Thursday, December 15, 2016

Intro to Mark

Mark 1:1-11

According to the ancient writer, Papias, mark was written by the John Mark who was mentioned in Acts 12 and 13.  Papias wrote from about 90 to 130 AD.  He was taught by one of the Apostle John’s students and was personally acquainted with the apostle.   He said that John said Mark served as a translator for Peter between the time of his return to Jerusalem in Acts 13:13 and his joining Barnabas in Acts 15:39, and the book was based on the accounts of the gospel he had heard Peter give.   This indicates that Mark was probably written around 50-55 AD.  According to Papias, John said Mark got the stories correct but not always in order.   Mark is valuable in that it confirms the accounts given in Matthew and John, and also provides additional insights into some of the events they describe, but we need to look to Matthew and John for the timing of the different events, as they were actually present to observe them.  

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.  The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Mark 1:1-3)

Mark introduces the book with a quote from Malachi 3:1.  “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me…”   He couples that prophecy with one from Isaiah 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.”  Mark wants it understood that Jesus’ coming was fulfillment of the scriptures about the coming Messiah.  He then proceeded to shoe John the Baptist as the forerunner of  for the Messiah. 

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

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; 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.  I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 1:4-8)

Malachi 4:5 prophesied, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”   I Kings 1:8 describes Elijah.  “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.”    John the Baptist was dressed similar to the description of Elijah, further indicating that he fulfilled the prophets role in Christ’s coming.   John was careful to make it clear he was not the Messiah, but the messenger preparing Messiah’s way.    Mark’s description is the same as that in Matthew 3:4, while his description of John’s message agrees with that in Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16-18, and John 1:23-27, clearly indicating that they give an accurate account of what occurred. 

“And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.  And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:9-11)

Mark’s account confirms the accounts of Jesus’ baptism found in Matthew 3;13, Luke 3:21, and John 1:31-34, that God was heard to declare Jesus to be the Son of God.  The fact that the accounts differ slightly from that of the others indicates they were not the result of collaboration between

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