Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Gbagada HQ
3rd February 2019
Study 1 – PREPARING THE WAY FOR THE NEW KING
Mark 1:1-6; Acts 12:11-12,25; 15:37-40; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24; Mark 10:43-45; Philippians 2:5-9
The author of the Gospel According to Mark is John Mark whose mother was a real believer and prayer meetings were held in their house in the days of the Early Church (Acts 12:11). After Herod the king beheaded James he imprisoned Peter but prayer was made without ceasing by the Church, and the angel of the Lord came to rescue him miraculously “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying” (Acts 12:12). He came to the house of John Mark’s mother where many gathered together to pray. John Mark went with Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey, “And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark” (Acts 12:25). However because he was young, and his strength could not stand the rigors and weight of the journey, he could not continue with them and went back. He was not a stranger to the preaching of the gospel, even though he had been discouraged and for lack of experience and strength at the initial stage. But things did not continue that way with this young man Mark, for later in life he was reconciled Paul who now recommended him to the brethren as profitable to him (Colossians 4:10). He became one of the fellow labourers with Paul the Apostle (Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:10-11). He had close intimate relationship with Peter the Apostle as his son in the Lord as well (1 Peter 5:13). So Mark was a real child of God, though his strength, courage, consecration and desire to serve the Lord failed him when he went on the first missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas and he could not keep up. But then Barnabas was still concerned about him, praying for him and wanting the very best for him, so he and Peter took him up disciple, schooled and matured him until Peter could refer to him as a son in the Lord. Also Paul the Apostle did not forget about him, he later recommended him to the brethren.
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1). As you think about the writers of the four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, these were the life stories of the Lord Jesus Christ, His birth, life, sacrifice, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and position in Heaven. Matthew and Luke began their writings by looking at the genealogies of Christ, but not so with Mark and John. Mark did not give any genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ because he was writing to the Romans, gentiles that wanted to see what Christ did and accomplished when He came on earth. So Mark just went on to introduce Jesus as the King, Lord, Saviour, Redeemer and yet He came to take the position of a servant; he came to serve, and that was the concentration of this Gospel of St. Mark, “But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:43-45). He came to take the position of a Servant yet a King and Redeemer (Philippians 2:5-8); you don’t need the genealogy of a servant. He began with the Gospel and the message that Christ brought from Heaven to give us on earth. Christ is the New King so they needed to prepare the way. A herald will need to come before Him to announce His arrival, and that you need to accept and believe the message and the ministry the New King has brought. So here comes John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, the Son of God, our Saviour, Redeemer and the One who came to reverse the curse that man brought upon himself from the Garden of Eden.
Point 1. THE PURPOSE AND THE PROCLAMATION OF MARK
Mark 1:1; 13:10; 16:15
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God:” (Mark 1:1). Mark made a proclamation about the gospel, the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will notice the words here, ‘the gospel’. That was the aim and purpose of his writing. He wanted to paint a clear, good and convincing picture of what the gospel, the good news is, and he wanted to present that to the people, because that is the gospel that will encircle the globe. This is the gospel of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ; it is the Good News, that man is lost, cannot save himself and would spend eternity away from God, but Jesus Christ has come to take us away from darkness and sin. That is the good news which must be published in whole the earth, “And the gospel must first be published among all nations” (Mark 13:10). The most essential and important thing that every creature should have if they want to spend eternity with the Almighty God is the Gospel (Mark 16:15). Mark’s Gospel was written after Christ’s death. What was the inspired purpose and reason for the Gospel?
- To Proclaim the Sonship of Christ – Mark 1:1; Psalms 2:7; Luke 1:35
It had been said in the Old Testament that someone will come, the Son of God and he wanted to present Him to the whole world.
- To Pronounce the Seal of heaven upon Christ – Mark 1:11; 9:7; John 6:27
He wanted to declare that the Seal and the Stamp of Heaven is upon this Jesus; the Seal of approval and appointment that came from the Heavenly Father that Jesus Christ, is the Very Beloved Son of God, King of kings.
- To Publish the Salvation from Christ – Mark 2:5,10,11; Acts 4:12
That this salvation that came from Him is what will reconcile us with God, grant us freedom from our sin and prepare us to be in heaven for ever.
- To Portray the Supremacy of Christ – Mark 4:39-41; 15:37-39
Of all that had ever lived in history till date and forever, Christ is the Highest, Greatest and Supreme above every one, with supernatural powers like none else before and after Him.
- To prove the Servanthood of Christ – Mark 10:44,45; Philippians 2:6-8
He wanted to show that as great, high, supreme and supernatural as Jesus is, yet He bent low to serve humanity not only with the sacrifice of His life that He gave, but with all the powers of Heaven He brought with Him, He served as a servant. The Master of angels and men, the Father of Eternity and the Eternal One, who had been in existence with the Almighty God from all eternity, came to this world and made Himself as Servant.
- To present the Sacrifice of Christ – Mark 10:45; 1 Corinthians 5:7
He came with the ultimate goal of the redemption and salvation of man. He sacrificed for our offence and whoever will call on His name will be saved. Christ has shed His blood for our redemption and salvation.
- To preview the Second Coming of Christ – Mark 13:25-27; 14:61,62; 9:1-7; 2 Peter 1:17,16
That today you see Him in His humiliation, but He is going to come again in His Glorification as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus is coming again.
Point 2. THE PROPHECY AND PREPARATION BY HIS MESSENGER
Mark 1:2-3; Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1-3; Luke 1:15-17,67,76-79; 7:27-28; John 3:28
“As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Mark 1:2-3).
This was the prophesy of Prophet Isaiah 700 years earlier (Isaiah 40:3) and Prophet Malachi 400 years before Christ also prophesied, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:1). John the Baptist was the fulfillment of these prophesies. He was the forerunner of Christ, come to announce His coming. He made preparation and announced to the people in the wilderness, that Jesus who was around in their midst was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the whole world and emphasized that He is greater than him.
Also we are told of the life, character, ministry and the preparatory message that this John the Baptist will have. “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). The people of the world might not put value to his life, but in the sight of God, he shall be great. He will have a peculiar experience and evidence that this is herald of the coming of the Lord, with the power, gift, boldness and fruit of the Spirit. He will bring repentance and reconciliation with the Father and righteousness in the lives of the people; that many will turn away from their sins to the Living God. John was to come and give the knowledge of salvation to the people. “This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee” (Luke 7:27). So you will understand that John the Baptist was not an accident, his birth was not an afterthought nor the will of man, but the very plan of God. This was the John that emphasized the greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Point 3. THE PREACHING AND THE PERSUASION IN HIS MESSAGE
“John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;” Some lessons to learn from here:
1) John’s Preaching – Mark 1:4
(a) He preached repentance – Matthew 3:1-2,8; Mark 6:18
He preached to the high and low, great and small, and to all that came to him, and he did not minimize the message
(b) He preached faith in Christ – Acts 19:4 – Believe on the one to come.
(c) He preached salvation – Luke 3:6; 1:77-79
(d) He preached water baptism – John 1:31
These are the things we should preach today as we talk to people about Jesus Christ. Like John we should preach repentance, faith in Christ, salvation and water baptism as Christ emphasized that we should.
(e) He preached righteousness, holiness, godliness and freedom from sins – John 1:29
Christ takes away the external sins as He gets us saved, and He takes away the internal sins as He gets us sanctified. He purifies, cleanse, purges and washes away all our sins. By that one sacrifice, He brings justification, salvation, redemption and sanctification, and does not want any sin to remain in the heart, mind, thought, behaviour and character of any believer.
(f) He preached the baptism with the Holy Ghost – Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33
(g) He preached the Sonship, Exaltation, Fullness, Headship, Authority and the Supremacy of Christ – John 3:28-34
Jesus is above any prophet, John the Baptist himself; He is above all.
(h) He preached about eternal judgement and the wrath to come – Matthew 3:7-10
John the Baptist preached a full message
- John’s Persuasiveness – Mark 1:5
He was really persuasive that the people turned away from their sins as they came to him. They had assurance of salvation as they looked up to the Coming Messiah for their salvation. See how persuasive John was, “And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:5). After hearing, accepting, believing on the Lord and turning away from their sins they were baptized.
- John’s Personality – Mark 1:6; 6:20; Matthew 11:7-12
He lived a simple and humble life. He lived the life of a herald not exalting himself but exalting the Messiah, the Christ and the one who was to come and he did eat locust and wild honey. See how his personality affected the people that listened to him, “For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and a holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly” (Mark 6:20). He was not going about associating with every Dick and Harry, eating anyhow, that even Herod feared him. Our Lord Jesus Christ testified of him of not being an undecided man shaken with every difficulty (Matthew 11:7-10); he was more than a prophet “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist:….” (Matthew 11:11)
Here is the introduction to the Gospel according to Mark. He tells us about the coming of Christ, and Christ has now come. He tells us to repent, believe the gospel, and be baptized in water, to be sanctified and empowered in the Holy Ghost, and that we can now go and tell other people around us to run away from the judgement to come. With the same persuasion that John the Baptist spoke, you too can speak and many will come to know the Lord through you in Jesus Name.
Ponder on this! The most essential and important thing that every creature should have if they want to spend eternity with the Almighty God is the Gospel. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Ponder on this! Of all that had ever lived in history till date and forever, Christ is the Highest, Greatest and Supreme above all. He has supernatural powers that no man before and after Him ever had. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Hard Sayings – Christ takes away the external sins as He gets us saved, and He takes away the internal sins as He gets us sanctified. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Reflection – As great, high, supreme and supernatural as Jesus is, yet He bent low to serve humanity not only with the sacrifice of His life, but with all the powers of Heaven He brought with Him, He served as a Servant. . Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Words on the Marble – The salvation we need that will forgive and give us freedom from sins is found in Christ. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
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