Summary: After introducing us to John the Baptist, Mark then moves quickly into presenting Jesus as the Servant on the Move! We see in these verses 3 snapshots of Jesus’ life up until the time that he began His public ministry in Galilee.

The Gospel of Mark #2 – “1st Impressions of the Servant”

Mark 1:2-15

Intro –

1. They say, “You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression!”

2. ILL – A convenience store manager in Allston, MA related the following story. “I’m in the store office. From the camera screens, I can see a young man shoplifting. I hit the record button, gathering evidence as he goes around the store. He is putting things into his pocket, jacket, etc…He next comes up to the back of the store, and knocks on the door to my office. I put the chain on the door before opening it. He then said, “Hi. I’m Jason. I’m here for the job interview.” What a first impression!

3. We learned last week that Mark presents Jesus as the Servant & in this passage we get our 1st glimpse or impression of who Jesus the Servant is & what He does.

4. Mark 1:2-15 (read)

5. Mark introduces his gospel with a section on the forerunner of Christ – John the Baptist. John’s story is told in all 4 gospels & his coming was predicted in Isa. 40:3 & Mal. 4:5.

6. It is important to understand what we mean when we call John the forerunner of Christ.

7. EXPLAIN – In ancient times, kings often sent people ahead of them to prepare the way for their coming. The forerunner had 2 primary duties. 1st, he was to make certain that the roads were passable. There were to be no delays when the king passed through. He was to have a clear, open route through the kingdom. 2nd, the forerunner was let the people know that the king was coming. He was to go along the route before the king came through and he was to tell the people to get ready for the king.

8. John the Baptist fulfilled both duties seen in the ancient forerunner. He prepared people to receive Christ by preaching repentance from sin & faith toward God & he pointed clearly to the fact that Jesus was in fact the Messiah.

9. John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

10. Application – Jesus is coming soon! Like John we are to be the forerunners who are preparing the way of the Lord & proclaiming the truth of His soon return!

11. After introducing us to John the Baptist, Mark then moves quickly into presenting Jesus as the Servant on the Move!

12. We see in these verses 3 snapshots of Jesus’ life up until the time that he began His public ministry in Galilee.

I. The Baptism of the Servant – Vs. 2-11

There is some confusion about baptism today. Baptism has always been closely associated with identifying with a religion or a person’s teachings, etc…

*Explain – During this time, baptism was practiced by many religious sects. In fact, when a Gentile converted to Judaism, one of his first acts of conversion was being baptized to identify the fact that he was now following the God of the Jews.

*Even in Christian baptism, we are identifying with the death, burial & resurrection of Christ & publicly stating that we want to be His disciple!

Who did Jesus identify with in His baptism?

A. He identified with John the Baptist – vs. 9 “was baptized by John”

1. John’s baptism identified the fact that people were repenting of their sins to prepare themselves for the coming of the Messiah.

2. Jesus had no need to repent, because He was sinless. **This is one of the reasons I do not believe that baptism is a means of salvation or forgiveness of sins.**

3. However, Jesus was willing to submit himself to John’s baptism because He wanted to identify & affirm the fact that John was indeed the promised forerunner of Isa. 40:3 & Mal. 3:1.

4. This was a necessary step in Jesus fulfilling his role as the Messiah (Matt. 3:13-15).

B. He identified with Sinful Humanity

1. When Jesus was baptized with sinners, He was identifying Himself with sinful Israel & in a greater sense the entire human race.

2. Jesus was going to bear the sins of every person so that His righteousness could be given to them.

3. 2 Cor. 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

4. ILL – A battalion of soldiers was ordered to the rifle range immediately following a severe rain storm. There, lying in the mud they shot round after round. One soldier particularly was angry about the situation, so he reached back in anger for shells from the soldier behind him. He stated that, “resentment rammed every shell into the chamber & hate squeezed the trigger.” Then, as he reached back for another round, he caught the face of the other soldier – it was his commander! Flat in the mud & passing shells, the commander was at one with his men. “From that time on,” the soldier said, “I was ready to follow that man, even to death.”

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