As you read Mark 1, read as if you’re reading for the first time. What do you notice?
I’ve reflected on just a few points; you are invited to comment below on what strikes you in this chapter.
The story begins in the desert, where John is preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. When John baptizes Jesus, heaven is torn open.
As Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open…(Mark 1:10)
Like the curtain in the temple, torn at His death…
Both responding to the cry of the prophet Isaiah:
Oh that You would rend the heavens and come down… (Is. 64:1)
…and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (Mark 1:10b)…over the water of the Jordan River.
Consider the first creation (Gen.1:1)…
…and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters…
And Noah sent a dove out over the waters (Gen.8)…
The Spirit of God, hovering, descending, moving, sending.
The Spirit sent Jesus out into the desert, where He was tempted by Satan and angels attended Him. Didn’t we begin this story in the desert… lonely, solitary, away from everything?
Jesus began to proclaim the good news of God; His kingdom is near. Those who hear are amazed at the authority with which he spoke – it’s mentioned twice.
It reminds me of the boy Jesus in the temple, in Luke 2:47 “Everyone who heard Him was amazed…”
Jesus spoke with authority… He cast out demons.
In another story, Jesus spoke to calm the storm.
At creation, God spoke and it was so.
The Kingdom of God is near… The Word became flesh.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up… and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. (Mark 1:35) Jesus prayed… in a solitary place.
…Jesus could no longer enter the town openly, but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet people came to Him from everywhere. (Mark 1:45) The people found Him… in the lonely places.
It’s where He met with God… and, it’s where people found Him.
The desert… the solitary place… the lonely place…
Are you in a dessert? Are you lonely? Do you need to pull away, to a solitary place? Embrace His Word, hear His voice; pull away to meet with Jesus, as we journey through the book of Mark!