The Beginning of Ministry

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Mark 1–3

It is commonly thought that of the Gospels, Mark wrote first, under the guidance of Peter, and that Matthew and Luke took the work of Mark and supplemented it with other materials. Matthew, Mark and Luke are called the Synoptic Gospels, that is, they look at the life of Jesus from a similar perspective while John takes a different approach.

Possibly because of the impetuousness of Peter, Mark begins with the ministry of Jesus, passing over the first 30 years of his life. Notice how often the word “immediately” is used, perhaps another indication of the influence of Peter’s personality.

John the Baptist begins preaching and baptizes Jesus. Jesus is tempted by Satan and, having resisted the temptation, goes forth preaching: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (1:15). The centuries of waiting for the promises to be fulfilled during the time of the Old Testament and for 400 years afterward are over. The King has arrived, and he ushers in the kingdom. There is only one right response, that is, repentance and faith. Faith in the good news that God has fulfilled his promises in his Son Jesus Christ. This is still the message of the church today and this is still the required response. Jesus demonstrates his powers to show he really is the Messiah.


Father, help us to preach the gospel with urgency; work in hearts by your Spirit as people hear. In Jesus' name. Amen.