February 9

Bible Reading: Mark 1

Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

It has been well noted that Mark’s gospel uniquely sets forth Jesus as the perfect servant.  It contains no genealogy of his heritage and no mention of His birth.  His works are emphasized, not His words.  Mark 10:45 is a key verse: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

But Mark began his gospel by asserting an essential and glorious truth—that this perfect servant is none other than the divine Son of God: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1).  These two truths—the divinity and servanthood of Christ—are wonderfully coalesced in His person and gloriously revealed in His work.  Both majesty and meekness serve as fitting descriptions of our Lord Jesus.

The many works of the servant Jesus recorded in this gospel account are indeed the works of a servant, but no ordinary servant.  He is the Divine Son of God, the creator of all things (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-16; Hebrews 1:1-4).  That He would come in human flesh to dwell among men testifies to the love of God (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16).  That He would die for our sins speaks to the extent of His amazing love, grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:4; 3:18-19).

Amongst other things, Mark chapter 1 recounts a day in the life of the Servant Jesus (Mark 1:21-34).  The events recorded all happened on one day in the town of Capernaum. 

Jesus preached in a synagogue.  We are not given the details of His message, though we know from Mark 1:15 something of the spirit of His teaching.  The people were astonished at his teaching “for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22).

There was a man in the synagogue, who having an unclean spirit, cried out to Jesus.  With a word Jesus rebuked the spirit and it came out of the man.  Again, the people were amazed.  “They questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this?  A new teaching with authority!  He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him’ (Mark 1:27-28).”

On that same day, he left the synagogue for the home of Simon and Andrew.  Simon’s mother-in-law was ill.  Jesus was told about her condition.  “And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them” (Mark 1:31).

On that same day, but after sunset, Jesus’ long day of ministry came to a close in remarkable fashion.  According to Jewish reckoning, the Sabbath day ended at sundown.  That being the case, the people could now bring, without violating the Sabbath, their sick and demon-possessed to him.  So, they came.  “The whole city gathered together at the door” (Mark 1:33).  “He healed many” and “cast out many demons” (Mark 1:34).  It was a long day indeed.  A long day in the life of the Servant Jesus.  One would suppose that His life on earth was filled with many such days.  He came to serve (Mark 10:45).  Wherever you look in Jesus’ life that is what you find.  How glorious and unexpected is the servant-minded life of Jesus.  The King of Glory stepped down from heaven to earth and dressed down for the occasion.  He was amongst us as “one who serves” (Luke 22:27).   

As you read in this gospel of His servantminded ways, keep in mind that we are likewise exhorted to have the mind of Christ in putting the needs of others ahead of our own (Philippians 2:3).  He has called us to follow in His servant-minded steps.

This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow Him;
To bring our lives as a daily offering,
Of worship to the Servant King

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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