The Person of Christ – Part One – Mark 1:14-45

 

In Mark 1:1 we had The Pronouncement of Christ and found that the gospel of Jesus Christ is ongoing even up to the present. We also saw that in Mark’s gospel account we would see the Person and Passion of Jesus Christ.

 

In Mark 1:2-13 we saw The Preparation of Christ and learned from how John the Baptist was prepared to be a messenger used by God to introduce Jesus to the world. We also learned that Jesus (as well as John) was prepared in the wilderness and that this is essential preparation for anyone called and anointed by God.

 

Now in Mark 1:14 we begin the section of the gospel that will focus on The Person of Christ. This section will continue until Mark 8:30. From Mark 8:31-16:20 we will focus on the Passion of Christ. We will learn of the Person of Jesus throughout this gospel, but the aforementioned divisions of the book will help us to rightly divide God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15).

 

The Fourfold Value of Knowing the Person Jesus

 

What use is it to know about Jesus as a Person? There is great use and import in knowing Jesus as a Person. Knowing Jesus as a Person enables us to relate to Him more personally. The more we learn about the Person of Jesus the less likely we will be to view Jesus as so transcendent that He is unapproachable or out of our reach. Jesus is a personal Savior.

 

The value of knowing the Person Jesus is fourfold:

 

First, there is great value in knowing it is POSSIBLE to know Jesus personally. Think of it, the Person we see in the gospels, the One Scripture tells us Created the Universe and holds it together (Colossians 1), the One scripture tells us is our Savior and Lord (Colossians 2; 2 timothy 1:10), is Someone we can know and relate to personally. The possibility of know Jesus personally is stated in the following verses:

 

  • John 17:3 - “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  [1]
  • 1 John 5:20 – “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”  [2] (Also 1 John 4:7-8)

These inspired words of John tell us we can know Jesus personally. To “know Him” means to know Him personally.

How can we come to know Jesus personally? Agree and admit before God that you have sinned against Him and that you are therefore deserving of eternal death  (Romans 3:23; 6:23a; 1 John 1:9). Come to God and seek forgiveness on the basis of Jesus’ work (His sacrifice on the cross) not your own works or efforts (Acts 2:39; Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 2). Ask Jesus to come into your heart and by faith receive Him into your heart (Acts 8:36-38; Romans 10:8-10; Ephesians 3:16-17; Revelation 3:20). When you do this God, because of His holy love and grace will send the Holy Spirit to reside in you and it is the Holy Spirit who brings the personal presence of Jesus into your life (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13; Romans 8:9-14).

Second, there is great value in making it a PRIORITY to know Jesus personally. The apostle Paul was inspired to write that knowing Jesus personally was the most important thing in the world. Paul wrote it like this:

  • Philippians 3:8-11 – “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  [3]

Everything else you could possibly do or experience in this life pales in comparison to having a personal relationship with Jesus. Only Jesus can fill the void in a life and heart. Only Jesus can satisfy a person. We were created to have fellowship with Jesus and until we realize that and enter into a personal relationship with Him, we will be running on empty.

Third, there is great value in God’s PURPOSE for your knowing Jesus personally.  God tells us in His word that His purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son Jesus. We see this calling in the following passages:

 

  • Romans 8:29 – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” [4]
  • Philippians 2:1-16 – “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”  [5]

If we want to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus, we must know Him personally and what He is like.

 

Fourth, there is great value in knowing Jesus personally because it brings a great PRIZE. Knowing Jesus fulfills and satisfies us. Knowing Jesus brings stability and comfort to us and helps us through this life and prepares us for eternal life with God in the next. Paul was inspired to tell us this when in his final epistle he wrote to young Timothy:

 

  • 2 Timothy 1:12 – “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”  [6]

Even though we may experience suffering or hardship in this life, our personal saving relationship with Jesus in the Spirit gets us through without regret. Knowing Jesus helps us make sense and see purpose in life no mater what we go through. And even if we do not understand the “why” in given situations of life, by faith we can go on and finish our course I life trusting that God is in control. Knowing Jesus personally as our Savior and Lord prepares us to live victoriously in this life and to life with Him eternally in the afterlife.

The gospel of Mark is a perfect place to start to discover the Person of Jesus and get to know Him personally.

 

“MARK THAT ACTION”

 

The gospel of Mark emphasizes action. We need to prayerfully study it with an eye to application. No study of Gods word is complete without seeking the Spirit’s application of what He reveals to us in our study (see James 1:22-25).

 

 In an effort to clearly identify things about Jesus that God would have us, by the Holy Spirit, be conformed to, there will be MARK THAT ACTION sections that identify an aspect of Jesus that we should seek to have the Spirit apply to our lives and conform us to. These will be challenging, convicting and always constructive to our walk with the Lord. The MARK THAT ACTION section will have a short statement to prayerfully take to the Lord in prayer seeking Him to conform us to that particular noted likeness of Jesus.

 

Remember, these are not things we can take action on in our own strength, they are things we should seek the Lord to implement in our hearts and lives by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8; Philippians 1:6; 2:13).

 

Let’s turn now to the gospel and see what can be seen and learned about the Person of Christ.

 

Jesus the Preacher

 

Mark 1:14-15 – “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  [7]

John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod because John rebuked him as an adulterer (Mark 1:14; 6:17-18). Imagine what the media would do to someone today if they rebuked a public figure as an adulterer. We saw what happened with ex-President Bill Clinton and we see today what happens when people speak out against Gay marriages. John the Baptist certainly would have caused a riot in our day and age. John was imprisoned and ultimately beheaded by Herod (Matthew 4:12; 14:3-12).

Why Did Jesus Preach?

We are told that it was after the imprisonment of John that, “Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” (1:14). The word “preaching” in various forms occurs 12 times in Mark (“preach” – 1:38; 3:14; 16:15; “preached” – 1:7; 2:2; 6:12; 13:10; 14:9; 16:20; “preaching” – 1:4, 14, 39), and comes from the Greek term KERUSSO (Strong’s # 2784 – khruvssw - kay-roos´-so) which means, “to herald (as a public crier), . . . . preacher (-er), proclaim, publish.” [8] The grammatical form of this term (Greek Present Tense) indicates that this was something Jesus did consistently and in an ongoing fashion. When someone does something consistently it speaks of the value and importance that person puts on it. Jesus persistently preached because to Him this was of utmost import.

It should therefore be clear that Jesus preached because it was something very important to Him and He preached because people needed to hear what He had to say. The same is true today, Jesus has a message that needs to be heard and His desire is to communicate that message to the lost who need to hear it.

You might be thinking, “Okay, so what? What does that have to do with me?” It has a lot to do with you because we are the ones through whom Jesus, by the empowering of the Holy Spirit, seeks to reach out to the lost with His gospel message. These two things are clearly stated in God’s word.

First, the Holy Spirit empowers believers with the purpose of being His witnesses. In Acts it states:

  • Acts 1:8 - “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  [9]

It is the Holy Spirit, (as we saw in the Mark 1:2-13 The Preparation of Christ section) who empowers us to prepare the way to introduce others to Jesus.

Second, Jesus seeks to reach out to the lost, through us. In 2 Corinthians it states:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 – “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  [10]

Now you may be thinking, “I’ve heard this all before, I know all this.” Yes, but is it happening in your life? Do you truly understand that God is “pleading through us” with the lost to come to Jesus? Do you understand that Jesus has a message of good news of salvation for the lost that He wants to communicate with the world and He wants to use you to deliver that message? Are you allowing Jesus to use you to preach that message? Jesus preached, and we should allow Him to continue preaching to the lost, through us.

Years ago at a Moody Bible Institute Missionary conference a large TRAFFIC SIGNAL was hooked up with lights that flashed:

 

·         AMBER LIGHT - Flashed every 35 hours to signify a missionary being sent out.

·         GREEN LIGHT - Flashed every 24 hours to signify  $.02 cents spent on missions in this country.

·         RED LIGHT - Flashed three times every two seconds to signify a person dying without Christ.

 

People who die without Jesus as their Savior are doomed to an eternity in hell, a dark place of eternal desperation and torment. That reality moved Jesus to preach the gospel, to offer the only means of escape and salvation from sin. Jesus had a heart to save the lost.

Jesus came into the region of Galilee proclaiming persistently and powerfully the good news of the kingdom of God. What does that mean, what does “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” mean?

What Did Jesus Preach?

What did Jesus’ “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” consist of? There are four parts of Jesus declaration in Mark 1:15 which require closer attention.

First, Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled . . .” The time referred to here by Jesus is the time predicted in the Old Testament that the Messiah would come. Daniel predicted the time of Messiah’s coming nearly 500 years in advance (and that to the day! Daniel 9:22-27). In the New Testament the timing of God in the coming of Jesus is referred to when it states:

  • Galatians 4:4-5 – “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”  [11]
  • Ephesians 1:7-10 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”  [12]

Ever wonder why God doesn’t answer your prayers when you want them answered? Just think, if His plan of redemption in Christ was perfectly timed, so would everything else be. God has a plan and He reveals it at just the right time. Wait on the Lord and He will bring His will to pass (Psalm 27:14; Isaiah 40:31). When the time was just right, God sent Jesus. When the time was just right in our lives, God sent Jesus to save us from our sin and reveal His truth of the gospel.

Second, Jesus said, “. . . and the kingdom of God is at hand.” In what sense is “the kingdom of God at hand”? The kingdom of God is at hand because the King Jesus has arrived! Of course the sad issue is that the people were looking for a different King than Jesus presented to them in His initial incarnation. They were looking for a more political king who would liberate them from their oppressors and reestablish the glory of Solomon’s kingdom. Jesus will one day reign on the earth, at His 2nd Coming (see Ezekiel 40-48; Revelation 19 and 20). At present the Kingdom Jesus refers to is one of the heart and is spiritual (Romans 14:17). This kingdom is eternal and therefore those who enter it enter into eternal life right now (2 Peter 1:11). 

How can a person enter this spiritual kingdom of God? Such a kingdom of the heart can only be entered if you turn from your sin (i.e. repent) and are born again of the Spirit (Matthew 3:12; John 3:1-8). The Father and Jesus His only Son rule the Kingdom of God through the Spirit (Romans 14:17; Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 1:13). Therefore they rule as Lord of our heart (Romans 10:8-10). Once you have experienced this spiritual birth God exhorts us to walk in a manner worthy of His kingdom rule in your heart (1 Thessalonians 2:12; Colossians 4:11). This kingdom of the heart is the most important thing to experience in life and if you make it the priority in your life God will take care of the rest (Matthew 6:33). However, experiencing the kingdom of God in your heart now is frowned upon by the world and therefore you will experience many tribulations living for the kingdom of God in this life (Acts 14:22). Nevertheless, we are called to preach the good news of this Kingdom (Acts 8:12). We are to pray for this Kingdom of God to come into people’s hearts as well as literally in the Millennial Kingdom in the Last Days (Matthew 6:10). Jesus came to redeem, clean and rule in the hearts of sin-infested people.

Third, Jesus said, “Repent, . . .” The final two aspects of Jesus’ declaration involve the proper response to the message of Jesus. We are first told to “repent” and we have already learned that repentance means to have a radical change in heart and mind; it is a 180-degree change in direction in one’s life. That Jesus calls for repentance implies that people are generally going in the wrong direction; they are in sin and need to turn from the way they are traveling to Jesus. The grammatical form of the word “repent” conveys an action that is required, essential and imperative; it needs to happen NOW! (Present/Active/Imperative).

Fourth, Jesus said, “and believe in the gospel.” The second part of the proper response to Jesus preaching is to “believe in the gospel.” The word “believe” is translated from the Greek term PISTEUO (Strong’s #4100 - pisteuvw pisteáuoµ, pist-yoo´-o) meaning, “to have faith . . . in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing . . . credit; . . . to entrust ( . . . one’s spiritual well-being to Christ) . . .  believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.” [13] The preposition “in” (EN - Strong’s #1722) here means to rest in. Jesus therefore, is calling those in earshot of His preaching to trust in His message, rest in it, entrust themselves to it, rely on it.

The grammatical form of the word “believe” (Present/Active Imperative) means that which is being called for is essential, mandatory, and something that one needs to do NOW!

We have already learned that the word “gospel” (EUANGELLION – Strong’s #2098 - eujaggevlion eáuaggeálioán, yoo-ang-ghel´-ee-on; [14]) means, “good news; good message.” In Mark 1:15 we have insight into the content of the “good message,” or “gospel.” The good news is that the long awaited promised Messiah King was now here and preaching about His kingdom; people must turn from their sin and must believe the word of the King Jesus. At this point in the gospel of Mark we are given no further information on what the gospel is. So far we know it involves a kingdom and a King, Jesus, and the proper response involves repentance and believing in the good news preached by this King.

Jesus The Anointed Messenger and His Message

In addition to Mark 1:15, in Luke’s inspired gospel account we are told of a day when Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth and entered the synagogue and stood up to read. He was handed the scroll of Isaiah and He turned to the following words and read them:

  • Luke 4:18-19 (Isaiah 61:1-2) - “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”   [15]

The words read by Jesus from the book of Isaiah depict the substance of Jesus the Preacher and what His preaching consisted of. As we look at these words we see the parts of Jesus preaching ministry.

First, Jesus was anointed to preach. He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach . . .” Jesus preached in the power of the Holy Spirit and that is why His ministry was so powerful. If Jesus preached in the power of the Spirit, so should we.

Second, Jesus preached the gospel. Jesus said He was anointed specifically, “To preach the gospel . . .” Jesus didn’t preach statistics, or philosophy or entertaining things, He preached the gospel. Jesus focused and determined to fulfill His mission by preaching the gospel. Jesus meant business and His priority was preaching the gospel.

Third, Jesus preached the gospel “to the poor.” Now notice the word “the” is in italics indicating it was inserted by the translators. Literally it simply says Jesus preached “to poor.” Yes, Jesus preached to those who were materially poor, but more importantly He preached to those who were not only spiritually poor, but also spiritually bankrupt.

Fourth, Jesus’ preaching had a fivefold aim and purpose:

1.      To heal the brokenhearted.

2.      To liberate captives (of sin).

3.      To give sight to the blind (i.e. those both physically and spiritually blind).

4.      To liberate those oppressed (by physical worldly forces and spiritual other worldly forces of darkness).

5.      To proclaim the prophetic acceptable year of the Lord. Jesus was the One promised in the Old Testament Messianic prophecies and now was the time of that fulfillment.

These words read by Jesus from Isaiah give us a very clear picture of His preaching ministry.

MARK THAT ACTION: Jesus Preached – We Should Preach /Share the Gospel

We have seen how Jesus preached. He had a message of good news for the sinner and consistently and persistently shared that message with the lost around Him. Years ago an Episcopal minister made this astute observation:

"In the Great Commission the Lord has called us to be--like Peter--fishers of men. We've turned the commission around so that we have become merely keepers of the aquarium. Occasionally I take some fish out of your fishbowl and put them into mine, and you do the same with my bowl. But we're all tending the same fish."  [16]

At some point we need to reach out to those who are unsaved, lost in sin and in the power of the Spirit introduce them to Jesus as Savior. We need to seek the Lord in prayer to enable, equip and embolden us to share or “preach” the good news of Jesus to those around us. Jesus preached, so should we.

Jesus the Disciple Maker

Mark 1:16-20 – “And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.”  [17]

These verses introduce us to the ministry of discipleship of Jesus. “Disciples” are mentioned 46 times in the short gospel of Mark (Mark 2:15,16,18,23; 3:7,9; 4:34; 5:31; 6:1,29,35,41,45; 7:2,5,17; 8:1,4,6,10,14,27,33,34; 9:14,18,28,31; 10:10,13,23,24,46; 11:1,4; 12:43; 13:1; 14:12,13,14,16,32; 16:7). A “disciple” is simply a student, a “learner”  (Greek MATHETES – Strong’s # 3101 - maqhthv" matheµteµs, math-ay-tes´; from 3129; a learner, i.e. pupil:— disciple.[18]). Making disciples was very important in the ministry of Jesus because spiritual growth involves learning; experiencing an ever- deepening relationship with Jesus involves learning about Him and coming to know Him more and more.

These verses not only tell us a great deal about the ministry of discipleship of Jesus and those He chose as disciples. What we learn about Jesus’ ministry of discipleship can be broken down into four parts.

First, Jesus “saw Simon and Andrew,” He is always looking for disciples (1:16). Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee and watched the hard work of the fishermen by the shore. The word used to express Jesus seeing (EIDO –Strong’s #1492 - ei[dw eáidoµ, i´-do; [19]) carries with it the idea of perception, intuitive knowledge. Jesus did not only see a couple of fishermen, He saw two potential fishers of men, disciples. Just as a pearl is made from dirt in a clam and a diamond comes from compressed coal, Jesus was able to look past the dirt and see disciples.

Second, Jesus sent a challenge to them (1:17,20). Jesus said to these rugged fishermen, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” He challenged them. They were hard at work, making a living, casting their nets into the sea and lifting fish out of the water. Jesus challenged them by calling them to a new and different way of life. Jesus calls us to come to Him and learn to live the way we were meant to live by our Creator. When Jesus calls a person, He calls them to what appears to be a new, radical, challenging way of living, but it is really the right and original way that God designed us to live. Jesus calls us to come and live in a personal relationship with God through Him in the Spirit.  That is what discipleship is all about, it is about putting your faith in Jesus and trusting in Him to show you a new way of thinking, living and loving in a personal relationship with Him.

Third, those chosen and called by Jesus immediately followed Him (1:18,20). Simon and Andrew, James and John made no excuses, they didn’t try to bargain or barter with Jesus. They didn’t ask Him, “What’s in it for me?” They didn’t scoff or complain about Jesus’ call and command to “follow” Him (Imperative of DEUTE – Strong’s # 1205 - deu`te deáuteá, dyoo´-teh; . . . “come hither, come, follow” [20]). They “immediately” responded and followed Jesus (Greek EUTHEOSStrong’s # 2112 - eujqevw" eáutheáoµs, yoo-theh´-oce; . . . directly, i.e. at once or soon . . . as soon as, forthwith, immediately, shortly, straightway.) [21] The first challenge or test of these men to be disciples was passed as they “immediately left their nets and followed Him.” A disciple must be willing to answer the call of Jesus on a moments notice. Their response to Jesus must be immediate.

 

Fourth, there was something in Jesus that drew Simon and Andrew into an immediate response (1:17-18,20). We are not given an explanation of why Simon and Andrew were willing to immediately leave their nets and follow Jesus, but suffice it to say, their something in either the tone of voice, look in the eye, there was something the Spirit did in them to draw them to follow Jesus immediately. Simon and Andrew didn’t immediately follow Jesus because they were good fellows; they followed Jesus because of what the Spirit spoke to their hearts when Jesus called them to follow Him. They were willing to answer that call of the Spirit in Christ.

 

Why Did Jesus Make Disciples?

 

Why did Jesus make disciples? Why did He think that was important? Why didn’t He just leave people to fend on their own or figure things out? A disciple is a learner and in order to receive the fullness of what Jesus has to offer, a person needs to become aware of what Jesus offers. Read what Jesus said:

 

  • John 8:31-32 – “ Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [22]

Jesus didn’t preach good news of salvation so that a person could simply take the good news, be saved, and then go off on their own to do what they wanted. No, when you come to Jesus He bids you come and learn because it is only through abiding in His word that you will come to truly know Him and experience all He has for you. That is why Jesus also taught.

 

Do we see discipleship as something that is important? Jesus did, do we? And if we do not, why don’t we? Are we too proud? Too out of touch with our needs? Too disinterested in what Jesus has to say? Too individualistic? The Bible tells us to come together and encourage one another in this discipleship (Hebrews 10:24-25). Is this command and call of Jesus something we are obeying or even see as important? (Matthew 28:18-20).

 

MARK THAT ACTION – Jesus Made Disciples – We Need To Be A Disciple and Seek to Be Used By God To Make Disciples

 

Jesus made disciples; it was a very important aspect of His ministry. He commanded us to continue making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore we are faced with two vitally important application questions. First, are we a disciple? And Second, Do we make disciples? We need to check our heart and see that we are a disciple, that we are teachable and a learner of Jesus. And we need to seek to be used by Jesus in some way to see that His command to make disciples continues.

 

Jesus the Teacher

Mark 1:21-22 – “Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”  [23]

Capernaum is a city on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Some believe it was the city where Simon Peter resided. In Capernaum today you can go and visit the ruins of the synagogue that very possibly Jesus taught in. In this synagogue Jesus began the second part of His ministry. Jesus was a preacher, a proclaimer of gospel truth, but He was also a teacher, an explainer of gospel truth.

 

Jesus “taught” in the local synagogue. The word “taught” (DIDASKO – Strong’s #1321 - didavskw didaskoµ, did-as´-ko) means “to teach.” [24] The word “teaching” means literally “doctrine; instruction” (DIDACHE – Strong’s # 1322 - didachv didacheµ, did-akh-ay´ion.”[25] The idea here is that Jesus expounded the scriptures, explained them to the listeners. When one proclaims the truth they present it in a way that calls for a decision to either accept or reject it. When one teaches the truth, they explain why something is true and connect truth in a way that helps the listener understand and learn the truth. Jesus both preached and taught the truth of God.

 

The problem with much of the flock of God today is that they shy away from Biblical teaching or doctrine. Doctrine is the substance of God’s truth put in palatable and understandable form. The Lord tells us in His word that we are to grow in our understanding of doctrine (Hebrews 6:1-2). True doctrine is based on the truth contained and revealed in God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We are to obey God’s Biblical doctrine from the heart  (Romans 6:17). We are to hold on tight to God’s doctrine (2 Timothy 1:13). We are to show the beauty of Gods doctrinal truth (Titus 2:10). Doctrine is very important. Jesus taught doctrine and if we are to be His followers, we need to receive it and obey it in the power He provides in the Spirit.

 

MARK THAT ACTION: Jesus Taught – We Need to Be Teachable and Help Others to Be Taught

 

Jesus taught and explained who He was and is and He explained the word of God so people could understand it and respond to it. Are we teachable? Are we open to what Jesus is trying to teach us from His word? And if we are teachable, are we seeking to help others learn? Are we seeking to teach or explain God’s word to others or at least bring people to a place where they can be taught about Jesus? We need to prayerfully ask the Spirit to make us teachable and help us help others to learn and be taught.

 

Jesus the Liberator

 

Mark 1:23-28 – “Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.”  [26]

Here we come to an interesting situation that reveals great truth. First of all the setting is “in their synagogue.” The synagogue was and is the symbol and instrument of religious practice for the Jews and this became even truer after the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. It is therefore very telling that the man with the “unclean spirit” was “in their synagogue.” This tells us that religion has no power over unclean demonic forces. You can’t perform rituals or religious acts to fight against what is unclean. Only Jesus through our personal relationship with Him is effective in dealing with such things. Read what the apostle Paul was inspired to write about this:

  • Colossians 2:18-23 – “Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”  [27]

What we need to understand first off is that liberation from “the indulgence of the flesh,” mentioned here in Colossians 1:23 or that which is unclean as mentioned in Mark 1:23 and 26, does not come from rituals or regulation following, these are the things we need to die to because they are useless to free us (Colossians 2:20-23). Instead we have to do what Paul implies some of his listeners were not doing which is, “holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” (Colossians 2:19). These words are another way of saying we have to turn to and cling to Jesus in a very personal way to find liberty from such sin because He is the One who will feed our souls and help us to grow spiritually.

The problem in these verses of Mark is identified as a man with an “unclean spirit.” The word “unclean” here is translated from the Greek term AKATHARTOS (Strong’s # 169 - ajkavqarto" akathartoás, ak-ath´-ar-tos) which means, “impure . . . lewd . . . demonic. . .  foul, unclean.” [28] This uncleanness was likely in part referring to the ritual laws of the Jews. But who knows what this unclean spirit was moving this man to do and say and think. The meaning of “lewd” implies something lustful.

Though “an unclean spirit” is pointed to here, this man was not absolved from responsibility. Immoral sin begins in the heart and at some point this man with an unclean spirit entertained lustful thoughts in his heart (Mark 7:21-23; Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 5:28). Satan plays on fleshly lusts to get his foot into the door of a person’s heart and once inside he brings more and more unclean immoral thoughts until the person is trapped in an ever-intensifying orgy of immorality. Many a person has gone from lusting at Television images and magazine pictures, to then pornography in books, tapes and Internet sites, then to actual physical fulfillment of such lustful thoughts and then finally to even illegal and ever deepening immoral conduct. Many if not most sexual offenders started in just such a pattern of uncleanness. The picture here is one of a person overcome and trapped by such an unclean spirit.

Jesus had power over the demonic entities that infected people. With a word from Jesus they were evicted from their human abode. That is the power of Jesus! He has the power to set people free from whatever unclean enslaving spirit has taken up residence in a person.

We don’t’ have to look very far in our world today to find that which is impure, unclean, and lewd.” Television, radio, the Internet, movies, DVDs and videos, as well as all the live immoral performances so easily found in our society and throughout the world all reveal humanities obsession and Satan’s lure to lust. In some European nations prostitutes are placed in windows where their services can be purchased.  Immorality is everywhere and it is even propagated to children in such immoral propositions as same-sex marriages, experimental sex, and overall immoral worldly ways presented in Public Schools.

One of the most “unclean” things of our day is pornography. If we look at the popularity and pitch of pornography in our day we see that it is proliferating as a money making, relationship degrading, life destroying business faster than any other strategy of Satan. And make no mistake about it; pornography is a tool of the demonic. Many have been snared through unsolicited pornographic ads over the Internet. Many indulge in pornographic programming in the supposed secrecy of their own homes. Adult bookstores outnumber McDonald’s restaurants by about 3 to 1. Pornography plays on the flesh of people, literally. It leaves a victim after victim in its wake. Pornography is enslaving. Jesus can free the porno addict just as easily as He liberated the man with an unclean spirit. Jesus says to those indulging in pornography, “Be quiet and come out!”

The Way of Escape to Liberty

So many people, unfortunately Christians included, are enslaved to some bad habit or addiction. How can we escape from such enslavement and experience the liberty that Jesus offers? There is liberty from sin available in Jesus in the Spirit (Luke 4:18; 2 Corinthians 3:17; James 1:23-25). Jesus said if we abide in His word we will know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:31-32). Therefore it is in the word of the Lord that we will find the way to liberty. There is one verse in the Bible that gives us the way to liberty in Jesus and that is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians where it states:

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  [29]

Let’s study this verse (you should really commit it to memory!) and identify the steps to liberty in Jesus.

First, understand that temptation is common to everyone.  Paul is inspired to say, “No temptation has overtaken except such as is common to man; . . .” Temptation is not sin. Jesus was tempted and He did not sin (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15). Temptation overtakes everyone. Temptation to sin is not sin; it only becomes sin when we decide to give in to its sinful lure. This is what James explains for us in his epistle where it states:

  • James 1:12-15 – “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”  [30]

These words tell us that there is a blessing for those who endure, or who victoriously resist the lure of temptation (James 1:12). Here we also see that temptation is not “by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13). There are no grounds for blaming God for the temptations we experience. Don’t blame God, (which is very popular in our day), for the temptations you face. But if not God, then who is the source of our temptations? The answer, we are! Yes, Satan is referred to as “The tempter”  (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5), but James lays the blame for temptation on our doorstep primarily. He says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” (James 1:14). Those desires emanate from our flesh, that part of us which is selfish and self-serving, self-promoting and self–satisfying. Our inner thought life comes into play here. What area we feeding our mind with? What are we feeding our flesh? What did you think would happen when you watched that program or website, or watched that video or porn book? It all sets the person up for “desires” to be further enticed with. It all plays a part in setting the person up for the lure of temptation and the Tempter.

Lastly James says, “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:15). These verses offer both hope and horror because they tell us of the consequence of the decisions we make in the face of temptation. When we choose to give in to temptation and sin it works death in our lives. When James says, “When desire has conceived,” in other words, when those inner sinful desires are tempted they give birth to sin and when the single act of sin becomes a habit or even an addiction, it works death in our spirit. Relationships die, good reasoning dies, right thinking dies, accurate perceptions of reality dies, and our fellowship with God is greatly hindered. The more we sin the more it is as though we cover ours ears so that we can’t hear the Spirit. The more we sin the more we depend on ourselves and consequently the weaker we get spiritually. You can argue all you want about whether a person can or cannot lose their salvation, the greater point is that when you feed your mind and heart with sin it is like a cancer that eats you up and works death in your life in all areas, especially your spiritual sensitivity and your fellowship with God.

But the opposite is also true, if you resist temptation and choose to take the way of escape God is faithful to provide, each time you resist in the strength and way He provides you will become stronger in your faith and more spiritually sensitive and closer in your fellowship with God. Paul was inspired to say it like this:

  • Galatians 6:7-8 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” [31]

The choice is clear, choose life, or choose death.

Getting back to our verse in 1 Corinthians, notice too what is “common” to man, temptation is common to man. It does not say, “Sin is common to man.” Yes, believers remain weak and flawed and there is no such thing as sinless perfection in this life. But we don’t have to adopt a defeatist attitude toward sin and temptation. John wrote that his first epistle was aimed in part to help his readers not to sin, but if they did, he wanted them to know they had an Advocate, Jesus who had the means of just forgiveness and cleansing from sin (1 John 2:1-2). When tempted you do not have to give in and sin. But how can we escape? Let’s go on with our verse study.

Second, understand that victory and liberty depends on God’s faithfulness more than it does yours. Paul writes, “but God is faithful, . . .” The key to victory begins with trusting the Lord and His faithfulness. If we depend on our faithfulness we will fail because we are weak (see Romans 7 and 8). The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses (Romans 8:26). It is God who works in us (Philippians 2:13; 4:13). God is faithful to help us when we are tempted. But how does He help us?

Third, understand God has promised to be faithful TO NOT LET YOU BE TEMPTED BEYOND WHAT YOU ARE ABLE TO BEAR. Paul states, “who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, . . .” This phrase is both encouraging and challenging. God knows our limits and weaknesses; He knows us personally, even better than we know ourselves (Psalm 44:21; 139:1,23-24; 1 John 3:20-21). This is comforting because we can face temptations knowing God is in control and won’t allow us to be overwhelmed. But this is challenging too, because when we give in to temptation and do sin, these words tell us we are responsible for that sin because God has been faithful to show us a way out, but we have not taken it see James 1 above). You see, with every temptation that overtakes us, God has promised to limit its lure so that it will not be overwhelming to us, IF WE FOLLOW THE NEXT STEP.

Fourth, understand God has promised to make a way of escape from the temptation. Paul goes on to say, “but with the temptation will also make the way of escape . . .” Just as surely as we will be faced with temptation to sin in this life, God is faithful to always provide an escape route so we don’t have to give in to the sinful thing we are being tempted with. There is a way out, always! We don’t’ have to sin, but if we do, Jesus is there to be our advocate and basis to go to God for forgiveness. Look at these verses mentioned earlier but quoted here from the first epistle of John where it states:

  • 1 John 2:1-2 – “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”  [32]

John was realist and well in tune with the reality of humanity, even saved humanity. He wrote his first epistle in part to help his spiritual children to not sin. The phrase “that you may not sin” expresses what is grammatically the “Subjunctive Mood” of the verb “to sin” (Greek HAMARTANO – Strong’s #264 - aJmartavnw hamartanoµ, ham-ar-tan´-o; . . . to miss the mark to err, . . . to sin . . .  trespass.”[33]) The idea expressed here is that of possibility. Therefore John is saying to us that it is possible not to sin when tempted. But he goes on to teach that the reality is that we often do sin saying, “And if anyone sins . . .” Again he uses the Subjunctive Mood with t he verb “sins” telling us that it is also possible that we will sin. If we do sin, Jesus is our Advocate with the Father who will forgive us on the basis of Jesus propitiation or His sacrifice on the cross, which satisfies His just requirements. Earlier in John’s first epistle the means to secure forgiveness and cleansing from sin is through confession of it to God. John says:

  • 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  [34]

To “confess” here means to see our sin from God’s perspective, it is not merely being sorry, it is more a repentant revulsion at wheat we have done and a desire to be cleansed from the impurity sin has brought to our heart. Interestingly, the word “confess” (Greek HOMOLOGEO – Strong’s # 3670 - oJmologevw hoámoáloágeáoµ, hom-ol-og-eh´-o . . .  to assent, i.e. covenant, acknowledge . . .  con (pro-) fess, confession is made, give thanks, promise . . . .”[35]) is also in the Subjunctive Mood expressing possibility and it is also in the Present Tense of the Greek grammar indicating an ongoing action of this verb (Present/Active/Subjunctive). This door to forgiveness is always there and we should always take it, sincerely sensing the death-working nature of sin we have allowed to enter us when we give in to temptation.

All of this tells us that we have a decision to make when faced with temptation. We either choose to give in to temptation and sin or we choose not to give in to temptation and not sin. What does Paul go on to say in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that will help us make the right decision not to give in to temptation and not sin?

Fifth, understand you can be liberated from your temptations. Paul concludes, “that you may be able to bear it.” You can bear it! It is possible to defeat your bad sinful habits and destructive addictions. You may be thinking, “But I can’t, I’ve tried.” You are correct in one sense, YOU can’t do it, but remember; we must lean on God’s faithfulness to gain the victory. God has said He will be faithful to provide an escape for you so you don’t have to give into temptations, if you have thoughts that say, “God is not faithful,” or “I can’t do it, there is not escape,” then where do you think such thoughts are coming from, THE LIAR, SATAN who is playing on your flesh (John 8:44). You need to take those defeatist thoughts captive in Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). We need to prayerfully ask God to show us the way out of our sinful habits and addictions and when He does show us the way out, by faith, relying on His power, we need to follow His escape route.

God’s way of escape is always Scriptural. Look to Gods’ word for insight and direction in the way to escape sin in the times of temptation. God’s word is specifically designed to guide us in the way we should and should go in times of temptation (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Titus 2:11-12; Hebrews 4:12; 1 John 2:1-2). When you prayerfully seek the help and direction from the Lord in His word, He will answer you and point you in the way you should go. He never fails to do this; you can count on Him to show you the way of escape in His word (Psalm 119:9-11).

 

God’s way of escape is often precautionary. It’s a lot easier to stop something you never let to get started. God’s word warns us clearly about so many sinful behaviors. It would be best to heed the word of God from the start and not indulge in anything that God prohibits See 1 Corinthians 6).

 

God’s way of escape can be difficult.  God’s way of escape is not made difficult by God, but by us when we allow sinful patterns or situations to arise in our lives. If we disregard the scriptural and precautionary steps of God’s way of escape allowing ourselves to indulge fleshly lusts and sin, once sin gets it foot in the door, it can be very hard to evict. There is a measure of pleasure in sin, otherwise why would anyone do it. Moses chose to turn away from the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:24-26). And there is the helpful insight from the Lord; sin may have a measure of pleasure, but it is “passing,” it is temporary and fades. But oh! What a persistent and often permanent measure of pain and suffering it leaves in its wake! Paul said those who seek to live godly lives would be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). The people around you wont’ necessarily help you. Your old friends don’t want you to leave your sinful ways because that brings them to terms with the sin you are leaving behind. When you identify sinful behavior and seek to leave it behind, that brings conviction to those who would rather indulge the same kinds of sin. Misery loves company and sinners don’t’ want to be convicted of their sin. This, for example is why the homosexual and lesbian communities do not only want society to leave them alone, but they want societies approval for their sinful lifestyle (Romans 1:18-32, especially verse 32). God never tells us that taking his way of escape is easy, He simply tells us it is possible and we do not take God’s way of escape in our own strength but in the strength He provides when we seek Him out to help us (Philippians 2:12-13; James 4:7-10; 1 Peter 5:8-9).

 

God’s way of escape is often common sense. Our “common sense” comes from God; it is not something we come up with. Therefore, there are some very practical common sense, logical things we can do to keep tempting situations from overwhelming us. Maybe you need to clean house and get rid of any paraphernalia that would tempt you to give in to temptation. Don’t keep a pipe or syringe around for sentimental purposes. Don’t keep your little black book with all your old girlfriends or boyfriend’s names and numbers in it just for a memento. You need to clean out the leaven, even the small sinful things around you (1 Corinthians 5:5-7). All of this is common sense.

 

Also, if you have difficulty with pornography on TV or the computer, arrange it so that when you are watching TV or on the computer you will not be alone, but with someone who will motivate you not to entertain sinful temptations. If you are an addict of some kind, maybe you need to change whom you hang out with, or the places you go. Watch the trick of the enemy who will urge your flesh to rationalize and reason that your old friends won’t get saved unless you hang with them. That’s hogwash! God desires their salvation far more than you do and He is able to save them with someone else. You need to get spiritual grounded and mature in your faith, otherwise you will put yourself in a situation where you are primed to fall and sin again. Plan ahead and take steps to not put yourself in tempting situations. And when a tempting situation inevitably catches up to you, prayerfully ask God to show you the way out and give you the strength to take it.

 

God’s way of escape is always there, but only good for those who really want to follow it. Here is the conviction and challenge. An escape route is only good if you take it. If you are drowning and God throws you a life preserver, and you push it away, you will drown and it is your decision to do so. You have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to escape? Do I really want to follow the Lord or sin? Do I want to allow this sin to threaten my fellowship with the Lord? What is more important to me, the Lord and His good path, or my sin?” Jesus said

 

  • Matthew 7:13-14 - “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  [36]

There is a way out, a way of escape. Jesus said it is a narrow way. It is narrow because His way is the only way (John 14:6). He will give you clear and direct plans of escape. We have to accept them and take them by faith. Remember, God is faithful and won’t let you be tempted beyond what you are able. That’s His promise. You can depend on it. When tempted, pause and prayerfully ask God to show you the way out. He will do it and give you strength to follow it to liberty in Jesus.

 

MARK THAT ACTION: Jesus Was and Is a Liberator – We Need to Be Liberated From Sin As Well As Seek to Show Others the Way to Experience Liberty From Sin

Are we enslaved to sin and in need of the salvation that comes through Jesus? Are we saved, but still overcome and enslaved to some sinful habit or addiction? Are we concerned that others around us are enslaved in some sin? Are we seeking to show them the liberty available through faith in Jesus? We need to prayerfully seek to have the Spirit liberate us from any enslaving sin in our lives and show others the liberty that can be theirs through faith in Jesus (see Romans 6).

Jesus the Ready Servant

Mark 1:29-31 – “Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.”  [37]

If you travel and visit Capernaum today, there is an excavation of what is believed to be the house of Peter. This house is a short distance away from the synagogue in Capernaum. As Jesus went to the house of Peter and Andrew, immediately He is faced with an opportunity to serve. Peter’s wife’s mother lay sick with fever. Jesus ready to serve took the mother in law’s hand and lifted her up and she was immediately healed of her fever. That’s Jesus; He was and is always ready to serve. We will see the servant’s heart of Jesus throughout Mark’s gospel.

Notice His servant’s heart was contagious as the mother in law served them as soon as she was healed. She was probably so overjoyed and in awe of her healing that she couldn’t wait to serve the Lord. How about you, are you ready to serve Jesus and follow in His steps? Are you thankful enough to offer your services to Jesus?

MARK THAT ACTION: Jesus Had a Servant’s Heart – We Need to Have a Servant’s Heart

Jesus was always ready to serve others and He was willing to do whatever it took in service to others to minister to them (see John 13 where Jesus washed the disciple’s feet). Do we put a limit on what we will do for the Lord? Do we look to serve or to be served by others? Do we look for opportunities to serve, or do we avoid or ignore them? We need to prayerfully seek that the Holy Spirit give us a servant’s heart and then we need to serve.

Jesus the Man of Prayer

Mark 1:32-39 – “At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. 35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him.37 When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”38 But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”39 And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.”  [38]

Just like with John the Baptist, we se the evidence of the anointing of the Lord with Jesus as people were coming to Him (1:5, 32-33). Jesus healed those who came to Him and did not allow the demons to speak because He did not want demons to be a part of His ministry (1:34).

Interestingly here, it states that the demons “knew Him,” that is Jesus (1:34). This is interesting because we often use words like “know” to convey the idea of relationship (e.g. 1 John 2:3,4; 3:1; 5:20). In what sense did the demon know Jesus? This word “knew” is translated from the Greek term OIDA (Strong’s #1492 – ei[dw ei´-do ) which means, “to see. . .  to know . . . be aware, behold, . . . , consider, (have) know (-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wish.”[39] The idea here is that the demons have an ancient knowledge or understanding of who Jesus is. This assertion is based on the fact that the Greek term OIDA here is in the rare pluperfect tense which signifies an, “event viewed as having been once and for all accomplished in past time.”[40] Satan, or Lucifer rebelled against the Father seeking to usurp God’s throne and this before the creation of humanity by God (Isaiah 14:12-17 and Ezekiel 28:11-19). At this time of Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven against God the Bible tells us that one third of the angels of heaven joined in this rebellion (Revelation 12:4,7-9). It is these angels turned demons that have this ancient knowledge of who Jesus is.

Demonic Knowledge vs. Saving Faith

This raises a question about faith and a saving relationship with God in Christ. The demons knew or sensed who Jesus was, but they obviously were not saved. Saving faith is much more than demonic faith.

The nature of saving faith, or the faith that saves is described in the letter of James. James says saving faith is working faith, practical; it is a living faith that has a life changing impact on the one who has it (James 2:14-26). In the course of his explanation of saving faith, James was inspired to write:

  • James 2:19 – “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”  [41]

Here “believe” comes from the Greek term PISTEUO (Strong’s # 4100 - pisteuvw pisteáuoµ, pist-yoo´-o) meaning, “to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing) . . .  credit; . . . to entrust . . . one’s spiritual well-being to Christ . . .  believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.” [42]

Some have seen a contradiction between the faith description of James and the faith referred to by Paul. But the working faith James refers to is in no way contradictory to the salvation by grace through faith referred to by the apostle Paul. Paul says we are not saved by our works, there is no work a sinful human can do to offset or recompenses God for our sin (and we are all sinful – Romans 3:10, 23). The wages or consequences of that sin is death (Romans 6:23a). The only way to be saved, forgiven and redeemed from that sinful state is to true or put faith in Jesus. To put faith in Jesus means to realize the sinless Jesus alone was worthy to offer Himself as a substitute for us on the cross to pay the penalty not only for our personal sin, but for the sin of every sinful human (1 John 2:1-2).  In Ephesians 2:1-10 we have a beautiful description of salvation. Paul says we are all dead in our sin (Ephesians 2:1-4). But God who is rich in loving mercy and by His grace, when we were in our dead state of sin, provided a way to be saved and be brought to spiritual life through His only Son Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-7). Paul then explains that such a salvation is not at all attributable to any work that we do, but is solely on the basis of His gracious provision and that provision is received by simple faith or trusting in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). Like the Ethiopian Eunuch, we only need to believe in Jesus with all our heart to be saved from our sin (Acts 8:36-37). Then Paul ends this section by pointing us to the purpose of our salvation. In Ephesians 2:10 we are referred to as God’s “workmanship.” What is interesting is that the work “workmanship” comes from the Greek term POEMA, form which we derive another English word, “poem.” Just think, you are God’s poetry, His art! He is working in, on and through you! (Philippians 2:13). Paul concludes that God has prepared “for good works . . . [to] walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10b). See the connection between faith and works? Again it is present, just like in James. There is no contradiction.

Saving faith is not mere assent, acknowledgement or knowledge; it is the opening and offering of oneself to the life-changing work of God in us. The faith that saves is vibrant not evil, active not inactive, it is dynamic not static, living not dead. Demons “believe” but it doesn’t cause them to bow, obey, love or worship God. Their faith is merely knowledge, not a life altering experience. Saving faith is living faith, growing faith in Jesus; it leads to life change and transformation, obedience and loving Jesus, walking with Him (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17). What kind of faith do you have, a faith more like demons, or a faith that is alive and life altering? How can we know the condition of our faith? 

Faith and Prayer

This discussion of the kind of faith we have is not totally disconnected from the focus of this section which is that Jesus was a man of prayer and we too, therefore, should be people of prayer. Saving faith leads to a relationship with God in Christ. A relationship requires communication. The means God has provided for us to communicate with Him in Christ is prayer. If we have no prayer life, no or little communication with the Father through the Son in the Spirit via prayer, what does that tell us about our faith, our spiritual condition? What relationship that lacks good communication is a good relationship? To have a good relationship, there must be relating between the parties. Prayer therefore, can be a good indicator of where our relationship with the Lord is. If we pray little, perhaps we need to turn to the Lord and ask for His help.

God Uses People Who Pray

Now notice, in the morning a long time before sunrise, Jesus went to a quiet place, a solitary place, and prayed (Mark 1:35). That’s a practice that we should follow. Just as Jesus was prepared in the solitude of the wilderness, we should build on that preparation by periodically getting alone with the Lord and praying to Him. Jesus did so, He was the Son of God and did so, therefore shouldn’t we, weak and fleshly humans, do the same? Jesus, God with us, Immanuel, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the Savior and Lord of all, the only unique Son of God, the Preacher, Teacher, Liberator, ready Servant, Miracle Worker, if He prayed don’t you think we should? DEFINITELY!

But don’t miss the motive here. Jesus didn’t pray because He was forced to, He prayed because He wanted to. In fact prayer was His lifeline with the Father. We shouldn’t look at prayer as a chore or obligation, a law to be kept. No way! We should look at prayer as an awesome opportunity. Just think of it, WE GET TO PRAY, TO COMMUNICATE WITH GOD! WITH THE CREATOR, SUSTAINER, SOVEREIGN OF THE UNIVERSE, WITH JESUS! Man if that doesn’t get your spiritual juices flowing, what will? Prayer should not be looked upon as a have to thing, but a get to thing. Prayer is a promise, it is a great gift, a provision to be treasured and cherished. Only God could have thought of prayer. God is good, oh so good!

What is Prayer?

Jesus was a man of prayer and even spent entire nights in prayer (Matthew 19:13; 26:36-44; Mark 6:46; 9:29; Luke 6:12; 22:45).  Jesus set aside time to pray during critical times in His life and ministry (Luke 3:21; 6:12; 9:18; 22:44; 23:46). When we look at the early church we see that the ministry of the apostles was bathed in prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4; 12:5). Paul exhorts believers to pray for everyone, especially those in positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:1). Paul himself was continually in prayer (1 Timothy 5:5). Jesus taught that prayer and faith linked believers to the resources of God (Mark 11:24). Prayer is important. But just what is prayer?

Jesus said,And when you pray” (Matthew 6:5). This implies that disciples need to pray. What is prayer? What does it mean to pray? The word “pray” is translated from the Greek term PROSEUCHE (“Prayer” - Noun – Strong’s #4335) PROSEUCHOMAI (“Pray” - Verb - Strong’s #4336). This word consists of the preposition PROS (Strong’s #4314), which is used to connote direction, “forward to; toward; by the side of; near to.” The root of the word is EUCHOMAI (Strong’s #2172) which means “to pray (to God); will; wish.” [43] EUCHOMAI was used in Classical Greek to refer to a “offer prayer; pray that; vow.”  This word also has the implied meaning of “desire.” [44] Therefore, prayer is turning toward the Lord and coming to His side with a desire. That “desire” doesn’t need to be self-centered or request oriented, it can be simply a desire to know the Lord, to speak with the Lord to ask Him how you can serve Him (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).

Prayer Is A Personal Meeting With God

Jesus said, ““But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6) This instruction of Jesus to the disciples implies a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. You can’t pray one on one with God if you don’t have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus tells the disciples that their prayers must be personal, between them and God. Prayer is pouring out your heart before God and listening (through His word) for God’s direction and response. Prayer is reverent, intimate, loving, dialogue with God.

Pastor Chuck Smith makes the following comments on this verse:

      “Somehow this whole idea has crept into our thinking process [that] the longest prayers are the most effective prayers, and it’s the length of the prayer that creates the effectiveness rather than the earnestness of the prayer or the faith by which we pray.

We need to realize that prayer is talking to the Father. It’s laying out our heart before Him. It’s baring my soul unto God. And thus, our prayers ought to be thought out and articulated well. If someone would come up to me and talk to me like they talk to God, using vain repetitions, I would think, What’s wrong with them? And we can use vain repetitions in just “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, oh praise God, hallelujah, praise God, bless God”; that can be a vain repetition, . . . just words, not necessarily coming from your heart. I can’t help but think that the “Hail Mary’s” and the “Our Father’s” are vain repetitions, thinking that we’ll be heard for our much speaking.”[45]

 

E.M. Bounds lived in the 1800s and was a man known for his devotion to God in prayer. He wrote a number of insightful and challenging books on prayer on of which is entitled, The Possibilities of Prayer.  In this book Bounds in defining prayer, also communicates the possibilities open to the disciple who prays. Below are excerpts from this book that the disciple would do well to note:

 

“If we believe God’s word, we are bound to believe that prayer affects God, and affects Him mightily; that prayer avails, and that prayer avails mightily. There are wonders in prayer because there are wonders in God. Prayer has no talismanic influence. It is no mere fetish. It has no so-called powers of magic. It is simply making known our requests to God for things agreeable to His will in the name of Christ. It is just yielding our requests to a Father, who knows all things, who has control of all things, and who is able to do all things. Prayer is infinite ignorance trusting to the wisdom of God. Prayer is helplessness reposing with childlike confidence on the word of its Father in heaven. Prayer is but the verbal expression of the heart of perfect confidence in the infinite wisdom, the power and the riches of Almighty God, who has placed at our command in prayer everything we need.” [46]

 

A disciple prays to the Father personally and has conversation with God. True prayer is a heartfelt conversation with our heavenly Father.  Prayer is not empty words recited from memory without the mind or heart engaged or included in the process. That is what the religious Pharisees were guilty of doing according to Jesus. Because of this Jesus said the religious Pharisees were no better than the “heathen” or unbelievers.

 

If you look at the people God has blessed and used in the Bible and throughout history you will inevitably see the link between the people God uses and prayer. Jesus prayed and the people God uses are people who pray. Abraham was an altar builder and a man of prayer. Moses interceded for the people He led. David wrote many of his prayers out in the Psalms. The prophets of old were men of prayer. The apostles prayed. And if you look at more recent history the people God used and uses are people who pray.

Read what some of these other people who were greatly used by God said about prayer:

  • E.M. Bounds in his book the Purpose of Prayer quotes Chrysostom as saying:

 

“The potency of prayer hath subdued the strength of fire; it had bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.” [47]

 

  •  “If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, then you have more business on your hands than God ever intended you to have.” – D.L. Moody
  • “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” – D.L. Moody
  • Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” – John Bunyan
  • “You can do more than pray after you’ve prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”  – John Bunyan in Pilgrim’s Progress

 

·         “Defeat awaits a non-praying church. Success is sure to follow a church given to much prayer. The supernatural element in the church, without which it must fail, comes only through prayer . . . . As often as God manifested His power in Scriptural times in working wonders through prayer, He has not left Himself without witness in modern times. Prayer brings the Holy Spirit upon men today in answer to importunate, continued prayer just as it did before Pentecost. The wonders of prayer have not ceased.” - E.M. Bounds, (Possibilities of Prayer (Grand Rapids: Mich.: Baker Book House) pages 136,137.)

 

  • “When God’s promise and man’s praying are united by faith, then ‘Nothing shall be impossible.’”  – E.M. Bounds in Possibilities of Prayer, p. 44

 

Jesus prayed, so should we.

MARK THAT ACTION: Jesus Prayed – We Need to Pray

Jesus lived a life of prayer. He regularly sought contact with the Father in prayer. Jesus taught His disciples to pray (Matthew 6:1-18; Mark 11:20-24). How’s your prayer life? Do you pray? Do you seek the input of the Father regularly? Jesus prayed, so should we. We need to seek the Spirit’s help in making us disciples who pray (Romans 8:26-28).

 

Jesus the Doer of the Impossible

Mark 1:40-45 – “Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once,44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”45 However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.”  [48]

Here we have a scene with a leper coming to Jesus and “imploring” Jesus (1:40a). The word “imploring” here comes from the Greek term PARAKALEO (Strong’s # 3870 - parakalevw parakaleáoµ, par-ak-al-eh´-o) which means, “to call near, . . . invite, invoke by imploration, hortation or consolation . . . beseech, call for, . . ., desire, . . . , intreat, pray.” [49] This is a word of worship and heartfelt expression.

 

With his “imploring” we see he had faith and his faith was focused on Jesus as he said, “If You are willing, you can make me clean” (1:40b). The faith of this leper is evidenced by the nature of the ailment with which he was afflicted. Leprosy was viewed as an incurable disease of that day. Not only that, but a leper had to shout and warn townspeople if when he was passing through a populated area. It was a physically debilitating and socially isolating disease. Yet Jesus was able to do the impossible and heal one whose disease was thought to be incurable.

 

The personal touch of Jesus is able to heal (1:42). In touching this leper Jesus was going against the cultural aversion to those afflicted with this disease. To touch a leper was to expose oneself to the disease. This leper had probably not been touched since he was afflicted with leprosy. Think of it, no more hugs or kisses or signs of affection. He was locked into near total isolation and loneliness. Jesus broke through that and touched him and healed him. Jesus brought him out of all that.

 

Notice Jesus response, “then Jesus, moved with compassion, . . .” (1:41a). This is a personal response from Jesus to this man. When sincere prayer is offered to Jesus in faith, it touches His heart. Jesus then takes personal action by touching the leper and expressing His willingness to heal him (1:41b).

 

After healing the leper Jesus then encouraged the healed leper to go to the priest and give thanks to God for the healing. The healed leper was advised to be quiet about this, but couldn’t contain himself. Jesus didn’t want people to establish Him as king prematurely (1:43-45).

 

The point to be made here is that Jesus is a doer of the impossible.

 

MARK THAT ACTION: Jesus Did What Others Thought Was Impossible - We Need To Believe and Trust Jesus To Do The Impossible

 

Leprosy was viewed as a death sentence in Jesus’ day. Leprosy was a slow torturous death where the flesh literally rotted away and internal organs deteriorated until death. Do we think and believe that Jesus is still able to do the impossible? Jesus said:

 

  • Mark 9:23 – “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  [50]

The above verse expresses Jesus’ view about healing a boy who was deaf and dumb. Nothing is beyond the touch of Jesus to do. There are many miracles of Jesus recorded in Mark’s gospel and all convey in part the truth that nothing, according to His will, is impossible with Jesus.

 

Regarding those thought to be beyond the reach of Gods’ grace and salvation Jesus said:

 

  • Mark 10:27 – “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”   [51]

Do you really believe Jesus is able to save the soul of that person you’ve been praying for? Maybe you’ve been praying and praying and have given up hope. Maybe the Lord has you hearing this to revive your hope to pray for that soul. Nothing is impossible for Jesus. Don’t give up, keep praying, have faith. Trust in the Lord and see what He will do, you may be surprised.

Read what the apostle John wrote about this:

  • 1 John 5:14-15 – “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”  [52]

The Holy Spirit will lead us to pray according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-28). And if we pray according to His will, we know He hears and will answer in the way that is best.

Do you believe the words of Jesus? Or are you in despair; have you given up all hope? Has your physical ailment or life situation reached a point of hopelessness for you? Is there someone you feel is “impossible” to be saved? Do you believe that Jesus could use you to do the impossible? We need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to restore our hope and give us faith to accomplish and accept the will of God even if it means trusting Him to do what the world says is impossible.

Conclusion

 

As we’ve started the section of Mark that deals with the Person of Jesus, we have been challenged on a number of fronts where we need to be conformed to His likeness. We have marked the actions of Jesus and said we should seek the Spirit’s help to conform us to Jesus’ ways in this regard. These actions to mark and seek the Spirit’s application of them to our lives are:

 

  1. Jesus preached; so should we (Mark 1:14-15).
  2. Jesus made disciples; we should be a disciple and help others to become disciples (Mark 1:16-20).
  3. Jesus taught; we should be teachable and seek to have others taught about Jesus (Mark 1:21-22).
  4. Jesus was a Liberator; we should seek to be liberated from any sin in our lives and show others how they can be liberated from sin too (Mark 1:23-28).
  5. Jesus was a ready Servant; we should serve with servant’s hearts (Mark 1:29-31).
  6. Jesus was a Man of prayer; we need to pray too (Mark 1:32-39).
  7. Jesus did the impossible; we need to trust Him to do the impossible in and through us (Mark 1:40-45).

 

Here are seven things about the Person of Jesus that we have studied and should seek to have the Spirit apply to our lives. In the power of the Spirit, I pray we are all conformed to these aspects of Jesus’ likeness.

 

Now we might look at these aspects of Jesus and become a bit overwhelmed, even depressed as we see our lack or weaknesses, how unlike Jesus we truly are. But take heart, remember, the last of those things we mentioned to have applied to our lives is to believe that Jesus can do the impossible both in and through us. I received something about the people God chose and used in the Bible and want to share it in closing here so that you will see that truly, God’s power is perfected I weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). The piece I’d like to share is entitled God Shouldn’t Have Called You (Author Unknown) and it illustrates that God can and will use anyone who whose heart is open to being used by Him (see 2 Chronicles 16:9).

 

GOD SHOULDN'T HAVE CALLED YOU

 

 There are many reasons why God shouldn't have called you. But don't worry. You're in good company.

 

      Moses stuttered.

      David's armor didn't fit.

      John Mark was rejected by Paul.

      Timothy had ulcers.

      Hosea's wife was a prostitute.

      Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.

      Jacob was a liar.

      David had an affair.

      Solomon was too rich.

      Abraham was too old.

      David was too young.

      Peter was afraid of death.

      Lazarus was dead.

      John was self-righteous.

      Naomi was a widow.

      Paul was a murderer. So was Moses.

      Jonah ran from God.

      Miriam was a gossip.

      Gideon and Thomas both doubted.

      Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.

      Elijah was burned out.

      John the Baptist was a loudmouth.

      Martha was a worry-wart.

      Mary was lazy.

      Samson had long hair.

      Noah got drunk.

           

      Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse? So did Peter, Paul-well, lots of folks did. But God  

      doesn't require a job interview. He doesn't hire and fire like most bosses.  He doesn't look at

      financial gain or loss. He's not prejudiced or partial, not grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf

      to our cry, not blind to our need. As much as we try, God's gifts are free. We could do

     wonderful things for wonderful people and still not be...Wonderful.   Satan says, "You're not

     worthy." Jesus says, "So what? I AM."  Satan looks back and sees our mistakes. God looks

     back and sees the cross.  Sure. There are lots of reasons why God shouldn't have called us. 

     But if we are in love with Him, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath, He'll use us

     in spite of who we are, where we've been, or what we look like. I pray that as Christians, we

     will step out of our limitations into the illimitable nature of who God is.  Then our passion for

     God and our passion to communicate Him will make short work of our limitations.”

 

Now mark that action of God and seek to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus.

 



[1]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[2]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[3]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[4]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[5]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[6]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[7]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[8]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[9]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[10]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[11]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[12]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[13]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[14]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[15]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[16] Sam Shoemaker in Em Griffin’s, The Mindchangers, Tyndale House, 1976, p. 151.

 

[17]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[18]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[19]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[20]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[21]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[22]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[23]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[24]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[25]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[26]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[27]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[28]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[29]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[30]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[31]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[32]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[33]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[34]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[35]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[36]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[37]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[38]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[39]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[40]Tense Voice Mood, (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship) 1994.

[41]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[42]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[43]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[44] Thoralf Gilbrant, International Ed., The Complete Biblical Library – The New Testament Greek-English Dictionary – Delta to Epsilon (Springfield, MI: The Complete Biblical Library) 1990. p. 660.

[45] Chuck Smith, Word For Today audiotape #8005 (P.O. box 8000 Costa Mesa, CA 92628)

[46] E.M. Bounds, The Possibilities of Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House) Reprinted 1979. p. 129

[47] E.M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House) 1978 edition of book originally published in 1920, Page 32

[48]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[49]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[50]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[51]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[52]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.