February 11/Mark 1

Hey Hilltop we finished one book of the New Testament! While Matthew was written primarily to the Jews and his emphasis was on Jesus the King; Mark is writing primarily to the Romans and his emphasis is on Jesus the Servant. Mark will dwell more on the works of Jesus rather than the words of Jesus. Mark is a fast paced action filled book. Mark doesn’t use a lot of extra words he just gets right to the point. Hence Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels. Us guys will identify with this book! Mark doesn’t go into the birth of Jesus he gets right into the works of Jesus.

Verses 1-15 > see what I mean by fast paced and not a lot of detail? John the Baptist was in the wilderness preaching about Jesus and that people needed to be baptized to show that they had turned from their sins and turned to God. A lot of people were being baptized. Jesus comes on the scene and is baptized with water and the Holy Spirit. He is led into the wilderness, and was there for 40 days, where he takes on the Devil and then comes out and tells us we need to turn away from our sins and turn to God! If don’t do this we won’t have God on our side and the Devil will continue to beat us up in this life. John was arrested and put in jail. Phew, there was a lot of action in those first 15 verses. Kinda makes you want to stop and go get a Gatorade! Hey this all happened in the wilderness where there wasn’t much water!Drink the Gatorade because we ain’t done yet moving yet!

By the way did you wonder why John would preach in the wilderness and why people would leave the comforts of their homes to go out and hear him? Johns dress and his food certainly weren’t attractive but what John had was truth! In the wilderness, a desert area, there weren’t any distractions, no other noises to drown out Johns voice. It was in the wilderness where one could really hear and contemplate what was being said. Where is your wilderness for reading your bible. You know, a place where their are no distractions, no other voices like, tv, radio, cell phone, people etc. It is there where you can tune into God’s voice as you read His word. The Bible speaks but you must listen! The Bible is Truth!

Verses 16-45 > Jesus is on the move recruiting followers, casting out evil spirits, healing many people, taking time to pray, preaching throughout Galilee, stopping to touch and heal a man with leprosy, and being surrounded by large crowds of people whose needs he would meet!

Jesus really is portrayed as a Servant.

So what does all of this mean to us at Hilltop and to us individually? We need to take Three Looks.

Look In > we need to look at ourselves to see if we have truly repented of all of our sins. Have we turned away from doing and saying things that do not please God? Have we been baptized in water to make the statement that we are now followers of Jesus. Everyday we need to make the decision to turn away from sin and turn to God. There are no easy fixes for overcoming sinful habits. You with the power of the Holy Spirit must TURN AWAY. Make a habit of looking in and repenting so that sin won’t get a grip on you or a foothold in your life.

Ephesians 4:26–27 (NLT) — 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Look Up > Like Jesus we also need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit so that we will be empowered to be witnesses for Jesus. He looked up to God the Father and the Holy Spirit came down on Him and then he was able to resist the temptations of Satan and he was able to heal people and cast out demons etc. If you haven’t already done this now is the time to look up to Jesus and ask him to baptize you with the Holy Spirit. He will and you will be empowered to go out into this world and live for Jesus. You will receive a boldness to tell people what Jesus has done for you. I did this very thing in my bedroom in the apartment I was living in in Tucson, Arizona in November of 1973. I asked Jesus and he baptized me with the Holy Spirit and I have never been the same since. He also gave me a new prayer language of speaking in tongues. Ask me about it some time and I will share the experience with you.

Acts 1:4–5&8 (NLT) — 4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Look Out > Jesus was all about serving others. Who could you serve today in the name of Jesus? Who could you go and pray for? Who could you help in some way today? Maybe someone could use a word of encouragement, a hug, a smile, help carrying their groceries, a ride to the store, shoveling snow, fresh baked cookies, a gift certificate, a tank full of gas, take someone grocery shopping, or a meal delivered to their home. Start in your own home. Ask one of the pastors at Hilltop where you can serve in the church. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you. We know he will because we just read about how he lead Jesus.

Galatians 5:13 (NLT) — 13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

Mark breaks it down really simple > Look In, Look Up, and Look Out.

Be Inspired Hilltop!


  1. Mark Gundersen says

    Mark definitely is a book of actions. Jesus was motivated to bringing people to God by what he did and how he teached. He spoke with more authority than the religious teachers. The authority came from speaking the word of God and interpreting it with the mind of God. He also demonstrated the attitude of God by his actions and compassion. Also he only accepted acknowledgement of his status from his father not from the demons he threw out. He was the Son of God but wanted to be known as the son of man which is more of servant’s status and not a master’s.