Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The Gospel of Mark is a biography of a Person who lived according to God’s New Testament economy. In order to understand this biography, we need to realize that every event recorded in it is meaningful. We thank the Lord that the remainder of the New Testament, especially the Epistles of Paul, helps us to interpret the details of the Lord’s biography in Mark. The messages given in the Life-studies of Paul’s Epistles will also help us understand the significance of the Gospel of Mark as a biography of a life fully according to and for God’s New Testament economy.
In a previous message we pointed out that in chapter eight of Mark we have a revelation of Christ, His death, and His resurrection. The Epistles of Paul also emphasize Christ with His death and resurrection. In fact, one verse, Philippians 3:10, covers all three: “To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Here we see Christ the Person and also His death and resurrection.
In recent messages we have covered the first four chapters of Mark’s Gospel. We have seen that when the Lord Jesus was baptized, the Spirit of God descended upon Him. From that time onward, as recorded in chapters one and two, the Lord Jesus lived a life of preaching the gospel, teaching the truth, casting out demons, healing the sick, and cleansing the lepers. He brought forgiveness to people, and He also brought them into the enjoyment of Himself as righteousness outwardly and life inwardly. In addition, He brought them into His satisfaction and into liberation. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus lived in a way to be one with God, to bind God’s enemy, and to deny the natural relationship and remain in the relationship of the spiritual life.
In chapter four the Lord reveals the significance of His living in the three foregoing chapters. The significance of the Lord’s living is that He is the Sower sowing Himself as a seed into people. The Lord sowed Himself into those who were touched by Him. By His sowing Himself as a seed into others, a kingdom was brought into existence. This kingdom will grow, develop, and ripen into a harvest.
In chapters one through three of the Gospel of Mark there are four cases of healing: the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law, who was sick with a fever (1:30-31); the cleansing of the leper (1:40-45); the healing of the paralytic who was carried to the Lord (2:1-12); and the healing of the man with a withered hand (3:1-6). These four cases describe our spiritual condition before we were saved. We were those who were sick of a fever, those whose “temperature” was abnormally high. Today every fallen human being is sick with a fever. Before we were saved, we also were lepers; we were unclean, defiled, and contaminated to the uttermost. Furthermore, as unsaved persons, we were paralytics. With respect to God, we were altogether paralyzed. Because we were absolutely paralyzed, we were not able to do anything for God. As paralyzed ones, we could not walk. We also were those with a withered hand. Therefore, we were sick with a fever, we were contaminated lepers, we were paralytics unable to walk, and we were those with a withered hand, unable to work. Although these are separate cases in the Gospel of Mark, spiritually speaking, they describe the condition of every human being. Thus, these cases portray the situation of a particular person.
Have you ever realized that in the Gospel of Mark there is one who is our representative? The one who represents us is Peter. According to the record in Mark, Peter was the first to be called by the Lord. After he was called, he was always taking the lead. He even took the lead to deny the Lord Jesus. We may even say that, in a sense, Peter was crucified before the Lord Jesus was. Then after the Lord’s resurrection Peter’s name was mentioned by the angel: “But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you into Galilee” (16:7).
Because in the Gospel of Mark Peter is our representative, all the cases described in this book may be taken as an aggregate and given the name of Peter. It is significant that the first case of healing in this Gospel was the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. In a spiritual sense, all the cases in this book are related to Peter. This means that Peter was sick of a fever and that Peter was the blind Bartimaeus at the gate of Jericho. Peter needed to be healed of his fever and of his blindness.
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