Boldly Go

In one chapter we learn of the way prepped by John the Baptist, the baptism of Christ, his time and temptation in the desert, the calling of the first disciples, Jesus driving out demons and healing many AND Christ's need for solitude.  Wow!  That's a lot in one little chapter.  It certainly gives us a good overview of the preparation of  Jesus' early ministry and the beginning of His ministry.  

I think I would love to have met John the Baptist.  He sure seems like we was an "out there" kind of guy, or in today's language, John was definitely an "outside of the box" thinker and doer!  Can you imagine being given the call to prepare the way for the Son of God? Talk about responsibility and courage.  As I read this, I wondered what parallels I could draw from John's ministry.  

I certainly am not preparing the way for Christ's ministry, but aren't we all really preparing the way for Christ's return?  According to Matthew 28:19-20 we are to be discipling, preaching and baptizing....that's what John the Baptist was doing.  And he was obviously sold out, bought in, and 100% committed to the cause of Christ.  I believe it was that passion that led to the fervor with which he preached the coming of Christ and the need for repentance.  We, too, should be doing the same.  Yes, I do believe that with many people we have to "earn the right" to share the gospel--we have to build a relationship and earn credibility.  But how often do we wait too long?  Come up with one excuse after another of why it's not time?  We are each and everyone called to spread the Good News.  

There's a lot in this passage and I realized I have focused on one small part.  Feel free to share your thoughts on other aspects of today's reading.  Personally, God used verses 1-8 today to remind me of a commandment He gave me to not only live out my faith, but to share it openly and honestly as well.  I'm not going to start eating locusts or wearing camel's hair clothing, but I think I could take a few tips from John's boldness and commitment.  

May we be very aware today of the chances you give us to share your love and Truth.  As people pass by us,  may we not let the opportunities pass us by.  Give us courage to speak when You want us to speak.  Help us to remember that we are being watched by neighbors, co-workers, family and even strangers and daily we have a chance to live in obedience to you.


  1. I also would love to meet John the Baptist. I still have the picture of the “path” that Pastor Matt drew on the board during his sermon a couple weeks ago. I picture John the Baptist starting that path by trampling down those weeds and grasses that are underfoot so that we may see a direction to travel. I picture Jesus Christ paving that path for us so that the path shall be clearly marked forever for our travel.

    Aren’t we asked to do the same as John the Baptist in preparing for Christ’s coming? Live a wholesome and righteous life in glory to the Lord, John did that. Speak the Good News to all that shall listen, John did that. Act when the Lord asks you to perform His work on earth, John did that. I just love the phrase “I baptize you in water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” How great is that visual? There are so many ways that people can cleanse and beautify the outside, but only the Holy Spirit can cleanse and beautify our soul. We now have Christ’s life to pattern ourselves after, but do we listen to the Lord when he asks us to follow him and perform his work?

    Christ comes out of the water to the most intimate greeting from the Lord “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” I yearn for that greeting from my earthly father but even more from my heavenly Father. Immediately after that greeting, Jesus found himself in what I believe is the second most difficult trial that he would face in his life on earth. I love you, but now go into the desert for six weeks and face the best that Satan can do. We are thankful for our relationship with the Lord, but do you idly sit in comfort with the love of the Lord or do you embrace trials with the love of the Lord?

    I think about what Pastor Matt taught us the past few weeks. In Mark 1, Jesus is found several times in solitude in relationship/prayer with the Lord. I am most comfortable when I am surrounded by background noise. Why am I so uncomfortable in silence? Am I afraid to listen to the Lord and to do what the Holy Spirit may do within me?

    I am still confused as to why Jesus told the leper to not tell anyone of the miracle he just performed. I would love to hear any insight you may have on why he so strongly instructed the leper this way.

  2. As I read Mark 1 today I was reminded of a question that always arises for me when I examine the passage in which Jesus calls his first disciples. Why in the world would they have followed after this guy having known of him for such a short period of time? What was it about Him and the words he spoke that compelled them to drop everything and follow Him?
    In Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis (think it was this one) he talks about this very thing and as I read this passage I am reminded of what is going on under the surface. The boys in Jesus' day were all taught the Torah. From the time they could even begin to comprehend the words of the early Scriptures they were to learn and memorize it's words. As they grew and continued their education, under the rabbi's of the time, there were a select amount of boys that whose abilities stood out. And it was those boys and those only who were chosen to continue to study and "follow" the rabbi until they themselves were rabbis as well. Of course, the rest of the boys, who did not excel as much were told that the life of a rabbi was not for them and that they were to learn the trade of their fathers.
    So when Jesus calls these men they are, I'm sure, shocked. They were not good enough before. No one believed in them prior to this but now, all of a sudden, this man, this rabbi, seems to think that they, humble fisherman, might have something to offer. Something special to bring to the table. Words that they seemingly longed to hear. Words they wanted to hear badly enough that they would drop their nets and follow Him.
    I love this passage because it says so much about how Jesus views all of us. We ALL have something special and beautiful to bring to this world. And His desire is that we all know that he sees the potential in each and every one of us. He wants us to become what He created for us to be. I love that. I only hope that I too can see and desire for others what Christ sees and desires for them.

  3. I think the book of Mark is the who, what, when and where, just the facts,gospel and the other gospels expound on the stories with more detail and human interest. Kind of like a reporter delivering the main overview. :)
    I really like John. In Luke the angel says that he was filled with the Holy Spirit even at birth...and that he lept in his mother's womb in the presence of Mary who was with child, Jesus. From the very beginning of his life, he was equipped with the Holy Spirit to do the job God had called him to do. And the really amazing thing is, we too are equipped with the same power and strength John had. We too have the Holy Spirit!
    The other thing that stands out is when Jesus was in the desert, He used the words of scripture to battle satan. Every attack on Him was answered with the power of God's very word.
    And, we too have that weapon. God has given us this amazing sword, the word, that we may find strength, and comfort, and answers to our every need.
    I praise You for Your word
    I praise You for the truth
    The light and the sword
    Never failing
    Always revealing
    I thank You for the comfort, the refuge
    The answers
    Your ways are perfect Lord
    May we be bold like John
    And humble in Your presence Lord
    Thank You for Your Son, for the cross
    For the ressurection Lord
    I praise Your name Father
    I am blessed beyond measure
    In Jesus' name

  4. Shad,

    I think the next verse explains why Jesus strongly instructed the leper that way. "But ... the man..., spread the news.... As a result, such crowds soon surrounded Jesus that He couldn't enter a town anywhere publicly."

  5. Shad,
    As I was prepping this blog I read a comment regarding verse 44; of course, I can't find it anywhere now! So, I'll do my best to convey the thought...that Jesus was intentional about how He revealed His power and who He was--that He wanted to SHOW who He was before TELLING who He was. And, I think what Andy said plays into it as well.

  6. Shad,
    I remember from Jeff Farrar's study on Mark a couple years ago that this idea of Jesus not wanting to be identified kept coming up. It seems that He was waiting for the perfect time to reveal that identity. I can only imagine that it would take some time to set up the framework for the cross and that apart from the cross the idea of Jesus being the Son of God really wouldn't make sense. I guess one of those reminders to us that even though we don't always understand God's timing... His timing is always perfect.
    Notice also that he tells the demons to be quiet. I guess Jesus wouldn't really want the demons running around calling Jesus the Messiah... probably not much credibility there!