He Can Save
… We live in, perhaps, the most exciting era the world has ever known for a Christian. The Rapture and the Great Tribulation are about to emerge. At the same time, as Americans, we are busy watching our form of Democracy die and a form of Marxism emerge. For those of us that have lived the past sixty or better years, many of us having fought and all of us watching our friends die defending this and other nations freedom, find this a very stressful time. It is during times like this that we can learn the true blessing of being a Child of God.
Mar 1:14 Now after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
Mar 1:15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe in the gospel.
John the Baptist found himself at odds with Herod Antipas because John refused to ignore the Word of God and condemned the kings marriage to his niece, Herodias after her divorce from another uncle. Herod II. It was at this time that Jesus came out of the Wilderness and began His ministry.
The same struggle between truth and evil goes on today as preachers are put into prison in places like Canada for preaching the whole Bible and laws to accomplish that same end are being passed here in our land. The light of the truth makes people uncomfortable and they lash out in hatred at anyone that will dare to speak honestly to them. The message of Jesus should have been received by the Jewish people with great joy and celebration but they missed it, almost completely just as our nation is busy rationalizing our sins so were the Jews building the messiah they wanted to see.
Mar 1:16 And passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishers.
Mar 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
Jesus, as He began His ministry to the people of the world set a great example for everyone of us to follow. He prayed and He fasted, in seclusion, and then He involved others that could be trained to help Him minister to a greater number of people. He went so far as to completely change their lively-hood. Today there are associations and individuals that teach that the Pastor should have a job outside of the church and should not receive a wage from the church they Pastor. These same folks expect that same pastor to go to the hospital with them at three and four in the morning and of course that does not equate, no matter how you crunch it. But forgetting the pure logic that is violated by this idea, the Bible teaches us exactly the opposite. In the Old Testament the priests received their food and their keep from the people and in the New Testament we find verses like Luke 10:7 and 1Tim. 5:17-19. Further more Jesus instructed His Disciples to expect and to accept their keep.
Mar 1:18 And straightway they left the nets, and followed him.
This is another biblical example that we, Christians, need to meditate on. Simon Peter and Andrew were successful business men that abandoned their future at the call of God. I have met two basic classes of Christians and they are those that, like myself have allowed God to completely change their lives, these followers of Jesus I label Christian. The other major class includes those that, other than Sunday Morning, it is impossible to see the difference between them and the lost man. I'm reasonably certain that I'll never be able to tell them apart from one another but they seem to run the spectrum from pretender to having their Fire Insurance. These, I believe, will be the guests at the wedding feast. (Matt. 22:2-14)
Mar 1:19 And going on a little further, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending the nets.
Mar 1:20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him.
The lesson of unconditionally following God is repeated in verses 19 & 20. A great emphasis is given in this example for in the Law (Exo. 20:12) we are commanded to honor our father and our mother and yet we see these men abandoned their family's business to their father alone. (Matt. 6:24, Luke 14:25-35)
He Can Free
Mar 1:21 And they go into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught.
Jesus is the living model of all that is holy and He is what we are to, as Christians, seek to become living examples of. I have oft been chastised for my understanding of Heb. 10:25 and the fact that I hold true the theology that there are no Lone Ranger Christians. The very first Sunday after I was saved, 25 days before my 45th birthday, I was in church, went forward and wanted to be baptized and to make my statement of faith so that it would be publicly recorded...forever. This verse and others that can be referenced to it are the example I followed. Jesus knew the nation of the called would reject Him and still He taught, by example, the lesson of assembling ourselves together in worship. Surely, no one doubts that that Jesus knew that most of the worshipers were not true believers and yet He assembled with them and taught.
Mar 1:22 And they were astonished at his teaching: for he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes.
Jesus set a example here that is often missed or is completely ignored today. The Disciples did not miss it. In Acts 3 we find Peter and John commanding a cripple man to walk, this was done in the name of Jesus. In Acts 8 we see Philip, in the name of Jesus, performing Miracles and from the historian, Tertullian we know that John was placed in a pot of oiling oil, was removed, alive, and sentenced to exile the Isle of Patmos because he preached the Gospel of Jesus with authoritative conviction.
Mar 1:23 And straightway there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
Mar 1:24 saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Nazarene? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
Even the evil spirits know who Jesus is from the evidence. When we live for God we are being molded and shaped as we go and behind us there is a trail of evidence and witnesses that can convict us of Christianity.
Mar 1:25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
Mar 1:26 And the unclean spirit, tearing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.
Mar 1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What is this? a new teaching! with authority he commandeth even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.
Today, this is a difficult teaching and yet it is repeated, in various places in the Bible. Some teach that the ability to heal, as Peter and John did and as Philip did is not for today and yet in Central America, the Amazon and in the deep bush of Africa these healings from disease, birth defect and demon possession occur almost daily.
When Jesus did it, it was because He is God in the flesh. When the disciples did it they were given the authority by Jesus to do it and for that reason they believed. The same authority has been given to every true believer and yet they do not heal people. When these healings are performed in the third world nations and jungles not only does the person performing the healing believe but so do those surrounding him.
In the US and Europe there are so many charlatans cashing in, monetarily, by paying shills to fake being healed that the very belief in the miracle is seen as utter stupidity by the world and the Church, universal, has tucked it's tail, much like the crayfish does and has retreated. This is a clear illustration of what the lack of faith can accomplish. In fact, even though I have personally seen people that I and others joined together, prayed over while laying on our hands to have been certified as healed by medical doctors, I still, as any good Baptist will advise caution in this area. This will not be blessed by God without strong faith.
Mar 1:28 And the report of him went out straightway everywhere into all the region of Galilee round about.
This is the very reason the charlatans are able to bilk so much ill gotten gain out of poor and the rich alike, they have a built in publicity following. They also have a built in escape. They inform the unhealed that there faith is to weak to be healed, after all, every one o the shills walked off the platform in good health. They do great damage, as Joni Eareckson Tada can testify. Joni's faith was damaged for years by this lie of the fake healers.
He Can Enable
Mar 1:29 And straightway, when they were come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
Mar 1:30 Now Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever; and straightway they tell him of her:
Mar 1:31 and he came and took her by the hand, and raised her up; and the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.
Any time a thing is repeated in the Bible it is for emphasis. We must take note anytime we see this in the Word of God.