Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 1:12-8:26

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Messiah's Temptation - Mark 1:12-13

Messiah's Temptation. Mark mentioned the Spirit for the third time in the first 13 verses of the Gospel. The Spirit is only mentioned 3 more times in all the rest of the Gospel. In these opening verses Mark stressed that the long promised Spirit of God (Ezek. 37:14; Joel 2:28, 29) was present in the life and ministry of Jesus. This Spirit compelled Jesus to confront the satanic powers of evil in the wilderness. The word translated compelled is a strong word that is often used to describe casting out demons. The Spirit powerfully directed the Son of God into the wilderness to begin his ministry to lead the people of God through the wilderness to their promised salvation. The history of God's people was about to be changed forever.

Messiah comes - Mark 1:14–8:26

The Messiah comes with powerful words and deeds. In this section of the Gospel Jesus demonstrated his authority and power over sickness, the natural world, religious traditions, and demonic forces. People repeatedly responded in fear and amazement.

Early Ministry- Mark 1:14–3:6

The Early Ministry in Galilee. Jesus began his ministry in Galilee, a mountainous region of northern Palestine.

The Call of the Disciples - Mark 1:14-20

Mark's story begins with the call of four of the disciples. Later Mark will focus again on all of the disciples. Their response to Jesus is an important theme in Mark's gospel.

The gospel is the good news. - Mark 1:14-15

The gospel is the good news. It is the announcement that the kingdom of God is near! In its fullest sense the kingdom of God is the eternal rule of God among his people in the new heavens and new earth. Jesus could proclaim its nearness because as the Messianic King he offered its blessings. In the storyline of the four gospels the kingdom is present in the ministry of Jesus, but the fullness of its presence will not be realized until his return in glory. See the article on the kingdom of God. The proper response to that good news is to believe and repent. See WCF 15.1

Sea of Galilee - Mark 1:16

The Sea of Galilee is a lake about 12 miles long and 7 miles wide. In Jesus' day it was the center of a prosperous fishing industry.

Fishers of men - Mark 1:17

From the moment Jesus called the disciples Mark emphasized two things. First, the call to follow was a call to be with Jesus. Second, it was a call to be ambassadors for Jesus, carrying out the ministry he gave them. The disciples were with Jesus learning from him in an intimate setting, and they became fishers of men.

Immediately - Mark 1:18-20

Mark used the word immediately over 40 times in this gospel. Often it indicates speed or urgency. That is clearly the case here. The disciples immediately left their vocation and the family business. In this way Mark highlighted the question, Who is this man Jesus who speaks with such authority? The fact that the family of James and John employed hired servants makes it clear that at least some of Jesus' disciples came from a higher economic and social class than much of the population of Galilee. If John is the unnamed disciple of John 18:15 this helps explain how he knew the High Priest and gained admission to the inner court at Jesus' trial.

Teaching and Healing around Capernaum - Mark 1:21-45

Mark's Gospel builds suspense through the amazing stories of Jesus' powerful healing ministry. The growing crowds began to hinder his preaching.

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