In Mark 1:14-15, John the Baptist is delivered over to Herod and his role as forerunner to Jesus in Mark’s gospel is over. Jesus takes center stage by announcing the time of fulfillment has come, the kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus enters into his home country of Galilee moving from a place of isolation to the place where His message will be head by many of his countrymen. Jesus’ message is simple: repent and believe the good news.
In this week’s sermon, Pastor Matthew talked about the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. In His baptism Jesus identified with man’s failure and sin. His connection to the human condition continues with the onslaughts of Satan in the wilderness temptations. Temptation is a normal part of the Christian life and should be anticipated, yet we can stand in confidence when we lean on God’s Word to defend against the onslaught of the enemy.
Jesus began his public ministry at age 30 by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. As Jesus rose from the waters he and John saw the Spirit descend on Jesus. The Father’s words expressed his absolute approval of Jesus. The language of affirmation reflected Jesus’ Kingly position in the messianic mission as well as His role as suffering servant. Jesus is God’s gracious provision meeting us in our wilderness and satisfying our deepest needs.
In Mark 1:16-20 we see Jesus call Simon, Andrew, James and John to follow Him. Jesus’ call was a radical departure and a new beginning for these four men. They were leaving what they knew as fisherman and beginning a new life of following Jesus to become, “fishers of men.” These fishers of men would set their hands to expanding the Kingdom of God through rescuing the lost by introducing them to King Jesus. Centuries later, followers of Jesus continue the process of multiplying disciples.