The book of Mark, thought to be the oldest of the Gospels, is a book of dynamic action! The word “immediately” or its equivalent is used 41 times in these 16 chapters, and is generally associated with Jesus the Savior.
At His birth, Mary’s Son was named Jesus (Savior), a name supernaturally given to Joseph in a dream predicting that He would save His people from their sins.
In his first few chapters, Mark clearly teaches that Jesus the Savior provides salvation (deliverance) from demons (1:23-26, 29; 5:1-20), sickness (1:29-34, 40-45), sin (2:5), legalism (2:23-28), barrenness (4:1-9), danger (4:35-41; 6:45-52) and death (5:21-43).
The psalmist wrote, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1, NKJV). We need light, because we are blinded to our sinful condition as well as God’s wonderful remedy for it. Jesus reveals Himself as our salvation; for those fearful that they could never live the Christian life, He also reveals Himself as the strength of our lives.
Rather than being a warm, cozy feeling, our salvation is a person—Jesus Christ.
When Joseph and Mary took baby Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord, a devout elderly Jew, Simeon, held the baby in his arms and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:29-30). The salvation lying in Simeon’s arms now lives in our hearts!
John Wesley said of baby Jesus, “He was God contracted to a span.” This little 18-inch-long, dark-haired, dark-eyed baby was God in flesh. He had made the ground His mother walked upon, the water she drank, and the air she breathed. Rather than coming to Earth to simply masquerade as a man, He became a specific identifiable human being with a name, rank and serial number.
Today Jesus the Savior still seeks to save the lost. This One Who is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8) is still able, willing, ready and anxious to meet the needs of all who come to Him. As surely as He delivered those referenced in Mark 1-7 who were troubled by demonic powers, sickness, sin, religious legalism, barrenness, danger and fear of death, our Savior does the same today.
In agreement with the hymn writer we say, “Hallelujah, what a Savior!”
By: Harold Helms, pastor, educator, and church administrator for over 50 years. He was senior pastor of the historic Angelus Temple in Los Angeles for 18 years; served on the International Board of The Foursquare Church; served as vice president for 13 years; and served as interim president for one year. He continues to minister out of Bakersfield, Calif., where he and his wife, Winona, now live.
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