Summary: A sermon from Mark 1:1-8 for the Christmas season (Outline and some material adapted from Sermon Central’s John Hamby at: http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/preparation-for-christmas-john-hamby-sermon-on-christmas-64230.asp)
Do we have any travel plans during the Christmas holidays? Do any of us visit out of town family and friends? We did when I was a teenager.
Some of my fondest childhood memories of the Christmas holidays were times when we went to visit my grandparents in northern Indiana. I don’t know how many times we made that trip to my grandparent’s house, but there was always some part of I-69 that was being repaired. There were signs that said something like this. Show sign from Michael.
I always thought to myself, “What a nice highway this will be when it is finished and there is no more construction.” That was many years ago and I have traveled it a few times since then and nothing has changed. They are still working on it! By the time they finish working on one part of the highway, there is another place that needs to be repaired. They will never fishin working on it.
Those trips to my grandparent’s house remind me of the story of the first Christmas. No, I’m not talking about the baby Jesus, I’m talking about John. The Bible tells us that God sent a man named John to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. John told the people to make a highway int he desert for their God. HE told them to make the crooked ways straight and to make the rough places smooth. John wasn’t really talking about building a highway upon which cars could travel. He was really talking about the hearts of the people. He was calling people to prepare their hearts to receive Jesus so that He could walk among them and minister with them.
(From Sermons 4 Kids at: http://www.sermons4kids.com/prepare_way.htm)
This Scripture is an unusal choice to begin advent or Christmas season. Matthew and Luke contain stories of birth of Jesus. John tells the story of Christ in a more philosophocial way. Lord willing we will look at John’s account of the birth of Christ more over the next couple of weeks. Look at Matthew and Luke’s accounts closer to Christmas day.
Even though Mark doesn’t give us an account of the birth of Christ, he essentially wraps up the Christmas message in just a few words. The opening line of Mark is “the beginning of the Gospel”- “Gospel” translated means literally “good news.” What is this good news? He doesn’t even begin with Jesus but with John the Baptist.
Thesis: Note 3 things about John as we prepare for Christmas
For instances:1. John was an unusual messenger
I get the impression that John who was the cousin of JEsus was a little different. Probably have some people in our families that could be classified as a little different. There are just some people if we invited them to a social function we would feel a little uncomfortable to have them around. John was like that. John was a man of the desert, he ate the food of the desert and he wore the clothing of the desert.
“If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.” Luke 7:25, 26, NIV.