I have grown up in the church, but I feel there is so much I didn’t understand until I was older. Maybe I just didn’t really listen when I was younger. I had heard the term “gospel” often, but didn’t really equate it with the life of Jesus until I was well, older.
You’ve probably heard of the “Good News”. Well, that’s pretty much the Gospel of Jesus. We’ve begun to explore the Gospel in our present sermon series. The Gospel is:
Jesus. Kingdom. Grace.
God is Love. Jesus is Lord.
The Gospel is the best news you’ll ever get. God has come to you through Christ to show His love, share His life, save from sin, and shut down religion.
We’ll use as our text today, the book of Mark 1:9-11
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
As was told by the prophet Isaiah, there was one who would come before the Messiah to prepare for his coming. John the Baptist was the messenger announcing that the Messiah was coming. He was popular all over and gained a large following.
John’s message was that the people were sinners and needed to repent. But his main message was “The Messiah is coming.” The call to repentance was the response to the news of the Messiah’s coming.
Jesus didn’t need to repent of sins, because he was sinless, but he still came to John to be baptized. Baptism is to be immersed or overwhelmed. In this case a ceremonial washing that confessed sin and did something about it. Jesus was baptized in keeping with His entire mission on earth: to do the will of the Father and to identify with sinful man. Jesus didn’t have to be baptized nor did he have to die on a cross, but he did so that we would be able to identify with him.
When we choose to be baptized, we are claiming that Jesus is the Son of God who is claiming us as children of God. It is this baptism that tells us who we are, not biology.
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.Mark 1: 12-13
It’s like this for us, too. As soon as we become a Christian, we become an enemy of Satan. Have you ever been tested? Are you strong enough to withstand the tests? Of course, the tests you fail are the ones people will notice.
This testing of Jesus is important because it shows us that he is capable of living the unique and demanding life of Jesus the Christ. Only by knowing the full extent of the difficulties he faced can we truly know who Jesus is.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”Mark 1: 14-15
After Jesus was tested, he began to teach about the good news of the kingdom of God. That God was making salvation where everyone was created and loved by the God who created them and chosen by Him for the grandest of purposes.
Jesus brought good news to a dying and sinful world. That’s what they needed, not to be told how bad they were. They needed to see the hope that the good news brings.
For us? We need to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to preach a version of the gospel. People get the message by the things we do and say – how we live out our lives what an invisible God means to our lives. Or we choose not to.
As Christians, it is up to us to live our lives deliberately showing conviction that our words and actions give evidence of the reality of this good news.
Are we up to it? We can’t do it alone. We’ll need the power of the Spirit…the same Spirit that Jesus had. Proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ is our only mission. We can do this through living lives that attest to his goodness and mercy and sharing the good news!
Life isn’t always easy, but I’ve learned to lean into Him and he won’t leave you. He’s working even when you think he’s not there.