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A new exodus for a new Israel

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Text: Mk 1:1-15

Theme: New Exodus for a New Israel

Doctrine: continuity of covenants

Image: exodus

Need: reminder of need for unity, desire to study scriptures

Message:

New Exodus for New Israel

Mk 1:1-15

–     background info

–     written by John Mark to record the preaching of Peter just before he died ~60 AD

–     section is really introduction to the whole book, this whole section is the beginning of the gospel.

–     Mark focusses on three things before Jesus begins his ministry

–    OT prophecy and fulfilment in John

–    Jesus's baptism

–    Jesus temptation in the wilderness

–     beginning of the gospel

–     explain word gospel or good news

–     written to Romans, gospel usually good news about the emperor

–     here is good news about someone else.

–     This is about Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God

–    quite the title!

–     What is the beginning? Where does Mark or Peter start?

–     The OT

–    conflated quote of Mal 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3

–     Mal gives image of threat, the day of judgement

–     Is gives image of salvation, restoration or Israel

–     Isaiah 40:3-5 (ESV)

3 A voice cries:“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;

make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all flesh shall see it together,

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

–     themes of new Exodus, key verse for Israel before Jesus came around.

–    the beginning of the good news for Mark, is not Jesus's birth, as it is for Matthew, nor is it John the Baptist, like Luke, nor does he go all the way to the beginning like John.

–     The good news about Jesus began with Isaiah's pronouncement of the salvation of Israel by Yahweh.

–     Just for Israel?

 

–     The Roman church was not only made up of Jews.

–     Paul's letter written as preaching to the church, authority of Paul over church based on him being “apostle to the gentiles.”

–     Not just for Jews, but for Christians.

–     This is the beginning of the good news for us too.

–     Why is a quote from the OT the beginning of the good news for us?

–     The prophecy is fulfilled!

–     John came, he was in the desert, he told others that one more powerful than him was coming after him, he was preaching repentance and preparing the way for someone else, someone who would baptise with the Holy Spirit.

–     This means that something unprecedented is coming, in the words of Isaiah, “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

–     the glory of God has been revealed, it is in his church

–     do we reveal it to others?

–     What are you doing to prepare the way of God?

–     What are you doing to show the glory of God to others?

–     Who do you know that have not seen the glory of God?  Why have they not seen it?  Do they not know you?  Are you not living in such a way that God's glory is revealed?

–     While I was working at Pine Rest this summer I had a couple conversations with a man who had given up on the church.  He went as a boy, but then was sexually abused by his aunt, who was a prominent member of the church.  He could not handle the hypocrisy of the whole thing and stopped going.

–     Talking to me he kept bringing up all the bad things of the church, the schisms, the abuse trials, the infighting, the condemnation of others, the hypocrisy, even the crusades.

–     Listening to his story and to his objections toward the church I got very sad. 

–    It hurts that the bride of Christ is so ugly,

–    it hurts that she has harmed herself so much,

–    it makes me wonder if Jesus will be able to recognise her.

–     Holocaust museum in DC, stories of how people treated in Auschwitz, at one point as they are entering the camp all of their hair is shaved off, and their clothes are taken away.  They have recordings of some of the survivors talking about their experiences, one of the ladies recounts how it was almost impossible for her to recognise her loved ones anymore, they had to call them by name.

–    How much more damage has the church done to itself?

–    We have not only shaved off our hair, we have cut off limbs, we have ignored the advice of Paul and the hand has said to the foot, “I do not need you.” 

–     Where is the glory of God?

–    Is there any glory left in the church?

–    Closer union between RCA and CRC?

–    Agreement that unity is more important than agreeing on certain things (women in office, role of church in politics, etc.)

–    churches reaching out to their communities and providing loving places of contact for people.

–     While John is preparing the way, Jesus appears.

–     Second thing Mark uses to set up his book is Jesus's baptism

–     in this scene the headship of Christ is revealed. 

–     Mark uses this story to show clearly Jesus's is the Christ, the Son of God. 

–     Listen to the voice from heaven “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

–    here Jesus is clearly outlined as the son of God, he is the 'one who would come after” John who would baptise with the Holy Spirit. 

–     Third thing Mark uses to introduce the book is the temptation of Jesus.

–     No information on what went on,

–     it is not mentioned what the temptations were, or how Jesus responded.

–    We know from the other witnesses this information.

–    Details not important to Mark.

–     Temptation was in the desert 40 days,

–    another link to the new exodus.

–     Jesus was in the desert 40 days, just as Israelites were in the desert 40 yrs.

–     Jesus, the new Israel, the complete servant of God goes through the desert, just as Israel did. 

–     The voice during the baptism links Jesus to Israel

–     this voice is linked to the voice of God in Isaiah 42 where the servant of God is outlined.

Isaiah 42:1-3

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen, in whom my soul delights;

I have put my Spirit upon him;

he will bring forth justice to the nations.

2He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,

or make it heard in the street;

3a bruised reed he will not break,

and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;

he will faithfully bring forth justice.

 

–     This servant is generally interpreted as Israel.

–     Isaiah 41:8-10 (ESV)

8      But you, Israel, my servant,

          Jacob, whom I have chosen,

          the offspring of Abraham, my friend;

9      you whom I took from the ends of the earth,

          and called from its farthest corners,

     saying to you, “You are my servant,

          I have chosen you and not cast you off”;

10      fear not, for I am with you;

          be not dismayed, for I am your God;

     I will strengthen you, I will help you,

          I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

–     Here we have the servant being directly identified as Jesus.

–     Through baptism we are one with Christ, so this recounts our new exodus.

–     This is our story.

–     This is our exodus.

–     This is our good news. 

–     This is our messiah, our Christ, our saviour, our servant.

–     The book of Mark seems to show Jesus hiding his messiahship.

–     Jesus does not let the demons tell people who he is (1:25, 34)

–     when Jesus heals people in Mark, he tells them not to tell others (1:40-43; 7:36;

–     story of Peter: confession (8:27-30) rebuke (8:31-33)

–     Why does Jesus act this way?

–     Because the people were expecting something other than what Jesus was.

–     Expecting a political messiah, expecting someone to come in power and overturn the rule of the Romans, expecting someone to set up another earthly kingdom like that of David and Solomon.

–    Not what Jesus was, his kingdom is not of this world.

–     What are we expecting of God, of Jesus?

–     Is it in line with what he is, with what God is doing?

 

–     Challenge

–     read through Mark, see how many times Jesus tries to hide his messiahship

–     think about what the people were expecting, think about what you expect from Jesus

–     let Jesus teach you what he really came for, let him tell you who he really is.

–     Mark ends his introduction with Jesus's preaching

–     “The time has come,” he said.  “The kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news.”

–     I tell you, the kingdom of God is not near, it is here!

–    Repent and believe!

–    Go out into all the world making disciples of all nations.

–    The story of Jesus is the story of our Exodus, a new exodus for a new Israel.

–     God says to us all here this evening.

    “You are my servant,

          I have chosen you and not cast you off”;

10      fear not, for I am with you;

          be not dismayed, for I am your God;

     I will strengthen you, I will help you,

          I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Amen

Let us pray.

Heavenly father, we thank you for the story of our new exodus.  We are deeply grateful that you have sent your son, your servant to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.  We were blind from our sin, we were imprisoned in our own evil natures, we were sitting in the darkness of our own reason, but you chose to lead us out.  You chose to send your son into the world to release us from our sin.  To cover our debt and set us free.  Lord, we claim the promise you have given to us, that you have chosen us and will not cast us off.  Help us to follow your will without fear, to show your glory to the world and not be dismayed.  Lord, be our strength, be our guide, uphold us with your righteous right hand. 

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