John Stapleton The Bible Lab


Jesus proves that he is the Son of God by exercising his authority. Based on Mark 1. (Notes Provided Below)


Mark got his collection of Jesus stories from Peter but arranged them himself to display his own theology. Mark likes to show instead of telling. He does this through “Markan
Sandwiches” – stories that are interrupted by another story that contrasts with elements from the first story. I’ve built our study around these and added a few more installments to emphasize our lesson today, the parables, and the resurrection.

Mark was the first gospel written and the other synoptic gospels use Mark’s account as a
launchpad for their accounts. For the most part, they keep the Markan sandwiches, but they often condense the facts or rearrange the order completely. Mark is not just a ‘shorter version of Matthew’s gospel,’ but it is unique in its order and purpose. It’s closer in purpose to John’s gospel who writes so “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Like John, Mark wants to show us that Jesus is the Son of God. The other main purpose of this gospel is discipleship. We will look at key elements of following Jesus such as faith, fear, suffering, and more.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’ ” (Mark 1:1-3)


I. The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This means that this gospel account represents the gospel message that Jesus proclaimed. “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God… ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14, 15). This is also the gospel about Jesus. There is a lot of speculation about who Jesus was, but this gospel will tell you exactly who he is.

II. Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus is God and Messiah. This is the first thing that Mark wants us to know. This is the purpose of his book (Mark 1:1). Jesus is both God and the Messiah.

This echoes Peter’s words from his Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:36). The Messiah (the Jewish
title and Christ is Greek), is the anointed or chosen one, chosen by God to save us from the curse of sin brought on everyone in Genesis 3.

III. As it Is Written.

God has spoken through written words, the Bible. The point here is that everything happens according to what was written. The prophets spoke for God and predicted the coming of Jesus. Every move of God begins with a move back to the Bible.

IV. Messenger.

This word (Gk. angelos) is translated in other places as “angel.” The idea here is that God speaks through people. His voice could thunder from heaven, but he prefers to entrust his message to people.

V. The Wilderness.

The desert has always been a symbol of death. Nothing grows out in the wilderness. Yet, God often draws his people out into the wilderness so that they may grow.

This reminds us of when God delivered his people out of Egypt and brought them into
the wilderness. John the Baptist (mentioned in verse 4) is calling people to a spiritual
renewal with the themes of the desert and baptism.

VI. Prepare The Way

1). Jesus DEMONSTRATES His Authority

As God Jesus is God and he shows us that in a variety of ways. He has power over nature; his disciples remarked that “even the wind and the waves obey him!” (4:41, NIV). He has power over disease; “Jesus healed many who were sick with various diseases” (1:34). He has power over demons; “he also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was” (1:34, NIV). They knew he was God. Curiously, the demons are the only people in this gospel who recognize that Jesus is God. (I know Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, but he later gets called Satan, so I don’t count that.) We will discuss how people respond to Jesus when we cover the parables.

Mark spends the opening chapters of his gospel with these kinds of stories back to back to
show us that Jesus is God.

2). Jesus is VERBALLY AFFIRMED as God

There is plenty of verbal affirmation that Jesus is God. Some people claim that Jesus never
said he was God. This couldn’t be the furthest from the truth. I mentioned how Mark leaves out the nativity scene; he also leaves out most of Jesus’ teaching, except for key parables, and anything about the identity of Jesus. Before we hear from Jesus, we hear the voice of God booming from heaven (Mark 1:11). This phrase serves as a bookend to the first half of this gospel account because later at the Transfiguration, we hear a similar endearment from the Father (Mark 9:7).

Jesus is more powerful because he is God. Speaking of voices, John the Baptist was a voice
(Mark 1:3). Later on after the transfiguration, the disciples were reminded of John the Baptist when they heard the voice of God from heaven (Mark 9:11-13). After this Old Testament quote that informs that the Messiah will have a forerunner, we read (Mark 1:4, 7-9). Jesus later picks up where John left off preaching (Mark 1:15).


Everything that Jesus does backs up his claims to be God.
Next time, we will further explore this idea as he is revealed as the Son of Man.


1. Is it true that the rapture is not considered the great and terrible day of the Lord which is to come? – Marc Bloemers

Those who believe in a physical rapture see it as a separate event from Judgment Day. One event has to do with God collecting his people. The other event has to do with God judging those who are not his people.

Also, there is a difference between “the last days” and “the last Day.” The last
days refer to the time between the first and second coming of Christ. The last
Day is the day when God judges to world.
• The Last Days (Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:1-2)
• The Last Day (John 6:40; 12:48; Acts 2:20)

In other words, the rapture marks the end of the last days with Judgment Day
to follow. So no, it is not the same day.

2. Is it true that the Bible provides many examples which refer to the rapture, it
just doesn’t say the actual word like in Luke 21:36? – Marc Bloemers

In order to understand Luke 21:36, we must look at verses 25-28. This is a complicated passage because it has near and far application. The near application is the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. The far application is the Last Day that the Bible speaks of regularly.

In this passage, Jesus talks about signs in the sky. This is all figurative language from the prophets (Joel 2:1-2; Isaiah 13:9-11).

Perhaps the closest clue to a rapture is the word escape. This word ekphygein is consistently translated as, “escape,” or, “fleeing.” It simply means, “to run away” (Acts 16:27; Romans 2:3).

As far as the rapture in particular, this passage doesn’t mention it, but Matthew 24:31 talks about us being “gathered” together from the earth. This could be the Bible’s way of describing a rapture. Moreover, Paul talks about being “caught up” to be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17). This idea of being snatched up or carried away could be the biblical idea of the rapture.

3. Is it wrong to speculate or be curious about certain biblical passages if the
apostle John warns in Revelations not to add or take away? – Stef Lynn

The passage you’re thinking of is Revelation 22:18-19. When John said, “this book,” he’s talking about the volume of Revelation itself, not the entire Bible. This doesn’t give us permission to change other parts of the Bible either; it is simply a warning to not add or take away from the book of Revelation, which is a summary and retelling of the entire Bible.

Speculation is okay if it doesn’t replace the Bible. Before we can know what the Bible means, we first need to learn what it actually says. Speculation is without question in the category of “what does this mean?” One preacher I listen to calls it your “santified imagination.” It is certainly never wrong to be curious either. That’s how a lot of great Bible studies start.

4. Would Daniel be thought of as the forerunner to John the apostle in terms of
their perspective end times prophecy? – Stef Lynn

I would say he is not the forerunner. Prophecy involves a lot of cross-reference between the prophets so I would avoid trying to pair up the biblical writers. To be honest, the other gospel writers quote Daniel and John never does not.

5. Is it possible that Adam would have helped build the Ark since he would
have still been alive during Noah’s day? – Stef Lynn

The simply answer is that Adam lived to 930 years and then died shortly before Noah was born. He could not have possibly helped with building the ark.

6. Is it possible to serve God without the Bible?

No it is not. The Bible is how we get to know what God is like, as well as what he wants.

Say for instance, you’ve never met me but wanted to do something nice for me. Your only option is to surprise me with something, because you don’t know what I like and don’t like; same thing with God. How we please him if we have no way to know exactly what he wants, let alone finding him from the pantheon of over gods and religions.

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