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Series: Meet the Savior Who Was A Servant
Sermon: The Forerunner of the Son
Mark 1:1-8
January 3, 2010
Richard E. Powell, Pastor
Scripture Introduction: Today we will begin a new message series through the Gospel of Mark.
The Gospel of Mark is the Gospel of action.
As we study this book over the next few weeks we will find that events in the Gospel move quickly.
It has been said that Mark, the earliest of the gospels, “has all the vitality, directness and pace of a 20th century newspaper.
Using information supplied by Peter, Mark speaks as if he were an eyewitness of the events that took place.”
(Stephen Olford, Olford Expository Preaching Outlines.)
One of the key words found in this Gospel is the word “straightway” or “immediately.”
As a result, names, numbers, times and locations spring from each page at breathtaking speed.
Mark is in a hurry to present the Savior who was a servant.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke each begin with the genealogy of Jesus, but not Mark.
He jumps right into the action with Jesus as a full grown man.
The key verse of the book is Mark 10:45 (NKJV).
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
This makes a good summary of Mark’s Gospel; service and sacrifice.
Mark emphasizes the service of the Lord in 1:1-10:52.
Mark then presents the sacrifice of the Lord in 11:1-15:47.
We will not be able to look at each verse in the Gospel.
Instead we will survey key events from each chapter.
Open your Bibles please to Mark 1:1-8.
In this passage we will encounter the forerunner of the Son who introduced the Lord Jesus Christ.
The forerunner was named John the Baptist.
Sermon Introduction: There are two type of language.
There is the type of language that we speak to one another that changes nothing.
Then there is the type of language which we use that changes everything.
For example, as your minister I can say to you in the hallway, “Good morning.”
That changes nothing.
It does not change the morning and it does not change you.
However, if you stand before me, a minister of the Gospel, as Marvin Redd and Angela Cole did this week, and I instruct you to repeat to one another the wedding vows after me, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part,” then that is to speak language that changes things!
To speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to speak language that changes things.
Mark begins the story about Jesus by telling us that it is one of “good news”.
That is what the word, “gospel” means.
When Mark used the word it did not refer to a written and bound account of Jesus’ life.
The word Gospel would not come to be associated with written accounts until the second Christian century.
When Mark used the word, he was referring to the quality of the story he was about to share.
He was about to proclaim news which would change everything.
After they heard what He had to say then things would never be the same again.
It is still true today.
When you truly hear and understand the news about the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ then things will never be the same!
To reject the Gospel is to die in your sins and face judgment.
To hear and believe the Gospel is to be saved!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
” (Romans 1:16, NKJV)
Mark is saying, “I have some good news for you, and this news is about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark thus wastes no time telling us who Jesus truly is.
Mark declares Jesus’ humanity, regality, and deity at the very outset of his book (Mark 1:1).
!! 1.
The Humanity of the Lord.
Mark’s good news is centered in the one named Jesus.
The name Jesus means, “Jehovah is salvation.”
This was the name given to Him before and at His birth.
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
(Matthew 1:21, NKJV)
!! 2. The Regality of the Lord.
Mark refers to Jesus as Christ.
This is not another name for Jesus, it is His title.
The word “Christ” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word, “Messiah,” which means anointed one.
Jesus is the long awaited Messiah of the Jewish people.
He was God’s chosen and anointed one who had come to deliver us from the bondage of sin and give us entrance into the Kingdom of God.
You will hear Jesus declared to be the Christ again in this Gospel.
In Mark 8 Peter confesses at Caesarea concerning Jesus, “Thou art the Christ.”
!! 3. The Deity of the Lord.
(Son of God)
Mark is quick to point out that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Four times Mark drives home his point as to the deity of Jesus.
The first occurrence is here in Mark 1:1.
The second is in Mark 1:11 when the heavenly Father declares Jesus is His beloved Son in whom He is well-pleased.
The third time Mark shows the deity of Jesus is in Mark 5:7 when the demoniac of the Gerasenes declared that Jesus is the Son of God.
The fourth occurrence is in Mark 15:39 at the foot of the cross where a Roman centurion, a Gentile confesses, “Surely this man was the Son of God.”
At the beginning of his book, in the middle, and at the end, Mark proclaims the deity of Christ.
The deity of Jesus Christ is one of the clearest teachings of the New Testament.
So when Mark declares that Jesus Christ is the Son of God he is declaring His deity.
Jesus is God.
He is the second person of the God-head, three in one; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
“A son is of the same nature and essence as a father; in affirming Jesus as His Son, God the Father was saying that Jesus, His Son, is deity because He is of the same essence as the Father.”
Citation: Paul Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago: Moody, 1989), 87.
At the outset Mark affirms the Good News about the One who is both human and divine, who has been appointed and anointed by God to come as the Messiah, the savior of the world, to the Jew first, but also to the Gentile (Romans 1:16).
He breathlessly presents Jesus as the sinless son of God, fully man and fully God, the King of Kings, and the Lord of lords.
In ancient days when a king would ascend the throne heralds would go throughout the land proclaiming the news.
John the Baptist was the herald of the coming King.
You can hear Jesus’ estimation of John the Baptist in Matthew’s Gospel.
There in chapter 11 Jesus gave an astounding compliment about John.
It was rare for Jesus to give personal commendations like this.
Jesus once commended a man named Nathanel.
“Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
” (John 1:47, KJV)
Jesus once even commended a Roman Centurion.
“When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, ‘I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’ ” (Luke 7:9, NKJV)
But our Lord reserved his greatest commendation for John the Baptist.
“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist ” (Matthew 11:11a, ESV).
History has known its share of great men.
* Herod, the Great.
* Alexander, the Great.
* Sophocles, the Great.
* Demosthenes, the Great.
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