Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Devotional: The Message and the Messengers, Mark 1.12-20

Mark Chart

The incarnation of Jesus is the watershed event of all salvation and world history. It accomplished (through his death, resurrection and ascension) the inauguration of a new age and everything needed for the final eternal age. In this passage Mark sums up what the incarnation means and introduces his readers to the first messengers who will deliver the good news.

It is very easy to skip over verse 12, the temptation, because Mark gives no details like Matthew and Luke do.  Perhaps this was such a well-known story in the church he felt he could skip it. Perhaps Mark moves on from it quickly because the victory over Satan was so decisive there is very little drama. Nevertheless, the victory won over evil there, and over the forces of darkness, prefigures the victory that will be won at the cross and the empty tomb and provides the content of the “good news,” the gospel message that Jesus and the 1st disciples will proclaim.

The message is first proclaimed by Jesus and announced in three parts:

    1. “The Time is Fulfilled.” The goal of all creation from Genesis 1.1 on was to repair and reconcile the world, that was broken, back to God and restore the image of God in his people that had been twisted by sin and the influence of the rebellious forces of evil. The appearance of the God-Man heralded to the physical and spiritual realms that this decisive work was now being undertaken.
    2. “The Kingdom of God is at Hand.” A new king of kings and lord of lords is now walking the earth. God is re-establishing his active rule over the realms of humanity and defeating the spiritual powers, principalities and rulers who stand behind these realms of power and oppression. Jesus’ miracles, actions and teaching will demonstrate this, and his taking upon himself all evil and it consequences at the cross and defeating it in his resurrection will decisively accomplish it.
    3. “Repent and Believe in the Gospel.” The way to enter into this kingdom is to trust in Jesus’ kingdom message and place one’s allegiance to him. To repent is to renounce former loyalties and objects of worship that gave life meaning and place that trust and loyalty in the God-man Jesus.

Jesus provides the example of how to proclaim this message. He says, “Follow Me.” “Walk with me,” live with me" and “get to know me.” When we do that he makes us like him and then we become “fishers of men” as we call others to “follow me as I follow Christ.” A simple, but very powerful message. Just like the first disciples, Jesus still says today, “follow me!” Let’s follow him together.

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