The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Gospel of Mark & The Kingdom of God


After His forty days in the wilderness, Jesus begins to proclaim the gospel of God or the Kingdom of God.  It is my opinion the primary message of Jesus is contained in verse 15, “the kingdom of God is near.”  Hearers were to repent to enter the kingdom.  The nearness of the Kingdom is the gospel or good news that Jesus was announcing during His earthly ministry. 

Now after John was imprisoned, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God. He said, "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!"  (Mark 1:14-15 NET)

The nearness of the kingdom must be one with an ongoing history, one that could come.  God has always ruled the universe and in humble hearts. 

At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus enters a synagogue in Capernaum and begins to teach.  A possessed man comes forward and calls Jesus, “The Holy One of God.”  In the Old Testament the title, “Holy One” is almost exclusively applied to God. Occasionally angels are referred to as “holy ones” and Aaron is called “the Holy One of God” in Psalms 106:16 -- Aaron the saint of the LORD.  The demon was recognizing and displaying Jesus as Isaiah’s “Holy One” and Jesus was exhibiting His authority as God by ordering the demon at be silent.  His authority over demons exhibited His power to overcome to ruler of wickedness in the present age.

Mark 1:23-26 NET  Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit, and he cried out,  (24)  "Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are -- the Holy One of God!"  (25)  But Jesus rebuked him: "Silence! Come out of him!"  (26)  After throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him.

Jesus heals three individuals by His touch:  a leper; a woman with a twelve year blood flow; and raises a young girl from the dead.

Ceremonial law forbade people to touch a leper. Since he had been a leper a long time his disease was in the advanced stages.  Yet, it could be said, Jesus did not break that law, because as soon as He touched the man, he was no longer a leper.  The gospels record that Jesus healed people by His word and it was not necessary for His touch, however, it had been an extended time since the leper had felt a touch of any kind.

Mark 1:40-41 KJV  And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  (41)  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

The touch was evidently conveying a particular message to the hearers of the gospel.  Some have said Jesus was expressing that ceremonial law was not relevant.  Of course, Jesus would not contract uncleanness, but it is possible that healing purity may flow from Jesus to others contacting Him. 

The woman with the blood flow approached Jesus from behind, touched His garment, and immediately felt in her body that she was healed.  Power flows from Jesus.  His touch is not impurity to Him but purity to the person being touched.  Jesus was instantly aware of the transfer of His healing power.

Mark 5:25-30 NET  Now a woman was there who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years.  (26)  She had endured a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet instead of getting better, she grew worse.  (27)  When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,  (28)  for she kept saying, "If only I touch his clothes, I will be healed."  (29)  At once the bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.  (30)  Jesus knew at once that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?"

Jesus was / is the Bridegroom.  In Judaism the bridegroom was not a metaphor of the Messiah, but of the coming Kingdom of God.  In the Old Testament, God proclaimed Himself the Husband of Israel, but He divorced her for infidelity (idolatry).  Jesus is the new Bridegroom of the new Israel or the Church.

Mark 2:19-20 NET  Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they do not fast.  (20)  But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and at that time they will fast.

The bridegroom is taken i.e. dies (verse 20), but the Son of God returns and celebrates with a Messianic banquet for the bride and Groom. Between the death and return, His followers will fast in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time.

He was led away after an unjust trial -- but who even cared? Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded.   (Isaiah 53:8 NET)

Jesus and the disciples are walking through a wheat field picking and eating heads of wheat as they go.  The Pharisees considered the disciple’s actions of:  harvesting; winnowing; and preparing food on the Sabbath as illegal according to their oral traditions based on Exodus 34:21. The disciples were not doing anything unlawful according to the gleaning laws of the Old Testament but they were performing work on the Sabbath.

A priest is allowed to perform work on the Sabbath because their temple duties require it, however, a wheat field is not a temple.  If Jesus is the true prophetic high priest then where ever His location is the presence of the Holy temple.

Mark 2:23-28 NET  Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath, and his disciples began to pick some heads of wheat as they made their way.  (24)  So the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is against the law on the Sabbath?"  (25)  He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry -- (26)  how he entered the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the sacred bread, which is against the law for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to his companions?"  (27)  Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.  (28)  For this reason the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

“The Sabbath was made for people” relates to the first Sabbath of God instituted for the first people, Adam and Eve and Jesus is the last Adam.

So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living person"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  (1 Corinthians 15:45 NET)

The presence of God, which at one point was only present in Solomon’s temple before its destruction by the Babylonians, is now available in the presence of Jesus.  Now, according the gospel of Mark’s portrayal of Jesus as the eschatological arrival of the Kingdom of God, the reality of God’s presence has now drawn near to His people.

The secrets of the Kingdom are the truths not previously revealed in the scriptures.  These secrets serve to enhance the prophecies not change or annul them by adding information not available prior to them.  Jesus explained all parables to the disciples. 
In the Bible, a mystery isn’t something that can’t be comprehended,  but rather is something that you would never know unless revealed it to you by God. In the Biblical sense of the idea, you may know exactly what a mystery is, yet it is still a mystery, because you would not have known unless God revealed it.  Jesus was revealing to them an interpretation of Old Testament prophetic revelations.

Mark 4:11-12 NET  He said to them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those outside, everything is in parables,  (12)  so that although they look they may look but not see, and although they hear they may hear but not understand, so they may not repent and be forgiven."

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