"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.

  • (NOTE - "Gospel" = "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

  • Gal 2:5 (KJV) To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

    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.

  • Job 23:3 (KJV) Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
  • 2. Jesus, through His message, showed us the truth of God.
  • John 1:18 (KJV) No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
  • B. Good news of HOPE

  • Col 1:23 (KJV) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

    1. In New Testament times, many had little hope.

  • 2. So today, many have little hope.
  • 3. Jesus' message is a message of hope.
  • C. Good news of PEACE

  • Eph 6:15 (KJV) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

    1. History is filled with war.

  • Mat 24:6-7 (KJV) And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
  • 2. … but Jesus' message was of peace.

  • Rom 5:1 (KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
  • Phil 4:7 (KJV) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
  • D. Good news of IMMORTALITY
  • 2 Tim 1:10 (KJV) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

    1. Jesus preached a message of eternal life.

  • John 5:24 (KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto 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."

  • E. Good news of SALVATION
  • Eph 1:13 (KJV) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    1. Man is weighted with sin and knows it.

  • QUOTE (Rick Warren, regarding telling people that they are sinners.) "That's not good news. That's not even news!" (cf. Romans 3:23)
  • 2. Jesus preached a message of salvation from sin.

  • John 3:18 (KJV) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    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 - Of the topics we have listed, which have anything to do with repentance? (Circle or underline)

    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.

  • Luke 13:3 (KJV) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
  • C. Repentance of sin is part of the gospel.

  • Acts 17:30 (KJV) And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    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."

  • QUOTE - "You cannot repent too soon, because you know not how soon it may be too late."

    QUESTION - How often does a believer need to repent?

  • D. Repentance never ends.

  • QUOTE (Spurgeon) - "Repentance is continual. The believer repents until his dying day."
  • III. His Message Required Faith.

  • QUESTION - Of the topics we have listed, which have anything to do with faith? (Circle or underline)

    A. He said faith is the most essential element in salvation.

  • John 6:28 (KJV) Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    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 8:13 (KJV) And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

    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.

  • Mat 17:20 (KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

    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.

  • "Lord, remember me…"

  • Conclusion:

    The message of Jesus Christ could fill volumes.

  • John said, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." (John 21:25)
  • And yet, in our text for today, Mark summed up the message of Christ in one sentence:

  • 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.
  • 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?

  • That is the message of Jesus Christ.

  • Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
    Copyright 1997 William E. Johnson.