Introduction: A key idea in the Gospel of Mark is that Jesus is the servant of God. Today, we hope to discuss Jesus' power of deformity and demons as well as His personnel.
Read Mark 1:1-8
I. The Service of the Servant. A. His Preparation. A. By the Ministry of John the Baptist. Jesus is called the Son of God in this section of the Gospel of Mark. John the Baptist was His prophesied forerunner. John preached a water baptism of repentance, until Jesus came with spiritual baptism.
What should believers do, in light of Jesus being the Son of God?
- Notice in vs. 1 of the Gospel of Mark that Jesus is considered the Son of God. Jesus is not simply another Bible character. He is the Son of God, God the Son, our savior and lord. Here we differ with Jews, Muslims, and others. Let’s live like we really believe that He is the Son of God – love God, self, and others.
- Notice the use of scripture in vss. 2-3, as authority. It is crucial for us to know what the Bible says, mean, and means to us. It is not simply literature. It is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Let’s study and strive to obey the Word of God.
What should believers do, in light of the importance of being a forerunners?
- Notice in vs. 7 that John is a forerunner of Jesus. John realizes and behaves as if he is not the main event. Let’s remember and behave as if we are forerunners and not the main event.
This idea means that we should talk more about Jesus and God’s will than our own. Even with the Pastor, it is important to remember that the demand for respect of the Pastor is more about his being the man of God than anything else.
What should believers do, in light of the difference between John's baptism and Christian baptism?
- Notice in vs. 4 of the Gospel of Mark that John preached a baptism of repentance. Jesus is said to baptize with the Holy Spirit, in vs. 8. Christian baptism is an identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see Rom. 6:4).
We are saying with our body language that we are dying to our sins and have a made up mind to live a resurrected life for the Lord. Spiritual baptism is the act that places us in the universal body of Christ (see I Cor. 12:13). These baptisms may be somewhat related but far from being identical.
Let’s live like baptized believers who are in the body in Christ. Such living should be noted for loving God, self, and others.
Read Mark 1:9-13
2. By His Baptism and 3. By His Temptation. Jesus is baptized by John in this section of the Gospel of Mark. We hear the Father’s voice, see God the Son in the water, and see God the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. Jesus is tempted in the desert/wilderness.
What should believers do, in light of the importance of doing what is best for the bigger picture?
- Notice in vs. 9 that Jesus was baptized by John. This was much more about showing team work, continuity, and identifying with humanity than with Jesus’ need to repent from any of His own sins.
There will be times when we need to do things for the sake of the team, continuity, and identification, more than for our personal benefit. The training of existing leaders may be more of a matter of making sure everyone has the same language and mindset than any serious retraining.
The issue becomes are we humble, cooperative, and committed enough to the cause of Christ to do what seems unnecessary for our benefit? Let’s work on the denial and dedication of self needed to do things for the benefit of others with the right attitude.
- Vss. 10-11 would be a good passage to support the Holy Trinity. We believe that there is only one God who manifests Himself in three different personalities at the same time.
This is much more of a faith statement than anything that we can adequately explain. Let’s not waste valuable time and energy arguing about something that we really cannot explain very well.
What should believers do, in light of the importance of letting people know that we appreciate them?
- Notice in vs. 11 of the Gospel of Mark that the Father declares that He loves His Son and is well pleased with Him. We should follow this example and let people know that we love them and are well pleased with them, now.
We too often wait until people are dead. Let’s say what needs to be said, while people are alive and can still hear us.
What should believers do, in light of how the Spirit can lead us into challenging places?
- Notice in vss. 12-13 that it was the Holy Spirit who led Jesus into the desert or wilderness. When we follow the will of God, there will be times that we have to go into the desert. But thanks be unto God, we are going "in" on our way "out." Or more simply, we are going "through."
Let’s not automatically assume that rough times mean that God is not with us. And then let’s be open to the Lord minister to us in mysterious ways. God can use angels (see Heb. 1:14) to minister to us.
The angels can either look like people or be in people, so we have to be careful how we treat people, even when the devil and wild beast are causing trouble in our lives.
Conclusion: Let's work on being servants of God. God has much for those who obey His will.
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