Like I said in my last post, Mark was the first view of the life of Christ given to the church. As we begin our look at the Gospel of Mark, I’m struck by an obvious point. The Holy Spirit didn’t think it important to start with the birth and childhood of Jesus.
Instead, He starts off with the calling of John the Baptist. He was the prophet who was to go before the Lord and prepare Israel for their Messiah. So Mark begins with a prophecy of Isaiah.
It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” –”a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
I’ve always seen us as the “John the Baptist Generation.” I believe that we’re the ones who are preparing the final harvest of souls before the second coming of Christ. That makes his calling and ours very similar.
First, I see that the Lord didn’t arrive the first time, without a messenger announcing His coming. That should be the job of the church right now. Preparing the world to meet their King and Judge.
We are the messengers of Christ. It’s our job to let the world know what Jesus has done for them.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20
This is our ministry in a nutshell. Everything else is a side issue. The saving work of Jesus Christ should be our main focus.
Another thing I see is that there’s preparation involved. Mark uses two different words in these verses. The word, prepare, in verse 2 means a thorough preparation of all the equipment needed for an assignment. We need to be equipped for our role in these last days.
The word used in verse 3 is a bit different. It means to get ready. It speaks of the internal preparation that’s needed in advance of the Lord’s coming.
There’s no way around it; the church needs to be prepared for Christ’s return.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
It concerns me that so few people attend a Bible Study these days. I’m glad for the attendance at worship services on the weekends, but that’s not where you’re equipped. There needs to be something more in depth – where you can interact with the teacher.
Right along with this, I’ve found our generation to be the most Biblically illiterate in all of Christianity. Simply put, many believers have no idea what the Bible even teaches. I’ve heard people tell me what they think the Scripture says because they heard it on a TV show or in a movie. We need the foundation of true Biblical teaching.
The final thing I see is that John was a voice crying in the wilderness. He was away from all the trappings of society. John was different.
Why do we feel the need to blend seamlessly into our culture? If there’s no difference between our lifestyle and theirs – why do they even need a Savior?
There’s a fear that no one will listen to us if we’re too different. I think that the opposite is true. Only when there’s an observable difference will the world want what we have.
We belong to a different kingdom. We’re to be in the world but not of it. Let’s truly pick up the assignment of being messengers in this final generation.
Question: What’s your message to the world?
© 2017 Nick Zaccardi