Summary: Beginning today we are going to engage Christ’s intent for bringing change… fundamental change to life… as it unfolds in the Gospel of Mark.

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This morning beginning a series that the pastoral team has been wanting to take up for well

over a year… and together we felt that this was the right time.

Series in which we focus on the dynamic sense of breakthrough that Christ has ushered into

our world… and wants for our lives.

Beginning today… through Easter… we are going to engage Christ’s intent for bringing

change… fundamental change to life… as it unfolds in the Gospel of Mark.

• For some this may be an opportunity to return to that radical dynamic that you first

realized Christ brought to bear upon life

• For others… perhaps a first chance to capture the significance of what Christ has brought

to bear in the grand drama of life… and can bring to bear upon your life.

For those less familiar…

The Gospel of Mark is believed by most scholars to be the first written account of Christ’s

life… and the shortest of the four Gospels.

It was probably written sometime in the fifties or early sixties of the first century… relatively

soon after the death and resurrection of Christ… especially when we remember that this point of

history was more oral than written… and authority was initially not a matter of what was

written… but what was witnessed. And so even before being written… this good news bore

the authority of it’s witness… Mark.

It was written by a young man named John Mark, who appears several times in our Scriptures.

His mother was named Mary, and was a rather wealthy woman who had a big house in

Jerusalem. In the twelfth chapter of Acts we are told that the early disciples held a large church

prayer meeting in her house for Peter when he was put in prison. When Peter in miraculously

released he went straight to Mark and Mary’s house because he knew that the other disciples were

gathered there! Some people think this may have even been the house that had the upper room in

it. So as a young man he likely had seen the life of Christ first hand.

After Jesus left this earth, the church in Jerusalem began to grow. Peter was an important

leader. He probably took Mark under his wing and trained and mentored him so that he knew

and understood everything about Jesus. Later he is referred to as an associate of the Apostle

Peter, who speaks very affectionately of this young man -- calls him "Mark, my son" in his first

letter {cf, 1 Pet 5:13}. As such it reflects much of Peter’s memories and experiences with Jesus.

We know that young John Mark was taken by Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary

journey, traveling with them to the island of Cyprus. What good would Mark be on this trip? Acts

13:5 says they had John Mark to assist them. The word used there is the same as the word in Luke

1:2 where Luke says he depended on eyewitnesses and servants of the word. These servants of

the word were people in the early church who were recognized as authorities about Jesus.

They knew stories of Jesus, where he went, what he did, what he said. So if you wanted to know

something about Jesus, ask an eyewitness or a servant of the word. So, Mark went along as one of

these servants of the word, a person who had been trained and who knew the life and traditions

about Jesus.


> This is the real deal… written by the one who was there when Jesus walked… and who

also had the direct experience of the two greatest leaders… Peter and Paul… to draw from.

And what does he proclaim?

This morning… the opening portion …

Mark 1:1-13 (NIV)

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


It is written in Isaiah the prophet:

"I will send my messenger ahead of you,

who will prepare your way"--


"a voice of one calling in the desert,

’Prepare the way for the Lord,

make straight paths for him.’ "


And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance

for the forgiveness of sins. 5The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem

went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.


John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate

locusts and wild honey. 7And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful

than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I baptize

you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."


At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the

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