Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sermon on Mark 1

Preached on Mark 1:1-8 Sunday night. My big idea for the message was that repentance plays a key role in preparing us for Jesus and change. Here is a snippet of my message for those of you interested (or for those of you needing a sermon for Sunday, ha!).

- What does it take for you to get ready for change?

For me, I like to have a heads up. For me to get ready, I want to be prepared and know about the change. Knowledge is power, right? But even that sometimes isn’t enough. When Jesus comes He brings change. He brings radical change. 2 Corinthians says, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the new has come and the old has gone.” Jesus brings change.

- What does it take to get ready for the Lord Jesus and the change He brings?
- What does it take for you to get ready for the Lord’s coming? (When He comes He brings a renewal and a revival to our hearts.)
- What does it take to get ready for a revival? To be awakened to the fact that God’s kingdom is here. It’s all around us just waiting for us to enter into.
- What does it take?

How many of you find it pleasant to be woken up by an alarm clock? I haven’t found an alarm clock yet that has a pleasant sounding alarm. Your dreams are usually interrupted abruptly by the brash beeping telling you loudly that a new day is here. Wake up! An alarm clock is a great symbol for change. There is a new day here. The old day is gone. Change has come. An alarm clock is also a great symbol for John the Baptist and his ministry spoken of here in the Gospel of Mark.

Before we get into talking about John the Baptist, Mark makes it clear in the first few verses that what we are about to be woken up to is very important. This is what was promised in the Old Testament. It is very good news.

Verse 1
That’s the word used in the opening line here (the Good News/Gospel). In Jesus’ time to announce the Gospel was to announce the arrival of the Messiah. The arrival of God’s Anointed One. The Jewish people of Jesus’ day would have known with the arrival of the Messiah comes freedom. Freedom from Satan and his kingdom and the dawning of a new kingdom. This word is just loaded with meaning and good news. In a nutshell it means the good things God has done through Jesus. It means a change is coming and something new is brewing.

Verse 2 & 3
Mark goes on in verse 2 and says this was written in Isaiah, but this is actually a mixture of Isaiah and Malachi (common practice in those days to just mention more prominent prophet). He wants us to know that this Good News is something God said He would do and promised in the Old Testament. The most important day in history, and in the world, is when God took on human flesh and made His dwelling among us. What’s about to happen is more important than any day we have (e.g., landing on the moon, 4th of July, September 11th discovery of America, discovery of electricity, etc.).

Think about this day like this. If your favorite actor/athlete came to town and no one told you about it, you would be bummed and feeling like you missed out on something special. Thankfully, the Jews had someone to give them, and us, a heads up about this important day. The alarm clock is buzzing very loudly to wake them up to this new day. His name is John the Baptist. Verses four through eight tell us about this man and his ministry.

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