Jesus gets baptized, goes into the desert, then begins his ministry in Galilee. He calls his first disciples, casts out a demon, and heals many people.
VERSE 1. The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
VERSE 2. As it is written in the prophets, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you:
VERSE 3. the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight!’ ”
VERSE 4. John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.
VERSE 5. All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.
NIV translation: “Confessing their sins, they were baptized.” First they confessed their sins. That is, they repented. After that, they got baptized. Repentance precedes baptism.
VERSE 6. John was clothed with camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
VERSE 7. He preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen.
he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. John baptized people with water. But Jesus Christ baptizes them with the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit?
Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit?
VERSE 9. In those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
VERSE 10. Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
in whom I am well pleased. God the Father takes delight in Jesus. Wouldn’t it be great to hear the Father say that to you?
VERSE 12. Immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness.
VERSE 13. He was there in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals; and the angels were serving him.
VERSE 14. Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom,
VERSE 15. and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and God’s Kingdom is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News.”
NIV 1984 translation. The time has come. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe!
Joel 2:1. Blow the shofar in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD comes, for it is close at hand:
God’s Kingdom is at hand. The kingdom of God is part of the message of Jesus Christ.
Mark 4:26. He said, “God’s Kingdom is as if a man should cast seed on the earth,
believe in the Good News. Jesus begins his public ministry with evangelism! Are you able to go out and do the Ministry of Evangelism?
Isaiah 52:1. Awake, awake! Put on your strength, Zion. Put on your beautiful garments, Jerusalem, the holy city: for from now on the uncircumcised and the unclean will no more come into you.
VERSE 16. Passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
VERSE 18. Immediately they left their nets, and followed him.
VERSE 19. Going on a little further from there, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.
VERSE 20. Immediately he called them, and they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him.
Summary: On the Sabbath, Jesus led his new disciples to a synagogue where he taught. The people were amazed at his teaching. But a demon-possessed man stood up and confronted Jesus. What did Jesus do? He spoke directly to the problem. He commanded it to leave.
VERSE 21. They went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught.
VERSE 22. They were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes.
a man with an unclean spirit … cried out. If a demon-possessed man confronted you, what would you do? Perhaps most of us would run away. Or wait for someone else to do something. Or recite prayers.
VERSE 24. saying, “Ha! What do we have to do with you, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!”
Be quiet, and come out of him. While Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, a demon-possessed man stood up and confronted Jesus. How did Jesus handle this situation? What did he do? He spoke directly to the problem. He commanded it to leave.
This is not the only instance of Jesus speaking to a problem and commanding it. The Gospel of Mark is filled with narratives where Jesus commands a problem to go away …
- Mark 1:41. Cleansing of a leper
- Mark 2:11. Healing the paralytic
- Mark 3:5b. Healing the withered hand
- Mark 4:39. Calming the storm at sea
- Mark 5:8. Excising a legion of demons #1
- Mark 5:13. Excising a legion of demons #2
- Mark 5:41. Raising Jairus’ girl from dead
- Mark 6:41. Feeding more than 5,000 people
- Mark 7:29. The Syrophoenician woman
- Mark 7:34. The Deaf man
- Mark 8:7. Feeding more than 4,000 people
- Mark 9:25. The boy with a demon
- Mark 10:52. Blind Bartimaeus
- Mark 11:2-3. Go get a colt to enter Jerusalem
- Mark 11:14. Cursing the barren fig tree
- Mark 11:22b-24. Teaching to work miracles
- Mark 14:13-14. Procuring the Upper Room
VERSE 26. The unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.
VERSE 27. They were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him!”
VERSE 28. The report of him went out immediately everywhere into all the region of Galilee and its surrounding area.
VERSE 29. Immediately, when they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
VERSE 30. Now Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him about her.
VERSE 31. He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them.
VERSE 32. At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick, and those who were possessed by demons.
VERSE 33. All the city was gathered together at the door.
VERSE 34. He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn’t allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.
VERSE 35. Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there.
Early in the morning, while it was still dark. Jesus had a time for prayer each day. For him it was early in the morning. He rose early in the morning, and went to a place where he could be alone. There, he was absorbed in prayer. Do you have a time for prayer each day?
Jesus woke up early and went off into the wilderness, where he prayed. Why? Did he expect a tough day? Were crucial things at stake? Was he unable to sleep?
He had had tremendous success the previous day. Perhaps he was mulling what to do with that success. Should he stay? In one day he became successful and famous and accepted. It had quickly become the familiar thing. It was known. To stay would be the easier thing.
But after prayer, Jesus chose to leave. He chose to face the unknown. He chose the wilderness. He chose chaos instead of predictability.
Opening yourself to the will of God is risky. Discernment is scary. The wilderness is scary, and Christ’s call is to come and die to self. Will I follow God’s will or my own?
Having left behind success and security, fame and acceptance and everything else, Jesus finds much, much more.
Exodus 34:4. He chiseled two tablets of stone like the first; then Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two stone tablets.
Joshua 6:12. Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the LORD’s ark.
Luke 9:18. As he was praying alone, the disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do the multitudes say that I am?”
VERSE 36. Simon and those who were with him searched for him.
VERSE 37. They found him and told him, “Everyone is looking for you.”
VERSE 38. He said to them, “Let’s go elsewhere into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because I came out for this reason.”
What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels »
I came out for this reason. Jesus tells us why he came to the world. Many people say it was so he could die. However, in this verse, he says it is to preach.
VERSE 39. He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out demons.
VERSE 40. A leper came to him, begging him, kneeling down to him, and saying to him, “If you want to, you can make me clean.”
VERSE 41. Being moved with compassion, he stretched out his hand, and touched him, and said to him, “I want to. Be made clean.”
VERSE 42. When he had said this, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was made clean.
VERSE 43. He strictly warned him, and immediately sent him out,
VERSE 44. and said to him, “See you say nothing to anybody, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing the things which Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.”
VERSE 45. But he went out, and began to proclaim it much, and to spread about the matter, so that Jesus could no more openly enter into a city, but was outside in desert places. People came to him from everywhere.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.