Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Christ Mark Knew ~ Rabqa

The opening title of Mark's work. The beginning of the gospel of
Jesus Christ, Son of God (1:1). The word for Gospel in the Greek is euangelion, compare evangel, evangelise, evangelistic. In ancient Greece euangelion points to the reward given for bringing the good news. Later it came to mean the good news itself. In the New Testament the word includes both the promise of salvation & its fulfilment, by the life, death, resurrection & ascension of Jesus Christ. Euangelion also designates the written narratives of Matthew Mark Luke & John.

Mark provides His central thesis concerning the identity of Jesus as the Son of God. Both in His Baptism & the Transfiguration which testify to His son-ship
(1:11; 9:70).

 V 11 Then a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. This verse shows the inner bond between "the Son of God & the Father. The heavenly voices speaks the combined words of Ps 2:7 in which God addresses the anointed King as His Son & also in Isa 42:1, In which God address His Servant in whom He delights in &
upon whom He has put His Spirit, so the Son of God will perform the ministry of the servant of God by the power of His Spirit.

On two occasions evil spirits confess Him to be the Son of God (3:11; 5;7 1:24,34) 3;11And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.

”Only those who have experienced God's grace can sincerely testify concerning the person & work of Christ. 5:7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” We see here that the demon fears being thrown into the abyss before the day of judgement. 1:24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!

They had knowledge about Jesus but not faith in Him. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. 1:34 The word many in this verse does not imply that there were some that Jesus could not heal, but simply that those He did heal were numerous.

The parable of the wicked vine dressers alludes to Jesus divine Son ship (12:6) Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, They will respect my son.’ The owner of the vineyard is God; the vineyard itself is Israel. This vineyard was given every equipment, there was a wall to mark out it's boundaries, to keep out robbers & to defend it from the assaults of the wild boars.

 Finally, the narrative of the Crucifixion concludes with the centurion's confession, who was a hard Roman soldier, he was the equivalent of a regimental sergeant major. He had fought in many battles & had seen many men die. But had never seen a man die like this & He was sure that Jesus was the Son of God. & said (15:39) Truly this Man was the Son of God!” Before Jesus uttered these words the sky was unnaturally darkened. There were two things which Jesus said first, "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me" To paint the picture He had been an obedient Son, He had done the work of the Father & faced temptations & borne our trails. He suffered all that life could bring.

 He knew the failure of friends, the hatred & malice of enemies. He had know the most searing pain imaginable. Up to that moment Jesus had gone through every experience of life, except one-He had never known sin. Now there is only one thing that can separate us from God & that is SIN, it was because He had taken all the sins of the world on to Himself it separated Him from God—His Father. You see before this time He had been without sin. Jesus now knew what it was like to be a sinner. & this experience must have been agonising for Him, because He never knew what it was like to be separated from His Father. Because of this He understands our situation so well, so we never have to fear to go to Him when sin separates us from God, because Jesus has gone through it & He can help others who are going through it. There is no experience He has not known.

 The other words He uttered are found in Jn 19:30 It is finished The Greek tense indicates that the work of the redemption has been completed once & for all, & it results are abiding continuously. The title Jesus most frequently used for Himself, a total of fourteen times in Mark, is "Son of Man."

As a designation for the Messiah, this term seen in Dan7:13 was not as popular among the Jews as they preferred the highly nationalistic title "Son of David." Jesus chose the title "Son of Man" both to reveal & to conceal His Messiah ship & to relate to Himself as both God & man. Mark with his eye upon disciple ship, suggests that Jesus' disciples must possess a penetrating insight into the mystery of His identity. Even though many people misunderstand His person & mission, While demons confess His divine Son ship, Jesus' disciples must see through to His mission, take up their crosses & follow Him.

The second coming of the vindicated Son of Man will fully unveil His power & glory. Now we look at the Holy Spirit at work in this Gospel. Along with all the other writers. Mark records the prophecy of John the baptist that Jesus Will baptise you with the Holy Spirit (1:8) John's baptism with water was symbolic; only Jesus can baptise...with the holy Spirit, & only after His exaltation following the Ascension. Jesus connected John's prophecy with Pentecost. Believers would be just as thoroughly immersed in the Holy Spirit as John's candidates were in the waters of the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus at His baptism

1:10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. The Holy Spirit empowers Jesus for His ministry. The dove not only suggests gentleness & purity, but was also used as a sacrificial offering. The scene presents a picture of the character & manner of Jesus' redemptive ministry in fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy (Isa 42:1; 48:16; 61:1&2) 42:1 Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles 48:16 Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit Have sent Me

The Spirit of the Lord gives the king his skills to rule a truth clearly seen in Christ's ministry. The holy spirit is mentioned by Isaiah more then any other prophet. This attributes of the Spirit's anointing here suggests the names of the miracle Child. 61:1&2 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn Jesus quoted V1 & part of V 2 in the synagogue at Nazareth (Lk 4:17-20). He affirmed that it depicts the essence of His ministry. It also describes the basic ministry He passed on to His Church In V 2 "The day of vengeance belongs to Christ's second coming. The account of the subsequent ministry of Christ bears witness to the fact that His miracles & teaching resulted from the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Mark graphically states that The Spirit drove Him into the wilderness 1:12

The Word drove does not imply reluctance on the part of Jesus, but rather emphasises the conviction the Spirit gave Him of the necessity of the experience. To be tempted suggests the urgency of the Meeting & defeating satan's attempts to defile him before He embarked on a mission of breaking the enemy's power in others.

The sin set against the Holy spirit is set in contrast to all sins (3.28 &29) Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation. The unpardonable sin is not so much an act as it is a state of sin, a settled attitude that regards good as evil & evil as good. The Scribes had repeatedly witnessed the deeds & heard the teaching of Jesus, but their wilful blindness to the truth had resulted in such spiritual insensibility that they could no longer recognise the truth & were immune to its convicting power.

The concept of unpardonable sin has been the source of difficulty for many because it seems to go against the Bible's teaching about grace. We understand that God's grace forgives every sin, but our Lord mentioned one sin that cannot be forgiven. The religious leaders had come to hear Him, but they opposed virtually everything He said. He was casting out demons, they accused Him of doing this by satanic means.
Those people were so blind spiritually that they were attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to satan. Furthermore they were rejecting the holy Spirit's work in their own lives. In essence, the Holy Spirit was saying about Jesus, that He is the Son of God. This is God," & they were saying "He is not God! He is satan's agent. It was then when Jesus said "Every sin & blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven."

 Obviously unpardonable sin is not merely saying an unkind thing about the Holy spirit. The religious leaders involved had turned totally against the revelation of God. They were so far into their own wickedness that rejected not only Jesus Christ, but also the Holy Spirit. They were saying that good was evil & evil was good. They called the Spirit of God satan! Once they had rejected Jesus, the one source of forgiveness, there was now no forgiveness.

A person who turns away from Jesus Christ can receive no forgiveness, & that is what these had done. If you want to obey God but are concerned that you have committed the unpardonable sin, you have not committed it. If anyone today commits this sin it would be one who is hard hearted, who
has turned against Jesus, reviled Him & become so depraved that he claims that God's Spirit is satan. The religious were so prejudiced in their vision made them incapable of true discernment.

 Marks explanation confirms that's why Jesus makes a very severe pronouncement in 3:29. Jesus also refers to the Holy Spirit's inspiration of the Old Testament 12.36 (O. T 2 Sam23:2; Ps 110:1) For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool The term "My Lord" means the Lord of the universe (Yahweh) told David to rejoice. Many New Testament writers quote this verse. The Lord said is a unique word which refers to inspired prophetic utterances. This is of particular encouragement to Christians facing the hostility of unjust authorities it is the Lords assurance that the Holy spirit will speak through you when you testify of Christ 13:11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit

In addition to explicit references to the Holy Spirit, Mark employs words associated with the gift of the Spirit, such as power, authority, prophet, healing, laying on of hands, Messiah & kingdom. In 16: 15-18 We have the great commission to understand this in Mark, we must capture the Spirit of Mark's focus on Jesus as Servant. Messianic prophecies such as Isa 42;1-21, 49:1-7,50:4-11 & 53:12, which forecast Jesus' servant character would do a specific work & act with unqualified & unsullied obedience.

Marks shows Christ's servant-character by omitting His genealogy—which we saw at the beginning of Marks Gospel a couple or three weeks ago. (By which other Gospels establish His identity), Showing that as servants of Christ, we too might learn servant-spirit attitude which is essential to fulfilling the great Commission.

Mark wrote this concluding section because he obviously believed that the church had certain tasks committed to them by Jesus. Christ seeks those who will serve without seeking recognition, selflessly & obediently seeking to exalt Christ & make Him known. Such servants establish their person hood & ministries By their devotion & obedience to Jesus, their disposition to serve unselfishly—their only exercise of power is to extend the love of God—ministering His life to the lost, the sick, & those in bondage. The sole avenue of salvation is the call to take the gospel to the nations is founded in two basic assumptions: 1. That humankind without Christ is lost, whether the entire race or the individual is concerned. 2. That there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved; That is no other authority, no other personality, no other system, or philosophy can effect the rescue of the human sole. They do so wherever & however God sovereignly directs, whether it be through their giving, going or their prayerful intercession. While some propose possibilities for human hope other then that of personal trust in Jesus Christ, God's Word pre-empts such propositions. We see in 2 Cor 5:17 "To be in Christ is the only way to enter the new creation of God's present
promise & His eternal salvation. The Servant Jesus & obedience compel His servants to loyal & unreserved service.

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