In week one we look at the subject of the Messiah.
If you are a fan of cinema, you will be familiar with the prophecy trope that often carries a movie plot forward. It is easy to picture; a wise old soul, sitting in a dark room whispering a few cryptic sentences that change the lives of the main characters for generations to come. We see these storylines in massive blockbuster masterpieces such as Lord of the Rings, the Matrix and Star Wars. This is a pattern that is pulled straight out of Biblical literature.
There are many mentions of something coming in the verses of the Old Testament. It is very easy to read right through them and not let the full meaning sink in, but then we come to the book of Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet around 740 BC and this particular book is the perfect example of 100% truth and 100% grace. He spends the majority of the first 39 chapters warning the people of Israel of what will happen if they continue to turn away from God, but chapter 40:9 says “You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
The verses of prophecy spoken in Isaiah are lived out in the pages of Mark. So now we can ask ourselves, who is this Messiah who was promised, and what has He come to do? In the first few chapters of Mark, we get to see the full character of Jesus and we get small moments that hint at His final purpose. He is uncommonly kind, He is generous, he is humble and he teaches with authority that can only come from God.
One of the best illustrations where all these attributes can be identified is Mark 1:40-42. “A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.”
He is willing.
If there is a sentence that sums up the gospels, it is this one. Jesus is willing to heal the broken and sick, willing to be tempted by the enemy, willing to calm out demons, and as we go through the next month together, you’ll see just how far Jesus is willing to go in order to be in relationship with His people, with YOU!
Why do you think it was necessary for Jesus’ mission to include preaching, healing and casting out demons?
Who do you see Jesus typically showing compassion to? Why might that be important for Marks message? Why is that important for us today?
If Jesus is ‘willing,’ is there anything you need to bring to Him today?
Verse of the Week
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’