This sermon was based on Mark 1:1-15.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,'”
4John appeared, baptising in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptised by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”
The Baptism of Jesus
9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan.
10And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
The Temptation of Jesus
12The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
Jesus Begins His Ministry
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
The Way of Jesus Puts Us in His Story
- To Mark the appearance of Jesus is as significant as the creation of the world. This Gospel/Good news about the restoration of Gods rule and reign – his Kingdom.
- Mark wants to get to the point of Jesus meeting Peter, because it demonstrates the importance of Peter’s life being totally changed when he is brought into God’s story.
- Jesus turned up in Israel to change the course of history and turns up in the life of Peter, in the lives of the church in Rome and the lives of the church in Manchester. We are called to follow the way of Jesus – lay down our lives – to repent – to believe – to live out his Kingdom.
The Way of Jesus is Relationship
- At the beginning of Jesus ministry there is relationship. Easy to read Jesus as being alone and isolated – someone who was up against the world all by himself. We see Jesus sent by the Father and anointed by the Holy Spirit.
- Before Jesus has really done anything God affirms him, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”, if you want to know how to be a good parent look how God the Father talks to his son Jesus. Before Jesus has achieved anything God loves him and is pleased with him.
- Jesus way is to restore relationship. The trinity is an example to us of that. To follow Jesus is to be restored to God the Father and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus advancing Kingdom starts with relationship. The Way of Jesus is to know the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Way of Jesus Defeats Darkness
- Important for us to remember that the way of Jesus is not the easy road. It requires faithfulness to God even when evil throws everything it’s got at us.
- Although God leads Jesus into the desert to suffer and be tested he doesn’t abandon him – Angels are with him. The way of Jesus has a deeper spiritual reality that we often can’t see as humans – this is a theme that comes up often in Mark.
We are called into the Way of Jesus.
- Called into his story – huge historic events – also has deep individual impact. We are called to humble ourselves and follow.
- Called into relationship – Jesus brings us to the father and sees us anointed with the holy spirit.
- Called to defeat darkness – Jesus beat Satan – throughout Mark’s gospel evil is driven out.
- The Kingdom of God is at hand – this is happening right now. It’s as vital in Manchester today as it was in Israel and Rome.
- Repent – make him the focus – follow his story not ours.
- Believe – to live out his way – to listen and obey.