February 2, 2009

A Portrait of Jesus in the gospel of Mark, part 1

How wonderful it is to meditate on the Lord Jesus, whom we know as "Christ" (the Anointed, who fulfills all of the Old Testament prophecies that God would come in human flesh and be King forever)! The gospels were also written to be evangelistic, to help others come to believe in the one God the Father has consecrated and sent to be the Savior of the world. That is why I am writing a summary of the Gospel of Mark. I will be posting summaries of each chapter, until all 16 chapters are completed, then I hope to use what I learn to write an evangelistic tract about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Here are the first 2:

The Gospel According to Mark
A Brief Summary about Jesus Christ, the Son of God

1. The word "gospel" means "good news." It is called "the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." (Mark 1:1). To fulfill prophecy, John the Baptist came as a witness calling people to repent, turn from their sins and return to the Lord in preparation for the Christ [the Messiah or Anointed One]. Jesus himself was baptized, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove, while God the Father testified from heaven saying, "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mark 1:11). Immediately Jesus went away to be tempted by the devil, resisted every temptation and returned preaching, "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel." Jesus also called some fisherman to follow him, taught with astounding authority in the Jewish synagogues, commanded an unclean spirit to come out of a man, healed Peter's mother-in-law from a fever, taught crowds the Word of God, went to pray alone, and then healed many more from various diseases and ailments. He even had compassion on a leper, being willing to touch him to make him clean.

2. As he traveled through each town, crowds came to hear Jesus preach and be healed by him. A crippled man was brought to him on a stretcher. Seeing their faith, Jesus said, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (Mark 2:5). Some scribes thought he was blaspheming, since only God could forgive sins. But Jesus proved his authority to forgive by telling the man to get up and walk home. Immediately the man got up and walked! This amazed all the people. Then some religious leaders criticized him for eating with sinners and tax collectors. So he explained that it was not the righteous [or good] people who needed him, but sinners that he came to call to repentance [because those who think they are good see no need for a Savior].

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