Mark 1:1-28 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah
the prophet: “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way; 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.’”
4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. 7 And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. 8 I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
12 Immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness.13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
16 As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.20 Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.
21 They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.
At the end of yesterday’s text from Matthew 28, Jesus said: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In today’s text it says: They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes… They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” Jesus did not go to the cross so that He would be given authority. Jesus had authority even before He came to earth as a man. He was present with the Father and the Holy Spirit at creation. John 1:2-3 says: He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. Colossians 1:15-17 says: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Jesus went to the cross, He conquered sin and death not because it had power or authority over Him, but because it had power over us. Jesus went to the cross so that we could have and walk in the authority He has. That was God’s plan from the beginning, before Adam and Eve sinned. When God created them, in Genesis 1:26 He said to Jesus and the Holy Spirit: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” In verse 28 God spoke to Adam and Eve saying: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Jesus died on the cross conquering sin and death for us, so that we could be given back all the authority that was intended for us in the beginning.
Today’s text begins saying: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way; The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.’” John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins… And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John recognized the authority of Jesus and proclaimed His coming in authority. He proclaimed a message of repentance to prepare the way of the Lord. In truth, repentance prepares people for the way of the Lord. Isaiah said: ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.’ In Mattew 7:13-14 Jesus says: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” In John 14:6 He says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
It is not a question of whether or not Jesus has all authority. In Isaiah 45:23 God says: By Myself I have sworn; truth has gone out from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow before Me, every tongue will confess allegiance. Philippians 2:10-11 says: At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So it is not a question of whether Jesus has authority, but rather whether we will, like John the Baptist, recognize the authority of Jesus. It is a matter of whether we, like John, will prepare Your way; ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight. It is a matter of whether we will walk in the authority which Jesus restored to us through the cross and the resurrection, whether we will, like John preach a message of repentance because Jesus is as He says in Revelation 1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” He is coming again in all authority. The question is will we recognize and proclaim His coming?
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, the Three in One God, who is and was and is to come, the Almighty; thank You for giving me authority to walk in and proclaim Your way. I bow my knee and declare that You are Lord. Amen.