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Sermon Mark 1-1-14

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The Kings Arrival
The Royal Picture
when you see a portrait of a person (be it photos or paintings),
you usually see a snapshot of a certain aspects of that persons life and perhaps miss other significant information about that same person.
SLIDE 1 – women and babe
For instance, in this portrait, we see a young mother with her baby.
Yet in this portrait we see another significant aspect of this same women. This women is in fact Queen Elizabeth II, Reigning queen of England and our head of state.
As we look at Marks gospel. What is your Portrait of Jesus.
SLIDE 3 – Jesus portraits
Is he the Christmas baby Jesus in a Manger
Is he the carpenter boy
Perhaps your portrait is of Jesus the great teacher
Or is it Jesus the healer
Or is your portrait of Jesus as the good and caring shepherd.
Nothing particularly wrong with any one of these portraits.
But Mark leaves us in no doubt what he sees as the most significant portrait of who Jesus is. verse 1
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The Son of God. You don’t get a grander title to a portrait than that.
Mark was probably the worlds worst suspense or thriller author. Mark tell us this right away in verse 1 the true identity of Jesus, no surprises at the end.
In todays passage, Mark goes on in a kind of rapid fire sequence for 15 verses retelling
the account of john the Baptist,
Jesus baptism,
Jesus Temptation and
Jesus announcing that Kingdom of God is at hand.
And we are left dizzy from the whirlwind, wondering what was that all about and how is it all linked. And Is it linked ?
Well before we get to that, let spend just 30 seconds getting to know
Mark. Who he is, and why we can rely on His portrait of Jesus.
Mark was a friend of the Peter the Disciple of Jesus. WE see this in passages like Act 12:12 when an angel released Peter from prison. Where did he go first. Straight to Marks mothers house.
Mark had strong associations with other Christian leaders. In Acts we read that He went on missionary journeys with Barnabas and Paul.
Most importantly, He wrote the Gospel of Mark after the disciple Peter passed on reports of the words and deeds of Jesus directly\ to him.
Look at verse 1 again
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Is that not one of the most mind-blowing verses in the bible
In a mere 7 greek words (in the original language), this verse is Packed with theological significance, historical significance, future significance.
It would have to be ….a pretty unique statement wouldn’t you say?
Wouldn’t expect to find similar statements elsewhere except in the bible would you?
Well actually. You will.
It may come as a surprise to you There was a gospel written about Augustus, Roman emperor and founder of Rome around 27 BC. He was viewed by romans citizens as the divine emperor and savior of the roman.
And after him another about Tiberius Caesar who was his step-son and successor. There he is on this photo of a Denarius coin
This was coin that the Pharisees brought to Jesus in Mark 12 when they asked should they pay taxes to ceasar and Jesus replied
Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."
The coin the words "Tiberius Caesar, Worshipful son of the god, Augustus.
So you have to ask…what’s so unique about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, son of God.
Well Mark makes a clear distinction between this gospel and any other, because Mark refers to Jesus as The Christ. Jesus Christ.
Christ is not a surname. Its a title. Just like if I said the name William Arthur Philip Louis. You might say. Who?
But if I said, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, then his title is a give away. Jesus title as Christ, The Messiah, means saviour,
And this is a title all the Jews knew. A title that only ONE man of earth could ever receive. A person they had been expecting for hundreds of years
The Red Carpet
Having established this portrait of Jesus the long awaited savior and Son of God, Mark then goes on in verse 2 to introduce us to John the Baptist.
Mark quotes Isaiah the prophet from 700 years before
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”
Now The significance of the appearance of John the Baptist at this juncture can get lost on us.
But for the Jews of the time, they knew their Old testament well. and they had not received a prophetic word from the Lord since Malachi (last book of OT) some 400 years before.
So enter stage left, John the Baptist appearing in the wilderness …v6 wearing clothing made of camels hair with a leather belt around his waist.
Now im not fashion historian, but to me, John sounds like he would have appeared like a bit of a weirdo…….even back then. the sort of guy I would think we would try and avoid. That guy on the street that you try and steer clear of. Stanger danger my kids would say
Yet in verse 5 ironically we read that “all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him”.
Now Mark’s wasn’t commentating at a bad taste fashion parade.
No. He tells us about John because the Jews of the time would have immediately thought of Elijah, the Old testament prophet.. because we read In 2 kings.. 1:8
, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist
And coupled with another OT passage in Malachi 4:5 which says
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
So putting the 2 together... The Jews would have thought John the Baptist was Elijah returned. The one to prepare the way of the Lord
This explains why the people flocked to him. The Kingdom was coming. The promised messiah was coming. The red carpet had been laid out for His arrival
The Heavenly Announcement
In verse 9 we see Jesus appear for what must be one of the shortest explanations of one of the most significant occasions in history. Jesus baptism. Mark doesn’t waste words.
In a mere 3 verses, Mark explains how in v9 Jesus came to be baptised by John, v10 that when he came out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the spirit descend on him like a dove, v11 a voice from heaven “You are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased”. …
And its all over and straight onto the temptation
And the obvious question is. Why? If john was proclaiming a baptism for repentance of sins… Why was Jesus offering himself to be baptised? Wasn’t Jesus perfect. Well yes he was
we need to see the baptism MORE in terms explaining or focusing on what God the Father does to Jesus at His baptism, rather than what Jesus does.
because AS Jesus comes up from the water he experiences three things…. that in Old Testament Jewish tradition…. were clear signals for the coming of God’s end times kingdom:
1/ the heavens were torn open (at Isaiah 64:1 ”Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down – rend means to tear open),
2/ the Spirit descended upon him
(Isaiah 11;2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
700 years before
Isa 42:1 Behold my servant,
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.,
isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me,
and 3/ the heavenly voice spoke to him. (psalm 2:7
I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
This is the Heavenly Announcement, that this Jesus is the chosen one. Jesus The Christ. The King
If you blink you may have missed the imagery in the baptism account in mark gospel and its similarities to the creation story in Genesis 1.
All of the trinity involved. The Spirit descending over the water (of the Jordon in Marks gospel). God speaking.. Jesus as the agent of creation. but in Marks gospel…. Jesus the agent of a new creation
Jesus creation work to renew and rescue and save his people.
The baptism was the foundation stone in the life and ministry of Jesus.
You know why..because At his baptism Jesus is filled and enabled with the power of the Spirit, to be God’s Servant, and when the Fathers declares from heaven, “ 
‘You are my Son,’ ” this enables Jesus to not only to speak and act FOR God but to speak and act AS God
We see this demonstrated throughout marks gospel in His forgiveness of sins (2:5)
healing of the sick (1:40ff.)
and casting out of demons (1:24),
and Jesus challenge to the Jewish religious groups.
It is not coincidental that when Jesus is later confronted by the Sanhedrin in Mark 11 and when they ask Him “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Remember Jesus reply. Jesus said to them, “Was my baptism by John…. from heaven or from man?
His was given authority at His baptism from Heaven
If your sitting here week in week out and not convinced Jesus is the Son of God, the expected Christ, messiah and Savior. Then consider this.
Up to this point in Jesus Life, his baptism, if we read Matthew and Lukes gospels which give details about His birth. ,
we would see that Jesus has fulfilled dozens of Old testament prophecies about the coming Messiah The Christ.. written centuries before.
Even in a mere 11 verses of Marks gospel. We have seen about 5 old testament prophesies fulfilled in Jesus. John prepares the way, John coming in the spirit of Elijah, the heaven opened, the spirit descends, the announcement of your are my son. 5
…According to scholars there are over 300 Old testament predictions of the coming Messiah which Jesus fulfils. Using probabilities. If you were to choose just 8 of those prophecies. Not 300 but just 8.
And you were to try and find someone who lived on earth at any point in history and who fulfilled all of those 8 prophecies, you would be looking at a probability of 1 in 10 to the power of 17. This look like 10 with 17 zeroes after it. One billion billion
1 chance in that many
SLIDE 7 – 1 chance in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
to visualize that probability.
Take one billion billion 10 to the 17 - Australian 50c coins. And lay them across the entire state of NSW and they would be maybe 50-60cm deep across NSW.
Now Get someone to mark just one coin with a red X.. now get a blind man to walk randomly through the state of NSW and choose only one coin. The coin he chooses has to be the one with the X on it. Can you see how unachievable this probability is
That is the probability of 1 man in all of history fulfilling 8 Old testament predictions. But Jesus does fulfilled them. In fact he has fulfilled over 300. Imagine that probability
Is he the Messiah? The Son of God. Im convinced
The Satanic test
After Jesus Baptism, we come to another puzzling event. verse 12
The Spirit immediately drove him(jesus) out into the wilderness.
Mark 1:13 And 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.
Just like the creation in Genesis 1-2 is followed by ADAM AND EVES temptation By SATAN in Genesis 3.
In mark 1, the creation of the salvation plan in the person of Jesus is immediately followed by the temptation of Jesus by Satan.
But the stakes are much higher in mark 1. For if jesus fails. Gods plan of salvation is a failure.
Now its important to note that the temptation of Jesus in Marks gospel is not presented as some unfortunate event because of some failure on Jesus’ part. No..
What happens to Jesus in the wilderness was Gods work too. the temptation, was a necessary event, otherwise Jesus would be seen merely as some kind of divine robot who had no choice or desires of his own.
The temptation is clear evidence of the free, sovereign work of Jesus, who, like us, must choose to make God’s will their own.
And what was Gods will for Jesus., it was not a red carpet to an earthly throne. No. It was a path to his crucifixion.
A path red with His own blood pouring from his back and head after the roman soldiers flogged him and gave him a crown of thorns.
On a path to an earthly death. A death for us.
In the Garden of Eden. God said to Adam If you obey me and avoid that tree, then you will live.
But to Jesus His Son…God says, if you obey me and do my will, then you will DIE by hanging on a tree. A king who willingly goes to his death on a cross. For his people..
The Kings Speech
Have you ever seen movie The Kings Speech..
Its 1939. King George VI, (QEII father) ruler of British Empire is about to announce that Britain is now at war with Germany. But King George has a problem. He has a horrendous stutter and cant put 3 words together without stumbling.
How is he going to speak to his Kingdom as a grand orator, as a king who oozes confidence and inspires HIS people …..rather than some stuttering and mumbling man, who loses the respect and admiration of his people in a few words.
Now if you seen the movie you know it takes us through George’s struggles to overcome his fears, to overcoming his stumbling….. and after much soul searching, much perserverance,
at 6pm on the 3rd of September 1939 on BBC radio, the British people hear George deliver his speech. A speech which arouses the confidence of the entire Nation and rallies people into action under His leadership as they go to war. It is a speech fitting of a King. It was The Kings Speech.
If we don’t get our portrait of Jesus right. If we still see him as the Christmas baby Jesus in a manger, as the carpenter, as the miracle worker, the great teacher,
but don’t see Him as the King of the Kingdom of God, then we will miss the most important speech ever. A speech by the King of kings. A speech in Marks gospel chapter 1 ver 14-15. Telling us how to be a part of His kingdom.
, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the gospel.”
Repent (we need to seek forgiveness for ignoring his right to rule in your life)
And believe in the gospel..believe that He is God and that his death and resurrection saves you and lets you enter His Kingdom. Nothing you did. Everything he did.
Jesus arrival in mark 1 was the dawn of the Kingdom of God. a place where ULTIMATELY GODS People will live…. in Gods Place… Under Gods rule.
We aren’t completely there yet are we. Jesus said in Johns gospel 18;36
My Kingdom is not of this world.
Yet, we have seen a glimpse of the power of the Kingdom of God in Jesus. In his miracles, in his defeating of death and in his resurrection.
We only get to see the Kingdom in it fullness after Jesus return….
So Has the Kingdom now disappeared with Jesus 2000 years ago ??,…while we await his final return. Well No.
verse 8 says. “I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”.”
As we await Jesus return…. Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit as a down payment.
The Spirit doesn’t bring the kingdom to us here on earth, but the Spirit brings us to the Kingdom of God, by belief and faith in our savior. King Jesus.
As I close, Let me give you another glimpse of The Kingdom of God. This time From the apostle Johns revelation chapter 21
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.
Friends Make sure your portrait of Jesus is correct.
Make sure you see Him as the King of the Kingdom of God.
For This King bears great news.
Have You Heard the Kings Speech… have you followed this loving Kings command …
Repent and believe in the gospel Amen
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