Old Testament Reading – Isaiah 9:1-7
New Testament Reading – Mark 1:14-39
The Suffering Savior
“The Galilean Ministry”
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
While Mark didn’t include every event that happened in that first Galilean Ministry, he chose to include those that proved:
- Jesus was who He said He was; that He had come to do what He said He had come to do, and that He would do it for all who would come to Him, believe in Him, receive Him as their Savior, and submit unto Him as their Lord.
- Jesus also used these events to show His followers what life will be like in the Kingdom of God when God dwells with us, and we shall be His people, and “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
- The Gospel of Mark is the divinely inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God; truth with no mixture of error in its content or in its intent; sufficient lead us to receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.
Whether He designed it this way or He just responded to the events He encountered each day, Jesus established a pattern of ministry that He followed throughout His Galilean ministry.
- He cast out demons – before any spiritual ministry can be achieved, evil forces must be overcome, for where Jesus is Lord, evil retreats.
- He healed the sick – God sent Jesus into the world to be our Savior, not our healer. Yet, Jesus healed those with all kinds of diseases and deformities, for where Jesus is Lord, disease retreats.
- He ministered to the people – Jesus reached out to the outcast and the downcast, the forlorn and forgotten, the weak and the weary, for where Jesus is Lord, human needs must retreat.
- He opposed dead religion – the common people flocked to Jesus to hear His words of freedom, peace, and forgiveness. In so doing, He exposed the hardened hearts of the Jewish Religious leaders, for where Jesus is Lord, hypocrisy must retreat.
Jesus began His earthly ministry in Galilee of Israel for several reasons.
- More than 15,000 people lived in the 200 cities in the region of Galilee, and with the merger of many cultures, the people were more open to new philosophies of life.
- Merchants from all over the world passed through Galilee, and those who heard the gospel took it back to their homes.
- To fulfill God’s promise to Abraham, Jesus had to present Himself to the Jews first, for they were expecting the Messiah.
- To fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-7 that said the Messiah would begin His ministry “in the land of Zebulun, and Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations!”
1. Jesus Established His Authority – Mark 1:14-45
When Jesus heard John the Baptist had been imprisoned, He concluded that the time had come for Him to “increase,” for John had “decreased.”
- Jesus broke through history at the right time and at the right place to take the next step in God’s plan of redemption.
- Every sermon Jesus preached was based on what the Apostle Paul would later write in Galatians 4:4: “In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that He might redeem those under the law.”
- Jesus came to Galilee, preaching: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” John 1:14-15
- Part of that plan was to “call out” those who would become His disciples; those who would learn of Him, and carry out His mission. Jesus called those who were diligent about whatever they were called to do. Simon, Andrew, James, and John were great fishermen, and Jesus called them to become great fishers of men.
- Everywhere Jesus went, He was faced with evil spirits. In fact, they were the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, the Holy One of God, and they knew Jesus had the power to destroy them.
- Everywhere Jesus went, He was faced with sickness and disease. Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever, and the news of her healing drew a massive crowd to her home.
- Even though Jesus had not come to be their “healer” but rather their “Savior,” He healed their sick bodies to prove He had the power to save their sin-sick souls.
2. Jesus Encountered Controversy – Mark 2-3
While the common people walked for days to get their sick loved ones to Jesus, the Jewish Religious Leaders did all they could to cause Him problems. They were offended when Jesus:
- Told a man his sins were forgiven, – only God can forgive sins!
- Called a Tax collector to be one of His disciples – how could He eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
- Did not fast on the two specific days – how could He be the Messiah if He did not observe the customs?
- Did not observe the laws of the Sabbath – how could He be the Messiah if He did not observe the laws and traditions?
The Jewish religious leaders rejected the three-fold witness that Jesus Christ was their long-awaited Messiah.
- The voice of God the Father at Jesus’ baptism.
- The visible manifestation of His power over sickness, disease, and demons.
- The viable evidence of the power of God upon Peter as he preached the first sermon at Pentecost, and 3000 people were saved.
- Their rejection of Jesus as the God-sent Savior resulted in God closing the door of salvation for that generation of Jews. Acts 28:27-28
3. Jesus Introduced the Parables – Mark 4:1-34
Jesus used the parable to conceal a truth from those He did not want to understand it, but to reveal that same truth to those who had the spiritual insight to understand it.
- Jesus told His disciples: “Unto you, it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.”
- Jesus used the parables of The Sower, The Tares, The Mustard Seed, The Leaven, The Hidden Treasure and The Pearl, and The Dragnet, to illustrate the various issues regarding the Kingdom of God.
4. Jesus Increased His Power – Mark 4:35-5:43
- Jesus calmed the storm to prove His power over nature.
- Jesus calmed the demoniac to prove His power over what the world called uncontrollable.
- Jesus calmed the fears of a father, and the fears of a woman, to prove His power over what the world called incurable.
5. Jesus Incurred Hostility – Mark 6:1-29
- Jesus was rejected by the people in His hometown. In fact, because of their unbelief, Jesus could not do any major miracles among His own people.
- Jesus was humbled by the news of the beheading of John the Baptist, but He also knew He was facing the same fate in the future.
Jesus extended the same call to everyone but with different levels of commitment.
- There was the call to believe in Him – to accept His claim to be the Messiah.
- There was the call to follow Him as a disciple – to sit at His feet and to learn of Him and from Him.
- There was a call to some to be apostles – after having a special revelation of the resurrected Lord, they were sent on mission to represent Jesus, and to get the gospel to the ends of the world.
- Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.