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Summary: The word "gospel" means "good news." Have you heard the good news about Jesus?

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HAVE YOU HEARD THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS?

Text: Mark 1:1 – 15

Introduction:

•We all like to get good news

•“It’s a boy!” “You’ve just won $1 million in the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes!” “I just saved a bundle of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO!”

•Gospel = “good news”

•Originally meant any good news, but came to mean the story of Christ’s ministry and sacrifice

•Have you heard the good news about Jesus?

I. The good news is that Jesus is the Son of God.

•Mark mentions four witnesses to the identity of Christ:

A. His name (v. 1)

•Jesus – personal name that was common among the Jews; means “the salvation of Jehovah” (Matthew 1:21 – “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”)

•Christ – official title, Greek equivalent of Messiah, literally means “the anointed one” (Matthew 16:16 – “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”)

B. His Word (vv. 2, 3)

Isaiah 40:3 – “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (LORD = Jehovah)

Malachi 3:1 – “Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:” (God speaking)

C. His forerunner (vv. 4 – 8)

•John drew crowds; looked and sounded like Elijah

Malachi 4:5 – “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:”

•Looking for a political Messiah (even John)

•Jesus said that “among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11)

•John’s statement of Christ’s superiority (v. 7)

•John pointed others to Christ…are you?

D. His Father (v. 11)

II. The good news is that Jesus identifies with sinners.

A. By His hometown (v. 9)

•Not from Jerusalem, city of religious elite and political importance

•He was from Nazareth, a little town, not even mentioned in OT

•Roman army garrison there; known for immorality and violence

•Philip tells Nathaniel that they have found the Messiah – Jesus of Nazareth

•Nathaniel – “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”

B. By His baptism (v. 9)

•John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance (v. 4)

•By being baptized, the people were making a public statement that they were turning from their old life of disobedience and turning to their new life of obedience to God

•Jesus had not sinned, but He was a man, and He did everything that God expected a man to do

•His baptism was a public declaration that He was going to forsake His life in Nazareth and devote Himself to the purposes of God

C. By His temptation (vv. 12, 13)

•Matthew and Luke record three specific temptations that Christ faced

•Mark suggests that it was a continuous battle

•Christ had just identified Himself with the people that He had come to serve and to save, and Satan was trying to get Him to disobey God and sabotage His mission

Hebrews 4:15 – “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

•It is good to know that Christ understands how we feel when we are tempted

III. The good news is that Jesus has victory over Satan.

A. Through obedience (vv. 11, 12)

•God was well pleased because His Son had chosen to obey His will

•Jesus obeyed the Spirit’s leadership into the wilderness

•Why wilderness? Demons were thought to be attracted to bathhouses, graveyards, and deserts; Jesus was taking on Satan on his own turf

•The first step in victory over Satan is obedience to God

James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

B. Through perseverance (v. 13)

•Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus fasted for the forty days.

•Physically weak.

•Harsh conditions. Hot, dry, rugged, infested with wild animals (leopards, bears, jackals, wild boars)

•Alone.

•Did not give up.

•Like Christ we should never give up when battling Satan and his demons.

Ephesians 6:10, 11, 13 – “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

C. Through divine assistance (v. 13)

•The Father knew exactly what Christ was capable of when the Spirit sent Him into the wilderness.

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