The Anticipation is killing me!
Describe a time when you were
anticipating an event that really
excited your heart. (Daydreaming,
distracted, anxious, can’t sleep, like a
kid at Christmas). Imagine the same
type of anticipation as we begin to read
the earliest of the written Gospels, the Gospel of Mark. It has been 400 years of “silence” from Almighty God. His people have been waiting and waiting and waiting. The Father has been waiting, with joyful anticipation, for this day since before the foundation of the world. It is here! The time has come! Jesus is here! This is incredible, this is life changing, this is everything!
Can you feel the weightiness of this moment? (Jn 10:10; 1 Cor. 2:9; 1 Jn 5:11-13)
The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1)
We are invited/called to walk with and follow a still living Person. Not a program, philosophy, religious ideology, positive memory, moral code or political agenda.
The word gospel (Euangelion = angelos, one announcing news + Eu-, “joyful”) literally means “news that brings joy.” It is not just a religious term. It meant history-making, life shaping news, as opposed to just daily news. An announcement of something that has happened in history, something that’s been done for you that changes your status forever.
Other religions say, “This is what you have to do in order to connect to God forever; this is how you have to live in order to earn your way to God.” But the gospel says, “This is what has been done in history. This is how Jesus lived and died to earn the way to God FOR YOU.” This is joyful news! – Tim Keller. (Isa 53:5; Mk 10:45; 2 Cor. 5:21; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; 1 Jn 4:10; Acts 10:43; 13:38-39)
WHO IS THIS JESUS?
Mark doesn’t write his book about just anybody. It’s not a story about some average Jewish Joe six-pack, a good man, a moral teacher, or even a great philosopher. He writes about the very Son of God who came from heaven to die for the sins of the world.
Jesus - simply, "Jehovah saves," or "Jehovah our Savior." (Matt. 1:21; Lk 1:31,35) An unmistakable identity and mission.
Christ - He is "the Christ," the long-awaited "Messiah" of Israel. (Mark 8:29-31; Jer. 31:31-34; Isaiah 53; Zech. 9:9; Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7,9:5-7)
Son of God – Or God the Son. Undeniably deity, outright divinity. (Matt. 1:21-23; Gal. 4:4-5; Isa. 9; Col. 1:16; John 1:1-18)
Lord – Supreme, foremost, above all and over all. KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:16; Matt. 28:18; Acts 2:36; 1Tim:15-17)
How does having a clear understanding of the true identity of Jesus affect your response to his call to “follow me?”
PREPARE THE WAY
Mark 1:2-3; Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1
(vs 3-5) Is there a clear road in your heart for God? What needs to be cleared out of your way in order to walk with Jesus? Valleys – moral failures? Mountains – Pride? Rough ground – repair relationships?
(vs 5) What can you expect to experience as you clear out of your heart the obstacles, garbage, roadblocks and hindrances?
POINTING THE WAY
(Mk 1:5) Why was John’s ministry so popular?
(Mk 1:4, 15) What was John the Baptist’s main message? What was Jesus’ main message? Why is this critical? (2 Cor. 7:10, Acts 3:19-20; 2 Pt 3:9; Rom 2:4)
(Mk 1:6, 7) What was John’s attire? What was his attitude? Why does this matter? (2Kings 1:8; Mal 4:5; Matt 11:7-14)
(Mk 1:8) How does John’s baptism differ from Jesus’ baptism? (Acts 1:8; 16:7-8; 13-15; 1 Cor. 2:10-11)
TAG TEAM DISCUSSION
What insight or thought most got your attention? Why?
What main obstacle keeps you from walking with and enjoying fellowship with your Creator God who loves you and has great plans for your life?