• Jack Selcher

Jesus Is a Firm Foundation

The Gospel of Mark reports Peter’s eyewitness experience of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Mark wrote it between A.D. 60 and 70 in Rome to Roman Christians under the constant threat of persecution. He explains how the good news about Jesus Christ began. He emphasizes that Jesus came to serve (Mark 10:45).

Mark 1:1-13 establishes who Jesus is by calling three witnesses to the stand: John the Baptist, God the Father, and Satan the tempter. The first announces Him. The second affirms Him. The third acknowledges Him.

John the Baptist began the Gospel age. His preaching was like a vehicle with flashing lights and a sign marked “Extra-wide Load” warning of a huge object being moving on a highway. Pay attention! An extra-wide load is taking away three-fourths of the road! John’s ministry pointed toward the day he’d say, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, NIV).

John the Baptist played second fiddle. Will you? How are you handling the tension between serving and fitting into a society which values being served?

John called for a heart response (repentance) which leads to a public action (baptism). Repentance is a deliberate turning from sin. It results in changed conduct. Baptism in the Jordan River was the outward sign of that change.

In Mark 1:7-8, John says he’s unworthy to unloose the thongs of the sandals of the One who is to come. That was a slave’s job in the first century. By contrast, many Christians live as if Jesus were their slave. Do you?

Remarkably, Jesus submitted to John’s baptism in Mark 1:9. John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 1:4). Jesus wasn’t a sinner. Yet, through baptism He identified Himself completely with us and our sin. He was like a general crawling through the mud with his troops. Do you look down on those still in sin? Do you treat them as an equal?

Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, the Father affirms Him by saying, “I claim you. I love you. I’m proud of you.” We need to belong, be loved, and know someone is proud of us. Are you meeting these three needs in the lives of your loved ones?

After Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit drove Him from the Jordan River into the wilderness. The Scriptures indicate Satan knew who Jesus was. In Matthew 4:4, Satan acknowledges Jesus’ identity. He doesn’t ask Him to prove it.

Satan attacked when Jesus was at His weakest. Knowing and applying God’s word allowed Him to withstand the temptation. God’s word was His authority. In what areas are you most vulnerable to Satan’s attacks? What verses can fortify those areas during attack? #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources

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Photo: jesus_20 | The baptism of Jesus by John | James Shepard | Flickr

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