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The Authority of the Messiah (1:14-3:6)

The Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus Proclaims the Kingdom and Calls Disciples (1:14-20)

Mark 1:14–20 CSB
14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” 16 As he passed alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 “Follow me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people.” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 Going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat putting their nets in order. 20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
We saw Mark introduce John the Baptist as the “beginning of the good news” and described Jesus’ baptism and testing in the wilderness as preparation for his mission.
Mark now moves to the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry in Galilee.
Our main theme in this section is the authority of Jesus.
Jesus demonstrates his authority by proclaiming the kingdom (1:14-15), calling disciples (1:16-20), casting out demons (1:21-28), healing the sick (1:29-34; 40-45; 2:8-12), and forgiving sins (2:5).
This authority also provokes opposition form the religious leaders.
Challenging his authority and accuse him of blasphemy (2:7),
Associating with sinners (2:16)
Violating the Sabbath (2:24; 3:2)

Ministry in Galilee (1:14-15)

Mark 1:14–15 CSB
14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
1:14 - Mark’s purpose in this introductory summary is threefold:
Provide a transition from John’s ministry to that of Jesus.
Establish Galilee as the setting for Jesus’ early ministry
Summarize the content of Jesus’ preaching: the need to repent and believe in the good news of the kingdom of God.
Mark refers in passing to John’s arrest; later he will use a narrative flashback to describe John’s imprisonment and execution (6:14-29).
We see a period of overlap in the Fourth Gospel between the ministries of Jesus and John (John 3:22-4:2), the Synoptics move John off the scene before Jesus’ public ministry begins. (Matt. 4:12; Luke 3:19-20).
More of a theological rather than a chronological purpose.
Emphasizing the transition from the old age of promise to the new age of fulfillment.
John being the last and greatest of the OT prophets (Matt. 11:9-11; Luke 7:26-28).
Luke gospel, Jesus explains Luke 16:16
Luke 16:16 CSB
16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urgently invited to enter it.
John is a also a transitional figure, with one foot in each age.
As a forerunner and herald of the Messiah, he passes the prophetic baton across the ages to Jesus.
John announces the need to repent in light of the soon coming of eschatological judgement.
Jesus will proclaim its arrival through his own words and deeds.
“The Good News”
1:15 - The “time” here is eschatological time of Salvation (Gal 4:4)
Galatians 4:4 CSB
4 When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
The two phrases
“the time is fulfilled” and “the kingdom of God is close at hand” are parallel and corefrerential, with both referring to this new age of salvation.
The kingdom is shorthand for God’s eschatological salvation, which is even now breaking into human history through Jesus’ words and actions.
The appropriate response to this kingdom announcement is to “repent and believe in the good news.”
Repentance means turning away from sin and faith means acknowledging dependence on God.
Theses are two sides of the same coin: repudiating or refusing a life focused on self and reorienting toward God and his purpose for the world.

The First Disciples

Mark 1:16–20 CSB
16 As he passed alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 “Follow me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people.” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 Going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat putting their nets in order. 20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
1:16 - Mark shift’s his description of Jesus’ Kingdom message to a more individualized in his call of disciples.
Two pairs of Fishermen brother.
Simon “Peter” and Andrew ; James and John
Three of the four - Peter, James and John will become the core disciples or the “inner circle”
Simon will not be called “Peter” until (Mark 3:16), where Jesus gives him the nickname. (meaning “rock” or “stone”)
Peter becomes the most prominent of the Twelve. Always named first in lists of the disciples (3:16-19).
According to the Gospel of John, Andrew was first a disciple of John the Baptist, and it was he who introduced his brothers o Jesus (John 1:40-42).
The Sea of Galilee is actually a large kidney-shaped inland lake.
14 miles log and 6 miles wide
Located 682 feet below sea level.
OT refers to it as the “Sea of Kinnereth or Chinnereth”
Numbers 34:11 CSB
11 The border will go down from Shepham to Riblah east of Ain. It will continue down and reach the eastern slope of the Sea of Chinnereth.
Joshua 13:27 CSB
27 in the valley: Beth-haram, Beth-nimrah, Succoth, and Zaphon—the rest of the kingdom of King Sihon of Heshbon. Their land also included the Jordan and its territory as far as the edge of the Sea of Chinnereth on the east side of the Jordan.
Possibly from the Hebrew word for “harp,” referring to the shape.
Luke calls it the “Lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5:1)
Luke 5:1 CSB
1 As the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God’s word, he was standing by Lake Gennesaret.
A Greek form of Chinnereth.
Also called the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1) after the main city on the western shore, named after the Roman emperor Tiberias.
John 6:1 CSB
1 After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).
Fishing was a major industry in Galilee.
1:17 - Greek idiom “come after me” is a call to discipleship, a relationship of learning from a master teacher.
Discipleship was very common during this time.
Although, Jesus’ manner of calling was unusual.
Normally the student would seek out a particular rabbi and ask to follow him.
Jesus instead approaches disciples and calls them.
Mark’s account emphasizes Jesus’ authority, which demands an immediate response.
The image of fishing for people is found in the OT, though always in the context of impending judgement.
Jeremiah 16:16 CSB
16 “I am about to send for many fishermen”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and they will fish for them. Then I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and out of the clefts of the rocks,
Ezekiel 29:4–5 CSB
4 I will put hooks in your jaws and make the fish of your streams cling to your scales. I will haul you up from the middle of your Nile, and all the fish of your streams will cling to your scales. 5 I will leave you in the desert, you and all the fish of your streams. You will fall on the open ground and will not be taken away or gathered for burial. I have given you to the wild creatures of the earth and the birds of the sky as food.
Amos 4:2 CSB
2 The Lord God has sworn by his holiness: Look, the days are coming when you will be taken away with hooks, every last one of you with fishhooks.
Habakkuk 1:14–17 CSB
14 You have made mankind like the fish of the sea, like marine creatures that have no ruler. 15 The Chaldeans pull them all up with a hook, catch them in their dragnet, and gather them in their fishing net; that is why they are glad and rejoice. 16 That is why they sacrifice to their dragnet and burn incense to their fishing net, for by these things their portion is rich and their food plentiful. 17 Will they therefore empty their net and continually slaughter nations without mercy?
Jesus reverses this image to one of salvation.
To fish for people is to rescue them from sin and death by calling them into God’s Kingdom.
The Greek clause “I will make you to become fishers of people” may mean either “I will send you out to fish for people” (NIV) or “I will teach you how to fish for people” (GNT; GW; NLT),
That is to train them in the art of people-fishing.
1:18 - Mark’s characteristic word “immediately” often serves as a transitional word without temporal significance, here it certainly means “at once.”
The disciples drop what they are doing and follow him.
If Mark is aware of any previous encounters between Jesus and the disciples (John 1:35-42) he shows no interest in them.
For Mark the important point is the authority of Jesus’ words and the immediate response of the disciples.
The Kingdom of God is an urgent call and demands an absolute response.
1:19 - The same scene is now repeated with two more fishermen brothers,
James and John
They were preparing the nets and getting ready for more fishing.
James was probably the oldest and firstborn son and so is named first and in relationship to his father.
This James is different form the lesser-known disciple, James the son of Alphaeus,
As well as James, the half brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3; Acts 1:14).
Mark 6:3 CSB
3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?” So they were offended by him.
Acts 1:14 CSB
14 They all were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Who became a key leader in the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Gal. 2:9).
This James will eventually be arrested and executed by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:1-2; AD 44), the first of the twelve to suffer martyrdom.
He and his brother John are nicknamed “sons of thunder” by Jesus (Mark 3:17).
Mark 3:17 CSB
17 and to James the son of Zebedee, and to his brother John, he gave the name “Boanerges” (that is, “Sons of Thunder”);
Possibly because of their volatile personalities.
Later church tradition identifies John as the author of the Fourth Gospel (“the disciple whom Jesus loved”), the Johannine Letters (1-3 John) and while in exile on Patmos, the book of Revelation.
1:20 - We see again that both the call and response are immediate.

The Kingdom and God’s Redemptive Purpose

The Message of the kingdom is that human history is not an endless cycle of sin, suffering, and death. Redemptive history is not circular but linear, with a beginning, middle, and end.
God started it and He will end it, because He is the sovereign Lord of the universe.
And the end is in fact a new beginning, the restoration of creation as it was intended to be.
Jesus’ announcement that “the kingdom of God is close at hand” means the endgame has begun.
God’s plan of redemption and restoration is entering its most important and decisive phase.

The Presence of the Kingdom

The kingdom is present not because God’s authority is universally acknowledged, but because a right relationship with God is now available through God’s agent of redemption.
Jesus’ message is an invitation to repent and believe in the kingdom, to submit to God’s authority, and so to “enter” the kingdom.
It is an invitation to reorient a life focused on self to a life focused on God.
Jesus is launching the plan that will bring about the final restoration of all things.
His exorcisms reveal that the power of the adversary is being neutralized.
His healings demonstrate that fallen humanity is being restored (Isa 35:5-6)
Isaiah 35:5–6 CSB
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy, for water will gush in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
His offer of forgiveness confirms that the power of sin is being broken
His nature miracles show his divine authority to restore a fallen creation.
All these are postcards from the kingdom, telling people that its power is really present and that its consummation is coming.
Ultimately, Jesus’ death on the cross will serve as a ransom for sins (Mark 10:45)
Mark 10:45 CSB
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
breaking the endless cycle of sin and death and restoring humanity to eternal fellowship with God.

Jesus’ Kingdom Authority and the Cost of Discipleship

Announcing the Kingdom of God, Jesus sets out to establish a community of followers who will submit to God’s reign.
Two themes come through in the call narrative of the first four disciples.
First, authority of Jesus, a theme that runs throughout the opening part of Mark’s Gospel.
using a harmonisitc approach to the Gospels, one might conclude that Jesus has had previous encounters with these men (John 1:40-42).
But this plays no part in Mark’s story.
For Mark this is not a measured response to follow Jesus after seeing his miracles or weighing the cost.
Rather, Jesus speaks and people obey.
It is his overwhelming presence and authority that demand a response.
Throughout this gospel, Jesus’ words carry divine authority
When he speaks
demons are put to flight
diseases are healed
storm waves are calmed
experts in debate are rendered speechless
Jesus speaks and acts with the authority of God.
Second theme
the willingness of the disciples to leave everything to follow Jesus.
Discipleship has a cost.
Closest OT parallel is the narrative, the call of Elisha by Elijah
Elisha asks and is (apparently) given permission to go back and say good-bye to his parents (1 Kings 19:19-21).
Marks narrative, James and John simply leave their father in the boat to follow Jesus immediately.
This would have been shocking- even blasphemous - in a first century context where honoring parents was among the greatest of values. (Exod 20:12; Deut 5:16; Prov 23:22)
We will see throughout Mark that the demands of the kingdom are radical.
They involve leaving wealth (10:21-24), family (3:33-35)
Denying yourself
taking up your cross (in death)
following him (Mark 8:34)
Mark 8:34 CSB
34 Calling the crowd along with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
Having profound implications for believers today.
What does it mean (especially for those who possess wealth, position, and power to leave everything and follow Jesus?
This is a call of discipleship today, just as it was in Jesus’ day.
John the Baptist Ministry
Biblical World - Jesus Ministry
Jesus Baptism and Temptation
Jesus Heals, Preaches and Calls in Galilee.
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