Mark 1 – Who Is Yeshua?

The Book of Mark may be the earliest written account of Messiah’s life and ministry. It was likely composed before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

Mark was not one of the 12 apostles, but he was an early Messianic Jewish leader who was closely associated with the Lord’s representatives. When Peter was in prison and about to be executed, people gathered to pray in the home of John, who was also called Mark. Mark was a cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10). Not only was Mark related to the great Barnabas, who is given the title of “apostle,” but he is closely associated with two of the greatest of the Lord’s representatives. He was a companion of Peter (1 Peter 5:13), who refers to him as “his son.” Mark was also a companion of Paul and accompanied him on his first missionary journey. Mark left that journey before it was over, which led to a falling out between Paul and Mark; but the two were later reconciled (Ryrie).

Mark was an important Messianic Jewish leader who was very familiar with the main people involved with Messiah’s life and ministry. And that’s what Mark’s book is about – Messiah’s life and ministry. Who is Yeshua? Why is He so important? How does who He is affect me? Who is Yeshua to me? How should I respond to Him in light of who He is? These are the questions that we must ask, and answer, as we read the divinely inspired Book of Mark.

The beginning of the good news about Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way” – “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’” And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Who is Yeshua? A man. The Messiah, the ultimate prophet, priest, king and savior – the prophet who speaks for God, the priest who brings human beings to God and brings God to human beings; the ultimate king who rules for God; the savior from our greatest enemies – Satan and the demons; sin; the sin nature; and death.

Who is Yeshua? The Son of God. Fully divine. Equal to God the Father in nature; distinct from the Father as a Person; subject to the authority of the Father.

Who is Yeshua? The main focus of the many prophecies of the Tenach, including the predictions from Isaiah and Malachi that God the Father would send a messenger, a forerunner, to prepare the Chosen People for the coming of the Lord. This advance man was John the Baptist, himself a great prophet, himself fulfilling the prophecy about being a voice in the wilderness.

Who is Yeshua? The Lord. Adonai. Divine. Fully God in nature; yet a man born into this world.

Who is Yeshua? The One worthy of having a great prophet prepare the Chosen People for His arrival.

How did the forerunner prepare the Jewish people for His arrival? He demanded that we prepare ourselves for the immanent arrival of the Messiah; that we repent – that wherever we had wandered from God, we turn back to God; that we turn back to the Word of God; that we demonstrate our spiritual renewal by being immersed in water; if we did, our sins would be forgiven. We would be ready for the soon coming of the Lord in the person of the Messiah, the divine Son of God.

And there was a tremendous response to this voice in the wilderness: The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to Him. John may have been a voice in the wilderness, but it was a wilderness strategically close to the center of world Jewry – Jerusalem and Judea. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 

Mark gives us more information about the forerunner and his message: John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. John was an ascetic. He purposely denied the comforts of the world in order to concentrate on serving God.

And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” One who is greater than me will arrive very soon. He is so much greater than me that I’m not fit to touch His sandals. I can immerse those who want to return to God with water. He can surround human beings with the very presence of God Himself.

Who is Yeshua? Someone far greater than John, the greatest of the prophets. Holier than the most holy man. The One who can bring human beings very close to the presence of God, so close that the presence of God is enveloping them, like a man immersed in water.

And the prophecy of the forerunner, that the Messiah would arrive soon, quickly took place. At that time Yeshua came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Yeshua was coming up out of the water, he (John) saw Heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove – a symbol of peace, purity, sacrifice and grace, since a dove could be used by the poorest as a sacrifice. And a voice came from Heaven: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.”

Who is Yeshua? A human being but also the divine Son of God, inferior to the Father in position and in authority but equal to God the Father in nature; separate and distinct from the Father as a Person. He is the Son of God whom God the Father treasures and is very pleased with because of His excellent nature and excellent life.

And Yeshua is the unique recipient of the Holy Spirit, anointed and filled and empowered by the Spirit unlike any other human being who has ever lived or who ever will live.


And He is the recipient of a heavenly proclamation of recognition and approval from God the Father – something which is exceedingly rare and precious and significant.

Who is Yeshua? The Son of God and a perfect man who is full the Spirit of God, and full of peace, innocence, and grace, and who by His sacrifice, can bring us peace, holiness and atonement and eternal life.

Who is Yeshua to me? Someone who can enable me to become like Him – a son or daughter of God, a child whom the Father treasures, with whom He is well pleased. Someone who can send the Holy Spirit to anoint me and empower me to live a successful, God-honoring life.

And since Yeshua was baptized – not because He needed to demonstrate that He had repented of His sins, because He never sinned, but rather was baptized to identify with the Jewish people and to demonstrate that He was committed to serving God – we should follow His example and be baptized as soon as we are old enough to understand that Yeshua is the Messiah and make a commitment to obey Him and His Father.

At once the Spirit sent Him out into the wilderness, and He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended Him.

Who is the Spirit? He is the Spirit of Yeshua; and the Spirit of God the Father. He is the Spirit whom the Father and Son share. He is a Divine Person like the Father and the Son, but without a body. A Person, not an impersonal force, since an impersonal force couldn’t send the Son of God to a specific place.

Who is Yeshua? A man who was continually sensitive to the leading of the Spirit. A man who was constantly guided by the Spirit. A courageous man who was willing to be alone in a dangerous wilderness because the Spirit sent Him there. A man who, unlike every other human being who has ever lived, was able to withstand all the temptations of the Satanic Adversary – who is a real, fallen angel and the leader of the fallen angels. A man whom the angelic messengers cared for.

Who is Yeshua to me? Someone who can help me in my times in the wilderness, my times of loneliness and danger. Someone who can give me courage in my times in the wilderness. One who can help me withstand my temptations. Someone who can direct the angels to care for me.

After John was put in prison, Yeshua went into Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God. “The time has come,” He said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Who is Yeshua? The Most Important Person with the Most Important Message. Someone who takes the initiative with that good news and brings it to others, starting with the Jewish people first.

Who is Yeshua to me? Someone who wants me to take the initiative and bring the Good News to others – like He did.

What was the Good News He proclaimed? God the Father has a good kingdom over which He rules, and this kingdom was more present than ever in this fallen world. It was penetrating the dark kingdom of this world in the Person of King Yeshua, the Son of the High King of Heaven. The Chosen People needed to believe this and turn from any sins and turn back to God in any area in which they had strayed.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who is on a great rescue mission and looking for men and women who will follow Him and help Him bring the Good News to others. As Yeshua walked beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow Me,” Yeshua said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther, He saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who is still calling people to come and follow Him; to know who He is and do what He wants done – especially by proclaiming the Good News and helping people become part of the kingdom of God.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who demands our devotion more than work or career or family. Like Simon and Andrew, James and John, we need to drop everything and give Him that kind of loyalty.

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Yeshua went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at His teaching, because He taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the Torah.

Who is Yeshua? A deeply religious Jewish man who lived under the Sinai Covenant and followed all of God’s laws, including observing the Sabbath; who regularly went to synagogue as part of the community of God’s people, to worship God and hear the Word of God being read and taught; and to teach it Himself – with authority coming from Himself – not needing to get His authority by quoting other authoritative teachers.

Who is Yeshua? Israel’s Supreme Teacher; our greatest Rabbi, more authoritative than Moses or any of the prophets or any rabbi or sage.

Who is Yeshua to me? Someone whose teaching I should know and respect and implement – more than the teaching of any other human being who has every taught anything.

While He was teaching in the synagogue, Yeshua was interrupted by an amazing confrontation. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do You want with us, Yeshua of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Yeshua sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching – and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey Him.” News about Him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

Who is Yeshua? God’s Holy One. Someone whom God sent who is absolutely unique, special and pure. Someone who doesn’t need the dark forces testifying on His behalf. Someone who is greater than the fallen angels. Someone who can destroy them and eventually will destroy them. Someone with great spiritual authority. Someone who can command a fallen angel to stop possessing a human being.

Who is Yeshua to me? Someone who can free me, and all of humanity, from the control of the fallen angels, and free us from the doom we share with them. Buddha, Mohamed, Marx, Freud or Einstein or anyone else can’t free us from their dark power or their destiny of destruction; only Yeshua can!

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Yeshua about her. So He went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who is concerned about the relatives of His followers. Someone who, when we tell Him about the needs of those we care about, responds and helps. Someone whom God empowers to miraculously heal the sick – and that’s good, because all of humanity is sick and needs to be healed – and Yeshua will do that one day to all those who become loyal to Him. He will heal us with a perfect healing. And, when He does heal us, we should be like Simon’s mother-in-law, and wait on Messiah and His disciples, and serve them with renewed strength.

That evening after sunset (which made it the end of the Sabbath) the people brought to Yeshua all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Yeshua healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but He would not let the demons speak because they knew who He was.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who was quickly becoming popular among the Jewish people, especially since there hadn’t been a miracle-working prophet among the Jewish people for centuries, and here was the young carpenter-turned-rabbi doing many miracles, and that made a tremendous impact on us.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who is greater than the fallen angels and can free us spiritually from the control of the demons and heal us physically from our diseases.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who didn’t want any relationship with the demons, including them testifying about who He is.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Yeshua got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for Him, and when they found Him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for You!” Yeshua replied, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

Who is Yeshua? Someone who would get up very early and seek a place of solitude so He could talk to His Father. And, if the Son of God made special efforts to commune with God through solitude and prayer, do you think maybe you should too?

Who is Yeshua? Someone who didn’t need popularity, who didn’t want to build a big crowd in one place, because He understood who He was and His mission to bring the Good News, along with His miraculous healing abilities to the other cities throughout the land of Israel.

So He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. A man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him on his knees, “If you are willing, You can make me clean.”

Yeshua was indignant. He reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. Yeshua sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to Him from everywhere.

Who is Yeshua? A holy man who was willing to heal a leper. A holy man who was willing to touch a leper, comforting a lonely man by that human touch. A man who was not made unholy by touching a leper, but helped the leper become holy.

Who is Yeshua? Someone whom God used to heal the horrible disease of leprosy, which ravaged the body, isolated the individual from the community, limited his ability to earn a livelihood, and prevented him from worshiping at the synagogue or temple. Yeshua is the healer of lepers, and humanity is a spiritual leper, sick, diseased, decaying, unclean, impoverished, far from God – and Yeshua alone is willing and capable of touching us and healing us.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who knew the Torah, and was committed to the Torah, and knew that it contained laws about the healing of lepers, and instructed the leper who had been healed not tell others about this miraculous miracle, but follow those laws and go to the Temple in Jerusalem and offer the appropriate sacrifices – which would be a tremendous testimony to the priests and leaders of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Who is Yeshua? Someone who can be disobeyed by those He heals, which dishonors Him and causes problems for Him. Messiah has healed millions of spiritual lepers over the centuries, and lamentably, instead of obeying Him out of gratitude, some have disobeyed Him and dishonored Him and complicated things for Him. Make sure you are not one of those.

Who is Yeshua? A lot! Who is Yeshua to you? He had better be a lot!