Gospel In Motion
The beginning of the Gospel includes the preaching of the Gospel — the outreach of the Gospel — by means of the use of every kind of medium and Spirit-filled believers.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, I trust so. I’ve been praying that God might put His Truths and blessing and love and power and goodness and compassion into all that I have to say to you. A human voice can convey a great deal, can it not? I just want what I say and the way I say it to be blessed of God to you beloved, right now.
What I’m going to do is to start in the Gospel of Mark- we’ll go verse by verse as we always do, see what it says. Dr. Gray who taught me many years ago at the Moody Bible Institute, used to say, “Find that what the Bible says- you’ll have no difficulty with what it means”. So that’s been my approach through these many years. We’ll find out what it says and then we’ll see what it says to us, leading us to obey. So, that’s an interesting and challenging layout.
Before we get into the text, we ought to think a little bit about the book itself. It was written by a man named Mark, who was the son of Mary of Jerusalem. His name is called John Mark actually, and he was related to Barnabas, who was his uncle. He was associated with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, and got cold feet there somewhere along the line in Acts 13:13, which is probably the unluckiest verse in the New Testament, if you believe in luck which I don’t. But Acts 13:13 said he departed from them and went back to Jerusalem.
I can just see what happened, you know, he went to his uncle’s and said ‘my ulcers are kicking up something terrible. I don’t believe I can stand this being on the road every day and every night. You think you could stake me to fare back home?’ Well, Barnabas always was a soft touch, and so he probably helped the young man get back home again. I don’t know whether it was homesickness or fear or a pair of brown eyes, back there in Jerusalem or whatever it was, but anyhow he quit.
Paul had a hard time forgiving him. His rule was fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, and so when it came to a second journey later on he said, “Nothing doing. He left us once, I’m not going to give him a chance to leave us twice”. However, later on, Paul found out that John Mark was valuable-he said in Timothy, “Bring Mark with you, for he is profitable, profitable to me for the ministry”.
Tradition says that Mark was a companion of Peter, and some writers actually call the Gospel of Mark Peter’s Gospel. Certainly he may have furnished or suggested much of the material found in the book-the life of Jesus is portrayed as crowded with benevolent deeds, Christ the servant of God and man, and well, some illustrations of that His devotions were interrupted by crowds, there was no time to eat, yielding to such perpetual calls for service. His friends said that He was unbalanced, even when He wanted to take a rest they pursued Him. Always serving others needs and serving God.
This is the shortest of the four Gospels, the style of course is vivid and picturesque. Mark’s keyword is straightway, right away, get at it, and much of the subject matter obviously is found also Matthew and Luke, but not mere repetition because it contains many details that aren’t found in either of the others.
A lot of personal touches are found in this Gospel: says He was with the wild beasts during the days of His temptation. He surnamed James and John—Boanerges– the sons of thunder. There was a point there where Mark said, “Jesus was much displeased”, said that, “people were amazed, the common people heard Him gladly and when they talked with Him there in His home area they said, ‘Is not this the carpenter?’” This is all human nature writing, you know, the human touch is found with Mark.
Although he emphasized Christ’s Divine power, he often alludes to His human feelings, He was disappointed, He was weary, He wondered at their unbelief, He sighed, and His affection for others. Nineteen miracles are recorded in this short book, which demonstrate this supernatural power of the Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Mark.
Well, in Mark, Jesus demonstrates His divinity by overcoming disease, demons, and death. Although He had the power to be King of the Earth, Jesus chose to obey the Father and to die for us. He is portrayed, as I said a moment ago, as the servant, as the Messiah Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament by coming to earth. He didn’t come as a conquering king, He came as a servant. Helped mankind by telling them about God and healing them and then by giving His life as a sacrifice for sin, God’s Passover Lamb.
That was the ultimate act of service. Religious leaders opposed Him. They saw Him as a threat to their secure position, as He exposed their hypocrisy. Well, that’s Mark.
Now, I would suggest dear friend, that you read the book of Mark, not once, but several times. It’s a short book and you can read through in a very short space of time. Read and reread it, and ask God to speak to your heart through these wonderful passages, Mark portraying our Lord Jesus as the servant of the King.
Well, let me read a few of these beginning verses and comment upon them before time runs out us. It’s the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God as it is written in the prophets, “Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before Thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight”. So John did baptize in the wilderness and preach the baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins, “and then went out unto him, all the land of Judea, they of Jerusalem and were all baptized by him in the River of Jordan confessing their sins. John was clothed with camel’s hair and a girdle of skin about his loins, and he did eat locusts and wild honey and preach saying, ‘There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water, but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost’.
Now, we stop there because verse nine launches into a discussion of the baptism of the Lord Jesus, Himself and then His time in the wilderness. The beginning of the Gospel. It occurs to me that the Bible is written in a sense of expectation. The beginning of the Gospel, that’s Mark 1:1.
I’m going to turn over to Acts, because I think I remember something there. “The former treatise, have I made oh Theophilus, of all that Jesus began” (this is Dr. Luke writing,) “began both to do and to teach until the day which he was taken up”, and so on and so on. Afterwards, He showed Himself alive and sent the disciples into the upper room and so on. All that He began, both to do and teach, the beginning of the Gospel.
As a matter of fact dear friend, the Gospel is STILL being presented and the Lord Jesus is STILL doing and teaching, you may say through Spirit filled believers all across the world, and with the advent of radio and television, that blessed message is now reaching millions every day that would not otherwise have heard it. Surely, we must be coming close to the Second Coming, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ for He said that. The Gospel must be preached among all nations, “then shall the end come”.
I wonder if you’re ready for the coming of Christ, are you? The beginning of the Gospel includes the preaching of the Gospel, the outreach of the Gospel by means of the use of every kind of medium and Spirit filled believers, and it culminates in the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you ready for that? If Christ came today, would He find you unprepared? Would He find you unsaved, and you’d be left or would He find you sleeping on the job and not really ready for His coming?
John the apostle says in his first epistle, “Now, little children abide in Him that when He shall appear we may have confidence and not be ashamed away from Him at His coming”. Like some guilty little boy with his head in the cookie jar, hearing the rustle of his mother’s petticoats behind him in the doorway, turns around and looks at her with shame and fear because he’s been caught doing something he shouldn’t-that’s John’s use there of that verb ashamed away from Him at His coming.
Oh, live this minute as you will wish you had lived when your Lord Jesus Christ is here. The beginning of the Gospel. Now another question that I want to ask us at this point is, what is God doing, Gospel wise, in your life today?
I meet so many Christians who although they know the Lord Jesus and have trusted Him as Savior, are not really active in any sense in giving out the Gospel of the Lord Jesus, and I don’t mean that you should be an eager beaver proselyter knocking everyone down whom you meet, and while standing on his neck saying ‘Are you prepared to die?!’ That isn’t the point. You know that. Different people have different personalities and some of us are very shy and others are more extroverted, and it’s easier to talk with people, I know that. But God would work through every life to tell people about His Son if you let Him.
Jesus gave us His Great Commission and He said, “Go and preach the Gospel to every creature”. God wants everybody to be saved. Peter says, “He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of the Truth, and the overriding job of every believer is to give out the Gospel”. Mark says the beginning of the Gospel. What is the continuance of the Gospel in your life beloved?
No, you don’t have to preach sermons, no, you don’t have to be an eager, crass, ultra-extroverted person who tramples over other peoples’ sensibilities. Let’s forget those baseless fears. God is not asking you to be anything but yourself, full of the Spirit of God. But like a friend of mine said, he hated to go calling because he just hoped that nobody would be home, so he wouldn’t have to talk to anybody about the Lord, and then he opened his life to the blessed Holy Spirit of God, who dwells within the believer. He opened up all of his life to that wonderful Spirit of God. He found that there was a difference in his motivation and he couldn’t wait for opportunities to share the joy that he had in Christ.
Let me recommend to you beloved, that you give some thought and prayer to this matter of what God is doing Gospel wise through your life. Let Him do something wonderful as you share Christ with others even today.
Dear Father today, may the Gospel be working through our lives, in Jesus’ name I pray this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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