Summary: what am I doing to prepare the way for Jesus?
Last week we started our new message series of the Gospel of Mark. Open your Bibles there and read along with me again Mark 1:1-11….
The Gospel writer Mark was an ordinary man who was first excited about his Christianity but had early difficulties and pulled away from faith. Mark went on that first Missionary Journey but left in the middle of it. The apostle Paul rejected the idea of bringing Mark back for the Second Missionary Journey; but later on, Mark matured and became a valuable servant with the apostle. Mark, an ordinary man who once left his Christian faith, matured with the help of the church and the Holy Spirit, was called by God to write a concise story of Jesus Christ.
We noted also last week that God preserved the 4 Gospels with 2 writers who were first disciples, Matthew and John. Luke was an educated man, a physician and a historian. Mark was just an ordinary man. We can all relate to Mark, an ordinary person, and God can call each one of us to do miraculous work! What can we learn from Mark; and specifically today, what can we learn from John the Baptist as described by Mark?
Mark’s opening statement summarizes the Gospel! The Good News is….
v1: Jesus Christ who is God came to earth to save people from their sins!
Mark then provides facts to support this main truth about Jesus Christ so no one can have an excuse for not believing. No one can be saved from their sins without believing Jesus Christ as God and Savior.
And so, what is fact #1 from Mark which supports Jesus as God and Savior?
v2a: Ever since the first man and woman sinned, God has been saying to people that a Savior will come!
Fact #1: The Savior Messiah was promised by God over and over again in the Old Testament!
And then Mark continues with the most recent revelation of the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ.
Fact #2: God called John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus Christ! (v2b-8)
Let us note a few things about John the Baptist:
v2b: God called and sent John
What’s significant about this??
John the Baptist was God’s idea and again the people, especially the “religious” people, should not be surprised!
God is always at work no matter the circumstances here on earth. The people in Israel 2000 years ago were under the Roman Empire and so the people were looking for a Messiah to get them out of that secular worldly rule. The people during John the Baptist’s time were looking for a Savior in their own selfish wisdom rather than a Savior which God promised.
v3: will be in the wilderness preparing the way for Jesus
Why the wilderness and not the city??
The wilderness provided a better setting to listen. Remember that this was God’s idea; but as we prepare the way for Jesus Christ in our lives today, listen to God the Holy Spirit where and when we should share the Good News of Jesus Christ!
v4: John the Baptist obeyed!
v5: Many responded including cityfolks!
Humility and simplicity of life! Why??
v7: What was John basically saying??