Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise) breaks down the first chapter of Mark this way:
- The office of John the Baptist. (1-8)
- The baptism and temptation of Christ. (9-13)
- Christ preaches and calls disciples. (14-22)
- He casts out an unclean spirit. (23-28)
- He heals many diseases. (29-39)
- He heals a leper. (40-45)
Here in our text, Jesus is in Galilee, preaching the good news of [the kingdom of] God. He then calls His first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, and John. What set these men apart was they had not seen the miraculous things Jesus could do, only heard His voice and heed His call. The crowds had a different agenda.
If chapter one teaches us anything, the masses followed Jesus for His wondrous acts, not His great teaching and deity. How true is that today in modern churches where emotional “worship” is the rule and Biblical-based reverent worship is considered archaic? Folks back then and today are focused on what is in it for me and not on the Holy One Himself.
That is not the true Gospel, it is not true Faith and likely did not begin with true repentance.
OUR Lord Jesus Christ commences his ministry by announcing its leading commands. He cometh up from the wilderness newly anointed, like the bridegroom from his chamber; his love notes are repentance and faith. He cometh forth fully prepared for his office, having been in the desert, “tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin;” his loins are girded like a strong man to run a race. He preacheth with all the earnestness of a new zeal, combined with all the wisdom of a long preparation; in the beauty of holiness from the womb of the morning he glittereth with the dew of his youth. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for Messias speaketh in the greatness of his strength. He crieth unto the sons of men, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Let us give our ears to these words which, like their author, are full of grace and truth. Before us we have the sum and substance of Jesus Christ’s whole teaching— the Alpha and Omega of his entire ministry; and coming from the lips of such an one, at such a time, with such peculiar power, let us give the most earnest heed, and may God help us to obey them from our inmost hearts...
Charles Haddon Spurgeon / July 13, 1862
Scripture: Mark 1:15
From: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 8