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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Mark Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: John Mark
Date Penned: (55-65 AD)
Overview: Mark Records the 1st Gospel Written (c 1-16)
Theme:  The Message and Ministry of Jesus, The Servant (c 1-13)
Message: Jesus Preaches in Galilee  (v 1-45)

Mark 1 Commentary

(1:1-8) John the Baptist Prepares the Way for Jesus - Reading Mark’s first words, we can sense his excitement. His account doesn’t give background biographical information because he wanted his readers to see Jesus in action as quickly as possible. The power of Jesus’ ministry and character alone would impact the reader. Mark introduced his account as “the Good News.” For Mark, the purpose of writing was to convey a crucial message, the life-changing Good News about Jesus Christ. With Mark’s help, we can picture ourselves in the crowd as Jesus healed and taught, imagine ourselves as one of the disciples, and respond to his words of love and encouragement. And we can remember that Jesus came for us who live today, as well as for those who lived two thousand years ago. Before the curtain rises, already we can hear someone shouting. Words about a wilderness come from a man who would be called wild-looking in any age. He lived in a geographical wilderness, and he preached about a spiritual one. We meet John the Baptist as he sets the stage for Jesus’ entrance.

(1:9-11) The Baptism of Jesus - Mark proceeded to describe Jesus’ baptism by John. The signs of the voice and dove from heaven affirmed Jesus’ identity as the Son of God and showed the uniqueness of Jesus’ baptism. But the words of God the Father’s declaration clearly signified who Jesus was. What Jesus was doing, including undergoing baptism by John, totally pleased God. Jesus was in no way “becoming” God’s Son; instead, his true nature was being revealed. Jesus’ baptism showed that he was identifying with sinful men and women without implying that he himself was a sinner.

(1:12-13) Satan Tempts Jesus in the Wilderness - This temptation by Satan shows us that though Jesus was human and subject to temptations such as we are, he was also divine because he overcame Satan and was ministered to by angels. Jesus’ temptation was an important demonstration of his sinlessness. He faced temptation and did not give in. As his servants, we will also be prepared for discipleship by testing.

(1:14-15) Jesus Preaches in Galilee - Approximately one year elapsed between 1:13 and 1:14, which begins a new section. In this section Mark focuses on Jesus’ choosing of his disciples. This section also tells how Herod removed John the Baptist from ministry while Jesus’ public ministry was beginning (see John 3:30). Mark then includes a summary of Jesus’ message. Jesus echoed John’s call for repentance and added the challenge that each person must believe the Good News. From the beginning, Jesus did not allow himself to be only a topic for debate or even admiration. He expected those who approached him to believe or to reject him. He never allowed the middle ground of indecision.

(1:16-20) Four Fishermen Follow Jesus - Jesus confronted Simon and Andrew with a challenge beyond the one he presented in his public preaching. He called the crowds to repentance and belief. He invited Simon and the others to follow him. They had already repented and believed. Now they were being called into discipleship. The Lord used their previous vocation as a metaphor of their new calling. The former fishermen would now be fishers of people. God finds a way to make good use of every past experience we have to help us serve him.

(1:21-28) Jesus Teaches with Great Authority - Earlier in chapter 1, Satan attacked Jesus in the wilderness. Then Mark directed our attention to Jesus’ counterattack. He carried the spiritual warfare into the domain of Satan, to those controlled by evil spirits. As will be the case repeatedly, the battle took place in a synagogue on the Sabbath. Perhaps this shows that Satan can be active even in our houses of worship.

(1:29-34) Jesus Heals Peter"s Mother-in-Law and Many Others - After ending his clash with the demons in the synagogue, Jesus immediately healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. By the time evening arrived, there were many sick and demon-possessed crowding to Jesus for attention. Mark noted that Jesus was commanding the demons not to identify him. His goal was not to draw attention to himself, but to meet the real needs of others.

(1:35-39) Jesus Preaches Throughout Galilee - Jesus had just spent a Sabbath in feverish activity. Early in the morning of the next day, he set aside a time of prayer by himself. By the time the disciples found him, he was ready to face the next challenge. We must follow Christ’s example by making time for personal prayer. Those who help and serve on Sunday especially need to set aside time with God to restore their strength. Our ability to serve will be hindered if we neglect times of spiritual replenishment.

(1:40-45) Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy - Once the news was out that Jesus could heal diseases, people with serious needs converged from every direction. Perhaps the greatest handicap God accepted in coming to earth was to limit himself to space and time. He was a single individual with divine power in a sea of human needs. Even those he helped, like this man cured of leprosy, hampered Jesus by telling everyone of Jesus’ miraculous power. By so doing, he drew attention to the sensational and miraculous aspect of Jesus’ ministry and away from the need for repentance and faith that leads to a life of service.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Have You Repented?

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of Mark with Chapter 1. In our text today we see John the Baptist preparing the way of Jesus and Marks account of Jesus Message and Ministry. What catches my eye is verse 15 where Jesus says the time is fulfilled - repent and believe the Gospel. In making application this same message applies to us today as all people should see the truth of Christ as to Repent and believe the Gospel. How about you? Have you been saved? Let us learn from our text today and the Words of Jesus to understand today is the day of salvation and we too should repent and believe the Gospel and be saved. 


Mark 1

Mark 1

 1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

 2As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

 4John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

 5And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

 6And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

 7And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

 8I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

 9And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

 10And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

 11And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 12And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

 13And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

 14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

 15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

 16Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

 17And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

 18And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

 19And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.

 20And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

 21And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

 22And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

 23And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

 24Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

 25And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

 26And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

 27And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

 28And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

 29And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

 30But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

 31And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

 32And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.

 33And all the city was gathered together at the door.

 34And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

 35And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

 36And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.

 37And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.

 38And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

 39And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

 40And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

 41And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

 42And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

 43And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;

 44And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

 45But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.