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PREFACE TO THE GOSPEL OF MARK.
In 1 Pet. 5: 13, Mark is again mentioned; and in a manner which shows the high regard and warm affection of the apostle Peter for him, as a person whom he had taken under his special charge. The affectionate language there used is in accordance with the statement which has been handed down from the earliest Christian writers, that Mark was associated with Peter, as an assistant in his labors. It is his intimate connection with Peter, that has been considered, from the earliest times, as stamping his Gospel with authority. Mark himself was not an apostle; but having been associated with an apostle, and having enjoyed his confidence, he may be said to have reflected the authority of an apostle. From the earliest Christian antiquity, his book has been received as a sacred document, and those portions of the Christian community, for whose special benefit it was prepared, knew that it proceeded from an authoritative
Mark wrote for persons who were not Jews, and who lived out of Palestine. For he carefully explains Jewish terms and Jewish practices, which explanations would not be needed by Jewish readers, or by persons living in Palestine. As an instance, see 7: 2-4. It is according to ancient testimony, that he wrote at Rome. The very name of this writer agrees well with the circumstance of his having become very conversant with people who were not Jews. John was his Jewish name; Mark was his Roman name, by which he chose to be known among the Greeks and Romans, and it became at length his most usual name.
Mark's Gospel was published a short time, probably, after Mat
GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK.
1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word gospel, originally signifying glad tidings, and specifically the glad tidings concerning the long-promised Messiah's approach, had come to signify the religious dispensation established by the Messiah, that is, the Christian religion, strictly so called. In giving an account of the life and death of Jesus Christ, Mark proposed to state what was the very beginning of this new dispensation, or religion. The words this is may be considered as implied at the opening of this verse. The Son of God. See on Matt. 3: 17.
2. In the prophets; Malachi and Isaiah. || Behold, I send, &c. Mal. 3: 1. See on Matt. 11: 10.
3. The voice, &c. Is. 403 on Matt. 3: 3.
him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
4. The wilderness. See on Matt. 3:1. || Baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; that is, baptism which implied an acknowledgment of repentance, and was a pledge of repentance, and which had respect to the forgiveness of sins as connected with repentance. Compare Matt. 3: 6, 8. Thus Mark traces back the gospel, the Christian religion, to the earliest events immediately connected with it. John's ministry was the beginning of the gospel, as the dawn is the beginning of day.
5-7. Compare Matt. 3: 4-6 11. The latchet of whose shoes. Sandals were bound around the feet by a leather thong, or strap, here called latchet. To loose and to bind on sandals, was the business of the lowest See servants.
8. Compare Matt. 3: 11, 12. Mark
9-11. Compare Matt. 3: 13-17. 12, 13. Compare Matt. 4: 1–11. Driveth. The word thus rendered does not always signify a forcible driving, but the inducing of a person to go, by whatever means. The word in the original here used, is the same as is used in v. 43 (translated sent away), and in Matt. 9: 25, 38 (translated put forth and sent forth)
14, 15. Compare Matt. 4: 12-16. The time is fulfilled; the time predicted by the prophets, when the
18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath-day he entered into the synagogue and taught.
22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
Messiah should come. Believe the gospel; believe, confide in, the joyful intelligence, and receive the instructions connected with it.
16-22. Compare Matt. 4: 18-25. And they were astonished at his doctrine. The word doctrine here includes both the instructions he communicated and the manner of communicating them; that is, his teaching. Compare Luke 4: 31, 32; also Matt. 7: 28, 29.
23. A man with an unclean spirit. The same idea is elsewhere expressed by the phrase a man possessed with a devil, that is, with a demon. See
24 Saying, Let us alone; they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
what have we to do with thee,
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever 26 And when the unclean | left her, and she ministered unto spirit had torn him, and cried them. with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue,
Matt. 4: 24. The word unclean means wicked, evil.
24. Let us alone. The original word may be regarded as equivalent to our word quit, desist; or, which is the more probable, as an exclamation of sorrow and indignation; as, Ah! Alas! | What have we, &c. See on Matt. 8: 29. || To destroy us? to consign us to misery, to perdition. Compare Matt. 8:29. || The Holy One of God; the Messiah, as being set apart, or consecrated by God to his official work, and as being therefore a most venerable person.
30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever; and anon they tell him of her.
26. Torn him; more properly, convulsed him, thrown him into convulsions. Thus Mark's account agrees with that of Luke (4:35), who says, the evil demon hurt him not.
27. What new doctrine; what new sort of teaching. Even the unclean spirits. See on Matt. 8: 16.
32 And at even when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he
29-31. Compare Matt. 8: 14, 15. 32. See on Matt. 8: 16.
33. All the city; Capernaum. v. 21. The expression is a general one, meaning that large numbers of the inhabitants crowded about the door. Compare 2: 2.
34. Compare Matt. 4: 23. Suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. Jesus made no concealment, so far as his own testimony was concerned, of his being the Messiah; but he might have had very wise objections to being publicly called the Messiah by certain sorts of persons, and at certain times. Had no caution been exercised, his appearing as the Messiah might have been greatly abused.
35-39. Compare Luke 4: 42-44.
OBSERVE, here, the devotion of Jesus to his public work, and, at the
went out and departed into a | Moses commanded, for a testisolitary place, and there prayed. mony unto them. 36 And Simon, and they that were with him, followed after him.
45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places; and they came to him from every quarter.
37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.
39 And he preached in their
synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which
same time, his careful observance of secret prayer. His secret communion with his heavenly Father must not be interrupted; even though, to enjoy it, he must take time before day, and must retire from the habitations of
40-45. Compare Matt. 8: 2-4.
ND again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
2. The woord; the doctrine, or instruction, pertaining to the new dis pensation.
3-12. Compare Matt. 9: 2-8. Borne of four; carried by four men, who took hold of the bed. The bed, according to the custom of the place and time, was a mere rug, or quilt, or thin mattress. 4. For the press; on