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Jesus: The Man From Nowhere

(46)

Sermon shared by Tom Fuller

January 2004
Summary: Jesus springs on the scene with no pedigree, no history, and only a strange man to vouch for him. And yet people were instantly drawn to Him - why?
Series: Mark
Denomination: Calvary Chapel
Audience: General adults
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anonymous man from nowhere now has nowhere to go anonymously

1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Mark doesn’t begin with the birth of Jesus, but with the “gospel” of Jesus – His ministry, not his family. Mark writes about Jesus as the servant – no one cares where a servant comes from. His pedigree doesn’t matter. In fact, Jesus is like someone who appears out of nowhere – and yet Mark gives it the weight of prophecy:

2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet:

"I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"- 3 "a voice of one calling in the desert, ’Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’"

It kind of sets the stage for this stranger, Jesus – “one calling in the desert.” The prophecies are actually a combination from Isaiah, Malachi, and Exodus.

4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

John’s baptism was one of realization and preparation – realize you’ve got a problem with God – and its sin. Then preparation that God has a plan to deal with sin and its Jesus. John “softened up the battlefield” in a way for Jesus.

It doesn’t mean that every single person came from Judea and Jerusalem but that a cross section from the entire region came. Mark describes John’s wardrobe and diet – I know that the Atkins diet is very popular these days, but what about the John the Baptist diet – locusts and wild honey?

John’s clothing would have reminded the Israelites immediately of one man – not Isaiah, Malachi or Moses – but Elijah. In 2nd Kings he is described as a man wearing a hairy garment with a leather girdle around his loins. A strange guy, for sure, but it may explain why John was so popular – Elijah come back.

Also note – to go to John was to leave the comfortable place and travel to the wilderness, where you were going to hear an uncomfortable message. That’s the beginning of receiving the gospel – realize you’ve got to leave the comfort of your life, and go to a place where you’ll be challenged to rethink your position.

John’s message about Jesus was two fold: Someone important is coming, but I’m not He, and that this is only the first step as you encounter something beyond the physical – a complete change from the past, through the Holy Spirit.

So here Jesus comes on the scene:

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Here’s a good picture of the Trinity – the Son coming up out of the water, the Spirit descending on Him, and the Father speaking. Again, Mark doesn’t waste any space on things like the conversation John
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