"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 3
The Message of Jesus Christ
Text: Mark 1:14-15 (KJV) Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Theme: Jesus' message can be summed up in three points - good news, repentance, and faith.
QUESTION - What did Jesus teach about? ( Use this as a brainstorming question, listing answers on white board.)
QUESTION - Looking at the answers we have on the whiteboard, how would you sum up the message of Jesus Christ? (i.e. If you could sum it up in a single sentence, what would you say?)
Mark has done just that for us. In our text for today, he sums up the entire preaching ministry of Christ in a single sentence. Mark teaches us that Jesus' message can be summed up in three points - good news, repentance, and faith.
I. His Message Was Good News.
QUESTION - Of the topics we have listed on the white board, which constitute good news? (Circle or underline)
A. Good news of TRUTH
Col 1:5 (KJV) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
1. Before Jesus Christ, men didn't know what God was like.
B. Good news of HOPE
1. In New Testament times, many had little hope.
C. Good news of PEACE
1. History is filled with war.
2. but Jesus' message was of peace.
1. Jesus preached a message of eternal life.
2. How long is eternal life?
"When we've been there 10,000 years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we'd first begun."
1. Man is weighted with sin and knows it.
2. Jesus preached a message of salvation from sin.
Mat 1:21 (KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
II. His Message Demanded Repentance.
QUESTION - What is the definition of repentance? (Repentance is a change of heart and mind that leads to a change in action and lifestyle.)
QUESTION - What did John the Baptist teach about repentance?
A. John the Baptist said repentance was a necessary preparation for salvation.
B. Jesus said repentance was vital to salvation.
C. Repentance of sin is part of the gospel.
Luke 24:47 (KJV) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
NOTE - Many never get saved because they never repent.
ILLUS. Judas showed great remorse, but never repented.
QUOTE "Those who wait for the 11th hour to repent often die at 10:30!"
ILLUS. A soul winner tells the story of a 93-year-old man who lay on his deathbed listening to a gospel presentation. When pressed for a decision the man responded, "I'm just not ready yet." He was dead the next morning.
"He feels perchance that all is well,
And every fear is calmed;
He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell,
Not only doomed, but damned.
Oh, where is that mysterious line,
That may by man be crossed,
Beyond which God Himself hath sworn,
That he who goes is lost?
An answer from the skies repeats,
'Ye who from God depart'
Today, repent, oh hear His voice,
And harden not your heart."
QUESTION - How often does a believer need to repent?
D. Repentance never ends.
III. His Message Required Faith.
A. He said faith is the most essential element in salvation.
ILLUS. The world says, "Show me and I'll believe you." Christ says, "Believe me and I will show you."
B. Miracles occurred when people believed.
Mat 9:29-30 (KJV) Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.
ILLUS. The story is told of a poverty-stricken woman who had no money for food, so she wrote a prayer for God's help on a slip of paper, and went to the grocer. Upon asking for bread, the grocer (apparently deducing from her state that she had no money) asked, "How do you plan to pay for it?" She replied, "All I have is this little prayer," and handed him the slip of paper. He said, "All right, let's just see what that is worth," and placed the paper on the scale. He then put a loaf of bread on the scale, and looked with some astonishment on the fact that the bread did not push the scale down. He put on another loaf then another then a pound of cheese until finally, with a crowd of amused shoppers looking on, he muttered something about the scale being broke, and bagged up the groceries for the now tear-stained woman. After she had left the store, he began to examine the scale, expecting to find something broken. He looked at the slip of paper, and was startled to see that she had written on it these words, "Give us this day our daily bread."
C. Faith is the ingredient that assures the power of God.
QUOTE - "Faith is telling a mountain to move and only being shocked if it doesn't."
Mark 9:23 (KJV) Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
D. It was simple faith that saved the thief.
The message of Jesus Christ could fill volumes.
And yet, in our text for today, Mark summed up the message of Christ in one sentence:
Have you rejoiced in the good news yet today?
Are you living a life of repentance, having repented once and for all unto salvation, and every day unto a life of holiness?
Are you living a life characterized by and energized by faith?
Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1997 William E. Johnson.