NIV Discover God’s Heart Devotional Bible

Duration: 365 days

JESUS’ COSMIC INVASION

Mark 1–3

God’s Story

God commissions John Mark to author another account of the life of his Son.

Just as Isaiah foretold, John the Baptist prepares the people for Jesus. He calls them to change their lives, but as he baptizes in the Jordan River, he explains that he is only pointing to the One who will baptize people inwardly through the Holy Spirit.

After being baptized by John, Jesus calls four of his disciples—Peter, Andrew, James and John—and begins bringing the wholeness of his kingdom to earth.

When four men bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus, he first forgives him of his sins. The Pharisees accuse Jesus of blasphemy. To show his authority over both the physical and spiritual realm, Jesus heals the man. Everyone is flabbergasted.

Next the Pharisees criticize Jesus for dining with sinful riffraff. His response is that he has come for the sick. Some people ask Jesus why his disciples don’t practice fasting. He explains that since the bridegroom has come, it’s not time for solemnity. The Pharisees are incensed that Jesus would heal people on the Sabbath. He tells them that giving life is the higher law.

An inner circle of men will have the privilege of getting front-row seats to Jesus’ life. He climbs a mountain and chooses the Twelve.

The King’s Heart

“Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’” (Mark 1:23-24).

Jesus’ coming to earth was a kingdom invasion, a cosmic confrontation. While God was always present, he had come, in a sense, “on the scene.” He was reclaiming territory. Satan and his dark minions had been trespassing since the fall—darkness has no place in God’s kingdom. So as demon-possessed people came up to Jesus, he forced the darkness to leave. And when he casts the demons out, they obeyed. Because he is the true King.

Everywhere Jesus goes, demons react violently to him. They know who Jesus is and what he has come to do. The kingdom of light is invading the kingdom of darkness, and the darkness doesn’t like it one bit.

Insight

Jesus chose Levi to be one of his disciples, and his new name became Matthew, which means “gift of the Lord.” He was a tax collector—a member of a group hated by their fellow Jews. They couldn’t testify as a witness in legal cases, and they weren’t allowed in the synagogue. Jesus’ choice of him is a boldly beautiful statement.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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