|Volume 23 Number 8 August 2021
In the first chapter of the Gospel according to Mark, we find three references about Jesus Christ where it reads, “He came” (Mark 1:9, 14, 31). Of course, we know this means that Jesus came from one point or place to another. The coming of the Messiah or the Christ was of great interest to the Jews and others who had any knowledge of the Old Testament. Regarding Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist referred to Him time and time again (Matthew 3:11; John 1:27). Other New Testament passages also focus on the first coming of Christ (Hebrews 10:5-9). His coming has been anticipated by both the prophets and the people. Yes, we, too, see His coming on the pages of the Bible.
Jesus Christ came with a message (Mark 1:14-15). His focus was on an opportunity. Jesus not only addressed time, but He spoke of the fullness of time. It was the right time (Galatians 4:4).
The emphasis of our Lord’s message was the kingdom. We know which kingdom. We know whose kingdom. We know of its relationship to the Gospel. The nature of the kingdom is compelling, though, some things are demanded of those who would be subjects thereof.
Jesus Christ came on a mission (Mark 1:16-20). He came to say some things and to do some things. Our Lord came to call men (Mark 1:16-17). Though men view themselves as busy, Jesus knew and knows what is best for mankind. He called and calls men to other priorities, which are higher and holy priorities. Jesus called and calls men to reach other men with the Gospel (Mark 1:17). Training is helpful and an interest in others is necessary.
Jesus Christ came working miracles (Mark 1:21-37). If any doubted His authority to call men, the miracles validated Him. Yes, there were some who doubted and denied His miracles, but Mark defended our Lord’s miracles. Onlookers admitted Jesus’ power over demons and His ability to heal the sick, including the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31). Likewise, people in the streets and throughout the community appreciated the miracles of the Christ (Mark 1:32-37).
Jesus Christ came showing mercy (Mark 1:40-43). He showed mercy to a leper who had come to Him, begging and with humility. Our Lord’s extension of mercy came forth out of His compassion (Mark 1:41). Jesus was moved emotionally and felt for the leper. Therefore, He reached out to him. Mercy led to the leper’s cure, which was sudden and complete.
Jesus Christ came supporting Moses (Mark 1:44). Jesus was not against the Law of Moses and respected what Moses wrote by way of divine inspiration. Our Lord respected the priesthood relative to Moses’ Law. Since Jesus Christ lived during the time that Jews were amenable to the Law of Moses, Jesus required that others in that time also revere Moses’ Law.
Yes, Jesus came with a message, on a mission, that was confirmed by miracles and with a great display of mercy, showing us how to respect the law of God. His coming should surely make a difference in our lives as it did in the lives of those of the long ago.
[Editor’s Note: Jesus is coming again to retrieve His church (1 Corinthians 15:23-24), comprised of individual Christians for which He is preparing a place in Heaven (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). It is appropriate, then, to “Prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12; see also 2 Peter 3:10-11). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
Before You Speak
“The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips” (Proverbs 16:23 NKJV). Are you good at choosing your words wisely? Or, are you, like me, on the other end of the spectrum? When people hear your words, are they usually encouraged and built up by what you’ve said? Or, do you tend to tear people down with what comes from your mouth? I’m sure you don’t plan for your words to be received that way (I hope not!), but looking back, does it happen often? Today, will you promise to think about your words carefully? Will you be honest and wise as you speak? Will you try to build people up instead of wearing them down?