Christ’s Divine Ability


The Certainty Of Christ’s Divine Ability

Book of Luke 2:39-52

We must realize that any attack on the deity of Jesus Christ is an attack on the bedrock of Christianity!

The heart of our beliefs is in recognizing that Christ Jesus died a substitutionary death to provide salvation for a lost humanity.

If Jesus Christ were only some mere man or only some prophet, He could not have died to save the world!

We can be certain of Christ’s divine ability to provide the only sacrifice that was approved of our righteous God!

Divine means, those things that pertain to the true God!

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Let’s begin.

*****Luk 2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

As a babe, Jesus was led by His parents to fulfill all the law of the Jews.

We sometimes forget that we have the 10 moral laws of God but in actuality there were 613 commandments given to the Jews.

God sent the Lord Jesus Christ into this world to fulfill all the law, which included not only these 613 commandments but also all the prophesies of the Messiah!

Only by fulfilling all these 613 laws given to the Jews could Jesus become perfectly righteous, the true example for all mankind, and the acceptable sacrifice to appease the wrath of God!

Jesus Christ who is 100% God had to also be a 100% Perfect Man!

Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law and never failed in one single point.

Jesus Christ is the epitome of “perfection”.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

In order to fulfill the Law Jesus had to keep every observance of the Jewish Law!

By His example, Jesus was showing the world what God expected from each of us!

God already knows that we as humans simply do not have it in us to be sin free!

Everyone who follows Jesus will be covered by His sinless perfection, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension.

Everyone who follows Jesus Christ by faith, will be covered by His righteousness because we simply do not have any.

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Every religion in this world will teach that you must work your way to appease God but God says that is impossible for you to do on our own!

So for these reasons God led Joseph and Mary to fulfill all the Law for their child.

A baby dedication is always more about the parents than it is about the child!

We see that the childhood home of Jesus was in the city of Nazareth.

Luk 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

It is also in Nazareth where Jesus began His public ministry.

Mat 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

Nazareth was an ideal place for the Messiah to be brought up.

Nazareth was a quiet town, it was a small town, and Nazareth had a bad reputation, which kept the Jews close together.

Nazareth was a place where the Jews could meet the rest of the world.

Two major roads passed within eyesight of this little city.

One road connected the East to the West.

The other connected the North to the South.

All types of people traveled these roads.

So, Nazareth became an obscure place, despised and a reproach to most all Jews.

Joh 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Jesus was born in a stable, the lowest of all places.

Jesus was raised in Nazareth the lowest of all places.

Jesus made Himself of no reputation!

Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We can be sure God had His own reasons for all these things.

*****Luk 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

We must have a clear understanding Jesus was 100% human and still 100% God.

As a child, Jesus was already strong in the Spirit.

As a child, Jesus was already filled with wisdom.

The idea given to us by Luke, is that Jesus the human grew as a normal child and had a vigorous growth in the Spirit.

Jesus did not just grow in wisdom, Jesus was filled with wisdom.

Jesus grew in His humanity as well as any child could grow, well and healthy.

Jesus is the only child born to this earth that was perfect in His growth at every stage of His childhood!

Jesus Christ came into this world not only to save all those that believe on Him but He also came to be our the perfect example in all things!

Jesus Christ is our example at every stage of development from child to adult.

Jesus suffered through these experiences so He could personally know how we feel in this world full of temptation and sin.

Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

God needed to demonstrate the simple truth to all mankind!

Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus Christ experienced every situation, every condition, and every trial of man in order to become the perfect Savior.

When we begin to complain about our lives we need to remember Jesus.

Jesus was born to an unwed mother.
Jesus was born in a stable.
Jesus was raised in a poor family.
The life of Jesus was threatened as a baby.
Jesus was raised in a most despicable place.
The adopted father of Jesus died while He was young.
Jesus had to help His brothers and sisters support His mother.
Jesus started His ministry without a home or a place to lay His head.
Jesus was hated and opposed fiercely but all religions.
Jesus was charged with being insane.
Jesus was charged with demon possession.
Jesus was opposed by His own family.
Jesus was rejected, opposed, and hated by many who heard Him preach.
Jesus was betrayed by a close friend.
Jesus was left alone, rejected and forsaken by all His friends.
Jesus was tried in a false court, with false witnesses, and charged with treason but was innocent of all charges.
Jesus was executed by crucifixion, the worst possible death.

The next time things are not going our way and we want to complain we should remember the things our Savior went through just so we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven!

Jesus in His person, possessed the “Grace” of God.

We should also remember Jesus was never forced to do all these things it was His choice!

Joh 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Even from a child Jesus was always faithful in His worship!

*****Luk 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
Luk 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

Joseph had adopted Jesus and the parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were faithful in their worship because “it was their custom” to keep the Feast of the Passover.

All male Jews who lived within 20 miles of Jerusalem were required by Law to attend the Temple three times a year, at Passover, at Pentecost, and at the Feast of Tabernacles.

The women were exempt by the Law but they could attend if they so wished.

Mary chose to be with her family!

We see that they all worshiped by choice!

It was also at these times that the Word of God was read and also explained where it could be understood.

Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that “could hear with understanding”, upon the first day of the seventh month.

Jesus belonged to God but God had entrusted His keeping in the hands of Joseph and Mary.

They had the same responsibilities as any and all parents!

Jesus was just 12 years of age on this trip but when Jewish boys turn 13 they are expected to keep all the Jewish Laws by knowing them.

It was also a custom of most parents to bring the boys to the Temple a year or two early so they could become familiar with the Temple and the Feasts.

We can see that God expects all children to be taught from the very first about God and true worship.

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The worship of God has not changed!

Every child needs to become familiar with God and seek their own personal relationship with Him.

Psa 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Then as the parents of Jesus reached that time to go back home, Jesus was not quite ready.

*****Luk 2:43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
Luk 2:44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
Luk 2:45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

Jesus was, is, and always will be, the preeminent child of God. The relationship Jesus had with His Father could only be achieved by Him.

But even in this, Jesus is our perfect example of our own personal relationship with our Father in Heaven.

God wants each and everyone of us to have an unbroken knowledge and communion with Him.

God wants each of us to do His will He has for each of us!

Jesus social development was as any normal Jewish child of God fearing parents.

Joseph and Mary the mother of Jesus had finished their worship obligations and were returning home to Nazareth.

Without their knowledge Jesus had remained behind.

Joseph and Mary would have traveled in a large caravan along with all others who had made the same journey for the same reasons.

Many pilgrims attended the Feast in Jerusalem.

It was common for the children to gather together as the caravan began and Jesus was not missed.

Joseph and Mary were so sure of these things, that they did not look for Jesus until nightfall and they did not find Him.

When they did not find Him then at daylight they returned to Jerusalem.

It had been 3 days to find Jesus because Joseph and Mary had traveled a full day, it took a full day to return and it was on the 3rd day when they found Jesus at the Temple.

We see that even as a child, Jesus was in the midst of other people!

Jesus is in the midst wherever, 2 or 3 are gathered in His name even today.

And Jesus will stand in the midst of the redeemed when we all get to Heaven.

Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

So, They found Jesus in the Temple, “in His Father’s house”.

*****Luk 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
Luk 2:47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

Those “doctors” would have been the scholars of the Jewish Law. There were many in that day and time but it is very possible that Nicodemus and Gamaliel could have been among this group of men.

Joh 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Jesus’ knowledge of the Scriptures was surprising to these men of the Jewish Law.

We should understand that it was a custom among these men to hold open classes and discussions so the public could listen and learn.

But such a young man with such knowledge and understanding would have certainly gotten their attention!

The parents of Jesus had been traveling but Jesus had been amongst these scholars for 3 days.

Jesus was making use of every opportunity He had, notice He was both “hearing and asking questions”.

The word “astonished meant that they were amazed, overwhelmed, and wondered at His understanding of the Word of God!

We talk a lot about Jesus being our example and we should consider that He was and is our example in all things.

We should understand that we need to take every opportunity to learn the truth of the Word of God!

We should seek the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word!

Pro 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Even His parents were amazed at what they saw when they found Him!

*****Luk 2:48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

The term “parents” is an acceptable term because Joseph had adopted Jesus as his own son and had also taught Him many things. Joseph was a carpenter and Jesus was later known as a carpenter.

We should never forget who Jesus is!

Jesus said:

Joh 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, who came to save all those that believe upon Him.

But Jesus is also God and He is always about the business of meeting our needs!

To Mary, Jesus was her son and certainly she was grieving at His absence.

Even Mary had a tendency to forget what the angel Gabriel had said:

Luk 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

BUT, There is absolutely no excuse for us to deny who Jesus is!

*****Luk 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Luk 2:50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

As a boy, we can see that Jesus had already become a deep student of the Scriptures. Jesus had a purpose in seeing what was taught by these scholars of the Bible.

Remember how He has cautioned the world about the Scriptures:

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Even in His humanity at the age of 12 Jesus had already began to identify with the purpose He had come into this world!

We must never forget who Jesus is, The Lord God Almighty!

Joseph and Mary did not clearly understand what their young son was saying.

BUT, Jesus clearly understood that He was the Messiah!

Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Jesus clearly knew who His Father was!

Jesus was always doing what His Father in Heaven wanted Him to do and His Father in Heaven was always pleased with Him!

Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Jesus did not come to please mankind because we would all send ourselves to Hell as many will still do!

Jesus came to please His Father, because salvation is His Father’s plan and God wants us all to be a part of His Salvation Plan!

God has only One Son, His name is Jesus, but God is in the adoption business!

When we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, this causes God to adopt each of us as His own child and we than are also placed into the Father’s care!

Jesus said:

Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

God is in the saving business!

At this time Mary and Joseph could not understand what it is to be a true servant of God. They like most Jews were bound by the Laws of Moses but God offers true freedom from religious rituals and religious laws.

Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall “make” you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Then Jesus returned with His parents.

*****Luk 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Even though Jesus is the actual Son of God in accordance with the Triune God, He still obeyed His earthly parents.

It was the will of God that He lead by example!

Jesus set the perfect example of what a child should be toward his parents!

In the Bible the phrase “subject to” is frequently translated “submit to” or “be obedient to”.

The Bible says we are to “be subject to one another”:

1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

God expects us to be a humble and caring people!

No doubt that Jesus was well aware of the work He had been sent by His Father to do.

But, it was also the will of His Father to set that example for all men.

It was the will of His Father that He return to Nazareth with His parents, for now was not the time for Him to begin His ministry.

Jesus submitted Himself to His parents and for some 18 years after this incident He lived and worked as a “Carpenter” at Nazareth, with Joseph and Mary whom His Father had chosen to be His earthly parents.

We will also realize that Joseph is not heard from again after this story and it may be that Jesus with His carpentry skills sustained His own family for some period of time.

Mar 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Mar 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Mary again kept all these things in her heart.

Mary never boasted about her son. Mary did not discuss these things with her relatives. Mary knew she had a unique son who was destined to do great things for the Lord.

It seems that she knew, that at the right time, God would reveal Him and His salvation plan to the world!

*****Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

The truth is that Jesus is God and God is omniscient but Jesus the man increased in wisdom and stature.

God cannot increase in wisdom!

Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the God-Man.

Jesus was fully God and yet fully man “but had no sin”.

It is very hard for us to comprehend just what all this means.

The Bible explains this thing.

Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus made Himself of no reputation which means that God “emptied Himself”.

God set aside all of His “omni” attributes in order to take “the form of a servant”!

In the records of the life and the teachings of Jesus we can see with surety the evidence of His deity, including His own claims and the evidence of His humanity, including the fact that Jesus the man increased in wisdom and grew in stature!

As God:

Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

As man:

Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.

Joh 4:6 Now Jacob’s well was there. “Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey”, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

Jesus grew in favor with God and man.

Jesus learned just as all children learn, Jesus just learned perfectly.

Jesus grew just as all children grow, Jesus was a real man, Jesus was not a wimp!

Jesus was strong in the Spirit.

Jesus had the favor of God.

Jesus looked to God in perfect obedience.

Jesus grew in favor with those around Him.

Jesus was friendly, loving, caring, helpful, unselfish, pure, honest, and still humble.

Jesus increased in these things because His goal was that the world would believe on Him and all be saved!

Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

We must always remember God is much more about the timing of events than He is about time itself!

It was not yet time for Jesus to begin His ministry, just as it is not now quiet time for Jesus to return!

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

We can be certain of Christ’s Divine abilities!


Let’s Pray!

The Passion Of God’s Servant


The Passion Of God’s Servant

"Reaching The Lost"

Book of Mark 2:13-28

In our last lesson Jesus had returned to Capernaum to the house of Peter and his family. A great crowd had gathered inside and outside the house. Four men of great "faith" had brought a man who was paralyzed and Jesus had healed him so completely that this man, who was carried in on his bed, left, carrying that bed himself.

But something else had happened. Jesus used the title "Son of Man" for the first time and He made His first claim that He was indeed Jehovah God before all those that were present there that day, which included some scribes.

We already know that many of the scribes were also Pharisees.

Jesus said, "yes, only God can forgive sin" and He proved He was God, because He was also "the only One that could have healed this lame man".

Jesus said it was no harder for Him to be a "Miracle Man" than it was to be the "Savior" because all He had to do was "to speak" and it was done!

It is the Spoken Word that brought all Creation!
It is the "Spoken Word" that became the "Written Word" that we have today.
And Jesus Christ is the "Physical Representation Of The Word of God"!

After all it was not Jesus who was the blasphemer, it was His accusers!

We will not find in the Word of God that such men as these ever denied that Jesus was the "Miracle Man" and that all these miracle were real.

Not one miracle was ever denied!

In all His days, "no one" denied that Jesus had the power over the "supernatural world"!

What irritated these religious groups is still the same today.

They rejected the fact that they were sinners!

In other words they were self righteous in their own ways and had no need of God, especially the God of the Bible!

All those that could see and hear witnessed these things that day.

The Bible says:

Mat 11:15  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Once we hear the Word of God, we must make a very personal decision on what to do with what we have heard!

So lets begin:

*****Mar 2:13  And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

We have already seen how The Lord Jesus will use the Sea of Galilee in His ministry.

We should also see that The Lord Jesus enjoyed His own creation and He loved walking by this Sea!

Remember He walked with Adam in the cool of the day in Eden.

29 times in the "Gospels" we see that word "taught" but the Greek word "didasko" which means "to teach" is used at least 55 times in the "Gospels" referring to the things Jesus was doing every day.

This teaching was aimed at the 12 disciples and to all disciples of our Lord, even those of today.

Jesus "taught" so that they could learn "the truth"!

Jesus still teaches us with His Word and again "so we can learn the truth"!

"Teaching" is an important factor in the edification of the Church!

The early church devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles.

Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

But that teaching was about Christ Jesus and they also were persecuted for this teaching.

Act 5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ‘ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us’.

Again, this was the message given to the early Church and the same message we are to teach and learn today!

Act 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Governments and false religion could not stop the spread of the "Gospel" then and they cannot now unless we allow it!

This was the importance of Jesus teaching while He was with us!

Jesus taught the public as he trained and taught the Apostles!

Today the Church is to reach out to this "lost world" while at the same time training new disciples.

But we are to have that "one" same message of, Jesus Christ!

*****Mar 2:14  And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

One of the facts we will continue to see in the selection of the 12 Apostles is "how ordinary and unrefined" they all were when Jesus met them.

It is also interesting to note that they were all from the area of Galilee except for one, Judas Iscariot.

In all likelihood, it was Matthew who was considered the greatest sinner of all the Apostles!

No one was hated more than a Jewish man that worked for Rome and then add to that the hated tax collector who are still hated in today’s world.

Matthew was a "publican"!

A publican was considered to be as low as you could get in Jewish society.

On this day Matthew was sitting at the "custom seat".

He was not gathering taxes on personal wealth at this time but was collecting "customs" on any produce being transported into Capernaum and most probably "on any fish" that were brought in from the Sea of Galilee.

This "custom" was collected before these things got to the merchant where they were taxed again.

But it is this Matthew, along with Mark, Luke, and John, who was also a writer of the four "Gospels".

James, John, Peter, and Andrew had previously met Jesus but we do not know much about Matthew.

What we do know is that, it was on this day, as Levi the son of Alphaeus, later called Matthew, "stopped what he was doing and followed" the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Mar 2:15  And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

The "publicans" are all those that collected the "customs" and "the taxes" imposed on them by Rome and by Herod Antipas.

Those "sinners" were any individuals that did not follow the Laws of Moses, especially the dietary laws, and/or the Oral Law of the Pharisees who were zealous for the Law.

Jesus chose to dine in the house of Matthew. He had with Him his chosen disciples and there were many others that followed Him for various reasons, but not many in "faith".

Why were there so many publicans and sinners in Matthews house?

These were the only friends he had!

No true Jewish man would have any part of being a friend to a publican!

Somewhat like the "leper" they were outcast from Jewish society.

We will soon meet another group that fell under this same umbrella and that would be the "harlots".

These are the people that Jesus chose to associate Himself with.

They were "lost" and in need of a Savior!

Luke best describes this day:

Luk 5:29  And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
Luk 5:30  But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?

*****Mar 2:16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

What is bigotry?

Bigotry is the blind and unreasonable attachment to your own beliefs which hinders discernment of the truth!
These same ones are usually blind to their own depravity. Spiritually Blind!

Jesus gives us this warning to the last Church Age:

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

When Jesus had healed the lame man the scribes had objected silently.

Now that they are joined by the Pharisees, they are bold enough to speak out loud but they approach the disciples of Jesus and still not Jesus Himself.

They were all still in amazement of what they saw the Master do!

One thing was certain, not one Pharisee, nor one scribe, nor even one Sadducee would have had their name linked to such sinners.

They had no interest in saving the "lost"!

So bigotry will also cheat it’s followers of the blessings of Christ!

They were too proud to see the error of their ways, so they starved not receiving the "truth" that makes men free!

*****Mar 2:17  When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

We, that know the Lord Jesus Christ as Our Savior, are patiently waiting for the trumpet to sound and a wonderful home going.

It is after this that Jesus will return as King of the Jew and of this world!

But why did Jesus come as the Messiah?

Mankind needed a deliverer!

Jesus Christ came to bear all our sin!

Heb 9:28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

These Pharisees fall into that group of people who think their own goodness can get them into Heaven.

They place great effort into keeping the Law even adding to the Law, for the appearance of even more righteousness.

But God says this about man’s righteousness:

Isa 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

In their minds there was not one person among these in Matthew’s house and especially in Galilee and Samaria that was worth even enough to tell them about God.

You see they had already judged these people to be worthless!

People who imagine themselves to be "too good" to be considered sinners will become judges of all others, and it is just their imagination.

God says:

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

These divided sin into differing degrees!

It may seem that we can place sin into different categories with one type being a greater sin than some other, such a murderer and a petty thief.

But God does not see it that way!

Rom 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

There maybe a few degrees of difference temperature wise in parts of Hell, but I think every place in the burning lake of fire will be the same torment.

Every sin can be forgiven but one!

Joh 16:9  Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Just as a healthy person has no need of a doctor, one righteous in their own eyes do not think they are in need of a Savior and therefore will not accept that the Lord Jesus Christ is that Savior.

But "everlasting life" can only come through Jesus Christ:

Joh 5:40  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

*****Mar 2:18  And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

What is fasting?

Fasting is abstaining from a need of the flesh in order to draw closer to God.

There must be a real desire to give the "soul" a better chance in it’s conflict with the body of flesh that houses it!

In most cases people deny themselves of food or food and water.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Fasting must be a time for a special activity of the soul!

So only the saved can fast, for the benefit of a closer walk with the Lord!

1) Fasting is useless and even sinful if that fast is not for The Lord!

Fasting has no moral value in itself.

2) Fast that are ordered or directed by others, just cause injury and have no value.

3) Fasting should only be imposed by sorrowful events as Jesus will explain in this passage.

4) Fasting is beneficial only when fasting becomes "Heavenly Feasting"!

Joe 2:12  Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
Joe 2:13  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

*****Mar 2:19  And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
Mar 2:20  But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Solomon said there is a time and a place for everything!

Then fasting for a happy occasion would be most inappropriate.

If we are unhappy knowing the Lord Jesus as Our Savior, then these are problems that fasting cannot help!

If we are sorrowful for other reasons, then we can reach out to Our Savior and Fasting can help.

Fasting must be added to prayer but we should also realize that no amount of fasting can force God’s hand.

Fasting also cannot replace holiness!

And we certainly cannot make fasting a "legalistic" event.

Fasting is solely between that one that fast and Our Father who are in Heaven:

Mat 6:16  Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18  That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

*****Mar 2:21  No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

Just as a patch on an old garment is easily noticed and just makes us aware of how old that garment really is, it just makes that old garment worse.

In verse 20 Jesus had said that when He had returned to Heaven, those of the Bride of Christ would then have a need to fast!

This what we call the Church Age.

The "Law" had run it’s course and it would be a time of "Grace"!

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Rom 5:21  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

That old garment in fact is a "type" of Judaism, which is "by the works" of the Law.

Jesus had caused a rent in that old garment of Judaism!

In other words "Grace" cannot be a fix for those old laws!

"Grace" cannot repair that garment of "Works" because it would only make things worse!

"Grace" is entirely something new!

a) The Church is not a repair to Judaism!

The Church is the New Testament, "written with the blood of Jesus", who is the "Groom" or the "Head" of the Church, the "Body of Christ".

Luk 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

b) Also God’s work cannot be improved on by man!

That old garment of Judaism cannot be improved, it must be replaced by true Christianity, "which is being like Christ Jesus".

As Judaism is as the body, Christianity is as the soul!

Once the soul is saved, God will then one day glorify the body!

1Co 15:44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

That spiritual body is Christianity!

*****Mar 2:22  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

Jesus gives another example.

In most every case the word "bottle" in the Old Testament is the English translation of a Hebrew word for "skin" as in a specially treated leather bag.

This very same thing happens in the New Testament when the English word "bottle" is the English translation of the Greek word "askos" which also means "skin".

Smoke was used to purify the skin so that skin could be used to hold liquids which included, water, milk, and grape juice.

Psa 119:83  For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

Of these three liquids, grape juice will ferment.

Now grape juice on it’s own cannot ferment into wine but it will go through some fermentation until it spoils.

The remains of that fermentation will remain in that skin. If new grape juice is put into that old wine skin it would soon start fermenting and would produce gas that could cause the wine skin to burst and therefore loose the New Juice or as our English uses the phrase, "New Wine".

In order to preserve the health and freshness of the juice it was put into "new wine skins"!

This again was still an example or what call a "type" of the message Jesus had for these Pharisees.

Christianity is that new wine (juice).

The old wine of Judaism has run out but the new wine of Christianity cannot be poured into the same wine skin that held Judaism!

The "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ is that new wine and it has a freshness and power far beyond Judaism and those Laws of Moses.

There is a new hope, and a new love, and a new life that comes from the "Gospel", the "Good News" of Jesus Christ Our Lord!

Paul wrote:

Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25  But after that faith is come, "we are no longer under a schoolmaster".
Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

*****Mar 2:23  And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
Mar 2:24  And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

Here again the critics of Jesus found something else to criticize Jesus.

a) He hung out with sinners.

b) His disciples did not fast.

c) He said He was God.

d) He had no respect for the Sabbath.

It was near harvest time as Jesus and His disciples were near this field.

Remember these disciples had given up their all to follow the Lord Jesus.

According to the Word of God they could eat of this corn, which was more probably a stalk of wheat.

Deu 23:25  When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn.

This also tells us that this day was probably in the Spring time.

These Pharisees however saw things only through their own eyes:

Deu 5:14  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

It was against the Law to do any work on the Sabbath.

It was not against the Law to get get a bite to eat from this field as long as a sickle was not used and the amount was not great enough to carry some extra with them!

We will see many cases where Our Lord uses the wheat field in His teaching of the disciples.

1) The wheat field is a "type" of the world as many crops are planted and "has a great variety" just as our world does have a great variety.

2) Fruitfulness through death is taught by the wheat field. "The seed that is buried becomes a field of resurrection".

3) Character of individuals can be described from a field of wheat. "Whatsoever a man soeth, that shall he also reap".

4) The wheat field is the home of the sower. The sower plants the field but it is God that gives the increase.

5) The wheat field can be a productive if the right seed is sown under the right conditions.

"Some bring forth a hundredfold".

6) But in most cases the field is white and ready for harvest but there are just not enough of God’s people willing to go to that field!

Jesus who is the Word of God, saw no hindrance in it’s being the Sabbath!

Jesus comments:

*****Mar 2:25  And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

Notice how Jesus immediately ask these scribes, who were the Bible scholars of that day, "Did you not make copies the story of the time when David was on the run for his life from King Saul"?

David was the most honored of the kings of Israel.

David was a fugitive at this time, running for his life and had escaped taking nothing with him.

Some friends of his had joined with him but none of them had provisions.

David had a need for food as much as he had a need for a moment with the priests.

David was not only a "type" of Christ but he was a "type" of Christian.

It is David that wrote this song:

Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Jesus added these words:

Mat 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Mat 10:30  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Every word written in the Word of God has a purpose for us to understand.

One, God takes a real story from history or He will sometimes use a parable to teach us a Biblical truth.

This is why we need to spend some time in God’s Word!

There is the "historical message" of each passage and then there is the "spiritual message" of each passage!

These scribes may even have been able to quote this passage about David but they had missed the intent of God’s message!

So, What had David done?

*****Mar 2:26  How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

We can see that even Jesus considered the Tabernacle the house of God.

There were 12 loaves of shewbread that were placed on a special table next to the Holy of Holies and before the Lord every week. When the new bread was brought in before the next Sabbath, then and only then, by the Law, could that week old bread be eaten and then only by the priests.

In the New Testament all true disciples of Christ are in the priesthood.

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

As God gave David and his men access to the shewbread of the Tabernacle, all Christians have access to the True Bread of Heaven, which is Jesus Christ.

What David did was wrong under the Laws of Moses, "but right under the Laws of God"!

Ignorance of the scriptures is the greatest source of error in the Body of Christ!

The Sadducees erred, because they did not believe the Word of God.

The Pharisees erred, because they became to legalistic and did not learn that the Laws are our schoolmaster.

These "scribes" who were the printers of the Bible erred, because they knew God’s Word but they did not understand what God was saying!

So, Jesus points out their error!

*****Mar 2:27  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

The Book of Genesis tells us the God created for six days and then rested of the seventh day.

That word "Sabbath" means "to rest from labor".

The Sabbath was made for man as a day of of rest and refreshment:

Gen 2:2  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Gen 2:3  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

At the time of Jesus the Sabbath day had been perverted by "tradition"!

The Apostle Paul explains this better in telling us that these old traditions were not Biblical:

Gal 1:14  And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, "being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers".
These traditions were imposed on the people even though for the most part they were arbitrary to the Word of God!

Jesus said in another place that these religious leaders had made the Word of God to none effect by all those traditions:

Mat 15:6  And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition".
Mat 15:7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

In other words those that do these things are "hypocrites".

*****Mar 2:27  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Mar 2:28  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

God’s entire creation was made for mankind!

The Sabbath was made for every man and not just for the Jews.

The Sabbath was never intended to be a ceremonial observance but was intended to be a universal obligation for man.

God says man needs a day of rest for his body and a rest for his soul!

Medical science will tell you that the human frame will not bear up under constant labor without rest.

For those that honor the 10 commandments, they seem to forget this part:

Deu 5:13  Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:

The world we live in is a seven day work week that runs 24 hours each day and these things are built upon tax structures and the love of money, "Greed"!

Not only does the body need rest but the soul needs some time with God!

Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath.

He created it.

He owns it.

He is the Master of it.

It is the Lord that should decide how we use a Sabbath!

The day that Jesus rose from the grave is called "The Lord’s Day"!

He claimed it, it is to devoted to His service, and it is consecrated in His honor.

Isa 12:3  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Isa 12:4  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

I choose to believe that Sunday is our day of rest and a day to be with the Lord:

1Co 16:2  "Upon the first day of the week" let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

But I also realize that different cultures may have to use another day and as long as a day of rest and a time for the Lord is observed I believe it fulfills the commandment of the Lord:

Rom 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Rom 14:7  For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

It is the Lord that we must honor not just one day of the week but every day of our lives!


Let’s Pray!

The Presentation Of God’s Servant


The Presentation Of God’s Servant

Baptized By John

Book of Mark Chapter 1:1-13

In last weeks lesson we saw David becoming the second king of Israel. This week we will begin a study into the Book of Mark.

We will study about the King of Kings!

Even David was a servant before he was king of Israel and The Lord Jesus Christ came to serve before He will sit as King!

So before we get started, just who is this Mark?

The early Christian Church said that this was John Mark:

Act 12:12  And when he had considered the thing, [he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark]; where many were gathered together praying.

This John Mark was a relative of the same Barnabas who helped Paul and then traveled with the Apostle Paul on his first missionary journey.

Col 4:10  Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, [sister’s son to Barnabas], (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

This the Mark that was led to the Lord and was discipled by the Apostle Peter:

1Pe 5:13  The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; [and so doth Marcus my son].

This Mark traveled some with Barnabas and Paul.

It was this Mark, whose mother Mary, owned the upper room, the place of Jesus’ last supper.

But, Mark does not appear in the "Gospel" he wrote unless it was he that the Romans caught when Jesus was arrested:

Mar 14:51  And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:
Mar 14:52  And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

It seems that Mark wrote these words, guided by the Holy Spirit, around 58 AD and this would make it the first of the Gospels to be written.

The Gospel of Mark was first written in the Greek language because that was the common language spoken in the Roman Empire at that time.

So, Why do we need four Gospels?

It was God, through His Holy Spirit, that decided we needed four Gospels:

2Ti 3:16  "All scripture is given by inspiration of God", and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

God still prefers to speak to all of us through other human beings!

We will see that this is why Jesus chose His first disciples and all others that have followed through their work.

There can be "no more" Apostles than those Jesus chose and for that reason but everyone that accepts the Lord Jesus as Savior is a "Disciple"!

So with four Gospels we have four points of view of the same subject who is, Our Lord Jesus Christ!

We should also note that it was in these years of the Book of Mark, that the Han dynasty in China had been recently founded and Buddhism was introduced to China, so Satan was also busy.

As Christianity began to spread, Satan was spreading his false religions.

And Nero also began persecuting the Christians throughout the Roman Empire.

As we study the Book of Mark we will see that he focused on the actions of Jesus and not so much the person of Jesus.

The birth of Jesus is not even mentioned.

We will see that Mark also focuses on the emotional life of Jesus. Mark tells us about the compassion Jesus had for the lost, but also His sorrow and His sighing for Israel.

In Mark we will see how Jesus prepared the disciples for their future ministry.

Mark gives us the purpose that Jesus chooses all his disciples:

Mar 3:14  And he ordained twelve, [that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,]

The Book of Mark also tells us the shortcomings of disciples and the patience of Our Lord Jesus in dealing with them.

There was no doubt to Mark that Jesus was truly the Messiah, The Son of God and that is where he begins his Gospel:

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

That title "Jesus Christ" is used exactly 5 times in the Gospels. (5 the number for "Grace")

"Jesus" is the human side of Our Lord and "Christ" (the Messiah) is His office when He first came, and "Son of God" is His eternal nature.

That word "beginning" means that this sentence is the first and the Word of God that will follow.

That word "beginning" is up front, that on the acceptance of these words, then there will be no ending but a new beginning and life eternal!

To compare:

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

On this day was the beginning of all life and Mark emphasizes that there is now a new beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ!

The "Gospel" comes from the Greek word "Evangelion" which means "good message" or "good news".

This is not just any "good news" but the "good news" of Jesus Christ.

To compare, Isaiah said this of "evangelizing":

Isa 52:7  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth "good tidings", that publisheth peace; that bringeth "good tidings of good", that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

This "good news" is not just about "victory" but "the victory that brings an end to the oppression of sin"!

Jesus Christ was a servant whose weapon is love and whose victory came through the cross!

Jesus Christ is the "only news" that is "good" for all guilty and all hopeless sinners!

This "good news" is cause for celebration!

*****Mar 1:2  As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mar 1:3  The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

The first voice that we hear in Mark’s gospel will not be that of Christ Jesus.

In this first passage of Mark we see the final promise of God in the Old Testament and the fulfillment of that promise in the New Testament some 450 years later.

There should be no doubt that God intended for us to learn from His prophets.

God had a rule for all His prophets:

Deu 18:22  When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, "nor come to pass", that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Not one prophet of God prophesied when they pleased, but only when they were moved by the Holy Ghost:

2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: "but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost".

What is written by the prophets of God will be true prophecy!

Mark quotes from two of God’s prophets here in this verse:

First from Malachi:

Mal 3:1  Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Then from Isaiah:

Isa 40:3  The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

In ancient times, before a king visited any part of his realm, a messenger was sent before him to prepare the way.

The roads had to be prepared for the arrival of the king but more important the people had to be prepared for the king!

Johns message would be that "The King Is Coming"!

What is "the way"?

In the Old Testament the emphasis was on the wilderness journey.

So John began as a voice in the wilderness to teach "the way" that God will be made known and this is through Christ Jesus.

John the Baptist did indeed, prepare and baptize all the men but Paul who later would become the Apostles of Jesus.

Act 1:21  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Act 1:22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

*****Mar 1:4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

John the Baptist was born to be a priest!

His father was Zacharias of the line of Abia of the descendants of Ithamar and his mother Elizabeth from the long line of Aaron, the God appointed priests of Israel.

Luk 1:5  There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

These were parents who were righteous "because they did things right" according to the Word of God!

It was in the wilderness that Israel became God’s chosen people.

It was in the wilderness where God tested His people.

It was through the wilderness that God had led His people back from Babylon.

And it is in "the wilderness" where God will accept a repenting people who will then be Baptized into the New Covenant.

This is "the promise" fulfilled as taught by Jeremiah:

Jer 31:31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

This is "the covenant" promised to the Gentiles:

1Pe 1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

This is "the promised covenant to whosoever" will call on the name of Jesus:

Act 19:4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, [that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus].

John was preparing "the way" to Jesus Christ because, "the only way" to Heaven is by Jesus Christ:

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus firmly tells us all that it is He that is "the way" in fact "the only way"!

That "Baptism of Repentance" is what Jesus brings with Him and can only come by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit!

Repentance signifies a change of the heart, a change of the mind, a change of attitude, and a change of direction along with remorse for all past actions!

In other words we must return to God for a New Beginning!

Jesus said we must be "born again".

As John reached out to Israel, he stood at the River Jordan.

This was a sign that Israel needed to recross Jordan to get to the true promised land.

That promised land could only be provided by Jesus who would come after John.

*****Mar 1:5  And 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.

There is no doubt that we can see the success of John’s ministry because "the people came to him"!

John explained to all that came that sin was like dirt.

Sin is a filth that must be removed!

First, Sin had to be acknowledged!

Next, Sin had to be confessed!

John’s message was not that the water could wash those that were baptized, "clean" but it was only in the Jesus, who would follow, that would bring "the means to clean them" of all sin!

The confession of sins must relate to the act of being baptized not by water but only by the Holy Spirit!

If there is no remission of sin then there can be no pardon for sin!

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

That debt cannot be erased it must be cleansed!

*****Mar 1:6  And 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;

Is, John the Elijah who is to come?

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Elijah was the troubler of Israel:

1Ki 18:17  And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, ‘"Art thou he that troubleth Israel"?

Elijah denounced the corruption of the kings of Israel and pronounced the worship of the Lord.

Elijah also wore a leather belt and was a hairy man:

2Ki 1:8  And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

Elijah also went east of the Jordan River and ate of nature as he ate what the ravens brought him.

The Bible does say that Elijah would return:

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Will God still send Elijah?

Most believers think yes.

Elijah had appeared to Israel unexpected and certainly was uninvited in a time of corruption in the government of Israel.

I also believe that Elijah will be one of the two witnesses God sends during the Tribulation period also certainly uninvited and certainly a time of corruption:

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto "my two witnesses", and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

And Jesus said these words:

Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, [Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things].
Mat 17:12  But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

In the time of John the Baptist, the governments of the world were indeed corrupt, including that of Israel but John proclaimed that "The One" who followed him would be much greater than all that came before him!

John came in fulfillment of prophecy!

John came also of a miraculous birth!

John dressed as Elijah because he practiced what he preached!

John’s sermons had an immediate impact on all of Israel and even on the secular government as they also took notice of John.

John focused on those that were great and on all those that were poor, and all those that were in between, but Johns message was never about himself!

A new day had come and John’s message spread throughout all of Israel!

Mat 3:5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, "and all the region round about Jordan",

But John had a message greater than that of repentance and we have that same message today!

John preached about the coming of the "Son of God"!

And, the people trembled at the preaching of John.

Even the King (Herod) was afraid of John.

John had said that the Jewish religious leaders were nothing more than "a generation of vipers".

John was mighty in his deeds and his words but John knew that he was nothing, so John preached Jesus.

Every pastor or preacher any where in the world is wrong "when they do not preach Jesus".

Every prayer will go unanswered unless that prayer "ends in the name of Jesus".

If that hurts some ones feelings then so be it, we must pray in the name of Jesus for God to hear us!

Joh 16:23  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

It is Jesus that provides the means of all our salvation, "whosoever we are"!

John was a mere man!

John was a voice crying out in the wilderness!

But Christ Jesus is the Word of God!

Heb 10:7  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

John was a mighty preacher and his sermon was this.

*****Mar 1:7  And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
Mar 1:8  I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

We see that John the Baptist from the beginning was preaching Christ and John was also filled with the Holy Spirit "while still in his mothers womb".

Thank God there were no abortion considered by Elizabeth after all she was much past the years of a normal birth!

BUT, John was very careful to exalt Jesus Christ and not his own self!

"Mightier" means Jesus would have more authority than any man!

Not only was Jesus promised but John also preached the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Only God can give of His Spirit so John was preaching the coming of the Messiah, "God in the flesh".

Christ Jesus would have the "Power of God".    (John only had physical power)

Christ Jesus would preach words that were spirit and life.   (John could only preach of His coming)

Christ Jesus would do miracles.   (John did no miracles)

Christ Jesus would have an everlasting ministry.    (even John’s disciples had to be converted)

Christ Jesus died to begin His never ending ministry.   (John’s ministry died when he died)

Christ Jesus had power over the human heart.   (John could only bring the fear of God)

Mere man can do none of these things that Jesus did!

Not one person on this Earth and not one angel in Heaven "is worthy enough" to unloose the latchet of His shoes!

In the Bible times "not even a slave" was not asked to remove the shoes of some one else.!

John was saying that he was no more that any slave in Israel.

The baptising work of the Holy Spirit can only be defined as the work whereby the Spirit places each believer into a union with Christ Jesus and "also" into a union with all other believers which then become the ‘Body Of Christ"!

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

This baptism began on the day of Pentecost and is unique to the Church Age!

Listen to what Jesus said:

Act 1:5  For John truly baptized with water; "but" ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Jesus said these words a few days before Pentecost.

Listen to what happens:

Act 11:15  And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, "as on us at the beginning".
Act 11:16  Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water;"but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost".

This is the message of John the Baptist.

This is the action of that Messiah, that Mighty One, that John was speaking of.

This is the message of salvation:

Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

And then He came:

*****Mar 1:9  And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

It would have taken Jesus 10 days to travel from Nazareth on foot to where John was.

He could have easily said at any time that we were just not worth all He was going to endure for the next 3 and 1/2 years!

Jesus had had 30 years to come to this decision!

To Israel, Nazareth was a place of contempt and nothing good could come out of Nazareth "But" all of a sudden Christ Jesus had come from Nazareth to begin His Ministry.

That phrase "in those days" gives us a time line, that the baptism of Jesus came about in the days of John the Baptist and his preaching at the River Jordan.

Time does what time does, it comes and it passes. One era was ending and "a new era" was about to begin for Israel and for all mankind!

The rejection of Christ by Israel, and the beginning of Church Age for "whosoever would come" to follow!

Not since the days of Adam had a perfect man walked on this earth and Adam had not stayed perfect.

The Apostle Paul said it like this:

Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that "we" might receive the adoption of sons.

The early years of Jesus were mostly quiet years but the Apostle John had these words to say:

Joh 21:25  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

And then Jesus was baptized!

This was the exact reason Jesus had journeyed for 10 days, so He could be baptized and not just to be baptized but to be baptized by John!

Mat 3:13  Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, "to be baptized of him".

Jesus then waited until John had baptized everyone else that came that day!

Luk 3:21  Now "when all the people were baptized", it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

This day may have even been the 30th birthday of Jesus.

Luk 3:23  "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age", being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

Christ Jesus was not just one of the crowd that day, "BUT" He had not come for repentance because He had nothing to repent of!

*****Mar 1:10  And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mar 1:11  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

John baptized with a full immersion as this verse shows but this baptism had nothing to do with sin because we know Jesus had no sin.

Jesus was baptized to fulfill all the requirements of the law!

Jesus was baptized so John could fulfill his own ministry!

Jesus was baptized to give us an example of how we should publicly acknowledge our own separation from sin and to be consecrated to His service!

**"And straightway"

Isaiah wrote these words:

Isa 64:1  Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,

Our verse describes what John saw:

John saw the heavens opened!

John saw the Holy Spirit, "like" a dove descending upon Christ Jesus.

Luk 3:22 says:  And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape "like" a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Matt 3:16 says: And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending "like" a dove, and lighting upon him:

John 1:32 says: Joh 1:32  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven "like" a dove, and it abode upon him.

Did John see a dove?

We can be sure that what is represented here is that the Holy Spirit descended out of Heaven onto Christ Jesus.

What are the characteristics of a dove?

The dove is an emblem of "Peace"!

After God’s wrath Noah sent forth the dove three times:

1.) The dove was sent and found no place to rest the souls of her feet.

This dove came back to the "Comforter’s hands.

2.) The dove was sent forth again and brought back an olive branch.

Indicating a restored earth.

3.) The dove is sent forth a third time and no longer needed the shelter of the ark.

Indicating the return of  the Holy Spirit to the earth.

a.) The dove, Represents the return of our souls to the promised rest by the Holy Spirit.

b.) The dove, Points us in the direction of Christ Jesus.

c.) The dove, Is the earnest of our inheritance until Jesus returns to take us to the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Here again there will be no need for the ark/church to separate us from Our Father who is in Heaven.

And Our Father says as John heard His voice from Heaven:

"Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"

When God the Father spoke, and the Holy Spirit descended onto Christ Jesus we have the entire Tri-Une God.

While there is only one God, there are three eternally distinct and equal persons in the godhead. Each is distinct from each other, yet all three are united as One.

But, This is the picture we should get just as Christ Jesus rose out of the River Jordan.

Baptism gives a perfect picture of the Death, the Burial, and the Resurrection, of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But the Trinity also represents our command to reach out to the lost of the dying world:

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost":
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

God was well pleased that His plan was moving forward on schedule and Jesus said:

Luk 12:32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

*****Mar 1:12  And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

The Holy Spirit has decided that since we have met John the Baptist, and also The Lord Jesus Christ, along with all the godhead, then we also needed to meet Satan who still tries to hinder the Gospel even more in our day.

"Immediately" means as soon as Jesus was baptized BUT before His ministry began, the Holy Spirit that had just came to Him "as a dove" cast Jesus into the wilderness.

That word "driveth" is the Hebrew "ekballo" and it means "to cast out" or "to throw out" into the wilderness.

Baptism and wilderness are connected because to be separated, "baptized", means that our wilderness lies ahead of us all.

*****Mar 1:13  And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

We should notice who is also in this part of the wilderness that man did not know:

1) Satan.

Even back in Genesis 3 when the serpent is mentioned, it is recognized that Satan was that serpent.

The Book of Job specifically mentions Satan.

The Book of Chronicles states that Satan led David to make a census.

In Zachariah, it is Satan that accuses the nation of Israel before God.

Ezekiel and Isaiah refer to Satan even if they don’t mention the name Satan.

In the New Testament every writer makes a reference to Satan.

Jesus Christ Himself, mentions Satan 25 times.

We should not be deceived as Satan would have it, he does exist and just as Our Lord describes him!

2) The wild beast, came not to cause harm but to show respect to the Creator. It was Jesus with the wild beast and "NOT" Satan with the wild beast. It was not Satan that made these beast wild!

3.) The Angels, of which it is written:

Psa 91:11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Mark does not go into the details but "temptation" means "to be tempted to do evil"!

Satan is mentioned as the source of all opposition to the "Gospel" then and now in our day.

2Ti 2:26  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

It is Satan who is, out of sight, and behind the scenes of every evil in this world!

It is the angels who are behind the scenes watching over God’s people!

And it is the Holy Spirit that holds back the evil in this world!

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, "until he be taken out of the way".

That number 40 is a symbol for testing.

Israel was tested for 40 years in the wilderness but Israel failed.

If Jesus survives His temptation, He can then begin His Ministry!

Christ Jesus will be tested for 40 days in the wilderness but Our Lord cannot ever fail!


Let’s Pray!