Summary: Third message in the Good News Series
Good News of Jesus Christ
I hope you’re continuing to observe your “bad news break…putting a little space between yourself and the constant bombardment of all the bad news about all the bad things that are in the world. The reason I’ve encouraged you to take this break is so that you can start this year filling your life with Good News…good news of hope, and of the possibility of good choices and a good life…good news that can fill your heart & mind…life-changing, outlook-shifting, good news.
We learned about the Good News of the Kingdom of God…it’s the euaggelion, the glad tidings that announces the victory of the King! We also discovered that the Gospel of the Kingdom is socially, economically, & politically charged! It’s socially charged in that it calls for a new social reality in which all are one and all are equal. It’s economically charged in that it calls for a new economy based on generosity, on caring, and willingly sharing. It’s politically charged in that it recognizes only one Lordship, that of Jesus Christ; obedience to Jesus, His words, His ways, and His cause must trump all other obedience and obligation.
But as much as the proclamation of that Kingdom is Good News, you and I have to willingly embrace that Kingdom. We do so initially through the process of repentance, and then water baptism in the name of our King; Jesus Christ. Yet, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we’ve also got to refuse to allow the thinking of the age to determine our worldview. We have to make a deliberate choice to live within the borders of God’s Kingdom, and stop expecting secular culture to adopt the values of a spiritual society!
Then Bro. Hughes spoke to you about the Good News of God’s Peace, and shared the euaggelion that declares God’s shalom…peace that denotes the absence of hostility and conflict. You learned that God’s Peace also declares God’s goodness…goodness that denotes the absence of evil, hatred, sickness, & death! He told you that God’s Peace announces God’s salvation…that He will deliver His people. And finally you learned that God’s Peace announces God’s Rule…that He reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! But in order for the euaggelion of God’s Peace to have any effect in your life, you’ve got to live your life in obedience & submission to King Jesus.
Now, if you’re thinking that I’ve reviewed these messages out of order, or that I’ve skipped something, you’re absolutely correct. ? But those of you where were here for the message on the Good News of Jesus Christ will remember that we didn’t actually finish examining our text; we just stopped. Today, we’re going to finish looking at The Good News of Jesus Christ.
We’re going to stand now and read our text for this message, found in Mark chapter 1, verses 1-3. It’s shown up here on the screen in the English Standard Version…why don’t you join me and let’s read this together. (Thanks!)
These first verses of Mark are incredibly significant. Mark is the shortest account of the life of Christ in the New Testament, and is kind of abrupt in tone. Mark isn’t a book of flourishes and fancy phrases; it’s spare, it’s direct, to the point, and every verse has purpose. Each item he records has significance. When reading Mark, you can’t afford to sort of graze, skipping the well-known bits to get to the really interesting stuff…which is Christians think they can do, since they’re so familiar with the story.
But if you do that with Mark, you’ll miss things that are really important for you to know. Reading Mark effectively means slowing down, and being deliberate about your examination of what he’s written. If there’s a detail, it’s an important detail. If there’s an event recorded, it matters. If a name is mentioned, well, it’s not just a mention. And if Mark quotes a passage from the Hebrew Scriptures, you need to locate the source and read it in its context…because those references in Mark are like blinking neon signs saying, “Important stuff! Read here! You need to know this!”
And that’s exactly how Mark opens his story…providing us in three, short verses with major “news items” that most of us typically rush through. And in these major news items he tells us very important things about the work of Jesus Christ.
II. Part One
If you weren’t here for the first part of this message, I encourage you to go to our website at www.therefugeattleboro.com, click on the Sunday Series tab, and listen to it. In that message you’ll hear that verse one is Mark’s way of saying,
“This is the start of the most important story of the most important Person who’s ever walked the planet! I’m declaring the glad tidings of the victory of God as Messiah, and his name is Jesus. So pay attention, because the stuff I’m about to say really, really matters if you want to understand what Jesus was about.”