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Verses of Mark 1

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Mark 1:1 Commentary - Grant's Numerical Bible Notes and Commentary

Subdivision 1. (Mar 1:1-13.)

The Person who comes to serve.

We begin now, with the second of the synoptists, the fruitful work of comparison between them. To this the remarkable similarity in much, the very words being as if copied from one to the other, with the equally apparent differences, which to many often seem to amount to contradictions, on either side invite us. These differences are, for the most part, such as none can claim the merit of having discovered, - they do not need a great deal of searching out: they lie on the surface, and appeal to every reader to inquire as to their meaning. If we have the happiness of being among the number of those who still accredit Scripture as inspired of God, we shall not be surprised to find that not only will this inquiry assure us that there is no contradiction but that God has awakened it in order to reward our search in His own abundant way. We shall do well to give attention to the differences. Our sense of the reality and value of verbal inspiration will assuredly deepen as the result of this, and the truth of God will acquire fresh distinctness, certainty, and power over us.

(1) In both Matthew and Mark, nay, in all the Gospels, the Person of the Lord is necessarily the first thing put before us; but in very different ways. Matthew, presenting to us the Son of David, gives as the foundation of all His legal title in His genealogy. Mark, as we see, has nothing of the sort. And yet His title to the place He takes is as much affirmed in Mark as in Matthew. But title to serve, what will give that? If there be power for it, and heart, nothing else is needed. Serving is love's prerogative, wherever power and need are found together. Thus that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is for Mark the explanation of his Gospel. Power cannot fail the Son of God; and love is demonstrated in the fact that the Son of God is become the Man Christ Jesus.

To this is added that He comes in the foretold way: the Shepherd comes through the door into the sheepfold, which the Lord speaks of to the Jews as the sign that He is the Shepherd. Here, therefore, the testimony of two prophets is brought forward: Malachi of a messenger divinely sent to prepare the way of Christ; Isaiah giving the voice of that messenger addressed to Israel to prepare His way: the way of the Lord (or Jehovah), Messiah being Himself Jehovah. To make His paths straight, how much was involved in that!

(2) Mark passes on to the testimony of the forerunner: not even pausing for a moment to record the birth of Jesus, as both Matthew and Luke do, he begins his history with the account of the Baptist. Even here he is briefer than either of the others. He shows you the man himself in his rough and independent garb, as Matthew does. He tells you with both the others of his baptism of repentance, and with Luke that it is for the remission of sins. He shows you the people flocking to his baptism from all the country round; but he does not give, as Matthew and Luke do, any details of his address to them, but simply his testimony to Christ Himself, to the glory of His Person and His better baptism, with the Holy Spirit.

Thus it is plain, if Mark abridges, it is an abridgment with a purpose. He is taking our eyes as much as possible off other things, to fix them upon the Person who is coming forth to minister, so glorious in Himself, so wondrous in the gift He brings: the Son of God, and baptizing with the Holy Spirit!

(3) But He has higher witness than that of John; and now we see Him coming forth from Nazareth of Galilee, and Himself baptized of John in Jordan. This is indeed the pledge in which He devotes Himself, as we have seen in Matthew, to the path of service which lies before Him. It is His "Lo, I am come," and Jordan prefigures the death which is "written of Him in the volume of the book," in its law of sacrifice.

His vows are now upon Him; and immediately as He comes up out of the water, the heavens are opened, and the Spirit like a dove descends upon Him - the bird of heaven; the bird of love, the bird of sorrow, the bird of sacrifice, - and the Father's voice owns the object of His delight, His well-beloved Son. There is little variation as to all this in the three Gospels: it is plainly fundamental to them all. (See Notes on Mat 3:13-17).

(4) Now once again; Mark hastens over what Matthew and Luke detail with equal care, the temptation in the wilderness. We are merely told of the fact of it, and Mark adds that "He was with the wild beasts." This is in no wise as if they threatened Him. He was the Lord of nature, - the Creator; and as the Second Man; all was in His hand. The angels, ministry was not at all, as Meyer thinks, "a sustaining support against Satan and the beasts," which in the first case would have been only a dishonor to Him, and in the second would have involved a breach between nature and Himself. They came, as Matthew shows, when the temptation was ended, and to minister to His bodily need.

Thus the Lord is put before us, however briefly, in all His relations, not only to the world, in which now we are to see Him serving. The world is already marked out as a world in departure from God, wherein the people specially the object of God's love and care have to be called to make straight His paths before Him by taking themselves their place in the baptism of repentance as those rightly under death because of sin. Into this death He who would serve them effectually must come, and to this His baptism pledges Him. Thus He can minister to all lesser needs which result from this condition.

Verses of Mark 1

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Consult other comments:

Mark 1:1 - Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Mark 1:1 - The Greek Testament

Mark 1:1 - Barclay Daily Study Bible

Mark 1:1 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Mark 1:1 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Mark 1:1 - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Mark 1:1 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Mark 1:1 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Mark 1:1 - B.H. Carroll's An Interpretation of the English Bible

Mark 1:1 - Through the Bible Commentary

Mark 1:1 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Mark 1:1 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Mark 1:1 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

Mark 1:1 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Mark 1:1 - James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary

Mark 1:1 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Mark 1:1 - John Darby's Synopsis of the New Testament

Mark 1:1 - Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson

Mark 1:1 - Expositors Bible Commentary

Mark 1:1 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Mark 1:1 - Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Mark 1:1 - The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Robertson

Mark 1:1 - Expositor's Dictionary of Text by Robertson

Mark 1:1 - F. B. Hole's Old and New Testaments Commentary

Mark 1:1 - F.B. Meyer's Through the Bible Commentary

Mark 1:1 - Discovering Christ In Selected Books of the Bible

Mark 1:1 - Gaebelein's Annotated Bible (Commentary)

Mark 1:1 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Mark 1:1 - McGarvey and Pendleton Commentaries (New Testament)

Mark 1:1 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Mark 1:1 - Gnomon of the New Testament

Mark 1:1 - Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Mark 1:1 - The Great Texts of the Bible

Mark 1:1 - Henry Alford's Greek Testament

Mark 1:1 - Smith's Writings on 24 Books of the Bible

Mark 1:1 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Mark 1:1 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Mark 1:1 - International Critical Commentary New Testament

Mark 1:1 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Mark 1:1 - Commentaries on the New Testament and Prophets

Mark 1:1 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Mark 1:1 - The Gospel According to St. Mark: A Devotional Commentary

Mark 1:1 - William Kelly Major Works (New Testament)

Mark 1:1 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

Mark 1:1 - A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical by Lange

Mark 1:1 - Cornelius Lapide Commentary

Mark 1:1 - Lightfoot Commentary Gospels

Mark 1:1 - Neighbour's Wells of Living Water

Mark 1:1 - Expositions Of Holy Scripture by Alexander MacLaren

Mark 1:1 - Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's New Testament Commentary

Mark 1:1 - An Exposition on the Whole Bible

Mark 1:1 - Church Pulpit Commentary

Mark 1:1 - Grant's Numerical Bible Notes and Commentary

Mark 1:1 - The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Mark 1:1 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Mark 1:1 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Mark 1:1 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Mark 1:1 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Mark 1:1 - The Complete Pulpit Commentary

Mark 1:1 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

Mark 1:1 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Mark 1:1 - Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

Mark 1:1 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Mark 1:1 - Scofield Reference Bible Notes

Mark 1:1 - The Sermon Bible

Mark 1:1 - Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Mark 1:1 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Mark 1:1 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Mark 1:1 - You Can Understand the Bible: Study Guide Commentary Series by Bob Utley

Mark 1:1 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

Mark 1:1 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Mark 1:1 - Combined Bible Commentary

Grant's Numerical Bible Notes and Commentary