1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” 4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark doesn’t waste any time does he? Right off the bat he tells us exactly what he’s writing about—”the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” This description is packed with meaning. Mark is saying essentially this: Jesus is the good-news-bringing Creator and King of the universe, come to bring salvation and establish a kingdom that will never end. After his introduction, Mark begins the story of Jesus with John the Baptizer—the one God promised would come and prepare people for Jesus’ coming. John the Baptizer’s main way of preparing us for the coming of Jesus the King, is to help us understand this terrifying truth: we have sinned against Him and need to be forgiven. There is, in the end, no small sin because all sin is against an infinitely huge and holy God. Sin is cosmic treason. We stand guilty before the King, deserving death and hell. Thanks be to God Jesus came so that we may be forgiven. Ultimately, Jesus has come to make peace between Holy God and sinful man. He’s come to restore our broken relationship, so that in the end we can have what we were intended to have all along—Him. But, in light of our sin, how we can have a right relationship with Jesus? The answer is this: He is no ordinary King. This King would one day go to a cross and die in our place, so that we could be forgiven and have a reconciled relationship with Him both now and forever.
1. Was there anything from the sermon, big idea, or Mark 1:1-8 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you?
Mark doesn’t waste any time does he? Right off the bat he tells us exactly what he’s writing about—”the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
2. Last Sunday, Pastor Brett gave three reasons Mark’s account of Jesus can be trusted. 1) The timing is far too early for the account to be a legend. 3) The content is far too counterproductive to be made up. 3) The literary style is far too detailed to be a myth. Discuss how these things can help us have confidence in trusting Mark’s gospel account.
John the Baptizer’s main way of preparing us for the coming of Jesus the King, is to help us understand this terrifying truth: we have sinned against Him and need to be forgiven.
3. Why do you think it was important for God to remind us of our need for forgiveness right before Jesus came on the scene?
4. How does John’s message of our need for forgiveness challenge the postmodern view of right and wrong? (e.g. What’s right for you is what’s right for you; what’s wrong for you is wrong for you; do whatever you want, so long as you don’t hurt anyone else)
In light of our sin, how we can have a right relationship with Jesus? The answer is this: He is no ordinary King. This King would one day go to a cross and die in our place, so that we could be forgiven and have a reconciled relationship with Him both now and forever.
5. How is forgiveness possible for God to forgive sins and still be just and good? What are some benefits of being forgiven of your sins by Jesus?
- Community Group Leader Training will begin within the next few weeks. If you are a current CG Leader or would be interested in helping lead one someday, let your current leader or Pastor James know.
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