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Chapter I

The Beginning of the Ministry of Christ

SummaryThe Mission of John the Baptist. His Preaching in the Wilderness. His Baptism in the Jordan. The Baptism of Jesus and the Anointing. The Temptation. Christ's Ministry in Galilee Begun. The Call of Four Apostles. An Unclean Spirit Cast Out. The Increased Fame of Jesus. Peter's Wife's Mother. Solitary Prayer. Preaching Throughout Galilee. Healing the Leper.

1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a sort of title. The whole history of Jesus is an unfolding of the gospel. Gospel. Good news. Jesus. The personal name given by the angel (Matt. 1:21), meaning “Savior.” Christ. The official title of the Lord. It means the anointed. Kings and priests were anointed in Israel, and Jesus, “the Lord's Anointed” is our Priest and King. They were anointed with oil; Jesus with the Holy Spirit.

2, 3. As it is written in the prophets. Isa. 40:3 and Mal. 3:1. See notes on Matt. 3:3 and 11:10.

4. John did baptize in the wilderness. Of Judea. See note on Matt. 3:1, for account of the wilderness and John the Baptist. And preached the baptism of repentance. He preached, as well as baptized. Only those who repented were fit subjects of baptism. Hence it was called the “baptism of repentance.” Repentance signifies, not only sorrow for sin, but the resolve to sin no more. For remission of sins. This indicates the object of repentance and baptism. Those who repented and were baptized were pardoned. Both were needful to remission. Compare Acts 2:38.

5. There went out to him. See notes on Matt. 3:5, 6.

6. John was clothed with camel's hair. See note on Matt. 3:4.

7, 8. There cometh one after me. See note on Matt. 3:11. Shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. See note on Matt. 3:11. 165

9. In those days. When John had been preaching and baptizing about six months. For the account of the baptism of Jesus see Matt. 3:13–17, and the notes.

10. Coming up straightway out of the water. The Greek preposition translated “out of” is ek, which means out from within. This could only be true of immersion. Thus all great and candid Pedo-baptist scholars concede that Christ was baptized.

12, 13. Tempted of Satan. See Matt. 4:1–11, and the notes.

14. Now after John was put into prison. Mark proceeds to the account of the Savior's public ministry in Galilee. Between Christ's baptism and this occurred the events narrated in John, chapters 2, 3 and 4. For notes on this ministry see Matt. 4:12–25.

16. He saw Simon. For notes on the call of the four apostles see Matt. 4:18–22.

21. They went into Capernaum. For account of Capernaum see note on Matt. 4:13. Entered into the synagogue. For description of a Jewish synagogue see note on Matt. 4:23 . 166

22. They were astonished at his doctrine. See note on Matt. 7:28. Scribes. For account of scribes see notes on Matt. 5:20.

23. A man with an unclean spirit. See note on Matt. 8:28. Compare Luke 4:31–37. The New Testament plainly teaches that demoniac possession was a real and actual possession of the soul by a fallen spirit.

24. What have we to do with thee? A common Jewish way of saying, “Do not trouble us.” Art thou come to destroy us? An admission that Christ came to destroy the devil and his works. I know thee. The demon made a better confession that most of the Jews.

26. He came out of him. At the command. The whole account shows that there was a real possession by an evil spirit.

27. They were all amazed. Those in the synagogue.

28–34. His fame spread abroad. For notes on the increasing fame of Christ see Matt. 4:25; for notes on the healing of Peter's wife's mother, see Matt. 8:14. 167

35. And in the morning. See note on Matt. 8:17.

36. Simon. Peter and the other disciples.

38. Let us go into the next towns. The villages of Galilee.

39. Throughout all Galilee. This was the first missionary circuit of Galilee. Galilee was then densely peopled. Josephus says it contained 240 towns and villages.

40. There came a leper. See notes on Matt. 8:2–4. Compare also Luke 5:12–15. This miracle occurred after the Sermon on the Mount. Leprosy, that terrible scourge of the East, is unknown in our times, or even in the United States.

44. Shew thyself to the priest. At Jerusalem. Those things which Moses commanded. See Lev. 14:4–7, and note on Matt. 8:4.

45. Came to him from every quarter. Not only to see and hear, but to be healed. 167

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