Summary: To stress that we are to be God’s messengers today.
The Gospel of Mark #1
Preparing the Way of the Lord
Text: Mark 1:1-8
Thesis: To stress that we are to be God’s messengers today.
(1) The gospel according to Mark:
(a) Was written by John Mark
(b) Was written sometime between A.D. 60-70
(c) Was written originally to Roman Gentiles
(d) Was written to tell the good news concerning Jesus
(2) Mark placed an emphasis on activity (e.g., a favorite word of his was “straightway”,
which he used 41 times).
I. God’s original messenger: John the Baptist
A. OT Prophecy
2. “By cross-referencing scripture, Mark makes it clear that the gospel is bound fast to the promise of God in the Old Testament and is a continuation of the story of God’s saving activity” (D. Garland, p. 43).
B. His Purpose
1. “In ancient times, before a king visited any part of his realm, a messenger was sent before him to prepare the way (W. Wiersbe, p. 110).
2. John’s “task is to make a road for God, and his method is by preaching; the content of his preaching is a stern uncompromising call to all to prepare themselves for the diving coming by turning from their evil ways and turning back to God” (R. Cole, p. 107).
C. His Message
1. He came “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (v. 4).
2. Also, his “dress and lifestyle were a protest against the godlessness and self-serving materialism of his day. It amounted to a call to separate oneself from the sinful culture, repent, and live a life focused on God” (R. Hughes, p. 21).
II. God’s contemporary messengers: Christians
A. NT Mandate
1. Jesus commissioned us to go out teaching (Matt. 28:19-20).
2. This is not the “Great Suggestion”.
B. Our Purpose
1. It is the same as was Jesus’: “To seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
2. We are to announce that Jesus has come and is coming again.
C. Our message
1. We are to declare the gospel (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1-4).
2. Also, our lives are to be living letters for Jesus (cf. 2 Cor. 3:2-3).
(1) Are you preparing the way of the Lord?
(2) Are you prepared for the return of the Lord?