The Beginning of the Good News

By David Robinson/ September 18, 2016

Series  Mark: The King and His Kingdom

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Kingdom Of God

Scripture  Mark 1:1-13

Mark wrote his gospel to let us know what it means to follow Jesus. To take up our cross and follow Him is really the gospel in a nutshell.

Scripture:  Mark 1:1-13

Sermon Notes:

  1. The gospel of Mark was written by a disciple of Jesus who in turn teaches us how to be disciples of Jesus.
  2. In the New Testament the disciples humbly acknowledge their weakness and failings: In Acts we find that Mark had deserted Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey; and in his gospel Mark writes candidly about Peter’s weaknesses.
  3. Mark borrows the language of the Roman Emperors to announce the “good news” of Jesus the Messiah who would change the world for good.
  4. At the introduction of the good news about Jesus, Mark depicts Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesies.
  5. Isaiah speaks of the good news of the salvation of the Lord (Is. 40:3; 52:7-10).
  6. In the wilderness God demonstrates His faithfulness, and announces the coming of the Lord through John, the “Elijah” who was to come (cf. Hos. 2:14, Mal. 4:5).
  7. John baptises the people for repentance and preaches the coming of the Lord.
  8. In John’s baptism God is calling the people to a whole new identity, to renounce their old ways, and to anticipate the coming of the Holy Spirit.
  9. After all this build-up of expectation, Mark says that Jesus, from the lowly town of Nazareth in Galilee, came to be baptised.
  10. Jesus comes down from the glory of heaven and identifies with us in His baptism. God works salvation in the mundaneness of our day-to-day lives.
  11. At Jesus’ baptism the heavens were torn open and the voice from heaven declares that Jesus is the Son of God; at the crucifixion the veil in the temple was torn open because Christ had opened heaven for us by reconciling sinners to God.
  12. Mark alludes to the Old Testament, introducing Jesus as the “only Son” (Gen 22:2) in whom is God’s delight (Is. 42:1), who would be despised and chastised to heal His people (Is 53:5).
  13. Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days, as Israel was tested in the wilderness.
  14. The salvation that Christ brings has to do with heaven and earth; Christ defeats the powers of darkness and all of creation is redeemed.
  15. All the nations would see the salvation of Jesus (Isaiah 52:10; 62:1-2).
  16. This gospel was written to train us to know who Jesus is and what it is to follow Him.
  17. The Spirit of God gives us hearts to receive the gospel in repentance and faith.

Application Questions:

  1. What is the purpose of Mark’s gospel?
  2. How do references to the Old Testament contribute to the introduction?
  3. What was the significance of John’s baptism?
  4. Why does choose to God reveal Himself in humble circumstances?
  5. Outline the cosmic plan by which Christ reconciles heaven and earth.