Knowing Jesus through the gospels.
Mark 1:1, 14-20
By Ysrael De la Cruz
A while back when I preached about the gospel of Jesus Christ, I mentioned the need for us Christians to truly know the content of the gospel since we live in a time in which there are so many false gospels and new ideologies contrary to what the message of the gospel is about. There are churches which no longer preach Jesus and we must not fall into the same error. We must know Jesus and make him known in this world. There are still people who have a limited knowledge of Jesus, some only see him as a great teacher or a prophet. Some don’t believe he was the Messiah or God in the flesh.
If we truly want to know and understand Jesus, we must examine the first four books in the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are known as the “gospels” (the gospel according to…) They each wrote a biography (life story) of Jesus from their own perspectives. When you read the four gospels you get a fuller picture of who Jesus really is.
I would like us this morning to journey through the gospel of Mark, so we learn how he portrayed Jesus to his readers.
Mark was not an apostle of Jesus, but he was a disciple of Peter and an associate of Paul. In fact, some scholars believe that Mark got the material to write the gospel from Peter. Some believe this gospel could be called the memoirs of Simon Peter. Mark in the John Mark we read in the book of Acts, whose mother’s name was Mary (Acts 12:12) and he accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. (Acts 13:5).
Notice the first sentence in the gospel of Mark. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1)
Mark is already letting us know what his writing is about. The good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Throughout the New Testament Jesus is referred to as the Son of God.
God the Father referred to Jesus as his Son. Mark 1:11, Matt.3:17
The angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would be called the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32)
-Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Matt.16:16
-John tells us that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
While the title Jesus the Son of man refers to his humanity; Jesus the Son of God refers to his divinity. (his divine nature). Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that God revealed himself in human form in Jesus. Jesus is God in the flesh. (John 1:1, 14)
The Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant by the phrase “Son of God.” To be the Son of God is to be of the same nature as God. They thought Jesus committed blasphemy in saying he was the Son of God. Matt.26:63-64
To be the Son of God means he is of the same substance or nature of God, it is to say Jesus is God in the flesh or human form.
Paul said that Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col.1:15) In Jesus all the fullness of God dwells. (v.19)
What did Jesus as the Son of God do while on earth? This is what the gospel writers describe to us in their volumes.
Jesus began to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. (v.14) “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.”
Jesus called people to repent (to change one’s mind or purpose) and believe the gospel. The gospel of Jesus is calling people to repentance and to believe the good news of Jesus. This is what would grant people access into the coming kingdom. The same message is the same today, we are to tell people they must repent, change direction or purpose and to believe in the message of the gospel, to believe in Jesus so they can be saved.
Jesus recruited helpers to preach. (v.16-20)
Jesus called certain people to follow him. A disciple is a follower, a student. Jesus called these disciples to go after him, to follow him and he would teach them how to catch men. Jesus would equip them to recruit people for God’s kingdom.
All this was part of his kingdom agenda. To call people to repentance and to believe the good news. Jesus called disciples to be with him, to learn from him so that they too would go out and recruit more people for God’s kingdom.
When Jesus calls people to follow him, he is inviting them to be willing to go with him, to learn from him.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus, God in the flesh came preaching, announcing to people that the kingdom of God is at hand, and people must repent and believe the good news. Jesus is still on the business of recruiting disciples to follow him and learn from him to reach those who are not part of his kingdom yet; those who have not repented and have not believed the gospel. It is our job now to continue announcing, preaching the goods news so that people would believe and be saved.