Sometimes the gospel records are read so often that the reader can easily overlook something of significance. This is certainly the case in Mark 1:9-13, where the events of the baptism of Jesus and the temptation of Jesus are linked back-to-back, with only God’s words spoken from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased”, separating the two events. In this message, Daniel Jansen explores this contrast and shows us the wonder of the Beloved Son who did all that He did for His people’s salvation.
Prayer is something that should be fundamental to every Christian, yet we often neglect prayer while also taking prayer for granted (1 John 1:5-2:2). In this message, Ryan Smith reminds us again of the amazing provision that enables us, sinners, to come before a holy and righteous God, with confidence, and call on him as our Father (Mark 14:32-42). The good news transforms our understanding of prayer!
There’s no doubt that the death of Jesus was one of the world’s greatest events for all the wrong reasons. Not only was He inncocent of all charges laid against Him and not only did the situation show itself to be one fuelled by anger and hatred, it was also true that it was possibly the greatest injustice ever handed out to a man. It’s telling that when the Son of God appeared on earth, mankind rejected Him and put Him on the cross. But that’s not the whole story and in Mark 15:1-15, the other side of the coin is made clear. Jesus went through with all this in obedience to God’s plan and in the madness of it all, we can trace the love and mercy of God.
We are constantly bombarded with news, but what our world really needs to hear is truly good news! Mark wrote his gospel to give us the truly good news of Jesus the God-Man king, who came to conquer Satan, Sin and death (Mark 1:1-15). This is amazing news that when understood rightly will turn your life around. Will you believe it?
In Mark’s gospel, we meet Jesus and see his authority and power, much to the amazement of his disciples. On display is his power over nature, over demons, to forgive sin and even over death. How should we respond?
When Jesus sat down in the Upper Room with his disciples in Mark 14:12-25, there was so much going on, and all of it was leading to and pointing to the cross. Yet also in the Last Supper we meet the very basis of the Lord’s Supper which also points to Him and to the cross.
Contrasts in the Bible abound. When Mary broke her alabaster jar of perfume over the feet of her Saviour, Judas was quick to criticise her actions. When one thief railed against Jesus, the other turned to Him and begged for salvation. When Jesus had his eyes set of his approraching death in Mark 10:32-45, James & John had their minds on other things. But…they will not be alone. Often, our eyes are on the wrong prize.
Mark records the occasion at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”. In response, Peter said to Jesus, “You are the Christ”. In response to Peter’s confession, Mark 8:31-9:1 tells how Jesus explained to the disciples what kind of Christ (Messiah) he had come to be, and from that moment, Jesus set His eyes upon the cross and took the road that went to it. The harder road. The one that would end in death for Him. But more than that, He called His disciples to take that very same road.
At our Annual Seafarer’s service, Commander Mike Oborn preached from Mark 4:35-41 concerning the calming of the storm. Mike looked at the passage from his vast experience at sea and so from the perspective of a mariner. In doing so he pointed out that what Mark recorded about the storm on the lake and the fear of the disciples in the boat were both plausible. So too the stilling of the storm by which Jesus showed the extent of His power over all of creation. The disciples responded to him with a mixture of awe and fear. Our response to him is vital when we consider how it is that we must face him on the day of judgement.
Rt Rev David Jones, Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia preached from Mark 8:27-38 highlighting the dramatic moment when Jesus posed a central question to his disciples, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Peter’s answer ‘You are the Christ’ (Messiah) stands as one of the central confessions of the true Christian who will not only understand and believe in the importance of Jesus’ death but will also be willing to die to self every day and carry their own cross.