And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. (Mark 1:21-22 ESV)
And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. (Mark 1:19-20 ESV)
The next disciples is James and John, immediately after Jesus called them, they left their father to follow Jesus! They even left their parents behind to follow Jesus. That’s definitely something that’s not easy. And I don’t think we got this situation all the time. But, there are times when you have to choose between following your parents or following God.
If your parents fear God, then you must be very blessed! But definitely there are other people whose parents don’t follow Jesus. And for them, there are times that they will have to choose between obeying their parents or obeying God.
Jesus Calls the First Disciples Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:16-18 ESV)
Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men. The first disciples Simon and Andrew immediately left their current job and identity and followed Jesus, for what is more worth? Getting fish and a full stomach for a day? Or to save souls for eternal life? :)
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15 ESV)
The time has come when we will be able to see the Kingdom of God, where God’s people are called to live under God’s rule in God’s place. Israelites at that time would have longed to see this declaration by the “Messiah.” The have wait for very long for the Messiah to come and established the Kingdom of God again, which was pretty much Kingdom of Israel. Or so they thought. This time the Kingdom of God is way bigger than the small land parcel of Israel, this time God’s people won’t be only the Israelites, this time God’s rule won’t be simply achieved by following the commandment. For because of Jesus, every nation can be part of the Kingdom of God, and God’s rule is followed by heart not mere laws after laws :)
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. (Mark 1:12-13 ESV)
Unlike in Matthew and Luke, Mark didn’t expound the temptation in more details, but we do know from those accounts that Jesus wasn’t tempted, a perfect man and God, he didn’t fall into temptation. For he is light and the darkness will not overcome him.
The Baptism of Jesus In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:9-11 ESV)
Unlike the other gospel books, Mark introduces Jesus right on his adult life. So sorry guys, no drawing of baby Jesus today :p
What’s the significance of Jesus’ Baptism and the voice from heaven? It shows that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, the greater one that John mentioned, the chosen servant that was mentioned in Isaiah 42!
Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. (Isaiah 42:1-4 ESV)
I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. (Psalm 2:7 ESV)
Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:6-8 ESV)
Who is John?
Some say he’s the messenger, just like Elijah, his garment is even similar with him.
The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, “Why have you returned?” And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the LORD, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.” (2 Kings 1:5-8 ESV)
John the Baptist is not the Messiah (The Saviour), he washed people, but someone greater than him will wash people with the spirit :) as prophesied in Joel 2
The LORD Will Pour Out His Spirit “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. (Joel 2:28-29 ESV)
And who’s the greater one? Find out in the next comic!