The Gospel of Mark is an action book. It is full of commands of Jesus. In many situations, Jesus gave a command that was obeyed. Here are some examples.
1:17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
1:25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”
This shows the authority of Jesus over all unclean spirits. Here is the reaction of those that witnessed this.
1:27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
1:41 Moved with pity, He stretched out His hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”
This shows the authority of Jesus over leprosy, usually contagious to those who touched someone with the disease.
2:5 And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
This sparked a debate as to whether Jesus had the authority to forgive sins.
3:5 And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
I am avoiding many of the commands that Jesus gave to people because sometimes they did not obey, such as when Jesus commanded the leper not to tell anyone about what He did. Here, though, the command for the man to stretch out his hand seems intertwined with the healing. It’s as if Jesus was saying to stretch out his completely healed hand, which he did.
4:39 And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
Here is the command for the wind and sea to obey Him, which they do without protest. The disciples cannot fathom this power.
5: 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure You by God, do not torment me.” 8 For He was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.”
A host of devils cannot withstand the power of Jesus. In Matthew 8:32 it is the little word “Go” that sends them forth.
In the story of the daughter of Jairus and the woman with a flow of blood, here are the following commands.
5: 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
5:36 “Do not fear, only believe.”
5:41 Taking her by the hand He said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
Even the dead obey him.
6:31 “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”
A surprising command to rest.
6:50 “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
The command is to the disciples but the result is that the wind stops, and again the disciples are amazed.
7:29 And He said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.”
Not a command, really, but a statement of fact. It reveals His authority and knowledge at the same time.
7:34 And looking up to heaven, He sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
This is said to the man who is deaf and most likely dumb. It is another one-word command, like Go, or Arise. The power was not in flowery speeches or in right word combinations, like casting a spell. The authority is in Jesus Christ Himself.
8:33 But turning and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Another demonic rebuke, but this time to the future leader (rock) of the church.
9:25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
This was something the disciples had been empowered to do, but they could not. Jesus asserts His authority over the most entrenched of strongholds, one that had been there since childhood.
10:13 And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Let it happen. Stop stopping it from happening.
10: 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
I include this command to a person for two reasons. #1- It demonstrates the love of Jesus for this man in love with the world. #2- It demonstrates the authority of Jesus over who will receive treasure in heaven.
10:52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed Him on the way.
This is another command to a person as the authority of Jesus over ailments is demonstrated.
11:14 And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And His disciples heard it.
Now Jesus is talking to trees, and they obey.
11:20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that You cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.”
And once again the disciples are amazed. Jesus always had complete faith in His Father to do what He commanded. This will make my final point quite poignant.
12:17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him.
He commands, and they are amazed.
13:33 “Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning– 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
14:13 And He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.”
Jesus displays divine knowledge as He commands His disciples.
14:36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from Me.”
This is what I am struggling with and amazed by. Jesus makes a command to His Father, and it seems contrary to God’s will. Basically Jesus says, “You can do anything. And since You can do anything, take this away from me.” The other gospels do not word it quite this forcefully. It is in line with the commands that Jesus issues throughout the rest of Mark’s gospel. It is followed by the statement, “Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.” That doesn’t change the fact that Jesus told His Father to do something, literally commanded Him to take something away that was the Father’s will for Him to accomplish.
I think this demonstrates the sheer terror of the cross that Jesus faced humanly speaking. This was a man that flinched at nothing. Storms that could kill him, demons that overpowered everyone else, crowds wanting to stone Him, lepers that could infect Him, Jesus flinched at nothing. Until He arrives in Gethsemane.
Another point is that the power and authority that Jesus possesses flow from being in line with His Father’s will. All the other times that someone was healed or a miracle was done, it was the Father’s will. When the woman with an issue of blood was healed, Jesus seems to not know the details, as if it was done without His command. But it was the Father’s will. With this command in the garden, though, this is not in line with the Father’s will and therefore it is not done. It doesn’t stop Jesus from commanding multiple times, though.
Father! Anything is possible for you! So take it away!
I can’t get over this.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman