“On Your Mark”
The Kingdom Cometh (Chapter 1 Verses 14-20)
This is the beginning Mark has spoken of already (1.1), now the Lord takes up his ministry in Galilee which concludes in Jerusalem with his death and resurrection, then the ascension and ongoing ministry in heaven, all which constitute, the gospel. It is God’s good news which the Lord proclaims, it was for this he came (Mark 1.38). Notice that Mark tells us the message Jesus proclaimed was of God, genitive, God’s message of salvation, not some man-manufactured religion. It was the plan of salvation which has its roots in eternity passed (Ephesians 1.4), first spoken in the garden (Genesis 3.15f), and predicted in the law of Moses, the Psalms, the prophets (Luke 24.44-49). And now the fulfilment comes in the Person of Jesus Christ himself (Hebrews 1.1-3). It was all of God, from start to finish. The content of Jesus’ message is worthy of our attention too, repentance and faith. Obviously the Lord Jesus believed in the Biblical doctrine of repentance, and of course if you believe it, you will speak it (2Corinthians 4.13). They locked John up in prison for preaching it, they silenced him, but his message goes on being proclaimed effectively by the Lord himself. God’s voice will not be silenced by man.
The time has come (Galatians 4.4), the kingdom is near (Luke 17.21, because the King himself has come, and is so very close at hand (Romans 10.8). The Kingdom which God rules, is a dimension foreign, imperceptible to a world of unbelief. The blindness and unbelief of our day are seen in the way which people live only to and for this world. The material, the bodily needs are predominant, with no thought for the soul, well do we heed Jesus’ words (Mark 8.36-37; Luke 12.15-23). There is a kingdom not of this world, it cannot be seen with the human eye (Luke 17.20), only perceived through spiritual eyes (John 3.3). The rule of God stretches from eternity to eternity, beginning to end, God is on the throne, he controls regardless of what men think or see. That is a great comfort to those of us who have to live with unbelief, whose souls are tried and vexed in their place of work and home. And it’s a great comfort to know that in such circumstances we have something very much in common with our Saviour (John 7.5; John 15.8). It was through Jesus’ preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom that people began to enter it, and still do today. This is evangelism, the preaching of God’s message (Romans 1.16), presenting people with Christ, all he is, and as he is offered in the Bible. Friends, have great confidence in the good news, God’s salvation, it is a life, a world transforming power.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)