perfectly faithful, are welcomed into a blessed relationship with God and fight in a spiritual war that has already been won.

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Mark 1:12-13

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Mark 1:1-11 – “Delighting in God”

To delight in something or someone means to take great pleasure in them.  A child delights in that old blanket, a connoisseur delights in a perfectly brewed coffee.  Similarly, we delight in God when we take great pleasure in Him.

Mark helps us to see just how perfectly united God – in the Trinity – is which might impress us.  Mark does more though.  He reminds us of what God is accomplishing.

God is beginningthe Gospel in his Son Jesus Christ.  This does more than provoke intrigue, this gives us a foundation for delighting in God.  To Delight in God is to take great pleasure in his perfectly united, perfectly gracious character.

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Mark 1:1-11

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[a]

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,[b]

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare[c] the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[d] with you I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:1 “Good News”

We can easily read Mark’s opening words without really understanding just how provocative they are. They can appear, to our eyes, as a simple title or summary sentence.  

This wouldn’t have been the case for the original listeners. They would have known these words were fighting words. Mark has ‘come out swinging’ as they say.

By using the word ‘Gospel’ with reference to Jesus, Mark is communicating the following ideas.

 

  1. To the Roman Citizens – Don’t look to the Caesar for perfect Peace – look to Jesus.  
  2. To the Jewish Listeners – Your Hope for God’s mighty work is fulfilled in Jesus who establishes the Kingdom of God through his Death and Resurrection.
  3. To the Christians – Jesus gives true Joy, even to those who are suffering (Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good, provocative, reaction demanding News.

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Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Mark 1:9-20 “How Jesus Teaches us to be Humble”

In the Gospel of Mark, we encounter Jesus as the Discipler.

As the discipler, Jesus is constantly shepherding his followers towards spiritual maturity.

But, what exactly does spiritual maturity look like?
What is the end goal for Jesus in discipleship?
Jesus has an end goal of Humility for his Disciples.

He shepherds his disciples towards humility by showing them the true reality of who he is – they
see that he is the Son of God, Messiah and Suffering Servant – and by helping them understand
the true reality of who they are – unable to understand who Jesus is and even persevere in

following him.

This not only helped the disciples to be humble, it helped them to worship.

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Mark 1:9-20

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[a] with you I am well pleased.”12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;[b]repent and believe in the gospel.”16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[c] 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.