This week I would like to invite you to join me in a week-long study of the life of Christ. Primarily we will base this study in the Gospel of Mark, but I will also draw in several other passages of Scripture that will help us to gain a deeper understanding of the person and ministry of Christ. Today I would like to invite you to get out your Bible and read the Gospel of Mark chapters 1-3.
Since Jesus is the source of our life and the object of our affections, it is important for every believer to have an correct understanding of who Jesus is and what He came to do.
Take a moment to read Mark 1:1 again and underline the following three words in your Bible: Gospel, Christ, and Son. Each of these three words are important for understanding who Jesus is and what He came to do.
1. The Message of Jesus is Good News
The word “gospel” simply means good news. In Jesus’ day, when a king would win an important battle or there was some news of national importance that needed to be delivered, he would send out a messenger who would carry the “good news” or the gospel to the people. Mark is telling us in this verse that the message of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is “good news.”
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is “good news” to us, because they tell us how God has reconciled us to Himself. Last week, we learned about how Adam and Eve fell into sin in the Garden of Eden. The curse of sin has been passed from generation to generation, all the way from Adam’s day to the present. The “good news” of the gospel is that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin and rose again to give us new life.
2. Jesus is the Christ
Some people think that “Christ” is Jesus’ last name, but actually the word Christos means “anointed one”, and is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term messiah. Therefore, when the New Testament refers to Jesus as the Christ, it means that Jesus is the Messiah whom the Old Testament prophets said would come. The Old Testament has dozens of prophesies about the Messiah that have been fulfilled in the life of Christ. The Gospel of Matthew is especially concerned with how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. Take a minute to consider the following passages and how Jesus fulfilled OT prophecies.
3. Jesus is Fully God
One of the best demonstrations that shows Jesus is God is found in Mark 2:1-12. In this passage, four men bring their friend, who had been paralyzed from birth, to see Jesus. When they arrived at the house where Jesus was teaching and healing, they were unable to get in because of the great crowd that was around the house. So, the men went up onto the roof and made a hole large enough to be able to lower their friend through. When Jesus saw their faith, He made an astonishing comment, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” The scribes, who were the religious experts of the day, immediately picked up on what Jesus was claiming. In their hearts they reasoned, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They understood that by claiming to forgive this man’s sins, Jesus was claiming to be God.
Jesus demonstrates that He is divine in two ways in this passage. First, He demonstrates that He is all-knowing by being able to discern what was in the scribes’ hearts. Jesus knew what they were thinking without them ever saying it. This is something that only God can do. Second, He demonstrates that He is able to forgive sin by healing the paralyzed man. Notice what Jesus asks in Mark 2:9: “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?” Obviously, it is easier to say that “your sins are forgiven”, because there is no objective way to prove that statement. Notice what Jesus says in v.10-11: “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins…I say to you, arise take up your bed, and go to your house.” Do you see what just happened? Jesus confirmed His ability to forgive sin by speaking the word and healing a paralytic. In other words, the miracle served to prove “who” Jesus is.
The greatest demonstration of Jesus’ divinity is the resurrection. In John 10:18, Jesus, speaking of His physical life, says, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again…” The Apostle Paul builds on this same theme in Romans 1:4, where He says that Jesus was, “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” The resurrection proves that Jesus is God because only God has this kind of power over life and death. No one raised Jesus from the grave. He had the power to lay His life down and to raise it up again.
Other Articles You Might Find Helpful:
Review of “Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart” (joebuchanan.wordpress.com)