Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hymn Lyrics Based on Mark 1:16-39

This passage from Mark 1:16-39 is all about the authority of Jesus. Who is this who commands men to follow him, and immediately they leave their families and jobs to follow him wherever he leads? Who is this who teaches with such authority, not citing others, but speaking, ex cathedra, if you will? Who is this that commands the unseen world of angels and demons? Who is this who heals all sickness immediately and completely with no recovery time? This is the question the text forces us to consider.

The hymn begins with the authority exercised by the Lord in creation. Psalm 33 says that the Lord "spoke and it came to be." Verses 1-3 together show that Jesus is the Lord of the Old Testament who has come to us. The word rending in verse 3 is an allusion to Mark 1:10, where the heavens were said to be torn open at Jesus' baptism. Mark 1:10, in turn, is an allusion to Isaiah 64:1, the fulfillment of the words: "Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down." The good news of the gospel is that God has done just that, and heaven is now accessible to us if we come to the Son the Father sent for our salvation.

The last verse points to the priority of preaching and teaching in Jesus' ministry. It appears that the disciples, who are significantly at this point called "Simon and those who were with him," were the first charismatics! They wanted Jesus to stay and set up shop in Capernaum to continue his healing ministry. But Jesus' miracles were secondary to his preaching, which is why he came. Jesus' miracles authenticated his identity and pointed to the arrival of the kingdom. But the King must be heard and obeyed. No one can enter his kingdom apart from the proper response to his preaching, and that right response is repentance and faith on a continuing basis.

Click on the tune name to sing the hymn and the text to read the passage.

The Lord Commanded and It Came to Be

To the tune: ELLERS. Based on Mark 1:16-39. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
The Lord commanded and it came to be,
making the world by His authority.
He speaks the word and all things must obey,
great things and small things own His mighty sway.

v. 2
Jesus the Lord did come to Galilee,
showing the people His authority.
Calling disciples by His mighty word,
casting out demons, sickness Jesus cured.

v. 3
Who is this man who all things must obey,
His will done promptly, never a delay?
This is the Lord who came to be with us,
rending the heavens, coming near to us.

v. 4
Preaching the purpose of His ministry,
healings the signs of His authority.
Who are the wise who listen to His Word,
hearing, obeying, He who is the Lord?

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