The Gospel of Mark is a fantastic book. It is one that is written concisely and with urgency. As I read through this Gospel I noticed the word “immediately” mentioned in the English Standard Version (ESV) seven times in the first two chapters and forty times overall. Mark is the first and oldest Gospel that was put in written form. The author, who is believed to be Mark (a missionary who was the companion of Barnabus). It is also believed that his writing was inspired by the teachings of the Apostle Peter. In the next four weeks we will look in this Gospel as it is organized around the identity of Jesus which is expressed in various ways. In Mark Jesus is declared from the get go as the “Messiah” or the “Son of God.” Which ultimately leads us into today’s message found in Chapter 2 of Mark.
In the first two chapters of Mark the author chooses to start his Gospel account with John the Baptist and Jesus’ calling of his disciples. In reading these first two chapters we get a very quick look at the heart and attitude of Jesus as He begins his earthly ministry. In these first few chapters we also establish the Lordship or centrality of Jesus Christ in the life of a believer.
Lord of the What
As Christians we talk about Jesus being Savior. We talk about Jesus’s forgiveness, redemption and ultimately the salvation He has to offer to all who repent and believe in Him. Sometimes people view Jesus as a fireproof insurance. Someone may not want to go to hell or they want to ensure that go to heaven after they die so they make a surface commitment to Jesus by declaring Him as their savior. However the Christian life is not nor never has been intended to be a get saved and move on with your life so when you die you go to heaven. No, Jesus is not only savior but he is Lord as well.
The word “Lord” is used in both the New and Old Testament. You will see it written two ways. One way is LORD in all caps. This refers to the name of God…YHWH or Yahweh. Whenever you read it this way it refers to God as God. The other way it is written in lord. This refers to a position or title. The Greek word is Kurios which means master, owner, or possessor. This is the position that Jesus holds. He is the master, owner or possessor. Many times it can be used to equate one as king.
What is interesting to note in these accounts is Jesus, being master or king over all, breaks many laws and traditions to show that He is in fact exempt from them because He created them and has authority to change the rules of the game and in these passages Mark shows that Jesus is Lord over all.
In Mark 1:40 we see Jesus breaking laws of cleanliness as he touches and heals a leper. According to Mosaic Law one who touches an unclean person thus becomes unclean as well. In this account Jesus shows that He is not only Lord of that which is clean but he is also Lord of the unclean and untouchable. He is the Lord for all people
In Mark 2: 1 we notice Jesus continues his healing ministry by healing a paralytic but takes it one step further. He not only heals the man but he forgives the man of his sins. This is a huge act on Jesus’ part because it was very clear the only who has the authority to forgive sins is God himself. Here Jesus states that he also has authority to show forgiveness of sins. In this we see Jesus is the Lord of mercy and forgiveness.
In Mark 2:13 Jesus is accused of keeping company with sinners as he eats with them and calls them to follow him. Levi (AKA Matthew) is called to follow Jesus. Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were hated by the Jewish people and they were considered some of the basest sinners. Thus in this account we see Jesus is the Lord over sinners.
In Mark 2:18 Jesus and disciples are looked down upon because they do not fast like the Pharisees and John the Baptist and his disciples. Jesus rebukes them because He implies that since Jesus is present today there should be celebration. He uses a wedding reception as an example. Jesus states that nobody goes to a reception and just looks at the food. No, they go and celebrate because the bride and groom are present and celebration is at hand. Jesus is here to promote and declare the Kingdom of Heaven is here. Something new is happening and celebration must happen. Thus Jesus shows that He is the Lord of new things and celebration.
Finally in Mark 2:23 we see Jesus and disciples breaking Sabbath by going out and picking grain to eat. This was a big no, no. According the Mosaic Law, absolutely NO work was to be done on the Sabbath. You must make preparations before the Sabbath so you did not have to work. When confronted by the religious leaders Jesus used the example of newly anointed King David broke the law by going into the holiest places and taking the show bread. This was a big deal and nobody faulted King David for doing this. In this act Jesus declare to be the Lord of the Sabbath.
In these few examples we see Jesus as being the Lord of all. In saying that Jesus is Lord this brings us to the questions of what it means for Jesus to not only be Lord over all but also to be Lord over your life. This brings us to asking this question, “Is Jesus central in your life? Is Jesus the master over your life?” This is what a disciple of Jesus Christ understands. Jesus is not only savior of your life but He is also Lord and master of your life.
What does this mean for you?
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