THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Mark: Jesus, The Perfect Servant Of God
Part II: The Perfect Service Of Jesus, The Perfect Servant Of God, Mark 1:1-10:52
A. Christ's Bearing By God's Provision God's Traumatic Ministry Start For Him
A. As we learned in our first lesson in this series, Mark's Gospel presents the perfect service of God's Perfect Servant, Jesus with Mark's focus of having rebounded unto upright Christian service from personal failure.
B. At times, such failure arises from faithlessly collapsing under the demands God Himself makes of us, but Jesus exampled the need to rely on God's power and supply to handle even these demands of His (as follows):
II. Christ's Bearing By God's Provision God's Traumatic Ministry Start For Him, Mark 1:1-13.
A. Mark's Gospel starts with the triumphant, glorious introduction of Christ's forerunner and Christ, Mark 1:1-11:
1. Mark begins with a focus on Christ's forerunner as foretold in Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1, Mark 1:1, 2-3:
a. God had said He would send a messenger before Messiah to prepare His way, Mark 1:1, 2; Isaiah 40:3.
b. He had also predicted through the prophet Malachi in Malachi 3:1 that this forerunner would be a voice crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight," Mark 1:3.
2. Then, Mark's Gospel at Mark 1:4-5 records the coming of that forerunner in John the Baptizer, complete with his preaching of the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins and how all the land of Judaea and Jerusalem had responded by going out to be baptized of him in the wilderness at the River Jordan.
3. John wore camel's hair and a girdle of skin and his diet was locusts and wild honey, the rough lifestyle of the great Old Testament prophet Elijah whom he typified, Mark 1:6 with Malachi 4:5-6 with 2 Kings 1:8.
4. John predicted the arrival of One Who was mightier than he, whose shoes he as His servant was unworthy to stoop and loosen, and that He would baptize Israel with fire and not with water as John did, Mark 1:7-8.
5. Jesus then came to John and was publicly baptized of him in the Jordan River in front of the nation Israel, receiving at that event a grand introduction by the Holy Spirit and the Father, Mark 1:9-11: as soon as Jesus came up from the water, John saw the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descend like a dove on Him and the Father's voice in heaven say, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Mk. 1:9-11.
B. However, just as we might expect Jesus to head off into a ministry with even greater fanfare than John had enjoyed and than He had enjoyed at His baptism, God directed Him into a traumatic trial, Mark 1:12-13b:
1. Just as "immediately" (euthus, "immediately, at once," Arndt & Gingrich, A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N. T., 1967, p. 321; U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966, p. 119) as the heavens had opened with the Holy Spirit's descent on Jesus and the Father's great declaration of Him as His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased, the Holy Spirit "immediately" (euthus again, Ibid., p. 120) "drove out" (ekballo, Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 236; Ibid., U. B. S. Grk. N. T.) Jesus into the wilderness, Mark 1:12.
2. In that bleak realm, Jesus was tempted by Satan for forty days, and was with the wild animals, Mark 1:13a.
3. We know from Matthew 4:2 that Jesus was tempted (a) after forty days and nights of fasting, so this experience was physically traumatic, not to mention (b) spiritually traumatic with His exposure to Satanic temptation and (c) emotionally traumatic with Christ's exposure to the wild animals of the wilderness when He was in a state of lessening physical strength increasingly unable to protect Himself due to hunger.
4. However, it was the Father's will that Satan tempt Jesus that He might be proved to be the sinless Son of God in Whom the Father's claim that He was well pleased would indeed be shown to be true, Mark 1:13b.
C. Throughout the trial, Jesus stayed faithful to the Father's will, and God supplied the means for Him to rebound humanly from the trial's drain and continue in His call as the Perfect Servant of the Father, Mark 1:13c et al.:
1. We know from Matthew 4:1-10 that Jesus successfully warded off Satan's attempts to get Jesus to fall to the lusts of the flesh, the eyes and the pride of life by relying on and citing Scripture in each temptation.
2. Accordingly, after the temptation was complete, the Father sent angels to minister unto Jesus, Mark 1:13c.
Lesson: Jesus remained faithful to His calling by faith in God and His Word when called unto a traumatic start of His earthly ministry, and God thus ministered unto Him to equip Him to continue in that ministry assignment.
Application: (1) May we trust in Christ as the truly righteous, sinless Messiah and Son of God to be saved, Mark 1:15. (2) If God leads us to face a traumatic trial in service, may we handle it by faith in Him and heed His Word, trusting He will supply what resources we need humanly to rebound from the trial so as to fulfill His assignment.