Saturday, November 9, 2013

You Are My Son, Whom I Love

Mark 1:1-45 NIV

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,

2as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send My messenger ahead of You,
who will prepare Your way”c 
3“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the Way for the Lord,
make straight paths for Him.’ ”d

4And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

 7 And this was his message:

“After me comes the One more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I baptize you withe water, but He will baptize you withf the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism and Testing of Jesus

9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. 

11And a Voice came from heaven:

“You are My Son, Whom I love; with You I am well pleased.”

12At once the Spirit sent Him out into the wilderness, 13and He was in the wilderness forty days, being temptedg by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended Him.

Jesus Announces the Good News

14After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15“The time has come,” he said. “The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

16As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18At once they left their nets and followed Him.

19When He had gone a little farther, He saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20Without delay He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him.

Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit

21They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22The people were amazed at His Teaching, because He taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 

23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

25“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

27The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey Him.” 28News about Him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

Jesus Heals Many

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31So He went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

32That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33The whole town gathered at the door, 34and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but He would not let the demons speak because they knew who He was.

Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place

35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. 36Simon and his companions went to look for Him, 37and when they found Him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

38Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39So He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

40A man with leprosyh came to Him and begged Him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

41Jesus was indignant.i He reached out His Hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” 42Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

43Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44“See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to Him from everywhere.

What to do when we have received mercy from Christ

We must with His favors receive His commands. When Christ had cured him, he strictly charged him; the word here is very significant, ἐμβριμησάμενος (embrimēsamenos) -  prohibiting with threats. I think that this refers not to the directions He gave him to conceal it (v. 44), for those are mentioned by themselves; but that this was such a charge as He gave to the impotent man whom he cured, John. 5:14, Sin no more, lest a worse thing come to you; for the leprosy was ordinarily the punishment of some particular sinners, as in Miriam’s, Gehazi’s, and Uzziah’s, case.

 Now, when Christ healed him, He warned him, He threatened him with the fatal consequence of it if he should return to sin again.

He also appointed him,

(1) To show himself to the priest, that the priest by his own judgment of this leper might be a witness for Christ, that He was the Messiah, Matthew 11:5.

(2) Till he had done that, not to say anything of it to any man: this is an instance of the humility of Christ and His self-denial, that He did not seek His Own Honor, did not strive or cry, Isaiah 42:2.

And it is an example to us, not to seek our own glory, Proverbs 25:27. He must not proclaim it, because that would much increase the crowd that followed Christ, which He thought was too great already; not as if He was unwilling to do good to all, to as many as came; but He would do it with as little noise as might be, would have no offence given to the government, no disturbance of the public peace, not anything done that looked like ostentation, or an affecting of popular applause.

When to think of the leper’s publishing it, and blazing it abroad, the leper ought to have observed His orders; yet, no doubt, it was with a good design that he proclaimed the cure, and it had no other ill effect than that it increased the multitudes which followed Christ, to that degree, that He could no more openly enter into the city; not upon the account of persecution (there was no danger of that yet,) but because the crowd was so great, that the streets would not hold them, which obliged Him to go into desert places, to a mountain, Mark 3:13, to the sea-side, Mark 4:1.

This shows how expedient it was for us, that Christ should go away, and send the Comforter, for His Bodily Presence could be but in one place at a time; and those that came to Him from every quarter, could not get near Him; but by His Spiritual Presence He is with His people wherever they are, and comes to them to every quarter.

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