Mark (Program #4) – The Beginning of the Gospel and the Initiation of the Slave-Savior (2)
Each of the four gospels is unique in how it begins. The gospel of John begins with Jesus Christ in eternity past. Matthew began with the generations of Jesus Christ the Son of David, the king. Luke also presents us with the genealogy but not in the line of the kingship. Luke’s introduction shows us Jesus as the genuine and proper man.
Mark on the other hand does not begin with any reference to the origin of the man, Jesus. Rather it begins this way. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” Notice is not the gospel of Jesus or the gospel of the Son of God. But the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is a marvelous beginning to Mark’s gospel because it highlights both His divinity as well as His humanity.
Mark (Program #3) – The Beginning of the Gospel and the Initiation of the Slave-Savior (1)
Matthew, Luke and John all begin one way or another with the origin of Jesus Christ. Matthew shows us His kingly genealogy. Luke, His human genealogy. And John, His divine, eternal origin as the Son of God. But Mark begins not with the genealogy rather with the gospel. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” What is the gospel? Well, Roman tells us that the gospel is the glad tidings, the good news. The reality of that good news is Jesus Christ our savior. And as Mark shows us the slave of God serving His people.
Many people wonder why the Bible gives us four historical accounts of the life and ministry in Jesus. One of reasons is the each of the four gospels portrays Christ in a unique aspect. For example, Matthew a book on the kingdom of God reveals Christ in His kingship. Luke shows us Christ’s perfect and upright humanity as a genuine man. John on the other hand stresses the eternal, uncreated life of God as it is revealed in Christ. John is the gospel of Christ’s divinity.
Then what about Mark? Well, chapter 10:45 gives us a clue, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark is wonderful in that it uniquely reveals that Christ lay aside His kingship, His status as God and even His position as a high and honored man to become God’s servant and eventually to become a slave to all mankind giving His life as a ransom for many.
It’s very interesting to pay attention to how each of the four gospels begin. Matthew, a gospel that focuses on the kingdom, begins with the long genealogy of Christ, demonstrating that He is the bonafide heir of David the king. Luke, on the other hand also shows us the genealogy but not that of a king, rather it’s a genealogy of a proper and upright man. The gospel of John begins in a much different way – “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” John is the gospel that reveals Christ’s divinity.
But what about the gospel of Mark? Mark has no genealogy what so ever. Because Mark is the gospel revealing not just the humanity of Jesus, but that in His humanity Jesus Christ took the position of a slave. And He came to us a Slave-Savior.
Matthew 24:14 says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
All believers would like to know when the Lord Jesus will come again. Even many who do not profess to believe are intrigued by this question as well. The gospel of Matthew, more than any other book in scripture, gives us clear and definite signs. The chief among all its prophecies is one contained in this verse. The preaching not of the general common gospel, but rather the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom.
For a Christian, no other event recorded in scripture can compare with the resurrection of Christ. It uniquely embodies the critical component of our faith. To many, it demonstrates God’s ultimate power. But if our eyes are open, even I would say “blessed”, we see not God’s power manifested in the raising of Christ Jesus from the dead so much as we see His righteousness.
Matthew (Program #73) - Man’s Unrighteousness and God’s Righteousness
The Crucifixion of Christ – probably no other deed in human history manifested so completely the depths of unrighteousness that mankind is capable of. Yet at the same time, no other event afforded God such an opportunity to manifest His Righteousness so perfectly.
Matthew (Program #72) – Judged, Crucified and Buried
The Gospel of Mark, chapter 15, tells us that Jesus was crucified at the third hour of the Jewish day, or nine o’clock in the morning. He hung there for six full hours before yielding His final breath – six hours, unlike any other in human history. For in that day, both the wickedness and unrighteousness of man were displayed as never before or since; as well as the absolute righteousness of our Holy and Just God. The account of these 6 hours in the gospel of Matthew is surely something that no one should miss.
Matthew (Program #71) – Pressed in Gethsemane, Judged by the Sanhedrin, and Denied by Peter
Most Christians are familiar with Peter’s denial of Christ on the night before His crucifixion. Many have likely wondered how such an apostle, who had been so close to the Lord Jesus for more than three years, could have so utterly failed Him at this critical moment. But actually, what this account reveals is not just a defect in our brother Peter, but the absolute inability of all of us to meet the demand of God’s kingdom with our natural life.
Matthew (Program #70) – A Test to All the People and the Establishing of the Kingdom
Of all the Old Testament practices and rituals, perhaps the most important was the Passover feast. The Lord Jesus, in chapter 26 of Matthew, enjoyed the last Passover feast with His disciples. And He also instituted the first Lord’s Table with His disciples.