A Study of the Gospel of Mark--August 2006
When you compare the beginning of the Gospel of Mark to the other gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John, you find that Mark's gospel starts at a different place. It starts with Jesus being about 30 years old (Luke 3:21-23) and His baptism with the Holy Spirit at the start of His ministry. It doesn't start at His birth as Matthew and Luke do. It doesn't give His history and credentials as John's gospel does. The Holy Spirit, Who directed Mark in what to write, was the One Who determined that Mark's gospel would start with the coming of John the Baptist, announcing the advent of the Messiah's ministry.
Principle: The Holy Spirit will direct your steps every day (Proverbs 3:5-7), if you ask Him to do so. There's nothing better than to know that God is with you. He promises to lead you. Begin to lean on Him, ask Him for His wisdom, His words, His thoughts on any subject. He will help you because He loves you.
Each of the gospels of Jesus Christ pictures Him in a different way. The gospel of Matthew emphasizes His kingship: Christ the King. It gives His official line of ancestry and tells of the King's birth. Remember how in chapter 2, the wise men come to Jerusalem asking, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" Even Pilate wrote, "This is Jesus The King of the Jews" over the top of the cross of Jesus (Mt. 27:37). At the very end of Matthew, we see Jesus, after His resurrection, has been given all power in heaven and in earth. That makes Him King of all created beings and things.
The gospel of Mark pictures Christ as the Servant. He is shown as the mighty Servant of God. That's one of the reasons Mark's gospel starts out at the beginning of Jesus' ministry rather than His birth. He spoke of this servant role when He said in 10:45 "The Son of man didn't come to be ministered to (served), but to minister (serve).” Therefore, in Mark's writings we see more emphasis on the Lord's deeds than His words. (Matthew and John emphasize His teachings.)
Luke's gospel shows Christ the long-awaited Messiah as the Son of Man. It gives His true lineage through Mary's genealogy (ch.3). In it we see more of the human side of Christ, more details of the events surrounding His birth (ch 1-2), His desire, even as a 12 year old, to do His Father's work. He knew why He was here on earth, but notice He didn't fall into the trap of running ahead of His Father's timing to start His ministry. He waited until the Father gave Him the ok to start. Since that didn't happen until He was nearly 30, He had to wait 18 years. Luke 2:40 and 51-52 describe His childhood
"And the child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him...He was subject unto His parents (v 51) and He increased in wisdom (God's principles used to live your daily life) and stature (physically) and He grew in favor with God (spiritual growth) and in favor with man (social development)."
John's gospel emphasizes Christ the Messiah as the Son of God, His Deity, how we need to receive the eternal life He came to offer us (John 3:16).
So, back to Mark's gospel, since the Holy Spirit had Mark to emphasize Jesus' servanthood, that's what we'll try to look for as we go through this book.
Principle: If Jesus, though God in flesh (John 1:14), was willing to be as a Servant here while He was on earth, we should have that same attitude. When I first learned this, I started asking for the Lord to show me opportunities to be a servant like Jesus, and He did. It was a good exercise in following in the Lord's footsteps. I had to remember to do it "as unto the Lord," for Him. I wanted to bless Him.
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