Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Gospel of Mark Series – Part 2 – Urgency


God told me to do a better job educating our church and to equip the saints with a greater understanding of the Bible. God does not want us to be ignorant of the scriptures and approach our Bible reading or Bible study only looking for short term solutions for age old problems. Six times the Apostle Paul wrote to the churches telling them that he did not wish them to be ignorant of the Gospel truths.

Jesus also said Himself that we err when we do not know scriptures or the power of God. These same scriptures tell us that God’s people perish for a lack of knowledge and understanding.

Therefore, in obedience to God, I plan to better educate you and better equip you with a greater understanding of the Bible in 2011. I pledge to not make this adventure boring or overwhelming. I will be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that you may learn and not just hear what He has to say. If you have experienced learning anxieties in the past don’t be alarmed. I promise to make this both interesting and effective.

When we are finished with this year, you will no doubt be one of the most learned members of the Body of Christ on planet earth. And, most of this will take place in your life without much effort on your part except that you consistently attend these midweek services and simply listen. I’ll do my part if you will only do yours. Let’s get to it …

If you missed Part One, order a copy of the message from the information desk or go online to and view the Wednesday teaching from January 5, 2011. Now, on to Mark:

Mark writes like most people think a man’s man would write. Perhaps he gets this from his association with the Apostle Peter who also seemed to be a little abrupt and abrasive at times. Peter was the only disciple who ever took it upon himself to call Jesus aside and begin rebuking Him.

Mark 8:32 Jesus spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

By the way, that was not a good idea then and neither is it now.

At any rate, much like Peter, Mark cuts right to the chase. He completely leaves off many of the early accounts which Matthew, Luke and John deem important. Mark spends a total of only 13 verses getting Jesus from the beginning of time all the way to beginning His earthly ministry, preaching in the Galilee and calling His first disciple, Simon Peter.

Mark seems to be taken with the Apostle Peter and continues by specifically naming Peter 23 times in the 16 chapters. Peter is mentioned near twice as many times as any other disciple and ten times more than most. Mark spends virtually no time on events which Peter did not see or hear for himself. It is evident therefore that Mark was dominantly influenced by Peter’s accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus.

Mark is what I call a headliner. He likes the meat of the matter and is quite strong in his delivery of the stories he tells. Mark talks over and over about both the authority and the power demonstrated by Jesus and how that He also gave that same authority and power to His disciples. Both of these subjects are mentioned ten times each in this relatively short letter. Mark is more about what Jesus did than what Jesus said … while Matthew spends 3 chapters detailing the Sermon on the Mount, Mark does not spend even three verses on it, in fact, he doesn’t even mention it. Mark sees Jesus as a man of action. One third of the chapters contain a record of Jesus rebuking someone or something – from the disciples to the devils, Jesus is shown by Mark to be a one tough Messiah, unafraid of anything or anybody.

This is how Mark sees Jesus and this is the picture that the book of Mark paints in this Gospel account.

However, not only does Mark present Jesus as a man of action, he also presents the whole Gospel as a message which demands action, immediate action! In fact, Mark uses the word “immediately” 43 times in his writings. He senses the urgency of the gospel message and repeats it over and over to us. Mark uses this word more than ½ of the times it is seen in the Bible.

Mark 1:10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.

Mark 1:12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.

Mark 1:18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Mark 1:20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.

Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.

Mark 1:28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.

Mark 1:29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

Mark 1:30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.

Mark 1:31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.

Mark 1:42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.

Mark 1:43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once,

You can see the urgency with which Mark views the Gospel ministry and message of Jesus. He uses the concept of immediacy no less than 12 times in the first chapter and continues its use throughout the whole 16 chapters. Mark sees Jesus and the ministry as requiring and necessitating urgent and immediate response.

Mark 2:2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

Mark 2:8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?

Mark 2:12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

Mark 3:6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Mark 4:5 "Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.

Mark 4:15 "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Mark 4:16 "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

Mark 4:17 "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.

Mark 4:29 "But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

Mark 5:2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Mark 5:13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

Mark 5:29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.

Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?"

Mark 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid; only believe."

Mark 5:42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.

Mark 6:25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."

Mark 6:27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison,

Mark 6:45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.

Mark 6:50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."

Mark 6:54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,

Mark 7:35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.

Mark 8:10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

Mark 9:15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.

Mark 9:20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

Mark 10:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

Mark 11:2 and He said to them, "Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it.

Mark 11:3 "And if anyone says to you, ’Why are you doing this?’ say, ’The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here."

Mark 14:43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

Mark 14:45 As soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, "Rabbi, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.

Mark 15:1 Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.

It is plain to see how Mark understood the Gospel and we will better understand what he wrote when we view it from his perspective. Once you see these things it is hard to miss the heart of Mark’s Gospel message.

· It is a message of the Authority of the Gospel

· It is a message of the Power of the Gospel

· It is a message of the Urgency of the Gospel

Now … let’s get to verse one.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Make no mistake – Mark is determined to tell one story – it is the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

· Gospel – Good News

· Jesus Christ – The Anointed One; The Messiah

· The Son of God – The Only Begotten of God

It is upon this firm conviction which is based on his personal belief and that passed on to him from the Apostle Peter, that he begins to lay his claim of the Authority, the Power and the Urgency of the Gospel.

· It is “Good News”

· It is anointed and appointed

· There is no other!

Mark 1:15 And (Jesus began to preach) saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Remember as you read or re-read the first chapter of Mark this week, keep your focus on the:

· Authority

· Power

· Urgency

Repent and believe the Gospel – the Kingdom of God is at hand!