On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! Gospel of Mark 1

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!

 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many Mark 10:45

 Mark, shows the Ox of Ezekiel’s Wheel, The Servant Savior, as Jesus.

Mark was the Amanuensis of Peter, which is why Peter’s fingerprints are all over the Gospel. There are traits of impulsiveness, aggression, activity, and action, that mark Mark, and yes, this was long before New Kids on the Block and Marky Mark.

Mark also contains most of the miracles that are recorded in the Gospels with the fewest Parables, even though it the shortest of the four depictions of the life and ministry of Jesus. Although it is the shortest Gospel, the narratives that are in multiple Gospels are longer and more detailed, sometimes 2-3X longer. This is really not that surprising, as Peter was a fisherman, an outdoorsman, which probably made him more observant of his surroundings.

The feeding of the 5000 demonstrates this characteristic in its picturesque details. Mark is the only recorder who says that they reclined on the grass in ranks or groups. The word used for ranks (6:40) literally means flower beds. This is Peter’s way of saying that the hill was covered in 1000’s of brightly colored oriental robes, making it look like a flower garden.

Matthew and Luke focus on teaching, John hones in on Jesus’ ministry to His Disciples, while focuses on the action. It has been said that John is a studied portrait, Matthew and Luke are a series of photos, while Mark is a video. This can be seen in the use of the word euthis (immediately). Matthew uses it 4X, John 3X, Luke 1X. Mark uses it 42X and in two passages it is used repeated 3X in two verses!

Mark is also a Gospel of contrasts. The suffering servant becomes the Messianic King, Jesus remains silent, yet the message is proclaimed by demons, healed people, disciples, and Jewish leaders, even with Jesus repeatedly withdrawing from the crowds. Jesus is also identified from the very beginning as the Son of God, yet He continues to identify Himself as the Son of man.

Jesus taps into what seems to be Omniscience in Mark 2:8, But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?.. yet in 5:31-32 Jesus asks, ‘Who touched Me?’32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing, demonstrating limited knowledge. Mark also shows Jesus as Omnipotent over death, demons, illness, and nature, yet Jesus is seen possessing compassion, becoming indignant, has anger, becomes weary, and sighs.  This is also coupled with Jesus admitted limitation regarding the miraculous Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. Mark also shows limitations in Jesus knowledge in 13:32 where we read about the second coming, But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. In all of these things Mark gives us a balanced view of Jesus in order to balance out an overly enthusiastic stress on the supernatural aspects of his account.

A PREPARED PATH

1:1 The beginning of the gospel, en arche is the same Greek term in the LXX as Genesis 1:1, In the beginning. This is a Book with a new God beginning. By doing this, Peter is saying that his Gospel has divine origin.

Gospel is Old English for Good News! It’s an accurate translation of evangelion, the reward that comes from transmitting the message of the Kingdom. Even our Saviors name speaks in this manner, as Jesus/Joshua means YHWH is salvation.

1:2-3 When mark immediately cites the OT, he is showing us that the ministry of Jesus is rooted in the revelation that Jesus is embedded in, the Law and the Prophets. The verb tense for “it is written,” is important. It’s in the perfect tense, which means that it’s a completed action in the past with continued results now. That’s why this is important to us today. What has been completed carries over into the now. We draw on the actions that Mark recorded for the establishment of faith, and we draw on the future Kingdom’s presence now. It is written also underscores what they understood as the unchanging authority of the Scriptures. This authority is still present and active.

1:4-8 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Mark has strong Roman characteristics. Romans did not care about your pedigree. Who your parents were mattered little to the Romans. Roman culture was infatuated with and glorified action. Your ability superseded your linage. There question would be what did he do, not where did he come from. This is why Mark emphasizes Jesus as the conquering Christ, He who vanquishes demons, disease, death and nature. It is also why there is no Nativity Story.  This is also why the account begins with a wilderness revival where the people kept going out to hear the message that brings reward being proclaimed by a simple preacher from a simple preacher/Prophet, John the cousin of Jesus who ministered in the region of the Essenes (Qumran/Dead Sea Scrolls), Then all the land… went out… and were baptized by him… confessing their sinsOne mightier than I… I baptize you with water He baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

A PREPARED PRESENCE

1:9-11 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

John 17:22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one, deals with the impartation of what is known as the believers glory (doxa). This is a hard passage to understand, and it one that commentators struggle with. There are multiple points of view that have been presented over the years. As a starting point, it needs to be understood that this glory (doxa) has an external origin, meaning it is derived from the Godhead’s glory and is not innate within the believer.

Some, like Bultmann, view this as the name of God that has been given to the church through the words of Jesus, which reveal Him as our savior and redeemer. Others view this as His incarnate glory, that which He left to become man, in order to reveal through His ministry on earth,  but would reclaim at ascension. Others view it as salvations gift, while still others see it as the unity of the believer.

Glory typically refers to the manifestation of that which is known about God’s character and personhood through revelation. Jesus was revealing to His disciples that the glory He was walking in that had notes of suffering, service, empowerment, and victory would be theirs also as they became enabled ministers of the Gospel.

Some say that it is simply that which we receive in the future (heaven). But this view of a a futuristic ideal is pointless with respect to the churches missional statement of verse 23: “to let the world know that you sent me.” Later, Peter wrote that the divine nature is in us as a result of regeneration, so we already have a measure of the glory of Jesus himself. This makes the verses focus proleptic, or forward thinking. Jesus is addressing an element of what is to come for these disciples and the corpus (body) of Christ until He returns.

I personally think that the proleptic view has weight, particularly in light of what Jesus is about to do. He is revealing to the disciples the basis of His authority and His ability to work the works of Heaven. Jesus is about to release Holy Spirit in a way in which they will understand Him in a personal manner through intimate relationship, and not as a concept, or impersonal power manifestation of God in the abstract. Jesus is letting them know that when the One who is to come once He has left will imbed His glory in them through His presence. The glory that was on and in Jesus from His baptism forward was about to become there’s in a greater way than they had yet to understand.

All believers are entitled to, and should ardently expect, and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This what Mark is identifying. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church.  With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4, 8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31).  This experience begins with the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9).  With the baptism in the Holy Spirit come such experiences as: an overflowing fullness of the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8), a deepened reverence for God (Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28), an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work (Acts 2:42) and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost (Mark 16:20).

A PREPARED PERSON

1:9 Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river Jordan… The Rabbis taught that “when God speaks in Heaven, the daughter of His voice (echo) is heard on the earth.” Mark shows us that Jesus baptism was a wedding of two OT verses, Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1, where we read, I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You… and “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

Jesus is the hope of the Nations! Jesus is the begotten Son! All the gentiles now have access to the goodness of God! That’s you! That’s me! That’s us!

1:10-11 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

YHWH identifies how He perceives Jesus, immediately following the Heavens opening up and the Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove. Jesus is God’s beloved. Matthew tells it like this in 3:16-17, When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved (agapetos) Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Love is an important scriptural directive. Love is the basis of the baptism of Jesus first in water, as He fulfills the demands of obedience, and as He is loved upon by Father God.

John 17:26 addresses Jesus understanding of His Father’s agape love for Him, And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.  But at the baptism, Jesus experienced the phileo of the father.  Holy Spirit brings the affectionate touch of the Father to us.  This is why we are to be filled with His presence and receive His gifts and encounter His anointing.  At the river Jordan, Father God spoke words of affirmation to His Son.  These words help us to see the humanity of Jesus and His human needs.  And they help us to reidentify with our Father in Heaven, Abba Father.

Abba is the word little kids would call their male parent in Palestine.  Children do not normally call their fathers father all the time.  It’s to formal and rigid.  We use words like dad, pop, daddy, poppa, da.  These are our equivalents to Abba.

This experience of affirmation is crucial at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus.  He is secured by His Father’s love and sensitive to His Father’s voice and presence.  In the book The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent, we see five identified traits that children need to receive from their parents, in this case a Son from His Father.  They are: 1) Meaningful Touch; 2) a spoken message; 3) placing high value in blessing a child; 4) seeing a future for your child; 5) being committed to fulfilling that future.  Jesus received His Father’s blessing at His baptism.  The same thing happens again at the Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-5.

LOVE: Phileo Agape Eros Storge

Father’s Love Defined

 A CHILD FROM THE ONSET

John 1:1, 14. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

His relationship with the Father was from the beginning. Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, became flesh. The secret to the sinless life of Jesus and to His miraculous ministry is bound up in His relationship to the Father. Even though He was God, Jesus drew His power from an intimate, child-like relation­ship with the Father in Heaven. The ability to hear what God is saying, to see what God is doing, and to move in the realm of the miraculous comes as an individual develops out of the same intimacy with and dependence upon the Father.

How did Jesus do what He did? The answer is found in His relationship with the Father. How will we do the “greater works than these” which Jesus promised? We discover this by developing the same relationship of intimacy, simplicity, and obedience. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, shows the nature of this relationship and how the ministry of Jesus flowed out of it. Today we are going to take a look at the Gospel of John as a primary source for an examination of Jesus relationship with the Father and Spirit.

Abba Father

Abba is the word little kids would call their male parent in Palestine.  Children do not normally call their fathers father all the time.  It’s to formal and rigid.  We use words like dad, pop, daddy, poppa, da.  These are our equivalents to Abba.

FATHER’S LOVE ILLUSTRATED

Jesus Baptism (Matthew 3:16-17) When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

John 17:26 addresses Jesus understanding of His Father’s agape love for Him, And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.  But at the baptism, Jesus experienced the phileo of the father.  Holy Spirit brings the affectionate touch of the Father to us.  This is why we are to be filled with His presence and receive His gifts and encounter His anointing.  At the river Jordan, Father God spoke words of affirmation to His Son.  These words help us to see the humanity of Jesus and His human needs.

This experience of affirmation is crucial at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus.  He is secured by His Father’s love and sensitive to His Father’s voice and presence.  In the book The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent, we see five identified traits that children need to receive from their parents, in this case a Son from His Father.  They are: 1) Meaningful Touch; 2) a spoken message; 3) placing high value in blessing a child; 4) seeing a future for your child; 5) being committed to fulfilling that future.  Jesus received His Father’s blessing at His baptism.  The same thing happens again at the Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-5.

Stergein: (Storge) This means a natural affection, like that between members of a family, or even in the love of animals for their offspring. This kind of love binds any social unit together.

 

Philein (noun form philos) This phileō, spontaneous natural affection, with more feeling than reason, occurs some 25 times. It is the love between friends, the mutual attraction of similar interests and characteristics. It is the appreciation of the qualities of another person and can be understood as tender compassion. The Greeks valued friendship very highly, and philein  is the most commonly used word for ‘love’ in the classical writings.

Agapan (noun form agape): This means the highest form of love which sees something infinitely precious in its object. It is a love of esteem and of prizing for the values ascribed to the beloved. Agapē means to love the undeserving, despite disappointment and rejection; the difference between agapaō and phileō is difficult to sustain in all passages. Agapē is especially appropriate for religious love

Eros: Sensuous love.

‎James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

We typically define the Father’s Love as agape theologically.  This is His unconditional concern for us that He demonstrated for us in Christ’s death for us (Romans 5:8).  We do this because we have people who have identified agape as unconditional in the sense of sacrificial action and incapable of being enacted by humans completely.  Our theology has moved agape out of experience and has made it philosophical or conceptual, not experiential.

Let me address how we experience the love of the Father.  We do it through His phileo love, not agape.  The phileo of the Father for the Son is described in John 5:20,  For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.  The ministry of Jesus, His words and works apparently flowed out of phileo love.  It was in the relational intimacy of tender compassion that Jesus sensed His Father’s presence and heard His voice, which let Him know what the Father was doing.

Father God expresses this same type of love for us.  John 16:27 says, for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.  Our communication and connection with God is supposed to flow out of the same continual experience of our Father’s phileo for us.  Modern definitions of agape focuses on a truth about God that is almost untouchable or unknowable from a human standpoint through its elevated concept.  Phileo is important, as it focuses on God’s tender touch, which is missing in most believers lives.

THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION (Romans 8:14-17)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Paul is describing how we experience the phileo love of God through these manifestations/impartations:

1) We experience adoption (huio-thesia), which means we have been placed as a son in the presence of a father.  Our adoption is based solely on redemption (Galatians 4:4-6).  James Dunn comments on adoption like this: The metaphor of adoption occurs only in the Pauline literature (Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4: Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5) in the New Testament  and is drawn from his experience of Greco-Roman law and custom, since it is not a Jewish practice as such.

2) We experience Holy Spirit as He testifies (summartureo/gives strong evidence) to our spirit that we are children (tekna), born ones of God.   Martin Lloyd Jones speaks about the experiential nature of Romans 8:15, as he points out that the: nature or character of the proof that is provided by the Spirit, in this way is our sonship.  It is important that we should be clear about the nature of the character of this proof; and I am emphasizing this particular point because I find that many of the commentaries really miss it altogether.  Many of them interpret this in terms of what we have already dealt with in verse 14, where we were told that, as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  They teach that the spirit of adoption is but the result of our being led by the Spirit, a kind of deduction we draw by applying the test to ourselves.  But this would be mere tautology {(rhetoric), a self-reinforcing pretense of significant truth; (grammar), the use of redundant words (logic)}.  There would be no advancement in the thought, and we should not be given a yet stronger reason or proof for knowing our sonship.  But as we have seen, there is a graduation and progress here, leading to a climax.

In other words, this a subjective, experiential event.  It involves our emotions and it resides deeper than our intellect.  It lives in our emotions.  Paul is telling us that we have been adopted into the family of God and it by a Spirit of adoption.   We are to be aware of it, feeling it and enjoying its benefits.   Paul is emphasizing that we are to not only believe this doctrine, we are to experience it as something that goes beyond intellectual ascent.   Paul is telling us that we are to feel, with the emphasis on feeling, in the same way Jesus our LORD felt accepted by Father God.  In Galatians 4:6 he tells us that because you are sons, says the apostle, God has sent forth – note he doesn’t say ‘the Holy Spirit’- he says, the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.  This distinction is important as it points out the result of our adoption process.  We have standing in the sight of God that is comparable to God’s Son Jesus.

The Spirit we have within us, this Spirit of adoption, is the Spirit of God’s own Son.  The feelings Jesus had as our mediator to the Father are supposed to be the feelings we have that move us toward acting like Gods children.  This is the Spirit of adoption.  We feel, we know in the depth of our being that we have been put alongside our LORD in this matter of sonship.

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