Mark – The Facts.
“Find your passion” speakers say to us, “and do that”. So I ask myself, what is my passion? What is that one thing that gives me the most joy and pleasure? What is IT that drives me to get up every morning, get showered and dressed so I can get to IT with all that is in me? Is IT teaching kids? Is IT being with others who share my passion for teaching kids? Is IT being with my family, loving and serving them? Is IT planting and landscaping my yard with the beauty of God’s creation? Is IT going to the beach to think, rest and set new goals while listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Is IT living in peace?
There are many things I like and will do with passionate enthusiasm. But the greatest passion of all is that my loved ones and friends would find and follow Christ for themselves. God put that passion in my heart, mind and soul many years ago when I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord. He doesn’t want us to waste a minute of these precious lives of ours ignorant of this most practical of all matters–that GOD is passionate to save us. Our passion to love Him back comes from God who created us.
We are going to walk through Mark, who gets right to the point with enthusiasm and vigor. You can almost hear the passion in Mark’s heart as he writes. It is almost as if he is running into the room where you are to blurt out the Good News in rapid fire with the message, “God is here, and He’s on our side!” Let’s begin…
Mark 1, The Message
John the Baptizer
1-3 The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
Watch closely: I’m sending my preacher ahead of you;
He’ll make the road smooth for you.
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!
4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.
7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”
9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”
And the passion to save us begins…
In Jesus Name, Amen