Summary: The sermon seeks to emphasize how Jesus was humbly obedient even to the point of death on a cross.
BEYOND THE WATERS OF BAPTISM
Text: Mark 1:9 -15
Mark 1:9-15 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. (10) And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. (11) And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." (12) And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. (13) He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. (14) Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, (15) and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."
Pastor David Kalas shares an interesting insight that helps us grasp the text for today. He talks about it in terms of alarms.
An earlier generation really only knew of two alarms. First, there was the alarm clock by the side of the bed that you used to awaken yourself at the proper time in the morning. Second, there was a timer on the oven in the kitchen that would sound an alarm to indicate that the cooking time was completed. Now, however, we have alarms to notify and remind us of all kinds of things. https://www.sermonsuite.com/emphasis-preaching-journal/other-side How many of you like alarms?
Do you jump for joy when your alarm goes off in the morning? My wife does with the five alarms I set on my I-Phone that go off every morning. What about if the security alarm on your house goes off? Have you ever gotten annoyed with the super sensitivity of the fire alarm near your stove that you took the battery out? We need those alarms. They warn us of impending danger in most cases.
The fifteenth verse could be taken as an alarm clock warning when it says “the time is fulfilled and the kingdom has come near, repent, and believe in the good news”(NRSV).
We see God’s confirmation of Jesus followed by His testing in the wilderness which can give us confidence in our faith journey. Is there contradiction here? If God is well pleased with Jesus His only begotten Son and He is, then why would God allow Him to be driven in to the wilderness for forty days and nights where He would be tempted?
Why does God confirm Jesus? God is pleased with Jesus because of how His ministry for the last, the least and the lost was about to unfold.
1) Calling the cavalry: In the old days when it was when it was crucial where a battle could be won of lost they called the cavalry. The phrase [calling the cavalry] refers to literal cavalry, who were soldiers fighting on horseback in years gone by. Cavalry were a decisive element of battles up until the 20th century, and a single unit of cavalry could change the course of a battle in mere minutes if used at an opportune moment. https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-meaning-of-Its-like-calling-in-the-cavalry It was indeed an opportune moment when Jesus came as it says in Galatians 4:4 that Jesus came to us in the fullness of time. Jesus was far better than the cavalry because He is the only one who can save our souls for eternity!
2) Stooping: The Apostle Paul reminds us of Jesus’s humility in Philippians. Philippians 2:6 [Jesus] who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name (NRSV).
3) The lamb and the lion: Only Jesus can be the lamb of God who takes away our sins (John1:29). The lamb became a a lion---the lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5). “Jesus Christ is pictured as both a Lion (symbolizing his authority and power) and a Lamb (symbolizing his submission to God's will)”. (Life Application Study Bible Notes). God confirms Jesus Christ as His Son in whom He is “well pleased” because of His absolute obedience. There is no other Name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
Did Jesus hold back on His abilities? There are two times in the Gospel of John where Jesus explains how He did nothing of Himself.
1) John 5:19 -20: Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20 The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.