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Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Book of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
There are few nations who impacted the world to the degree that the Roman Empire did. They were a people of action. They were a people of successful military conquest.
Opening Illustration:
All of us have either met or seen a war veteran. There are several things that seem to be typical of veterans who have seen combat:
(1) Their lives have been radically changed in many ways...
(2) The way they think about freedom is typically more appreciative than those who have not seen combat.
(3) If they have lost military partners, they tend to value life more deeply.
(4) They have been hardened by what they have seen, so that not much shocks them.
While the book of Mark was not written only to military people, it was written to Romans - who were people of authority and action. Throughout the book, there are 4 pivotal times where the theme is established:
(1) - Jesus Christ is the Son of God
(2) - Peter’s confession
(3) Jesus Christ’s confession to the high priest
(4) The centurion at the crucifixion
Thus, as John Mark pens this book, the theme is quite clear! Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Why should this matter to all?
Our culture is given to the pursuit of authority and power.
This pursuit of power is most readily seen by the emphasis on gaining/acquiring more and more knowledge.
“The more you KNOW, the more you make.”
“The more you make, the more fulfilled you will be.”
Illustration:
Report came out this week about “off the record” comments that President Trump made, and that these comments were leaked to the Canadian Prime Minister which has led to the stalling of negotiations between Canada and the USA.
Additional report came out indicating that some of the emails from Hillary Clinton had military intelligence that made its way to China.
People, Countries, various interest groups are trying to get leverage through knowledge in pursuit of power and authority, but the book of Mark is going to decisively present the case for the authority of Jesus Christ and prove the fact that he is the Son of God.
You cannot separate this truth from your personal life, your political life, or your career. This truth of who Jesus is should impact how your life is guided.
Proposition:
It is imperative that all believe that Jesus is the authoritative Son of God, and that he has indeed come!

Point #1

This passage asserts that Jesus is connected to prophecy ()

(i) “As it is written” - makes a historical connection with the Old Testament -
(i.b.1) the way
The Greek word used here, hodos, often refers to a road or path. Mark uses it predominantly to describe a journey. Mark often describes Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem as the “way” that He undertakes in obedience to God, fully aware it will lead to suffering and death (; ; , , , ) .
(i.a) Passage #1 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness...” -
(i.c.1) is primarily dealing with the end of Babylonian Exile.
(i.c.1.
(i.c.2) - desert - the imagery to those slaves was that of Exodus from slavery. ()
(i.d.3) Chief about this original Exodus was that God’s presence would come to Israel in a very visible manner)
(i.b.1) Sadly, the “new Exodus” from Babylon would be delayed because of Israel’s rejection of God’s plan -
(i.b) Passage #2 “Behold, I send an Angel before thee,...” -
(i.c) Passage #3 “Behold, I send my messenger before they face” -
(i.c.1) Sadly, the “new Exodus” from Babylon would be delayed because of Israel’s rejection of God’s plan -
Quite different from the vision of the nations streaming to Jerusalem, the struggling city remained under Persian sway (1: 8), the land was ravaged by locusts and drought (3: 11), and the wicked flourished while the righteous suffered (2: 17; 3: 14– 15). This gave rise to a crisis of faith, with doubts about Yahweh’s faithfulness openly expressed (1: 2, 13; 2: 17; 3: 14).
In a series of polemical speeches Malachi (“ my messenger”) defends Yahweh’s integrity and commitment to Israel (1: 2– 5), declaring instead that the present misfortune is the result of the faithlessness of priesthood (1: 6– 2: 9) and people (2: 10– 16). An affirmation of the certainty of Yahweh’s coming (2: 17– 3: 5) is followed by a summons to repentance (3: 6– 12) and a final warning (3: 13– 4: 4). Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (pp. 116-117). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (pp. 116-117). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
(i.c.2) Thus, Malachi announced the coming of Yahweh, but the need for the people to be prepared through the coming of a messenger.
As in the days of Isaiah, the coming of Yahweh to his people was both good and a warning. For those who were prepared for him, it was a restoration; but for those who were faithless it was judgment. -
(i.c.31) the way -
The Greek word used here, hodos, often refers to a road or path. Mark uses it predominantly to describe a journey. Mark often describes Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem as the “way” that He undertakes in obedience to God, fully aware it will lead to suffering and death (; ; , , , ) .

Application #1

(i) Trust the LORD, who keeps His word!

This is what is called the historical evidence that has come to pass.
Once on a flight to Boston I was talking with the passenger next to me about why I personally believe Christ is who he claimed to be. The pilot, making his publicrelations rounds and greeting the passengers, overheard part of our conversation. “You have a problem with your belief,” he said. “What is that?” I asked.....“You can’t prove it scientifically,” he replied.
Testing the truth of a hypothesis by the use of controlled experiments is one of the key techniques of the modern scientific method.
For example, someone claims that Ivory soap doesn’t float. I claim it does float, so to prove my point, I take the doubter to the kitchen, put eight inches of water in the sink at 82.7 degrees, and drop in the soap. Plunk! We make observations, we draw data, and we verify my hypothesis empirically: Ivory soap floats.
The scientific method isn’t appropriate for answering such questions as: Did George Washington live? Was Martin Luther King Jr. a civil rights leader? Who was Jesus of Nazareth? Does Barry Bonds hold major league baseball’s one-season home run record? Was Jesus Christ raised from the dead? These questions are outside the realm of scientific proof, and we must place them in the realm of legal-historical proof. In other words, the scientific method—which is based on observation, information gathering, hypothesizing, deduction, and experimental verification to find and explain empirical regularities in nature...
The other method of proof, the legal-historical proof is based on showing that something is a fact beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, we reach a verdict on the weight of the evidence and have no rational basis for doubting the decision. Legal-historical proof depends on three kinds of testimony: oral testimony, written testimony, and exhibits (such as a gun, a bullet, or a notebook). Using the legal-historical method to determine the facts, you could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you went to lunch today. Your friends saw you there, the waiter remembers seeing you, and you have the restaurant receipt. [McDowell, Josh D.. More Than a Carpenter (Kindle Locations 603-607). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.]
McDowell, Josh D.. More Than a Carpenter (Kindle Locations 603-607). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
McDowell, Josh D.. More Than a Carpenter (Kindle Locations 608-613). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
McDowell, Josh D.. More Than a Carpenter (Kindle Locations 598-601). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
McDowell, Josh D.. More Than a Carpenter (Kindle Location 585). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
McDowell, Josh D.. More Than a Carpenter (Kindle Locations 582-585). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Mark is here laying the case for the readers to know that what God said is what God did.

(ii) Receive Jesus Christ if you will be free and enjoy God’s presence. [eschatological fulfillment]

(a) Only Jesus Christ can free you from the tyranny of sin. He is the Lord of the Exodus, and he is the only One who can mediate the presence of God to mankind.

(ii) Prepare for the coming of the Lord!

In the time of Moses, preparation for the exodus and the presence of the Lord was preached!
In the exile of the nation of Israel, preparation for the exodus and the presence of the Lord was preached!
In the time of the 1st coming of Jesus Christ, preparation for salvation and the presence of the Lord was preached1
In our time, we preach to prepare people for the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ.
Are you ready?
Point #2
Application #2

Conclusion:

Closing Illustration:
Have you ever addressed a letter? In his book More than a Carpenter, Josh McDowell uses this illustration in a slightly different variation; but:
How important are the details of the address on the envelope?
The Name
The Street Number
The Street Name
The City
The State
The Zip Code
If you can imagine the Old Testament as an address that tells you more than a destination, it helps you to identify a location and a place. The OT contains over 60 major Messianic prophecies and 270 results/implications because of those specific prophecies.
One of those would be that he would have a forerunner, a messenger to prepare the way before Him.
When you consider that these were give no later than 400 years before the birth of Jesus and yet they were fulfilled in Christ, we have to conclude that the address given in the OT testament found the right place and person in Jesus Christ. Peter Stone & Robert Newman calculated the probability that just 8 of the prophecies could happen with one man and they said that the scientific probability would be 1 in 10 [to the 17 power - 1 with 17 - 0’s]
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