|Mark 1 |
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets: "Behold, I will send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.
4 So John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission [release from the bondage] of sins.1
5 And all the land of Judea and those of Jerusalem went out to him, and were all baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair, he had a belt of a leather around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey;
7 John preached, saying: "There comes one mightier than I after me, the strap of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." [Just like the 120 disciples of Jesus were baptized with tongues of fire in Jeruslaem during Pentecost. Acts 2:3.]
9 Now it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 When Jesus came up out of the water, John immediately saw the heavens opened and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Jesus.
11 Then there came a voice from heaven, saying: "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
12 And immediately the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness.
13 He was there in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; he was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.
14 Now after John had been put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 Saying: "The time has come, and the kingdom of God is at hand [near]; repent and believe the gospel." [Jesus said further: "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, that repentance and release from bondage of sins (remission) should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:46-47.]
16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen.
17 Jesus said to them: "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
18 They immediately left their nets, and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther there, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, who were also in the ship mending their nets.
20 He immediately called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants and went after him.
21 Then they went into Capernaum; it being the Sabbath day, he immediately entered into the synagogue and taught.
22 They were astonished at his doctrine for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
23 Now there was a man with an unclean spirit in their synagogue, and he cried out,
24 Saying: "Leave us alone; what have we to do with you, you Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are, the Holy One of God."2
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying: "Be quite, and come out of him!"
26 When the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27 And they were all amazed, so much that they questioned among themselves, saying: "What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For he commands even the unclean spirits with authority, and they obey him."
28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region around Galilee.
29 Now immediately after they had come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and they quickly told him about her.
31 And he came and took her by the hand and raised her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she served them.
32 That evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were diseased, and those who were possessed with demons.
33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
34 And he healed many who were sick of many diseases, and cast out many demons; and did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.
35 Now in the morning, rising up a great while before daylight, he went out into a solitary place, and prayed there.
36 And Simon and those who were with him followed him.
37 And when they had found him, they said to him: "Everyone is looking for you."
38 Then he said to them, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also; for I was sent for this."
39 So he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out demons.
40 And a leper came to him, begging him, and kneeling down to him, and saying, "If you will, you can make me clean."
41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."
42 As soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
43 And he strictly charged him, and immediately sent him away,
44 Saying to him, "See that you say nothing to any man; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."
45 But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to blaze the matter abroad, so much that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; but they came to him from every region.
1 So John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission [release from the bondage] of sins. The verse before said: prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. What way for the Lord are you supposed to prepare? The way into your heart for him to dwell as the ruling Lord of your thoughts, words, and deeds — a true king that rules everything in your life. Think about it — to make the Lord's paths straight is to cleanse your heart and body so the Lord can dwell and walk in you, for he would have you to be the temple of the living God.
The original Greek for release from bondage of sin could be translated as release from bondage, forgiveness, or remission, of sin. Release from bondage of sin is far more accurate, and perfectly describes the purification necessary to avoid being banned from heaven. The cleansing of the Word, the cleansing in the Light, both attained by waiting on the Lord, listening, hearing, watching, and obeying — such cleansing is a release from the bondage of sin. But the poor souls, who were trying to translate the Bible, had not experienced release from bondage of sin within themselves, and so obviously chose to emphasize forgiveness instead. Yet release from captivity, from the prison house, from the oppression, is what Christ said he came to do:
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 preach release to the captives [of sin], and recovery of sight to the blind, to deliver [free] those who are oppressed [by sin], Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isa 61:1-2
and for what Paul said Jesus sent him to the Gentiles to accomplish:
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified and purified by faith in me. Acts 26:18
Clearly forgiveness is not deliverance, recovery, healing, opening the prison, release, turned from power of Satan, — while release from the bondage of sin accurately describes all. Until He cleanses you, your heart is defiled with sin.
A man cannot prepare his own heart; it must be prepared by the changing power of God's grace, which power is accessed by you going to him. You must wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. You must wait, listen in silence, hear, and obey, thus to receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21. So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. Do this repeatedly, follow his commands, and his words that you hear him speak to you will impart the life of God to you, as he removes the sins from your heart, one by one. To deny yourself is to deny your own will and do God's will; to follow is to obey the commands you hear him speak to you: this is to deny yourself, pickup your cross, and follow Jesus — the inward cross of self-denial, which puts to death your selfish spirit, to be replaced by the Spirit of Christ.
If you have a hard time believing that your sinning is a bondage or a slavery, then consider what the Lord and Paul had to say about it:
Then Jesus answered them, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34
Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves to obey, you are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? Rom 6:16
2 Even the demons called Jesus "Son of the Most High God," falling down at his feet, begging him to have mercy. Luke 8:28,4:41, Mark 5:7,3:11, Mat 8:29. So "believing" that Jesus is the Son of God, or "saying" he is the Son of God, does not result in salvation. James said: You say you believe in one God, you do well, even the demons believe and they tremble. James 2:19.
Notice Jesus in John 3:16 doesn't say if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, he says if you believe in him, (or simply believe him). There is a big difference: 1) mental assents to Jesus being the Son vs. 2) to believe what he commands and advises — enough to obey Him. He commands us to seek with our highest priority in life the Kingdom of God and His righteousness — to be perfect — to turn the other cheek — to come to him, listen to him, and obey him- to deny yourself and pick up your cross daily and to repent or perish. If you believe him, you will obey all his commands; and those you find yourself unable to obey will motivate you to go to him, seeking his healing from even your desire to sin, which results in him giving you personalized commands to be obeyed.