Mark 1:14-15 NLTse Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. (15) “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”
Mark moves so quickly in his book. In a dozen verses he moves from Jesus’ baptism to His temptation in the wilderness. Now Mark records John’s arrest in less than a sentence. Is Mark trying to relay a message here? Sometimes you can see a lot in what people do not say. In this case, Mark seems to not say a lot up to this point. Then he records Jesus’ message in Galilee. Because Mark lists so few details, I can’t help but notice he records Jesus’ message as “God’s Good News,” and repeats the term.
As a new believer I tried to think of why the Spirit influenced Mark to record his message in such a quick sequence. Then I realized. It was to draw attention to certain phrases designed to get readers to think. More than think, to allow the reader to reply on the Holy Spirit to bring other texts to mind.
What do we see in the phrase, “where He preached God’s Good News?” In half a sentence we see some of Jesus’ qualities and the message He was about to deliver to the world. Jesus was obedient to His Father. He relied on His Father. “So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.” (John 8:28 NLTse). Jesus loved His Father and the world. “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” (John 15:9 NLTse) Jesus understood the message He was to teach. “I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.” (John 10:16 NLTse) Jesus knew the salvation of the world depended on Him and His continued 24 hour a day reliance on His Father. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:11, John 10:28-30 NLTse)
Jesus began His ministry at the end of John’s. His first announcement was: “The time promised by God has come at last!” This sent everyone back to the scriptures. What was the promise? Is this the time? This filled everyone with questions, thereby opening the door to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus then repeated John’s message. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” This not only reinforced what John had been preaching, but we also see how Jesus recognized John’s mission. Jesus did not take credit to Himself. Mark shows the sequence Jesus followed. He gave glory first to His Father, opened the door of their hearts to the Holy Spirit, then finally gave credit to John, showing His appreciation for John’s dedication to the plan of salvation.