MARK A Devotional Bible Study

SYNOPSIS - MARK Jesus is Isaiah's Promised Lord. Jesus is in some mysterious way, the long-awaited presence of God himself to come to save his people (Colossians 2:9). John is Malachi's promised Elijah. Malachi identified God's coming messenger as Elijah (Malachi 4:5). Jesus is no sooner appointed into the office of God’s coming king than he is brought by God into conflict with Satan. The gospel cannot be separated from Jesus. He is the content of the Gospel. Jesus performed His miracles not as wonders to impress people with His supernatural power but as signs of the gracious presence and kingly power of God. The new thing Jesus brings cannot be superimposed on the old. The old patterns of relating to God must give way. Not only will Jesus’ teaching become the new norm, but his life and new Passover/new covenant death will become the new way in which God is now to be known throughout the world. Before sending the disciples, Jesus calls the twelve so that they might know him by sharing closely his life. This will later include accepting his coming death and embracing cross-bearing discipleship. The way in which one listens will determine what one gets out of the message. Lack of attention will lead to loss, but keen attention will be rewarded by an even fuller measure of understanding. Jesus was giving principles, not rigid rules. The disciples were to avoid anything that might suggest luxury and ease, and perhaps they were to take care not to look like wandering preachers who made a good thing out of an innocent public. In their evangelism, the disciples were to make one home their base rather than make a series of social calls. This miracle shows that Jesus' power over demons is so great that he does not need to be present physically to free someone from them. His power transcends any distance. It was a divine necessity that Jesus must suffer. Jesus' death would not be the end, for three days later he will rise from the dead. Jesus told the disciples that they must go the same way of suffering and rejection (and resurrection) as Himself (Mark 8:34). A disciple must be ready even for death like Jesus. He must be prepared to give up his hopes of 'life' in this world with all that it has to offer in terms of success, wealth, enjoyment and so on, for none of these things can compare with the value of eternal life. A man loses his life by refusing to follow Jesus, for at the coming of the Son of man He will be ashamed of all who refused to follow Him on earth. Prayer is the key that unlocks God's power in our lives. Prayer also in some mysterious way, activates some of God's work on earth to build his Kingdom and to push back Satan's efforts to hurt and destroy God's people. God does not need our prayers to accomplish his work in the world. There is no substitute for prayer, especially in circumstances that seem impossible. Jesus needed to die. His death was necessary for his whole mission. Passion is part of the divine plan. The 'killing' leads up to the resurrection. Jesus' prediction of his death was not made in a gloomy manner but with the confident assurance that the violent death would not be the end. There is a positive emphasis on the triumphant rising. Eternal life is to be found not based on status, wealth, or obedience to the law but by humble and welcoming cross-bearing discipleship. No one who gives up anything to follow Jesus really misses out on anything in the end. Jesus' death for us on the Cross sealed a new covenant between God and us. The Old Covenant involved the forgiveness of sins through the blood of an animal sacrifice (Exodus 24:6-8). Jesus offered himself, the spotless Lamb of God in a sacrifice that would forgive sin once and for all. Jesus was the final sacrifice for sins. Now we can come to God through Jesus, in full confidence that God will hear us and save us from our sins. Jesus declares that his death will be the ransom that reconciles an exiled Israel and the nations to God. Jesus takes up Israel's, and therefore the world's, hope of salvation into himself. The story puts before us the fact of the empty tomb; the women saw that there was nobody there. This is of infinite importance, 'If the tomb was not empty, then Jesus had not risen. Of course, the empty tomb by itself is not the sole or sufficient proof of the resurrection, but without it, there could not be a resurrection. A command not to "be afraid" is combined with a summons to declare aloud the "good news". In rejecting Jesus, Jerusalem had refused the summons; even his disciples have fled in fear and now to the first witnesses. Clearly, the silence was not the last word since the gospel has gone out. But in leaving the women's fearful silence hanging, Mark might perhaps be asking his readers a searching question; what will their response be? Will they retreat into fearful silence or proclaim the good news of God's salvation?
ISBN: 9781803026756
Type: Paperback
Pages: 206
Published: 18 November 2022
Price: $12.65

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