Mark 1:12



The Bible says concerning Jesus near the start of His public ministry in Mark 1:12, “And immediately the spirit drove Him into the wilderness.” In everything that He did in His earthly ministry, Jesus was led by the Spirit. If He was led by the Spirit, then we certainly need to be also. It’s not only what you do, but why you do it. It’s not just where you go, but why you go there. Were you led of the Spirit to go where you went and to do what you did? Oh the loss of opportunity and the waste of effort when Christians do not follow the leading of the Spirit. Do you know how to be sensitive to and to listen to the leading of the Spirit? If you do not, then you do not know much about following God in this world. Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God


Mark 1:13 says, “And when He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto Him.” Jesus was led by the Spirit of God and the Spirit led Him into the wilderness. Sometimes God will lead us into a group of people and sometimes He will lead us away from them. There is a time for everything. In the life of Jesus, it was a time to be alone and a time to be tested. Before the time of ministry and service came the time of trial and testing to demonstrate that He was worthy and capable of the ministry. 


Jesus was in the wilderness when He was tempted. We could say that He was alone, but He wasn’t alone. Notice the last part of verse 13. It says that He “was with the wild animals, and the angels ministered unto Him.” Both animals and angels were a comfort to Jesus at this time. God has a purpose for animals. One of those purposes is to be companions and comforters to human beings. God loves animals. One day Jesus will transform all of nature. “The lion shall lie down with the lamb.” One day the curse shall be taken away, and the violent and short-lived existence of even the animals will be done away with. That must have been quite a scene when the wild animals came to Him. For a few days only the animals and the angels were with the Savior. The forty days ended and Jesus returned to a much more dangerous place than with the wild beasts in the wilderness. Jesus returned to the company of human beings, human beings who would eventually kill Him.


Before Jesus was tempted, Mark 1:11 says that God gave this evaluation of Him: “Thou art my beloved son in whom I am well-pleased.” God said that because Jesus was the spotless Son of God. After the temptation the same thing could still be said of Jesus. That’s not true of you and me. Unlike Jesus, we have failed. How then can God be pleased with us? God can be pleased with us through our faith in Jesus. If you have been saved, the righteousness of Christ is credited to your account freely. What a great Savior we have. He won the battle with the devil, and the victory that Jesus won He has given freely to us who believe.


The Bible says in Mark 1:14-15, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.” John was put into prison and then Jesus started preaching. Neither the devil nor the world can stop the preaching of God’s good message to a lost world. If one person is stopped, God will raise up another. John was a great preacher, but he only preached for a short time. He only lived for a short time. One would think that such a great man and such a great preacher would live a long life and preach many sermons, but God makes those decisions. When a person has fulfilled their purpose on this earth, God takes them away. That’s the only way to look at it. Why do some people die young? Because their purpose is fulfilled.


Jesus was on the scene now, and Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom of God. The fact that there is a kingdom of God is good news. The kingdoms of this world are temporary and are passing away before our very eyes. The good news is that there is a better kingdom, an eternal one, and Jesus has the message to tell us how we can gain entrance into that kingdom.


In Mark 1:15 Jesus said that there are two things to do in order to get into His kingdom: repent and believe. Repentance always goes along with true belief. If you have never repented, then you have never believed with saving faith. When you repent, you turn from your sins; and when you believe, you turn to Jesus, trusting in Him for forgiveness and salvation. The entire question of getting into the Kingdom of God revolves around the sinfulness of man. How can sinful man enter into the holy and pure kingdom of God? Through His mercy and grace God has provided a means: repentance and faith. Repent of your sins and trust in Jesus, and an entrance into the Kingdom of God will be made for you. This is the message that Jesus started with, and it is the message that He continued with throughout His earthly ministry. The Kingdom of heaven is at hand. You have an opportunity to get there. But do not delay. Today is the day of salvation. Repent and believe while there is time.


Of course, Jesus was only preaching His message for three years. Jesus knew He was going to leave the earth by means of the cruel death of the cross, and once He left, He would need others to continue the message so that all might hear. God wants no one to be left out of the Kingdom of God. Mark 1:16-17 shows that Jesus immediately started working on getting others to be a part of spreading the gospel of the Kingdom. It says, “Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men


It is interesting to note that Jesus chose fishermen. He undoubtedly chose men that no one else would have chosen. As it turned out, Jesus chose men from all walks of life. He chose a scholar like the Apostle Paul, but He also chose men like Peter and Andrew, who were simple hard-working fishermen. Man looks at the outward appearance. Man looks at the level of education, and the religious group affiliation, and the financial status; but God looks at the heart.


When Jesus called Simon and Andrew, He got right to the point. Jesus said, “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” There is no more important business in the world, than the business of winning souls. After all, what is more valuable than a human soul? Elsewhere in the gospels Jesus said, “What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” What a privilege it is to be able to join with God in the business of being “fishers for men.” The Bible says in Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever


In order to become a follower of Jesus, two things must happen. There must be a call from the Lord, and then there must be a positive response to that call. Jesus came to Simon and Andrew where they were and gave them an invitation to start following Him. That is the first requirement. No one gets saved until Jesus visits them. Be careful about being aggressive in getting people to make professions of faith. No one gets saved until Jesus visits them. Once visited, that person must respond positively and immediately. If you hesitate or if you delay in your response to the Lord, you just might be lost. One of the reasons that the apostles became apostles is that they did not delay when Jesus called them. Mark 1:18 says, “And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.”


After inviting Simon and Andrew to follow Him, Jesus did the same with James and John. The Bible says in Mark 1:19-20, “And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.” One of the things that is significant about James and John when they followed Jesus is that they had to leave their father. Following Jesus implies leaving something else, something of their old life, in order to follow Him. Everyone has to give up something in order to go with God. James and John had to leave their father. Some people never come to Christ because of entangling human relationships. Of course, the disciples did not desert their family when they followed Jesus. If God calls you to do something out of the ordinary, He will find a way to take care of those you leave behind. James and John left their father, but their father still had the hired servants with him. If God calls you, then He will provide for you.


Mark 1:21-22 says, “And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” After calling the disciples, the very first thing that Jesus did was taught. Jesus was a teacher, a teacher about the truth from God and a teacher about the Kingdom of God and how to get there by means of repentance and faith. The word “doctrine” means “teachings” and comes from the same Greek word as that which is translated “taught” in these verses. Jesus entered into the synagogue and taught. They were astonished at His teachings. He taught them as one having authority. Aside from dying for us on the cross, there may be no greater thing that Jesus did than to teach. If we do not have the right teachings, then we will stay in darkness. If we do not have the right teachings, then we will go our own way instead of God’s way. If we do not have the right teachings, we will be fooled and led astray but those who teach that which is false. Thank God that Jesus taught, and that He taught with authority.


Of course, Jesus did more than teach. He also healed and performed other miracles. Mark 1:23-24 says, “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” There is a tremendous amount that can be learned from these verses. First, we see that unclean spirits can inhabit some human beings. This accounts for some of the horrible behavior that is found in the human race. Only Jesus can fix this kind of problem, because Jesus has authority over the unclean spirits.


That is another thing that we see in these verses: Jesus has total authority over the evil spirits, and they are totally and completely afraid of Him. This is important and comforting for believers to remember. We have nothing to fear from the forces of evil as long as we are rightly related to the Master. Another thing to notice is that the demons knew perfectly well who Jesus was. They called Him Jesus of Nazareth, which spoke of His human origin, but they also spoke of His divine origin and nature when they called Him “the Holy One of God.” Believing certain facts about Jesus is not enough. The devils believe and tremble. Saving faith goes beyond believing certain facts about the existence of God. Saving faith involves the heart, the innermost emotions and the will. Romans 10:9 says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved


The Bible says in Mark 1:25-27, “And Jesus rebuked him saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, what thing is this, what new doctrine is this, for with authority he even commands the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.” The people who saw what Jesus did were right in their evaluation of what had taken place. It was a new teaching that Jesus brought, a new revelation. Nothing like it had ever been seen before and nothing like it will ever be seen again. The new doctrine that Jesus brought was the doctrine of grace. This man did nothing to earn what Jesus had done for him. Jesus cast out the demon and repaired his damaged soul freely. How wonderful grace is, and how wonderful is the Savior. Come into contact with Jesus and see what He can do for you.        



Copyright; 2002 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved