Summary: Epiphany 1(B) - At Jesus’ baptism John the Baptist testifies and God the Father is the heavenly witness that Jesus is the Savior of the world.

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January 13, 2008 -


Mark 1:4-11

INTRO: John wrote in his Gospel that when the Light of the world came into the world the world did not recognize it. The world loved the darkness more than the light. This was the constant challenge that Je-sus faced his entire lifetime. Jesus came as the Light of the world but the world did not understand. Jesus taught and preached among the people, his people. Jesus performed miracles: healed the sick, calmed the storm, fed the five thousand, and raised the dead. In spite of all this Jesus still had to explain himself. Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin (temple/religious leaders) shortly before his death. At the end of his earthly ministry, the Sanhedrin still did not understand. They were the church leaders of the day. "’If you are the Christ,’ they said, ‘tell us.’ Jesus answered, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer’"(LUKE 22:67,68). Our text today takes us to testimony about Jesus as Sav-ior. We consider the theme:


The words in this section of the gospel of Mark reveal I. John’s testimony, and; II. Heavenly witness.


A. John is a main character in our verses for today, verse 4. His work was his title: John the Baptist.

1. John’s work was more than baptizing with water. He also preached a baptism of repentance.

2. This repentance of the sinner was for the forgiveness of sins provided by the Savior.

3. John’s message was the simplest: Law and Gospel. Repent, God’s kingdom is at hand.

B. This vital message was exactly what was (and still is) needed, verse 5. Great crowds came to hear.

1. The crowds kept coming, kept repenting, and John was kept busy preaching and baptizing.

2. There was nothing special about John that attracted the crowd, verse 6.

a. This was a prophet’s clothing.

b. This was food easily found in the desert region.

C. The fame from the crowds did not go to John’s head. Verse 7 the Savior to come is far greater than I.

1. John did not feel worthy enough to unlace his sandals. John pointed to the Christ, Savior.

2. John’s comfort from baptizing would be increased, verse 8. Jesus would add even more.

D. Repent means to turn or to change. It is a change of one’s mind and turning around of one’s life. No one can turn in two directions at the same time. When we turn left we cannot be turning right. It is the same with our spiritual life. When turning away from sin we turn to God. As we turn to our Lord we cannot be turning toward Satan. Peter preached early after Pentecost to the crowd. He told them how they had crucified the Savior. The crowd was shocked and wondered what they could do. "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord"(ACTS 3:19). By grace, God provides forgiveness – times of refreshing – through Jesus the Savior.

E. In order to turn away from sin we first need to acknowledge that we are sinful. Sin is a word that our society would love erase from every dictionary. Sin is still alive and well in the hearts of humanity. Sin daily reveals itself in wicked words and evil actions. Sin cannot be denied nor dismissed. BUT sin can be and is forgiven. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"(1 JOHN 1:9). By his blood, Jesus purifies us from all unrighteousness.

F. We can learn from John the Baptist. He was never ashamed to let everyone know that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior. John was very vocal in revealing to others what the Lord had revealed to him. John made sure that Jesus increased while he decreased. Here is one example. "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’"(JOHN 1:29). John gave this testimony following those asking if he were the Christ or Elijah. All the glory was given to Christ. Jesus was and still is the Lamb of God, what takes away sin. All the sacrifices of lambs in the past only pointed ahead to this time and this Lamb. Now sins were removed.


We have heard John’s testimony. Now we also have


A. Remember the crowds were great. John testified that Jesus, the Savior was far greater than he.

1. Verse 8. John looked beyond – to the very day of Pentecost. The crowds kept coming.

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