081819.ca_.logo_.jpg
a

Expository Studies

Learn More To Love More To Share More

Latest Video

Daily Encouragement

Rejoice in the Lord Jesus Today

October 4, 2011

Preparing the Way

Mark 1:1-3, Page 1557

      I really enjoy meeting new people at the beach.  Some of the people at the beach do not like to talk much, but others will sit down and talk with you about a variety of subjects.  As you talk with people, you often get a keen sense of how they are doing, by watching their expressions, their body language, and many other things that they do.  Spiritually, however, you can gauge how a person stands with Christ by listening to the things they bring forth from their heart.  Sometimes I meet someone who wants to discuss spiritual things with me immediately.  A few weeks ago I went to the park and a man came up to me to ask a question about the Bible.  As soon as I arrived, he asked me: “Are you the preacher?” I said I am just a man, and suggested we talk.  A few days later, a friend of mine was talking with a woman, and mentioned to her that she should talk with me.  She asked when I come to the park, and my friend said: “There he is now” and I walked up.    God has a wonderful way of having people meet each other every day.  In Mark 1:1-3, we read about God beginning the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we will learn about how God brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to earth through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Mark 1:1, Page 1557

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

        The Beginning.  You may recall that Genesis 1:1, page 1, reads: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”    God began with the creation of both heaven and earth.  Likewise, John 1:1, page 1653, reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  From the Gospel of John, we learn about the Word who became flesh, and dwelt among us–Jesus Christ (John 1:14, page 1654).  In the Gospel of Mark, we read about the Son of God.  We see a wonderful picture of the deity of Christ, and see His divine love and power at work among the children of Israel.

       The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Also in Mark 1:1, we read about the gospel (“εὐαγγελίου”) of Jesus Christ.    In the New Testament, we have four “Gospels” (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), and each one of them presents a different view of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Scholars noticed that Matthew, Mark, and Luke cover many of the same parts of the life of the Lord Jesus, but each writer emphasizes different aspects of the Lord Jesus and His ministry.  Scholars call Matthew, Mark and Luke the “Synoptic Gospels” because they share a similar viewpoint of Christ and memorialize many of the same events in the life of Jesus Christ on earth.  The Gospel of John starts in eternity past, and presents a very different view of the Lord Jesus.  The term “Gospel” means literally “good news” and in the New Testament the term has several different meanings.  In Mark 1:1, the term Gospel certainly means good news, but it also carries with it the idea of the good news presented in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.  For a succinct understanding the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, consider 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, page 1800,: “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”  God prepares the way for the life of Jesus Christ, and outlined in the Old Testament the specific ways He would prepare the people of Israel to meet the Son of God.

Mark 1:2-3, Page 1557

“As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY; THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, “MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.”‘”

       The Prophetic Calendar.  Recently I heard a preacher talk about the “probability” that some man could fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ.  He likened the probability to finding a single quarter in a field the size of Texas stacked chin-deep with quarters.  Actually, the preacher was completely mistaken because no one, except the Son of God, could fulfill the Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ.  For example, Isaiah the Old Testament Prophet, did not speak in terms of probability that someone would come and prepare the way for Christ.  Isaiah prophesied of certainty that Christ would come, at the appointed time and place, and that the “messenger” would prepare the way of Christ by crying out in the wilderness.  Whenever someone talks about probabilities and the Bible, they generally have no idea what they are talking about.  Consider further that only the Son of God could fulfill the prophecy of a virgin giving birth to a child, who would be known as Immanuel, God with Us.  God only came in the flesh through the person of Jesus Christ.  In Mark 2: 2-3, we read about the prophecy of Isaiah, and the precision of the revelation from God about the messenger and his preparation for the coming Messiah of Israel, Jesus Christ from Nazareth.

        Sending the Messenger.  Notice too that God had predicted that He would send the messenger before the Christ.  This divinely sent messenger would have a specific task: prepare the way for Christ (Mark 2:2-3).  Every believer, every day, can rest assured that God has a special task for you to perform.  God does not want to waste your time, or leave you without something to do.  Could you imagine John the Baptist saying, well, I think I will ignore God’s call to prepare the way for Christ?  So often, God uses our lives to prepare the way for Christ to come to someone, and we see how God used us to prepare the way for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  God loves for us to see how He works in history, and prophesies His actions centuries before, to bring the fine details to pass as part of His great plan of salvation and glory. 

       Crying in Wilderness.  God calls men to preach in very unusual places.  In Mark 1:3, page 1557, we see that God called John the Baptist, the messenger (John 1:23, page 1654), to preach in the wilderness.  Perhaps you do not like where God has sent you to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Perhaps you are just preparing the way for someone else to follow you with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I recall Paul telling the Corinthians that Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.  He added that neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7, page 1784).  God specifically sent the messenger to prepare the way of Christ by speaking in the wilderness.  The people had to leave their towns and cities and go out into the wilderness to hear the messenger.  The very setting of the place where the messenger spoke would certainly have garnered the attention of those coming to see him.

       Making Ready for the Christ.  In Mark 1:3, page 1557, we see that the messenger had a specific task assigned by God and also a specific purpose.  The messenger was to make the way of the LORD ready, and to make His paths straight.  This messenger had a great honor bestowed upon Him by God.  He was making ready the way of the Lord.  When Jesus appeared, the paths and the way spiritually had been prepared by the messenger.  You may also recall that the people held John the Baptist in high esteem (Matthew 21:23-27, page 1539).  John preached a specific message of the coming kingdom, and of repentance (Mark 1:4, page1557; Acts 19:4, page 1737).

        So we learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ today.

    ●  God plans the future, including the details of the message, the messenger, and his location. 

    ●  In God’s plans, nothing happens by accident or probability.

    ●  God loves for us to know all about Jesus, and how God planned for the life of Jesus Christ, even before Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem.  Of course, we know that Jesus existed as God long before His birth on earth. 

Application for Today

 

        As I live today, I am thrilled to think about all the planning God does for every day of my life.  He has a perfect plan for my life, and my life will fit perfectly into the master plan for everyone else seeking to do the will of God around me.  God was well-pleased to use the life of the messenger to prepare the way for Jesus in a unique way, but God still uses people to share the message of Jesus.  In a sense, God uses our lives and testimony to prepare peole to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  You may a planter, a waterer, or a harvester, but in every case, God gets all the glory.  He alone saves people from their sins.  Will you be lifting your voice today to tell people about Jesus who loves them today?

 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 
 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.