Monday Morning: 22 Apr 2019 – Mark 1:1-20 ~ This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 1:1-20 (NLT)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written:

“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’”

This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said,

“You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News.

“The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

The First Disciples

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them,

“Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”

And they left their nets at once and followed him.

A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.
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Morning Reflection:

Today we resume our reading through the New Testament with the Gospel of Mark.

This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. – Mark 1:1

Here is some background information you might find helpful –

  • Authorship: Attributed to John Mark, who accompanied Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey but left these apostles when they reached Perga.
  • Date: Sometime between AD 63 and 70.
  • Audience: Written for Gentile readers originally, particularly Romans, who were suffering persecution and martyrdom throughout the Roman empire.
  • Characteristics: Mark wants his readers to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God, and to follow Him.
    • Reads like a reporter’s eyewitness account including many intimate details.
    • Stresses Jesus’ acts and gives a prominent place to His miracles.
    • Emphasizes Jesus’ role as the Servant of the Lord.
    • Introduces Jesus as the “Son of God.”
    • Reveals Jesus’ preference for the title “Son of man.”
  • Purpose:
    • Pastorally: The biographical material he chose to include and omit suggests that he wanted to enable his Christian readers to endure suffering and persecution for their faith effectively. About one third of this Gospel deals with the passion of Jesus.
    • Theologically: Mark stresses the true humanity of Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus was the human servant of God who suffered as no other person has suffered, completely obedient to His Father’s will – an example for all disciples to follow.

Questions for consideration:

“The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced.
“The Kingdom of God is near!
Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

– Mark 1:15

  • In light of current events in the news, do you believe that “The Kingdom of God is near?” Please explain.
  • What sins of unbelief are in need of your repentance? What would it mean for you to turn away from them and believe “the Good News?” Please explain.

“Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”
Mark 1:17

  • When did you first decide to follow Jesus? What did it mean to you? Please explain. If you are not sure, please follow this link – PeaceWithGod.net.
  • At the time, did you consider that it might include telling others about Jesus? How about now? Please explain.
  • At the time, did you consider that it might include rejection or suffering? How about now? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Prayer for Christians in the midst of persecution:

Heavenly Father: I pray especially for Christians suffering from the effects of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka. Meet them in their deepest sorrow and comfort them. Strengthen them in faith that they may continue to follow you, and empower them with your Spirit to respond in love to the evil shown by their persecutors – that doors will open for these believers to share the Good News of the Kingdom. I ask this in Jesus’ name, who lives and reigns with you in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father: As I begin reading through the Gospel of Mark, help me to keep Easter Sunday in mind – that I might reject all unbelief, and trust the Good News of your Kingdom; that I might seek and find evidence of your Kingdom in my everyday life; that I may happily share the Good News with others; and that I may be willing to bear the consequences, come what may. I ask this in Jesus’ name, my Savior and Lord. Amen
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“Is He Worthy?” – Chris Tomlin

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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