Summary: The humble man of God - John the Baptist The Ordained Messenger of the Gospel The fulfillment of Prophecy
The Ordained Messenger
Mark opens his book with these words: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Wow, what an opening statement! The first thing that came to my mind was the opening words of the bible – the Book of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Of course, Mark was speaking to the beginning of the gospel of our Lord Jesus the Christ.
I read an interesting commentary by Dr. David McKenna, president of Asbury Theological Seminary, who I believe is one of the very best commentators of the Book of Mark.
Dr. McKenna compares the beginnings of the four gospels like this: “The royalty of Matthew, The perfection of Luke, The mysticism of John to the humanity of Jesus in the Book of Mark.” Meditate on that statement, read and re-read the four gospels and it will become obvious.
The Coming Messenger
“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1
“As it is written in the Prophets: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You. The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’” Mark 1:2-3
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3
“I send my messenger!” We can’t possibly escape recognizing John the Baptist, as the messenger sent by the Almighty Father to proclaim the coming of the Son – The Savior – The Christ!
People flocked to John – “all the land of Judea” and "those from Jerusalem” went out to him and were baptized. What a magnificent baptismal service!
Here we have John, a very humble man living on locusts and wild honey wearing a camel’s hair garment cinched with a leather belt travelling all over the region preaching the remission of sins and proclaiming the coming of Christ.
“And he preached, saying, ‘There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’” Verses 7-8
Several recent messages have dealt with each of us receiving a divine calling and spiritual gifts. It is so obvious here that John the Baptist’s calling and ordination were of God Himself.
Dearly Beloved, let me say that YOU – each and every you are called and ordained by God. Our callings are not the same as John’s nor each other’s but it is incumbent for us to accept that call, prepare as best we can to serve that call and to step out boldly yet humbly and minister that call. I don’t believe that God expects any of us to eat locusts and wild honey nor wear old scratchy camel skins or even sack cloth. But, I do believe that He does expect us to accept our spiritual gifts and our calling and to minister them.
You know, John had never seen Jesus before the day of His baptism, yet John recognized Jesus from among all the men gathered at the river. You and I have never seen Jesus, but we know Him, and we can and must be about introducing Him to those who might not know Him. You my friend are also an ordained messenger!
Let us pray.