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Lesson 3
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I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Jesus Begins His Ministry (1:14-20)

Jesus preaches in Galilee (14-15)

Calling of Simon and Andrew (16-18)

Calling of James and John (19-20)

Jesus in the Synagogue (1:21-28)

Teaches with authority (21-22)

Casts out unclean spirit (23-28)

Ministry in Capernaum and Galilee (1:29-45)

Heals Simon’s mother-in-law (29-31)

Crowd gathers to seek help (32-39)

Heals a man with leprosy (40-45)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Kingdom of God, good news, time, kingdom of God, immediately, at once, without delay, followed, Jesus of Nazareth, Holy One of God, immediately, be quiet, crowd, wilderness

II.    General Analysis

1. 15, 18, 20, 28, 29, 30, 42, 43. Mark gives us a sense of the urgency of Jesus calling the disciples and beginning His ministry.

2. Preach (14,38-39); call (20); teach (22); cast out unclean spirits (25, 34); heal (31, 34, 41); pray (35)

III. Segment Analysis

1a. John rebuked Herod for marrying his brother’s wife. John was never released from prison, and was later beheaded.

1b. It is reasonable to conclude that because John was in prison, his work was done. It was time for Jesus to start on the path John had prepared. More important, Jesus knew it was the right time because He was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lets us know where to go, at what time (Mk 1:12; Acts 16:6-8).

2a. The time to repent; the time to believe. The Old Testament stage of God’s salvation plan had been completed, and the New Testament had begun. The Old Testament laws make us conscious of our sins (Rom 3:19-20); the only way to be saved is to repent and to believe in Jesus. Because Jesus had come to fulfill the law, we can today observe God’s laws under grace (Rom 2:28-29).

2b. The good news is that we are saved through Jesus Christ. Jesus came to set an example of how to obey God’s commandments in faith. He also came with the power to heal and to forgive sins.

3. Simon and Andrew were brothers. They had been disciples of John the Baptist, and John pointed them to follow Jesus. Also, before calling Simon, Jesus had used his boat to teach. James and John were Simon and Andrew’s fishing partners.

4a. By obeying Jesus’ command, Simon caught a lot of fish. It was then that Jesus said, “From now on you will catch men” (Lk 5:10). So Simon understood that Jesus was telling them that they would gain even more by following Him (even though he probably did not know what exactly it was).

Before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples did not understand His message (Mt 19:27; Mk 10:37). The words “fishers of men” themselves might not have had much meaning to them. Most likely, they were attracted to Jesus Himself. They followed in faith. The fishermen followed Jesus not necessarily because He said this or that. They followed simply because Jesus called.

6. The scribes taught by repetition, which often became an exercise of memorization (cf. Did You Know 6). They became obsessed with the letters of the law, instead of the true meaning behind those words. As a result, they created religious laws and restrictions for themselves, which they later accused Jesus of offending (Mk 2:18, 24). On the other hand, Jesus taught something new that challenged their preconceived notions (Mk 2:21-22). He was interesting. He used everyday examples and told stories (Mt 13:1-52). He asked thought-provoking questions (Mk 3:4). Most importantly, Jesus spoke the words of God (Jn 14:24-25). He taught with the power of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 2:4-5), who confirmed what He said with signs and miracles (Mk 16:17-18; Rom 15:18-19).

8. Jesus knew the unclean spirit’s intentions. At this time, when He was just beginning His ministry, it was not the right time for people to hear that Jesus is the “Holy One of God.” He let His actions speak to who He was. He did not directly proclaim His deity, even to His disciples, until much later (Mt 16:15-17). When He finally did, the opposition intensified (Jn 8:58-59).

9a. She served “them,” not just Jesus alone. Serving other people is a way to repay God’s mercy (1Pet 4:9-10).

9b. Simon left everything to follow Jesus, but it did not mean that he severed his ties with his family. Jesus used Simon’s house and boat (Mk 1:29; Lk 5:3) and took care of his family. It is not God’s will for us to abandon our families and our earthly responsibilities when we dedicate our lives to Him. God helps us to wisely divide our time and effort, and He steps in to help whenever necessary. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mt 6:33).

10a. The day before, he must have worked all day and late into the night (32). Because the Sea of Galilee was surrounded by many cities, it took some time to walk to a solitary place. Early in the morning was the only time when Jesus could pray and have some quiet time alone. He sacrificed time and sleep to prepare Himself spiritually. However, even then, people wouldn’t leave Him alone (37).

11. While Jesus had compassion on the people and often met their physical needs, His primary purpose in His ministry was to bring people back to God and save souls. If He had remained in the same town and continued to do nothing but healing, He would have been no more than a miracle worker. Jesus knew that there were many other people in other towns who needed to hear the good news of God’s Kingdom. So He chose to move on to the next towns to preach the gospel even though many people were coming to Him with physical needs.

12. He “came to [Jesus], imploring Him, kneeling down to Him” (40). His faith was one of certainty and humility. He was sure that Jesus could heal him, but he also humbly looked to Jesus for mercy. He did not demand Jesus to heal him, but only prayed and hoped that He would be willing to do so. Touched by his faith, Jesus replied, “I am willing.”

13. Compassion was the motivation behind Jesus’ healing. He did not heal the sick just to fulfill some responsibility or to show off His power. He genuinely loved the people He healed. This is the heart we need to have toward those whom we serve.

Jesus did not stand at a distance and just speak some words to heal the man. He stretched out His hand and touched this unclean person. If we are truly moved with compassion, we will draw close to those in need, even when others despise them, and stretch out our hands to help and comfort them.

14a. Jesus asked the man only to show himself to the priest and offer sacrifice as a testimony to glorify God. The man probably decided that it was good to tell others. But because he talked freely, the crowd became a distraction to Jesus. Maybe the man cannot be blamed for acting out of ignorance. However, he disobeyed a direct command from Jesus (44).

14b. Sometimes we let our emotions and reasoning override God’s will (like Peter in Mk 8:31-33). In doing so, we do more harm than good.

15. The passage says specifically that Jesus was “moved with compassion” (41). Jesus loved him, and was willing to be inconvenienced. Jesus went out of his way to give the man what he needed the most. His small sacrifices for us led to the biggest sacrifice of all: dying on the cross.

Often we are reluctant to help if we must give up something or be inconvenienced in some way or change our patterns. It is harder to sit down to talk to a homeless person than to throw him some spare change. Sometimes we also overlook the needs of others for the sake of completing some work. To Jesus, however, the man was more important than any work.

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