Day 3: Mark 1 (First Steps of Ministry)The gospel writer, Mark, chose to start his record of Jesus’ life by starting with the beginning of His ministry. John the Baptist is preparing the way for Jesus by telling everyone to be open for a change of life.We then see Jesus in an act of submission and humility as He is being baptized by John. Baptism is a sign to the world that we are surrendered in our hearts to God.Jesus forms a team of men (called disciples) with whom He chose to work and live closely. He then gets right to work in reaching the community around Him. In the midst of His work, we see Jesus taking time to pray to His Father. We learn as much from Jesus in His actions as we do His words.Here’s the importance of the first chapter of Mark. We see what are the key ingredients to Jesus’ ministry: submission and humility, working in a team, reaching a broken world, and taking time out to connect spiritually to the Father. These form the foundation for our own spiritual walk with God.
John the Baptist baptizes people, then Jesus. Jesus starts out and heals all the people.
Upon reading Steve’s take on this, I was really looking for the four things he mentioned as parts of Jesus’ ministry; submission and humility, working in a team, reaching a broken world, and taking time out to connect to God. Now, I may be wrong here, but it seems like teamwork is not in the cards. The disciples are just being led around and they don’t seem to be doing much as far as contributing. I suppose that’s what happens when you have literally the biggest name on your team.
I like how it references OT scripture when talking about John the Baptist. It shows that the OT and the NT are linked and part of a larger story. This man has an odd way of dressing and eating however. Though I’m curious the point of baptism before Jesus finished His works. Baptism now is a public display of obedience, that you will follow Jesus; I’ve heard it summated to putting on the ‘I Love Jesus’ T-shirt. What was it then? Did John say, “Based upon Your profession of faith in Yourself, I now baptize You in Your name. Buried like You in the likeness of death, raised like You in the likeness of your resurrection”?
The line about the dove descending reminds me of the Day of Pentecost in Acts. I suppose this is why doves also symbolize peace so much. Or, should they symbolize peace? This is more Godliness it seems. Or maybe worthiness? I’m rambling, moving on!
Why did they just give a cursory nod to 40 days and nights being tempted by Satan? That’s such a good story.
I’m starting to see why all four gospels are required to get a full picture. Mark skips a lot in accumulating of disciples.
Apparently demons were very commonplace back then. The amount of demons would be the same now, I would surmise; though human population has since skyrocketed. I wonder if it’s still a huge issue? I like how the one demon starts talking to Jesus, saying that he knows who He is. I suppose that would be a good time to reference how ‘Even demons know who God is’.
It references Simon’s mother-in-law, who is sick. Isn’t Simon renamed to Peter later; the apostle Peter? Was Peter married? I suppose I had always had the mental image of 12 unencumbered men abandoning dead-end jobs and going to follow Jesus. Really though, Peter was married and left his wife and followed Jesus. That’s commitment, and it’s humbling when you think about it.
After a huge night of healing and likely creating so much buzz, the apostles come up to Jesus and say, “Hey, let’s go back there.” Jesus opts to go to a different location instead of spring boarding off of the news saying, “This is what I came for.” Just an interesting development in my opinion.
Mark 1 definitely gives a lot of ingredients of Jesus’s ministry (and His character). How many can you find?