Friday 8 December 2023



  M A R K Chapter 1 v 1-8

The Gospel of Mark, which we begin to-day, at the start  of the Church’s year, is unlike the other three gospels of Matthew, Luke and John.

The sayings of Jesus are few, but there is more told of what He did, each word given by inspiration of God.

The opening words are of Jesus as Son of God, which would have been conveyed more to the minds of Jews, than they were to the minds of Gentiles. They were words of an assertion of the divinity of Jesus, a clear declaration Jesus Himself was God, equal with God.

There was a fulfilment of Scripture by John the Baptist  beginning his ministry, as was written and told by the prophets The ministry of John had much effect for a period of time on the Jewish nation. Many people from Judea and Jerusalem went out to meet him in the wilderness and were baptized by him.

John’s ministry was in the wilderness as a place of purification and the fulfilment of the prophet of Isaiah. To the river Jordan, the people went to receive God’s promise of salvation by the confession of sin.

John went before Jesus to prepare the way for Him, but in fact did not have a lot of meeting with Jesus.  John’s preaching was forceful and created excitement and the attention of Jewish people all over Palestine. He really made people ready to receive Jesus, who would describe John as a shining light.

John exalted Christ and considered himself not worthy to untie His sandals. He said Jesus was so much more mightier than he was.

John began in the way of calling on people to repentance, turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. Repentance was necessary for baptism, which was not the means  by which people could get to heaven, but was a sign that indicated one had truly repented. This emphasises the improper use of baptism to infant children, from beyond all understanding which is placed upon them. Baptism in the Bible, was always based on repentance and confession of faith.

 Popularity was never an issue, but John was extremely popular, yet the crowd who went to his meetings and heard his preaching, few were converts.

As I study human nature, I have been surprised how people develop in the same way, despite being centuries apart.  Whilst millions of people went to the Billy Graham Crusades, there were many who attended and responded to his altar call, the same number did not keep up the temporary conversion.

There are many people now who hear of some well - known person, or some popular issue. drawing a following. And they feel they must take part by attending, just to be able to claim they were present.  Often they do not know, and have no understanding of what it was all about.

 Some (alleged)Christians attend a Church which has a big congregation, but not for spiritual reasons as much  as ceremonial presentation being part, and making them feel good, despite a smaller Church being more committed to Scripture, which could enhance their faith and strengthen their belief. Far better to attend a Church where you will hear the words of Jesus

John calls us to a new life in Jesus Christ, and it was with such a desire that people sought out John.

Truth has never been proclaimed so plainly by man. and not been more faithfully intended.  The gospel should be the principal teaching of every faithful Minister, as written in the Bible without any personal amendments being made.

 The fulness and power of Jesus was proclaimed to the people. How the Church would grow if we had more Ministers like John the Baptist

 Advent is a special period in Christian teaching. It is a time when we are called to renew our thinking about the Christian faith.  A point of belief is that Jesus will return to earth at some time, a time which only God Himself knows but for the followers of Jesus it is a time to renew our thoughts and belief and consider how we will react if He comes back in our lifetime.  

The Bible has guided us in how we must be sure in how we must believe to be confident we are worthy of being saved and admitted to heavenly place in salvation. Each person must accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour who made our salvation by giving up His life in a cruel death on the Cross in order four our sins to be forgiven. Only by His death is our forgiveness accepted by God, who then freely by grace grants us salvation. If we believe this, and are ready to confirm our belief that God raised Jesus from death, will be fit to be in heaven with Jesus.

People scoff at mention of Jesus coming, making remarks  such as where is He?; has He got lost; and other inane sayings.

God is a God of justice, mercy and love, but He is also a God of wrath, anger. We saw Jesus get angry at the moneylenders in the Temple. There is a justifiable reason for anger

Peter in his Letter, written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, stated the day of the Lord is coming, stressing the day of judgment. We will all appear before God, and even scientists now admit this, destroying the ravings of activists who are trying to destroy us with acts which have no absolutes. Playing around with trans gendering which is medically impossible, and the destruction of life by abortions, and all sorts of sexual anarchy.

The mercy of God in the delay of this happening is revealed. As explained by the Psalmist. Time for God is not as the time for us. A day for God’s sight is like a thousand years, as yesterday to us.  Time is like an opportunity to prepare and purify ourselves to show service to fellow humans, and to draw close to God. 

Believers ought to pray for family and friends to be drawn  Close to God. 

Jesus can of course, come to us in very different ways.  It may be through a poster we noticed, which is why we need well thought out poster displays which will catch people’s eyes and strike them, and they ought to be relevant.  Thousands have been led to Christ through reading posters placed on the London tube system by the London Christian Mission.  Other people have been influenced by the words of a preacher, but the most telling witness is that of other Christians drawing in others by their way of life.

The Bible states that Christ will not return until the gospel is taken to all nations, and more nations now receive the gospel than any previous time.  It is being taught bravely in lands which were severely restricted. Pastors in Pakistan are striving for the Christian faith and doing excellently, bringing young people to hear the Bible, despite being the subject of having their places of worship and their houses set on fire by activists. They so fully need the prayers of all Christians in support of their proclamation for the gospel, and for their personal .protection. 

Unlike Western Churches, they have little (if any) financial support.

It is a blessing that people in other faiths around the world, are realizing that Christianity has uniquely what they do not have, we have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Such is His power, they are converting.

Jesus warned that any one who turned and followed Him would need to count the cost and be prepared to take up his/her cross. He was perfectly correct that things will be different in life, that which was acceptable prior to following Him, will in some degree be unacceptable, and friends may act differently, but you will be following a new friend who has the power of God, which is greater than human means.

As stated earlier, no one, even Jesus, do not know when God will act , but His judgement will be made. This calls on all Christian people to make an effort to live holy and godly lives.


May God bless His  Holy Word to us and may His Holy Name be praised.

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