Mark Chapter 1 Commentary

The place of the Holy Spirit in our lives

‘And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal straps I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ – Mark 1:7,8.

I want you to imagine yourself standing at the baptismal service of John the Baptist at the River Jordan. Picture yourself – along with many others – listening to the fiery preaching of one of the greatest prophets sent by God, and feeling the impact of those words as they hit your heart with strong conviction. Right behind you is a group of religious leaders making their way to listen to John and be baptized by him. What would your reaction or thoughts be? Would you believe his words? Would you ask questions from him?

You’ve been going to the synagogue and even the temple for some years now but you probably never heard of the Holy Spirit from the mouth of the religious leaders who teach in the temple and synagogues – until John first mentions it. He also goes a step further and talks about a mystery-man who will baptize people with the Holy Spirit as he was doing with water. I’m thinking aloud in my heart, ‘what would I have done if I were in that baptism service’?

The Power of the Highest

‘And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you…” – Luke 1:35.

We don’t know if Mary, Jesus’ mom, ever went to be baptized by John the Baptist. But we do know that she was the first person to know about the existence of the Holy Spirit many years before John mentions Him to the public. She had received a divine visitation from an angel sent by God who unfolds to her God’s divine for her life, and when she asked the angel how this ‘strange’ plan was going to be actualized, the angel tells her it’s going to be by the Holy Spirit, whom he also describes as God’s highest power.

I am of the opinion that if Mary had been at John’s baptismal service when he preached about the Holy Spirit, she would have laughed quietly to herself because she had a firsthand encounter with the Holy Spirit many years back. Someone with an experience understands more than someone with an explanation! Like Mary’s encounter was supposed to teach us, we need to realize that the Spirit of God is the highest spiritual power in the universe! Jesus couldn’t come to the earth without Him, neither could He fulfil His ministry without Him.

Every single thing Jesus did on earth – from the healing of the sick to His death on the cross – was by the Holy Spirit (See Luke 3:21-23; Hebrews 9:14). Jesus, who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit – spoke much about the Him and His ministry in our lives (See John 14:16-26; 16:7-15). Paul, the Lord’s apostle to the gentiles, also spoke about the Holy Spirit (See Romans 8). Peter, the chief of the apostles talked about and also demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:14-41). James also spoke about Him (James 4:5), as well as many others in the Bible, including Moses – who shows us that the Holy Spirit had been from the beginning! (See Genesis 1:2).

The cost of ignoring the Holy Spirit

‘Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.’ – Romans 8:9.

The Spirit is God is eternal and is still with us today. Sadly, many of God’s people focus on other things but the blessed Holy Spirit. It’s really hard for me to understand how anyone could get along well in this broken world without Him. Jesus calls Him the Comforter because He makes our lives easier. When the Holy Spirit is in your life, you will be free from drug addictions, pornography, alcoholism, and many other vices the devil uses to destroy destinies and lives. He, being the power of the Highest, will empower you to do stuff that the unbelievers could never do. He will teach you how to maximize your potentials and live a fulfilled life!

Those who ignore the Holy Spirit rob themselves of their full inheritance in God. They live in denial of God’s supernatural power. They deny themselves the opportunity to experience God’s wonderful presence like the early church did! No life can truly blossom without Him, the same way as no church or ministry can please God without Him.

In the Old Testament book of Esther, we are introduced to a man called Hegai. Literally, he was king Ahasuerus’ eunuch but he is a type of the Holy Spirit. The king was about to choose a new queen from among thousands of beautiful virgin women, each one trying in her natural ability to please the king and win his heart. King Ahasuerus’ search for a queen ends right at the very moment he set his eyes on Esther! Here’s the reason why:

‘She requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her. The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins., so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.’ – Esther 2:15-17.

Here’s my point: The Holy Spirit is the key to God’s full blessings upon our lives!

The life-giver

‘But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.’ – Romans 8:11.

The Holy Spirit breathes fresh life and power anywhere He is present. If you make room for Him in your life, He will not only revitalize your body, but will also do amazing things with you and show you glimpses of heaven!

If you’re scientifically minded, you might find what I’m about to share hard to believe but it’s the truth. When the pandemic called Covid-19 first broke out causing a lockdown in many nations of the world, I was praying and meditating one evening when the Lord spoke to my heart and told me not to entertain any fear for the virus outbreak, but to always pray in the Spirit and He in turn will strengthen my immune system. He said that is one of the things He meant in Romans 8:11 when He said the Spirit would give life to, or revitalize, our mortal bodies!

Cultivating intimacy with the Holy Spirit

‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.’ – 2 Corinthians 13:14.

God’s greatest gift to the world is Jesus, and Jesus’ greatest gift to His church is the Holy Spirit (See Acts 2:38). Even though many people do not recognize His invitations, but daily He extends His hands and invites us into an intimate fellowship with Him. Spending quality time with the Holy Spirit in prayer and meditation in God’s word – whether as a group or as an individual – is the secret of supernatural exploits! Those who cultivate intimacy with Him would always be steps ahead of those who don’t.

You see, the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person with affection and not some magical or cosmic force floating in space. He desires intimacy, He wants your friendship, He wants your attention, He wants to feel loved by you, but He’s often saddened when people ignore Him because they end up losing out on the blessings and gifts He has for them.

The highest power in the universe has been given to God’s people, but the question is this: What are you going to do with Him? Will you ignore Him and keep on living your life on the natural plane where there are untold sufferings and hardships? Or will you run into His embrace and allow Him to take control of your days? Will you yield yourself to Him so He can bestow His supernatural gifts on you? Will you resolve today to seek Him always and make Him your friend?

Commit to communion with the Holy Spirit

I encourage you to commit yourself to having times of personal fellowship with the Holy Spirit. While you might not experience His presence or His supernatural touch immediately, it’s just a matter of time – maybe a few weeks as it was for me when I first started spending time alone with Him. There are so many blessings He has for all His people, but only the few who make conscious effort to seek Him ever walk in those blessings.

May you receive fresh grace from heaven that will enable to walk in the Spirit and yield when He calls. Amen!

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