MINISTRY OF JESUS and Literal Bible.

The Literal Bible is understood by “The Spirit of the Lord”; by an Anointing to understand; preaches the gospel primarily to the poor of every nation; the literal Bible heals the bronken hearted, proclaims liberty to those in bondage and blind, provides true freedom; and the Literal Bible proclaims accurately eschatology.

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”  (Luke 4:18,19 and Isaiah 61:1,2)

It may seem strange to begin the chapter on “The Ministry of Jesus” from the Gospel of Mark with a quote from Luke; but I think that if Paul had lived long enough to complete all of his ministry as Chief Editor of the New Testament, he would have chosen just such a quote from Isaiah with which to outline the life and ministry of Jesus.  At least the ministry of Jesus, if not the life; and indeed we will find that the whole life of Jesus was dominated by His ministry.  When you think of what we know of Jesus besides the 3 and ½ years of active ministry which started with the baptism by John and the temptation in the wilderness, and shortly thereafter with the Galilean ministry, there is nothing except the incident at the Temple in Jerusalem as a 12 year old, temporarily lost to his parents and reprimanded by them as they found him talking with the doctors of the law in the temple, even there He said, “Don‛t you know that I must be about My Father‛s business?”

Mary and Joseph were startled as they had almost forgotten that while He was the virgin born Son of Mary, born as the power of God overshadowed her, He was only the adopted son of Joseph; and the shock was to be strongly reminded that His Father‛s business was the business of God Himself.  However, for you parents and children, the Scripture adds that from that moment until the turning of water into wine at Cana in Galilee, He went home to subject Himself  in obedience to His parents.  {It is Dr. Luke who also gives us the incident of the boy Jesus at the Temple with the teachers as well as almost all the details of the birth of Jesus, as you might expect in the emphasis of a medical doctor.}  Luke records how that for three days, Jesus marveled the best of Jewish teachers with His questions and answers, and also tells us of how Mary and Joseph puzzled over all of the aspects of this temple incident.

Let us see why Paul might have given this quote to Luke and Mark as an outline of the life and ministry of Jesus, with a quick look at the aspects of this Ministry.  Remember as we look at the aspects of how while many of the Prophets foretold details of the future Ministry of Jesus, it is the Prophet Isaiah who gives most details about this Messiah, which is Hebrew interpreted in Greek as Christ; and it is the Prophet Isaiah as perhaps the most respected Prophet of all Old Testament history, then and now. Indeed among the major prophets of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, Isaiah is considered the Queen of Prophets, sort of like a preacher‛s preacher as Dr. R.G. Lee and George W. Truett were called, and as Joel Gregory, Charles Swindell, Criswell, and Adrian Rogers tried to imitate, rather proving the thesis of Dr. Lee in his famous sermon, “The Menace of Mediocrity”, where “wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch”.

The Ministry of Jesus as the Christ Outlined by Paul and Isaiah 61:1,2.

  1. “the Spirit of the LORD is upon Me” {always the capital letters mean God the Father as contrasted to the Lord Jesus Christ}.  You must notice that Jesus Himself is talking in Isaiah 61:1,2, at least four hundred years before His actual birth, as recently proven by the carbon dating of Isaiah in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Jesus read to His hometown synagogue and afterward said that today “I fulfill this verse in your audience”; and what did He fulfill.  Well, the outline follows.  First, “the Spirit of the LORD is upon ME”, Jesus refers to Himself as performing the work of the Messiah-Christ, starting with the acknowledgment from God Himself during the baptism by John {“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”}, and then as after 40 days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the beginning of His ministry in Galilee, the Holy Spirit of God came on Jesus in a special way in order for Isaiah and Jesus to use the word “anointed”.  This was not the commission or ordination of Jesus for the ministry, He came knowing that; but rather it is a special empowerment for the Ministry which does come in the New Testament to some, like Paul laying the hands on Timothy, Titus, and perhaps John Mark.  Jesus simply in preparation for the Ministry accepted the baptism and witness of John the Baptist as to Himself as the light of the world, the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, and the One to come behind Him who sandals he was not worthy to unlatch; and to further make preparation, He spent time with the Father for 40 days in the wilderness.
  2. “because He has anointed Me to preach”. The Spirit of God, remember initial at baptism which came in the form of a dove, was not given just because Jesus was the Son of God; although that would be a necessary pre-requisite, but it was given from God the Father… {the Father is always the real source of the giving of the Holy Spirit in special ways}…in order that Jesus might PREACH.  How about that, the primary beginning ministry of Jesus was as a Preacher to the Poor–though we often think of Him as a Teacher, as the Crucified Christ, as a Personality of such character as to reveal what God is like.  {What better way to know what God is like than by looking at His only begotten Son.}

                                                                  The  Galilean

Look at the maps in the back of your Bible for the province Galilee, sort of like our small states or counties, in the Palestine of Jesus‛ day, and you will find it far north, in terms of walking distance, from Jerusalem and the province of Judea.  Galilee is famous for encompassing the Sea of Galilee which in turn dominated the lives of many of Jesus fisherman-disciples, and well known for such villages as Nazareth—Jesus‛ hometown after birth, Cana–where Jesus and His mother were at the wedding feast and He turned the water into wine, Capernaum by the Sea where many events of the ministry of Jesus took place, Tiberias also by the Sea—where I have had the privilege a the contemporary boat ramp of eating cheese and bread in an open air pub, and on the other side of the Sea—Bethsaida, Gergesa, and Gadara.  The regions of Galilee and Samaria, which is in between Galilee and Judea you will notice, formed most of the northern kingdom of Israel when the united kingdom of Israel under Saul, David, and Solomon became the Divided Kingdoms, the north kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.  {It can be confusing as you read your Bible where it writes of how “they went up to Jerusalem”, but this is because the altitude of Jerusalem is higher.  You do literally drive up or walk up to Jerusalem from any direction. Remember that “a city built on a hill, or a mountain, can not be hid.}  Of course, the citizens of Jerusalem and Judea looked on citizens of Galilee as the country bumkins and looked on Samaria as half-breeds.  In the time of Jesus, a lot of extra effort was put into bypassing Samaria in order to go from Judea to Samaria, and you will recall from the Gospel account of John of how surprised the disciples were that Jesus went into the village of Samaria, and even talked to a Samaritan woman.

What you will find is that the Galilean Ministry content of Mark for Jesus is one of the very unique characteristics of the Gospel of Mark as compared to Matthew, Luke, and John.  Previously we looked at Matthew and Luke.  You will recall how that Matthew, starting the Galilean Ministry in 4:12,13 mentions first Nazareth then Capernaum “by the sea”, and only briefly, rather focusing on Isaiah 9:1,2 as a foundation for the Galilean Ministry to be covered up through Matthew 15:21 where He and His disciples go north into the Gentile regions of Tyre and Sidon.  Why does Matthew cover so much detail on the Galilean Ministry?  Because for one thing he definitely has a bent for the Sermon on the Mount and the other teachings of Jesus, but also he himself was a tax collector in Jesus‛ hometown of Nazareth of Galilee.  This brief mention by Matthew of Nazareth on the way to Capernaum is not the same as the incident where Jesus was rejected by His hometown with an effort to kill Him.  It takes Matthew until the end of chapter 13 to come to this incident.

              The Authorized Semi-Public Interpretation (Literal Bible)

Have you heard of the ASI, the Authorized Semi-Public Interpretation of the Bible.  No, that makes one other Bible doctrine that you are not hearing about from the pulpits in the land.  The ASI would be the API, based on “no Scripture is of any private interpretation” since Public is the opposite of private; however it is obvious from the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles that only a small portion of the Public is allowed to know and understand the Bible, hence the Semi-Public in ASI. Learn Christ from the ASI would be the same as the Learn Christ from the Apostles and Prophets, and this chapter is an attempt on just one book of the Bible, the book of Mark, to make clear what that ASI approach really is.  We could beg the issue based on all the Old Testament quotes in the New Testament as listed and presented in the LEARN CHRIST commentaries; however, it might be more clear to present the ASI method for just Mark and the 18 Old Testament quotes in Mark.

Actually the 18 quotes in Mark from the Old Testament jumps to 25 when you consider that a verse or a few verses of Mark refers to more than one place in the Old Testament as a location for that quote.  In the second and third verses of chapter 1 of Mark, there are actually two Old Testament quotes run together as if to say, “This is an Old Testament quote, and that is enough to say without telling you which of the 66 books or the chapter and verse.”  Well, the chapters and verses did not exist when Mark wrote his gospel based on the books and the parchments that Paul left him, and it is rather difficult to tell if the 66 books as such were in the same format as we have them today.

Perhaps it would be wise before we go on in this chapter, to look at this example in Mark 1:2-3; and for thoroughness in order to progress the argument of this chapter, I will also add below what goes before as a lead-in to the quotes and then also add the authorized interpretation of the quotes as recorded in the verses of Mark after the quotes.

  1. Lead-in to the quotes, Mark 1:1-2a. {The 2a is for the first part of the second verse.}

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  As it is written in the Prophets:”

{You see that instead of saying like we do in this day and time, the quote if from Isaiah and Malachi, Mark simply wrote that the quotes are from the Prophets in general.  Remember during the time of Christ and Mark, the Old Testament Scriptures had the two major divisions of the Prophets and the Law. Today we have the Prophets divided into the 4 Major Prophets and the 12 Minor Prophets, so called simply because they are smaller and harder-to-find books than the majors like Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and for the Law we have all five books by Moses, often called the Pentateuch, given separate as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.}

{Another thing you might notice is how the quotes are introduced.  Mark does not say, “This is a quote from the Prophets”, rather he writes, “As it is written in the Prophets”. This is a method of teaching and introduction that he, Paul, and Matthew learned from listening to Jesus.  Later we will look at the style of introductory words to all of the 25 quotes; and also how Jesus did it when He was often making quotes from the Old Testament, and those by the way, are a large part of the 25 quotes in Mark.}

  1. The first quote from Malachi 3:1a in Mark 2b.

“’Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’”(Mark 2:b and Malachi 3:1a)

{It is important to note that this is not all of Malachi 3:1 that is being quoted, and we will discuss that next as we look at the total context of Malachi and Malachi 3:1.}

  1. A quick look at what is actually in the Old Testament in Malachi 1.

 {Now, do not expect all the words to always be the same in the Old and New Testaments.  Remember the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew at the time the Prophets spoke, later as the Scriptures were translated an effort in the Roman Empire at Alexandria, Egypt translated the Old Testament Scriptures into Greek, the total Old Testament being called the Septuagint.  Now, I am not saying that you need Hebrew and Greek to understand the Old Testament. Many Greek and Hebrew scholars do not understand the Old Testament because they do not have access to the ASI method of interpretation, or because there larger goal of academic acceptance by way of historical criticism clouds just looking at the internal context in English, letting the Bible say what it wants to say.  You must realize that a careful reading of the whole context in English has priority over the Greek and Hebrew language since the Greek language itself cannot contain the new truths that were revealed in the Bible.  For example, the Greek of the market place would not have a truly equivalent word for the salvation of God, a truth that comes only from God.  The context makes clear what that is!}

“’Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.  And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight.  Behold, He is coming,’ says the LORD of hosts.”  (Malachi 3:1, the whole verse)

You see how this helps in the understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  With the Mark 1a, the ministry of John the Baptist is introduced, which will later be elaborated on with the ASI in the rest of Mark 1.  Also in the context of Malachi 3:1 we see that another “Lord” is coming besides the LORD of hosts that is speaking, in other words the Lord Jesus Christ is coming and the announcement is coming from the LORD God the Father.  This Lord Jesus Christ is the “messenger” of the New Covenant, the new testament if you would based on the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  “in whom you delight” helps to understand the anticipation of the people as they went out into the wilderness to hear John the Baptist preach, and then as they listened to and followed the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. The rest of the quote from the Prophets in Mark 1:3, from Isaiah 40:3.

(1).   Isaiah 40:3 as recorded in Mark 1:3.

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:  ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; make His paths straight.’”

(2). Isaiah 40:3 ad recorded in Isaiah 40:3.

“The voice of  one crying in the wilderness; ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

You see some difference in the wording, but what is communicated is the same:   John the Baptist is doing and John the Baptist is shouting with emotion in the wilderness to make preparation for the coming of the Prophet Messiah, make His paths straight or prepare a highway in the desert for Him are equivalent.  And if you read the rest of Isaiah 40, especially the first five verses, it further predicts what Mark is going to write in  chapter 1 of John the Baptist with his introduction to Israel of the Messiah, the One Who “will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”  (Mark 1:8)  {Later we will want to look at all of Isaiah 40 in more detail for what is to come in Mark 1 and the rest of Mark; however, now we need to look at all of the quotes in Mark as an outline for the life of Jesus.  The way we will start is by looking at the manner Mark chose to introduce the 18 quotes.}