Hervey Bay Presbyterian Church

What the Gospel of Mark teaches me about Jesus Christ, the son of God

 (Summary of the the fist nine chapters of the Gospel of Mark)

A Gospel Presentation

Thanks for asking me about what I believe about Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God

Mark, who wrote a book in the Bible, understand from the last book in our Old Testament that someone like the prophet Elijah would introduce the ministry of promised anointed servant of God.  Mark tells that John the Baptist was that person.  People came to him where he was baptising in the Jordan River and he told them about the Christ who was about to begin his ministry.

In fact, one day Jesus appeared and demanded that John baptise Him.  At that point, the heavens opened.  The Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon Christ, and from heaven God said, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

So, what Mark wrote down in his Gospel, was about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus Christ has authority over Satan

Jesus Christ, because He is God, had power of the evil spirits.  In fact, the Bible tells us that even these spirits knew that He came to destroy them.  Man’s first and foremost enemy, the Devil, lost his power when Jesus came into the world.  The religious leaders at one stage accused Christ of acting in the power of Satan.  This of course was an absurd accusation, because it would mean that Christ was using satanic powers to destroy Satan!  No, He was stronger than Satan, and He came to bind him.

All of us are born in sin, and we are in the grip of Satan, but good news is that he has no power before Christ.

Jesus Christ has authority to forgive sins

Jesus performed many miracles, but his teaching was like something people had never heard before.  He loved to teach about “The Kingdom of God.”  Indeed, in Himself God’s Kingdom has come close. His teaching was the culmination of everything we read about in the Old Testament.

Everything Jesus did was for the benefit of those who were in the grip of sin.  His ministry was a ministry of compassion.  He healed the sick, but most importantly, He had the authority to forgive sins.  This is particularly important, because his life and sacrifice are the basis for our forgiveness and acceptance as children of God.

Of course the religious leaders of the day did not believe in Christ, and opposed Him in every way.  They thought their own good works were enough to be righteous – almost like buying one’s way into heaven by doing good works.  But Christ opposed them, because sinful man is not capable of being good enough for heaven.  It was these religious leaders who in the end handed Christ over to be crucified.

Jesus Christ gives eternal rest

One of the clashes Jesus had with the Jewish leaders was over doing good on the Sabbath.  When Christ told them that He was lord (or the owner) of the Sabbath, they openly started planning to kill Him.  What they however did not understand, was their that understanding of the Sabbath (and in fact the whole Law) was not what God intended with it.  From the beginning this day pointed forward to someone who would give eternal rest, and this Person was Jesus Christ. But when He came, they rejected Him and wanted to kill Him.

Jesus Christ calls people to follow Him

Christ called people to follow Him as his students (in those days they were known as disciples).  Twelve of them He made his special representatives.  They needed to be trained specially to carry on the work of the Lord when He left them to go back to the Father in heaven.

The training of the disciples was intense.  They followed Christ, heard Him teach the crowds, they saw Him performed miracles, and were even sent out into the villages with the authority to heal the sick and drive our demons.

To bring home the relationship between Him and them – and of course their relationship with the Father in heaven – He taught them that those who do the will of his Father in heaven are his brothers and his sisters.  obedient submission to his command to be fishers of men, their faith in them, and them doing his will, were the signs of them being brought into the family of the heavenly Father.  It is still the same today: not every one who merely say they know Him are his children – they who are faithfully following Him, as worshipping him as the Son of God, they are the family of God.

Jesus Christ tasked his people to proclaim the Kingdom

It is Gods design that his disciples do his will by being like sowers, scattering the seed.  He gave them the Word to sow like the farmer sows his crop.  The message of Christ must be heard; it is like a lamp on a lampstand giving light to those who have not heard about Christ.

Some people will reject the message, others will accept the message, but will fall away.  But there will be others who will be a fruitful crop.  Indeed, the Kingdom of God is powerful and will grow like a mustard seed: from an insignificant beginning to a large tree.

The disciples are of no significance: they cannot make the seed grow, and they will not be held accountable for the size of the crop.  What they need to do is to be careful that the message they have heard, is indeed the message they proclaim. In the end, they are not different from a farmer sowing the crop, and then rest assured that there will be something to harvest, although he does not need to understand how the seed actually grow to full maturity.

What I am telling you now about Jesus Christ is sowing the seed of the Gospel.  I pray that you will heard the message about Christ, that you will believe in Him, and that you will confess your sin to Him who will forgive you and make you one of his family.  In faith I will leave it to God to give effect to the Gospel.

Jesus Christ provides for the task of his people

You know, the world-wide task of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is sometimes a daunting task.  I must admit, it is like being in a small boat on the open sea with the waves raging.  But, as his disciple, I know that He is with me; his peace calms the storm.

Telling about Christ and spreading his Gospel is like handing out food to the hungry.  The task is far beyond our capability.  But I understand from the Bible that God will always provide what we need to fulfil his purposes.  There was that time when thousands of people needed to be fed.  That day He commanded that his disciples feed the crowd.  The disciples had only two fish and five loaves, but Christ multiplied that to feed the multitude.  Insignificant sowers we might be, but our Lord provides what we need to do his work. We still need to feed with the Word those in need for salvation.

Jesus Christ makes faith possible

You wanted to know about Jesus Christ?  What Mark states right at the beginning of his Gospel is true:  Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God.  At first even the disciples did not fully understand this, but God revealed it to them.  Not only did the people heard the voice of God when John baptised Him in the Jordan, but there was another time when Jesus and some of his disciples went up onto a mountain.  There they heard the same voice – and the message was the same.

Right from the beginning of the history, the Bible teaches that God wants to have a relationship with man.  However, Adam and Eve sinned against God and that relationship was broken.  The only way man could then enjoy a relationship with God was through the life and blood of an innocent victim (God ordained that specific animals be slaughtered on specific days, and then in specific ways.)

All along these things pointed to a time that no sacrifice would be necessary to have a relationship with God.  He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, was the perfect sacrifice.  He made redundant all sacrifices by being the last and final High Priest as well the final sacrifice.  After Him there was no more shedding of blood, altars, a tabernacle, or even a temple needed.  His blood was a complete sacrifice to gain righteousness before God.

Christ was also the last of the kings.  All others before Him were forerunners, but lacked perfect obedience.  In a very special way the promises made to king David was fulfilled in Jesus.

Christ was also the last of the prophets to declare the great plan of redemption.  Where the prophets of the Old Testament failed, He succeeded.

What I know and believe about Jesus Christ

So, what do I believe about Jesus Christ?

  • He is the son of God
  • He has power over the evil one
  • He forgives sin, and He has compassion on those who don’t know Him.
  • For reasons I don’t understand He called me to be a disciple and made me part of his family.
  • With others who believe and follow Him I strive to do his will.
  • We tell of his love and forgiveness, knowing that He will give eternal life to those whom He wants to hear.
  • He provides in all our needs to be fishers of men.
Over to you

Now that you know who He is and what He is doing, will you respond to his call to make you his family?  I trust you will.  I will pray for you.

 

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