Summary: Jesus gives us an example of what it looks like to be prepared for the ministry. Series on Mark
In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver. He jumped from a plane alone with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute. It wasn’t until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute.
Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun. But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless hast and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on. Faith in anything but an all-sufficient God can be jus a tragic spiritually. Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the dangerous excitement of life.
Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, from Leadership Journal 1993
For us to be effective in our ministry, we need to prepare ourselves.
John 13:13-17 (quickview)  “Do you know what I have done to you? 13You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
What do we do to prepare for ministry as Jesus taught us?
I. WE GIVE OUR LIVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS v. 9
A. Why did Jesus need to be baptized? Even John tried to talk Him out of it. But Jesus answered, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Matt. 3:15
B. He showed us:
1. COST: He came out of Nazareth, a place where He lived for 30 years. He left the comfort and safety of home to be obedient to the Father.
2. CAUSE: The Bible says a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. The baptism that Jesus submitted to was “a self dedication of self identification with sinners that would take Him to the cross.”
3. CLEANSING: Greek word here is to be completely wet. One of the significance of baptism is related to the ceremonial cleansing of the Bible. Jesus is our High Priest. When a person was initiated into a higher state: e.g., when Aaron and his sons were set apart to the priest’s office, they were washed with water previous to their investiture with the priestly robes (Lev. 8:6).
C. In our preparation to be used of God we need to:
1. Seek God and His will and not our comfort. Be willing to pay the cost of following Jesus.
2. Dedicate our live to others!
3. Allow the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit not only to cleanse us but to convict us to live a clean life!