Summary: An introduction to the One who can bring real hope and change
True Hope and Change
The Book of Mark
I. We have been hearing a lot about hope and change these days.
A. That phrase has become well worn and almost meaningless.
B. People want to hope in something.
1. Hope in the future of their family.
2. Hope in the future of our country.
3. Hope for a future life.
4. That is why that word resonates with so many people.
C. People do really seek change.
1. They want to change their life situation.
2. They want to change jobs.
3. They want to change the way things are done.
II. My intention is not to get into a discussion of political change which frankly is becoming less and less apparent as both parties present options to us that are fundamentally the same.
III. I want to talk about true hope and change which came about almost two centuries ago.
A. Isaiah in his prophecy spoke of dark days into which the messiah would come 8:20-9:2.
B. The world at that time was much the same as it is now.
1. People had little use for God.
2. Religion was mostly for show.
3. People oppressed others for their own benefit.
4. Most people lived in abject poverty.
C. John’s job was to introduce the One who would bring real change vs.7-8.
D. Vs.9 through 15 introduces us to that One, the one who brings change you can truly believe in.
I.A new baptism.
A. John’s baptism was on the basis of repentance.
1. His baptism was ceremonial and symbolic.
2. The one who was baptized by John was still under the OT Law Acts 19:3-4.
3. It was an outward sign of preparation acknowledging their sin.
4. It by no means took away their sin.
B. Jesus’ baptism was an internal baptism.
1. This wasn’t just another ceremonial washing.
2. Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
3. This is the act of God placing believers into the Body of Christ 1Cor.12.
a) This is referring to the new life in Christ.
b) By this means sin would be removed forever.
c) This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.
C. Why was Jesus baptized? Warren Wiersbe suggests 6 reasons:
1. 1. Obligation—“to fulfill all righteousness” (cf. John 8:29).
2. 2. Consecration—the OT priest was washed, then anointed. Jesus submitted to water baptism, then the Holy Spirit came as a dove. See Ex. 29.
3. 3. Commendation—Jesus gave His approval of John’s ministry and thus obligated the people to listen to John and obey him. Instead, the religious leaders rejected John’s baptism (21:23–27).
4. 4. Proclamation—this was John’s official introduction of Jesus to the Jewish nation. See John 1:31.
5. 5. Anticipation—this water baptism looked forward to His baptism of suffering for us on the cross (Luke 12:50). Jesus fulfilled all righteousness through His sacrificial death on Calvary.
6. 6. Identification—Jesus identified Himself with sinful men. Immediately after, the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. There may be here a picture of the “scapegoat” that symbolically carried the nation’s sins into the wilderness (Lev. 16:1–10).
D. So the new baptism signifies a new relationship.
1. No longer external in keeping the law.
2. Now it is an intimate personal relationship with God by means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.