Last Action Hero

Read This Week: Mark 1

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God… Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” – Mark 1:1 & 15 NIV

The Gospel of Mark is the narrative of Jesus in action. We see more of Christ doing than teaching. The gospel account was written in the late 50’s AD and confirmed by Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, who lived from 60-135 AD. Mark was a translator and assistant to the Apostle Peter, and he recorded Peter’s eyewitness account of the life and movements of the Lord. 

The book contains one of the great openers of any book in the Bible. It reads like the first lines of a spell-binding, classic novel; only the word of God transcends anything that came after it. Mark begins with this definitive line in verse 1: The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. 

Mark wastes no time giving the whole and distinct picture of who Jesus is from the beginning. The Christos or Messiah establishes the supremacy of Jesus and shows that he is no ordinary person. He emphasizes the divine activity of Christ and how He interacted with and met the physical and spiritual needs of people. Many of Jesus’ sermons are not written here because the focus is equally on what He did as what He said. There was perfect unity in His person, life, and example and something for us to strive to emulate.

There was authoritative unity in Jesus’ ministry. He was not just a teacher, proclaimer, healer, or remover of unclean spirits. He was and is all of it. He was a true action hero, a savior, and a servant who embodied the heart of God in word, deed, and service unlike anyone before Him or after. In the first chapter and the chapters to come in Mark, Christ is revealed as God’s suffering servant. He came to minister to hurting people and to die for the sins of the world. There has never been an action hero like that and will never be again.

These truths should set the tone in our daily walk with God and the way we conduct ourselves in the world and with others. We can be encouraged that the Jesus we follow is not one of legend but of one who was firmly established in human history. We can draw strength and hope from the reality of Jesus’ deity and that His actions were a reflection of the Father, the one true God. When we say we have faith in Christ, we’re not longing for an abstract or mystical force or comic book hero. We are placing faith and trust in the real, supreme authority given to Jesus, and that is all the power we need to live a successful life.

9 Comments

  1. Heidi on November 18, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Mark 1:14-15 says, Now after John [the Baptist] was arrested and [i]taken into custody, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of [the kingdom of] God, and saying, “The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life] and believe [with a deep, abiding trust] in the good news [regarding salvation].”

    Repent means to turn away from wrong things and to turn to God. It means we decided to start to live in a new way. When we believe and know that God is with us, He will never leave us, but it is our decision every day to seek God’s purpose for our life, He will never tell us to do something that will be harmful or something that can cause us to go in the wrong direction. God is always right there to to help us to make the right choices, but we do have to ask Him.

    Prayer is a 2-way conversation, not telling Him what to do, but to seek Him for His will in the situation. Everyday is a new day with Father God were always working with Him to help us through everything we go through until we go home to be with Father God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and everyone else who made it in.
    This scripture helps us understand how we’re working out our salvation.

    In Philippines 2:12-13 says, So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]. For it is [not your strength, but it is] [c]God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.

    Thank you God that you’re always working in us, I’m always trusting in You to help me today and every day to have the strength to fulfill Your purpose to bless you because I love you.

    • Jason on November 27, 2021 at 10:48 am

      So much wonderful commentary here, Heidi. I really like how you incorporated Philippians 2 as well as that is a perfect bibliological application for the way God works in and through us. This part about prayer stuck out to me:

      Prayer is a 2-way conversation, not telling Him what to do, but to seek Him for His will in the situation. Every day is a new day with Father God were always working with Him to help us…

      I appreciate how you delineated that prayer is not us telling God what to do but seeking His face and intimacy while desiring His will for our lives. That’s so important as we live every day.

  2. Alma on November 18, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    God gave me a song from Mark 1 called “Son of God”:

    Jesus Christ is the son of God
    Jesus Christ is the son of God
    Jesus Christ is the son of God
    Born to lead those to His Father

    Some will follow, some will defy
    Some will help those in need

    Let’s always stand together spreading His good news
    We are blessed, we have his Spirit living in us
    We are true believers, believers of our father
    Spreading the news of Jesus Christ

    Jesus Christ is the son of God
    Jesus Christ is the son of God
    Jesus Christ is the son of God
    Born to lead those to His Father. Amen.

    We are so blessed to have a Father who loves us so much. Always remember he’s with us 24/7. Just remember he’s always working things out. Thank you, Lord.

    • Jason on November 27, 2021 at 10:52 am

      Wonderful worship offering this week, Alma. I appreciate how you always lift high the name of Jesus and honor His name, His Word, and His mission. We are indeed so blessed to have Him in our hearts and lives and to have a Father like God. It is an immeasurable blessing. These lyrics stood out to me:

      Some will follow, some will defy
      Some will help those in need
      Let’s always stand together spreading His good news

      I pray that God will give us the power to always follow Him, never defy His guidance, and to stand together under His banner to tell of the Good News.

  3. Kathy on November 19, 2021 at 9:46 am

    This is what God was saying to me in Mark 1: “When My son Jesus was baptized by John, it was to be identified with sinful man and also to be identified to simple man. When the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus, it appeared as a dove. When He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He also identified with sinners in their temptations. He resisted Satan each time by standing on My word. You too can resist temptation by standing on My word. Fill up on My word; immerse yourself in it and memorize it.

    My Son’s ministry was preaching the gospel of My kingdom. Now is your time of opportunity. Don’t let it pass you by. You have to change your direction to experience it. Repentance speaks of a change of direction, not just sorrow in the heart. You have to leave your sin and the self-life. You have to trust Me, taking Me at My word, and living a relationship of dependence on Me. Follow Jesus. You want to be ‘Jesus-possessed’. Obey Jesus. He has a better plan for you than you do.”

    What this said to me was I need to fill up on God’s word. If I do, it will help me to resist temptation. I need to encounter God’s kingdom. I don’t want the opportunity to pass me by.

    • Jason on November 27, 2021 at 10:58 am

      This was a very impactful post, Kathy. Your words and insight about trusting God and dependence on Him were challenging to me and something I needed to hear in my life right now. This part was especially convicting:

      Now is your time of opportunity. Don’t let it pass you by. You have to change your direction to experience it.

      I have been thinking and pondering so much lately about divine opportunity versus just existing in chronological time and your exhortation to change direction, focus on God and seize divine opportunities for God’s glory was so needed for me. Thank you for sharing your heart and letting the Lord speak through you.

      • Kathy on December 3, 2021 at 8:36 am

        Thank you so much Jason for sharing your heart. It is so hard these days with what is going on in the world, to not be discouraged. God wants you to know, he uses you in mighty ways to bless others. Also the holidays are always so hard for me. With the losses in our lives, I struggle to stay positive and push through them. I need to really focus on what Christmas is truly about, with being so grateful for the precious birth of Jesus Christ. I need to change my focus and love on others who cross my path. What is important is the relationships we make with others. I need to be grateful for all the blessings God has given me, and not on what is missing. Sending prayers up for you.

  4. Jeri Centers on November 20, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    God gave me a poem from Mark 1 verse 15:

    You can see the signs all around
    Believe Jesus and you shall be found.

    Open up your eyes and understand
    Repent, therefore, for the kingdom of God is at hand.

    Call upon the Lord today
    He is the life, the truth, the way.

    What that means to me is that the kingdom of God is actually everything that exists. The whole universe is His Kingdom. A really good way to say this would be that Jesus was preaching the Good News that God is the king of everything. And we are part of that kingdom if we repent of our sins and make Jesus Christ Savior and Lord of our lives.

    • Jason on November 27, 2021 at 11:02 am

      I love this poem, Jeri. I really appreciate how you pulled the theme of Mark 1 into your artistic expression and put such a great emphasis on the supremacy of Christ in all things. His finished work on the cross and His seat of power at the right hand of God are both so crucial to understanding the whole counsel of God and how He relates to us.

      May we call upon Him every day as He is without a doubt the life, the truth, and the way.

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