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The Remarkable life of Christ – Mark 1:16-20

Feb 13, 2022
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Mark 1:16-20
In Mark 1:9-15, we continue to see a strong theme of Jesus’ identity and of proclaiming who He is. Mark points us to the accounts of Jesus’ baptism, His temptation, and His proclamation in this short but extremely important passage.
Jesus’ baptism (v9-11):
  1. Servant King – Jesus was from Nazareth of Galilee, which was an area looked down on by the Jewish community.
  2. Humility – Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, who was baptizing people in judgement to repent. Jesus is identifying with man, which is another example of Him as Servant King.
  3. Glory – Isaiah 64:1 points to the fact that God would somehow intervene in humanity. When Mark says, “the heavens being torn open”, it is this reality that God has intervened in the person of Jesus. This same picture is used in Mark 15:38-39 when the curtain is torn in two at Jesus’ crucifixion.
  4. Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, which is a picture of the final resting place of judgement. Jesus is coming to reconcile humanity to the Father. We also see this picture as the dove in Noah’s account of the flood. It’s a dove that first finds vegetation, which is the symbol that the judgement of the flood is over.
  5. The Trinity – Jesus’ baptism is a perfect picture of the Trinity. When He rises from the waters, Jesus is intentionally entering the chaos of humanity. The dove rests on Him and the Father blesses Him with an audible voice! This gives Jesus the authority to begin His earthly ministry.
  6. Identity – God says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, which speaks clearly to Jesus’ identity.
Jesus’ temptation (v12-13):
Mark connects Jesus’ baptism to His temptation. We see as soon as He is baptized, the Holy Spirit “drove Him” to the wilderness. This shows there is a great sense of urgency. Jesus is to confront His enemy to establish His authority and allegiance to the Father. We see an example of this with King David. He begins by going to the battlefield to confront the enemy of God in the form of Goliath. David defeats the enemy and does it so “the world would know there is a God in Israel”. Jesus is doing the same thing here with Satan’s temptation.
  1. Temptation 1 – Satan tempts Jesus to turn stone to bread since he is hungry from being in the wilderness for 40 days. He is tempting Jesus to speak against the provision of the Father and to reject His sonship. Jesus responds with speaking the Truth of Scripture by telling a story of who He is and redirects the temptation.
  2. Temptation 2 – Satan tempts Jesus to show His power by jumping from the Temple and letting the angels save Him. Jesus refused to vindicate Himself and speaks Psalm 91:11-13.
  3. Temptation 3 – Satan tries to make Jesus a Satan-worshipper! He offers power to Jesus without Jesus having to go to the cross. It is the same temptation that Satan used with Adam and Eve. Jesus redeems this original sin and says, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
Mark references that there are wild animals in the wilderness, which is a sign that danger and chaos are close by. We are in a spiritual place of battle all the time. Spiritual battle is not a sign of defeat, but a sign of falling on the grace of God and calling on Him.
Jesus’ proclamation (v14-15):
Jesus says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Repentance is not just a quick turn from sin, but it is a turn to Christ. Repenting includes believing the gospel. He is not just asking us to affirm a statement of facts, but declaring that the gospel defines us.
The Bible isn’t about us, it is about Him. The Kingdom begins with a King! And remember, if you are in Christ today, God is proclaiming the same thing over you that he proclaimed over Jesus at His baptism. He is saying about you, “You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”
Questions to Consider:
  1. How does knowing who Jesus is shape who you are?
  2. What is the difference between temptation and sin? Where are you tempted, and how do you deal with that temptation?
  3. What have you repented from lately? Do you believe a false story about yourself? Is there a specific habitual sin that you need to confess?
  4. What can you do to focus on the King more than on His Kingdom?