[edited for readability]
Welcome guests, visitors. If it’s your first time, so glad you’re here my name’s Dave. I’m the lead pastor and I get the honor each week of just walking through the scriptures with you. So glad you’re here. We’re a very simple church; we love, love, love to make much of Jesus Christ. We’re convinced that Jesus has, is, and ultimately will change everything. And He loves to do it through His body. We’re looking at the book of Mark that shows us – introduces us – to King Jesus. It shows us how He did change everything. The King came to serve. Pretty profound isn’t it? That the Creator, Maker of the universe, entered His creation and did not come to be served, but to serve. To give His life away. And He showed us how to change everything by pouring His life out and giving it away. So we’re going to look at that [in] chapter 1:9-13, this morning. Let me read it to you in Mark Chapter 1, verse 9. God says Mark writes:
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
12 Immediately the Spirit *impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. 13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.
Five simple verses. Before I jump in and peel them apart, let me kind of give you an intro. It’s going to help you understand what Mark is doing here with these five verses. [I’ll give you] the broad picture that I think will help you to hang your thoughts on. If you read straight through the Bible you’d walk away absolutely realizing that God is holy. In fact, when you get to the end – Revelation Chapter 4 – there are created beings in heaven crying out day and night; holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. So God’s holy. Now here’s the reason you don’t hear a whole bunch of “Amens” there. Many of us grew up in church. We grew up thinking that holiness was ‘being set apart and not having any sin’, right? So when you hear ‘God is holy’ we think ‘God never sins’. He doesn’t do this, this, this, this, and this. He doesn’t smoke, drink, or go with girls who do. He doesn’t do those things. So God’s holy. Philosophically, intellectually, theologically trying to define something by what it isn’t – is bizarre. You can’t really do it. So your concept of God is going to be off… God’s holy. What that means is He’s filled with love. He loves perfectly. He’s filled with joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
God’s Holy. That means He’s awesome to be around. OK. Now you get it. That’s really what it means. God’s perfect in all the perfections of his perfect attributes. He does everything perfect. This is why the Bible can tell us in His presence is fullness of joy. You see, America pursues happiness but they don’t understand that happiness is a byproduct of holiness. And so we’re pursuing the wrong thing and we can’t understand why it’s not working out… long introduction – God’s holy.
Here’s the small theological picture because of sins entrance into the world I hide from holiness. How many of you ever got detention or was suspended? Got called to the principal’s office? Most of us did. You know that sinking feeling of shame and guilt?
“I’m going to go see Mr. Riley again… I’m going to get in big trouble.”
And you wanted to hide. Here’s the funny thing. Read [the Bible]. Here’s where it starts out: Genesis Chapter 3, verse 8
“8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
That’s where the story starts. Fast forward to Revelation Chapter 6 or 20 – take either one. They see the resurrected Christ…
“and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;”
“11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.”
They see the great white throne and they flee, flee but there’s no place found to hide. Beginning to the end of the story. We are hiding. There is this giant hide and seek [game] but God’s not hiding. We are. And let me tell you this, I have found countless numbers of ways to hide. Sometimes I’ll hide through busyness. You just get your schedule really [busy].
“I would go to church, I would change, I would worship, I would do this, I would read, I would grow, I would study, but I’m very busy.”
It’s a great place to hide because in America busyness means you’re really important. We’re a bunch of important people.
“Very very busy! I’m super important. Look how busy I am!”
“Oh he’s very busy. He must be important…”
That’s just a way to hide. I’ve hidden in busyness. That’s what alcohol addiction was for me. It was hiding, numbing. It’s what methamphetamine addiction [was for me]. We hide in work, we hide here at church… do you know that? This is, in fact, one of the greatest places to hide from God because we feel very good about ourselves.
“I’ve come to church. I’m doing all the things that should make God happy.”
And so we hide in plain sight. Here’s my transition statement to bring us into the text. The gospel is the good news of how the Holy, Holy, Holy God humbled himself, emptied himself in the second person of the Trinity, his Son Jesus Christ, and He came to seek and to save that which was lost. We are hiding and God comes to say “Come out”. You know, you’re free to stop hiding today. You’re free to say,
“You know what. I’ve used my work and busyness to run from God. I’m gonna stop hiding from him. I’m just going to walk in truth.”
Some of you are using substances. Some of you are using religion and hiding behind moralism to hide from God. God came in His Son, Jesus Christ, and said “Come out. Come be with me.” Now that’s frightening isn’t it? When the Holy One of God, Jesus Christ, says “Come out”, most of us don’t want to come out and repent and just openly say “OK I’ve been hiding.” So what Mark’s going to do this morning is he’s going to introduce the King to the audience.
Now introductions are not easy. Introductions are not an easy thing. Have you ever had to introduce anybody in front of a group of people? It’s not enough just to get up and be like,
“Here’s Dave. He’s here to speak.”
Generally what happens – and it’s awful –
“Here’s Dave Hooker. He’s here to speak.”
And I have to get up and tell him I’m not a hooker, I’m a Tooker. Introductions matter. Introductions are difficult things. What Mark is about to do is introduce the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Bread, the Light, the Door, the Vine, the Good Shepherd, the Creator. He’s about to introduce the King of the ages to the audience. Introductions are a huge thing.
I’m going to quote from Richard Seaborg 1935 public speaking – that the person who introduces has to explain why this speaker [is speaking] on this subject to this audience on this occasion. If you don’t do that you fail. And, in doing that, the speaker [with] this audience, [on] this occasion has to make a connection between the audience and the speaker so that the message can flow across. It’s an epic task that Mark is about to go through here. Watch how well he does it, in just five verses, he’s going to connect the speaker to the audience for centuries to come by saying, “Jesus is like you so you can listen to him because he’s like you.” And then he’s going to say, “Jesus is totally unlike you. He’s been somewhere you haven’t. So you should listen to him. Come out of hiding and join him.” And then he’s going to say, “Jesus is totally for you and with you so you don’t have to hide in shame or guilt anymore. He’s like you, he’s unlike you, but he’s with you and for you, so you should listen to him.” Watch how Mark reaches down and grabs the audience and joins the audience hands to the King’s hands. I’m praying he’ll do the same thing for you this morning as you’re hiding from him in shame, guilt, or fear, that you would just run to the King. There’s nothing to hide from.
Watch where he starts out – Jesus is like us (Verse 9). This is bizarre. He’s introducing the King of Kings. He’s about to outline the King’s Kingdom that’s come, and the kind of King he is. So he starts out knowing he’s got to create this similarity.
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Mark 1:9)
What do we know about Nazareth in Galilee? From John 1:46 – “Nothing good comes from it.”
Awesome. Super duper. Jesus came from this place that has an earthly longitude and latitude. You can go find it. It’s still there. You understand what Mark’s doing here? Jesus came from a place. Jesus had a home town. He had a stomping ground. He grew there in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man. Jesus lost his front teeth. Jesus potty trained there. (Is that too much? It’s true. You realize, don’t you, that just because Jesus was the sinless son of God, He still potty trained?) He grew up. He had a stomping ground. Jesus had a zip code. That’s what Mark is saying.
He’s like you. Jesus had [an] awkward junior high stage where Mary probably combed his hair to take school pictures and wishes that picture didn’t exist. (That’s not actually true, kids, because Olan Mills didn’t exist then. There were no pictures at school.) But do you see what he just did? In one sentence? It’s brilliant, utterly brilliant. The King is like you. He grew up in a town. How many you grew up in small town? It’s hard. Everybody knows who everybody is and everybody’s all up in everybody else’s business and watching everything that goes on. Jesus gets that. He’s just like you. He grew up in that small town. Here comes the confusing part because this is going to twist you up theologically. Watch where he goes next. After saying Jesus grew up in a hometown, and Jesus is just like you. Fully human. Watch where it goes next, and you notice he puts the conjunction in there:
“And he was baptized by John in the Jordan.” (Mark 1:9)
“OK wait a minute, Dave. Last week you said that the baptism John was doing was the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. I thought Jesus was the sinless son of God the Lamb of God who is going to take away the sins of the world? Why was Jesus being baptized? Why would Jesus be baptized if he had no sin?”
Your King is totally like you and identified with you down to the most base common thing. My team as we talked about it this week, this was one of the biggest questions:
“Why would Jesus be baptized? I don’t get it.”
You actually do. You know it intuitively.
Have you ever seen a mom feed a baby baby food? Anybody? It’s amazing because a mom will take what used to be just one type of baby food, like peaches or green beans. Now it’s all complex. We shopped for baby food recently and it’s like broccoli beets bean and banana puree compote or something. It’s just bizarre. Some mom will get the baby food and she’ll go feed the baby, and put the baby in the highchair. Moms get very creative about it. Right? You take a scoop. “Here comes the banana, broccoli, pear, compote!” and the baby does this sometimes – [makes an ugly face] – because there’s broccoli and that’s green, or it’s beets and it’s neon. The baby is like, “No no no no no!” The baby doesn’t say that, but you can see it all over the baby’s face. So what does mama do?
“Oh look! Here comes the choo-choo train. Oh you don’t want to? Look it’s good.”
And Mama eats it. Have you ever seen that? I’ve watched it. I’ve watched my girl do it. I’m like,
“oh ah ah! Oh my goodness!”
Well, you can watch that play, and if I was watching that from the outside, I’d say,
“Why did Mommy eat that? I don’t think she needed the nutrients. Why would she eat the broccoli beet banana compote? I don’t think she’s hungry for the broccoli beet banana compote. Why would she do that?”
Well you know intuitively why she did it, don’t you? She’s identifying with the baby even at the lowest level to say,
“You’re safe, you’re OK. The broccoli banana beet compote isn’t going to hurt you. It’s for you.”
What Jesus did here was identify with us at the lowest level of humility. Jesus Christ being baptized is the “Gugu-Gaga of God” to people who are hiding from him. You want to know why I’m so grateful for this? This is going to blow parts of your cerebral cortex. I am so grateful for this, because I have people come to me every single month, and say,
“Dave I need to get re-baptized.”
“Why do you need to get re-baptized?”
“Well the first time I got baptized, it was at a Baptist camp, and I only got baptized because a girl got baptized and she was hot.”
“Oh my goodness, that is bad. That’s horrible! You did that?”
“Yes, I did that.”
“Oh my goodness.”
But they’ll say,
“I did it the first time wrong. Now I want to do it right.”
So we’ll baptize them again, and they’ll come come back in a couple of months and say,
“Pastor Dave, the first time I got baptized because of a girl, the second time I got baptized out of guilt. And I realized guilt isn’t a good motivator for baptism either. So I’d like to get baptized again, and do it out of just grace.”
So we’ll baptize them again. And they’re trying to land the dismount on explaining the gospel in the Trinity to the body, and they’ll totally miss out on the Holy Spirit, and they’ll come back and be like,
“I’ve messed up again!”
You see what Jesus did here? His repentance and his baptism were perfect. Mine wasn’t. Do you know, I don’t trust my own repentance? The level, the perfection of my repentance to make me right with God? I’ve never repented perfectly. I wish I could. I can tell you about night after night after night after day in rehab saying,
“Lord, forgive me! Please just take the compulsions away. I don’t want it anymore.”
And even while I was repenting there was a voice in the back of my head.
“You know you’re going to do it again. Why are you even praying Dave? What a joke. You know you’re going to look or drink or eat or go there again. Why do you even think God hears you?”
Your repentance is imperfect and now I realize my repentance is imperfect. Guess who repented perfectly? Jesus Christ did. He’s my righteousness, my repentance is not.
I find hope that Jesus was baptized perfectly. I couldn’t. I totally messed up my baptism. I got baptized, got water up my nose, came up. It was shocking. It was not a good time. Guess who got baptized perfectly for me? Jesus Christ. You see, you are saved by grace through faith. It’s not a result of works. Jesus did it all, all to him we owe. It’s not even my repentance that saves me. I can’t repent well and neither can you. Jesus identified with us. This is what verse 9 is all about. You don’t have to be afraid of your King. Guess what? He’s got a hometown, and He’s humble, just like you. You don’t have to run away from Jesus. He’s just like you. Fully human in all things. That’s wonderful if Jesus is like us, isn’t it? If he can identify with me as a human [in] all my struggles and all my temptations? That’s wonderful. Here’s the problem. If our King is only like us, then He can’t change and challenge us. You know that? See, America loves this. “Yes, Jesus is just like me, Jesus is like me.” Therefore we don’t allow Jesus to change or challenge us, and that’s no King at all, as it? Listen, let me mess with your head just a little bit. This is the Jesus that we worship in America. Jesus, who is just like us so we don’t allow him to change or challenge us at all. Here’s how this plays out: because Jesus is just like us, we recruit him to be on our team, because he’s just like us.
I don’t care what team you’re on. I could sit with you and you’d say,
“Well, Dave, I’m a Republican. And Jesus is just like me. Therefore he’s all about morality. And Republicans have the moral high ground. Therefore, Jesus is a Republican. We recruited him onto our team and Jesus wears a Republican jersey.”
We do that. We don’t even think there’s anything wrong with that. Like we put a Republican jersey on Jesus. We’re OK with that. Democrats do it too.
“No, Dave. Jesus fed 5000. Jesus is just like us. My King is like me. Therefore Jesus is into social justice and social issues. Jesus is a Democrat. He wears a Democrat jersey.”
You see it every political season don’t you? Now listen, some of us are super freaks and you’ll come and say,
“Dave, I’m independent. And I think that Jesus created all things, Dave. Do you think that?”
“Yes, I think that.”
“Well, I believe Genesis chapter one, verse 11 and 12. Do you believe Genesis 1, verse 11 and 12?”
“I do, I believe he made all the vegetation and called it good. Where are you going with this?”
“Well, Dave, as independents we’re just affirming the scriptures that our King’s like us and he’s very good. He made all the vegetation. He made cannabis. He made weed and we just smoke the weed to affirm God’s goodness.”
And we laugh, we laugh. And I want all the pot smokers to hear, it’s silly. The argumentation is silly. Right? But we totally put an “independent” jersey on Jesus. We do this across the board. Jesus was a fisherman, and I like fishing:
“So, Sweetie, I’m going to the coast to be like Jesus, because he’s on my team, right? He wears my [jersey].”
You see, if your Jesus is just like you, He can’t change or challenge you. And He didn’t come to be recruited on your team. He came to recruit everyone onto his team. I don’t care what team you’re on. Jesus says, “Come to me. Join my team.” You see, if you just have a King, a Jesus, that’s like you, you’ll make Jesus your subcontractor to write your story for you. And that’s what we’ve done in America, and I’m here to tell you it hasn’t worked out. It’s ridiculous, because Jesus isn’t here to bolster up your 401k and make your life better on the way to hell. That’s not what He does. That would be a horrible God. “Let me make you very healthy, very happy, so that you can be happy on your way to hell.” He doesn’t do that. That would be awful, but that’s what we do to Him, if we’ve just got a Jesus who’s like us. Watch where Mark goes next. This gets awesome.
Watch [verses] 10 and 11. Jesus is totally unlike us. Watch how quickly this shifts – He goes from Nazareth of Galilee being baptized. Watch how quickly Mark says this – “Now I’ve got to show the audience how much Jesus is unlike them, because if he’s just a King who’s like them, He won’t change them or challenge them.”
“immediately coming up out of the water…” (Mark 1:10)
Jesus just got baptized. He’s down and immediately comes back up. Watch what happens.
“He saw the heavens opening.” (Mark 1:10)
Anybody ever saw the heavens opening after your baptism? Anyone? I didn’t. I saw stars because I went deep. It was in the Baptist church, but I didn’t see the heavens opening. Jesus is totally unlike me on this one.
“And the spirit like a dove descending upon him.” (Mark 1:10)
I’ve never seen anything like that. Jesus is totally a King who is different than I am. Watch [verse] 11. He keeps going with it,
“…and a voice came out of the heavens: ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
You see what Mark just did?
[In] Verse 9, our King is totally like us – zip code, baptized down to the human level. He’s like you. Next verse, your King is totally unlike you. He’s got a heavenly zip code. He’s been part of the Trinity from all eternity. Your King is like you, but your King is also very much unlike you. Why does that matter? Because if you’re introducing the King to the audience, you’ve got to introduce the speaker, the subject, the audience and the occasion. And so he just said, “Why should you listen to King Jesus? Because he’s been somewhere you haven’t been. Heaven.”
This is why we go to mechanics, and when we hire consultants who know something that we don’t know. They’ve been somewhere we haven’t been. This is why my wife and I [with our] first baby we hired a birthing coach, because I hadn’t been there and she hadn’t been there and it’s scary, so we wanted to hire somebody who had been there. [Somebody] who’s very unlike us and who could tell us about the sights, sounds, smells, the pushing, the breathing and all that went on because we didn’t know. But then it got weird. We took other classes too and those were weird and I don’t recommend them. We watched videos that I can’t un-watch. But the birthing classes – She came over to our house to say “I’m like you but I’m unlike you and I want to coach you and teach you about birthing a child.”
Then several weeks into it she said,
“Dave, next week we’re going to do something special. We’re going to have you role play like you’re the baby.”
Right? So my girl and I we knew there’s something weird here. She looks like she may have never had a baby in her life. So we dropped the question:
“How many children do you have?”
She said, “None.”
And that was my out. “We’ve got to fire her.” I never had to roleplay. Amen? Why did we let her go? Because she was totally like us. She had never been there. She had never experienced it. Well, Mark says, “Here is your King, although he is totally like you in humanity. He is totally unlike you. He is one with the Trinity from all eternity. He knows perfect unity and harmony within the Godhead. He’s been to heaven. He knows the heavenly zip code. You can trust in whatever he says is true, because he’s been there.”
“You’re my beloved son, in you I’m well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)
You see, if you just know Jesus who’s like you, He can’t change or challenge you. But if you just know a Jesus who is unlike you, you’ll become religious, disconnected. Yes, He’s Holy Holy Holy. But he won’t be able to connect with you. He won’t be able to have compassion, because he’s completely unlike you. He won’t be able to care for you. What Mark does here is he perfectly blends Jesus’ humanity – He’s like you – and His deity, He’s unlike you. So which one do you walk in? Jesus is like me and we just apply grace, or Jesus is unlike me and we walk in legalism and the law?
So watch what Mark does next. It’s brilliant. I wish I could show you.
“Immediately the spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness.” (Mark 1:12)
Isn’t that profound? Let me explain to you why. The wilderness is never, never, never stated as a really good thing in scripture. Amen? Read through Exodus. Read through the children of God wandering in the wilderness. Same word for 40 years. In Christianity, we talk much about wilderness experiences. Anyone ever had a wilderness experience where the bottom falls out? Life is awful. Life is difficult. Life is terrible. You begin to memorize and pray through Psalm 13:
“Lord, how long will you forsake me? How long will you hide your face from me? This is it. This is unreal. Enlighten my eyes. I’m going to die God if you don’t show up.”
Here’s what I can guarantee you. Life is difficult. The bottom will fall out at some point. Suffering is sure to come, and dependent upon your view of who your King is, it will dictate how you carry out this wilderness experience. You see, some people just see a King who is like them and therefore they use Jesus to pray away all wilderness experiences. I call that American Christianity.
“Jesus, please don’t let anything difficult happen today. Jesus, please keep me healthy. Please keep all sickness, sadness, suffering away.”
So we use Jesus to get the wilderness experience away from us, or while we’re in the wilderness experience we just want to get out of it as quick as we can.
“This hurts. This is painful. I don’t want to be here. Lord, I feel like I’m going to die. I cannot fight this anymore. Would you just take it away?”
You see, here’s what it’s truly like, (after walking through this and studying this King who is like me, this King who is unlike me, but this King who is with me and for me and who suffered like me)… Oftentimes we go to the gym. Many of us are involved with gyms, many of us lift weights. You’re a Planet Fitness member. Can you imagine if I was at the gym and I had a toy plastic bench press bar and I was lifting weights like this. “AARGH!” And I put it up and one of you came in said,
“Dave, you’re acting like that’s really heavy and you’re really strong.”
What if I told you,
“I am really strong – I can lift this plastic thing and I’m really good at it. I’m awesome! I’m super duper strong!”
And then Brandon, who works out, comes and says,
“Dave, let’s put two 25’s on there.”
And I said,
“No. Why would you do that? Those are heavy. It’s so much easier when it’s light and when it’s light I feel super duper strong.”
See, I’m super duper strong when things are light and easy. Now I can look good and I can look at myself in the mirror, because the bar’s light. See, most of us in our lives, we don’t want heavy things. We don’t want suffering, and we don’t want to struggle. We don’t want trial, and we honestly believe as long as everything is good in my life and as long as there’s no trouble, suffering, [or] trials, as long as there’s nothing heavy, “Man, I’m a really good Christian.”
I’m a super duper Christian when everything’s going well. Amen? And you are too. When life is easy, man, I love Jesus so much and everything’s wonderful. I’m a super duper super saint. I could be the pope when life’s easy. (That’s probably not true – I don’t know. I redact that. The redaction will also be in it.) So you get what I’m saying though. When life is super duper easy, I think I’m an awesome Christian. Here’s the truth: God lovingly, graciously, compassionately leads us into this wilderness experience to expose to us… (Read through Deuteronomy chapter 8, verse 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) to prove us, to test us, to try us, so that we might see what’s inside. It’s not until I get to the wilderness experience [that] I begin grumbling and complaining and whining and moaning and saying,
“God, where are you?”
“I’ve been here the whole time. I just had to let you see all of the dirt that was inside of you. I’ve seen it all along, but it took some pressure, some trial, some testing.”
When you’re in that wilderness experience, I guarantee you this: you will say, “Man, I can’t believe God led me out here.” Here’s what I want you to know: your King is like you, your King is unlike you, but your King is with and for you.
Jesus Christ was not a trust fund baby. Jesus Christ was not a silver-spoon-in-the-mouth type of guy. He went and he was tempted and tried. Watch verse 13 – [He was] tempted and tried worse than all of us.
“He was in the wilderness 40 days.”
“Tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts.”
He was challenged, and he was threatened spiritually, physically, mentally.
“The angels were ministering to him”. (Mark 1:13)
He humbled himself and let created beings care for him.
Here’s Mark’s point: Your King is like you. He was human. Your King is unlike you. He was the son of God. But your King is with you and your King is for you. You don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with your weaknesses. You actually have a high priest who’s been tempted in all things as you are yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) Therefore don’t miss verse 16:
“Let us draw in here with confidence to the throne of grace so that we might receive mercy and grace to help in time of need.”
The hidings over. Stop hiding from God. Stop hiding from your King. Your King is like you. Your King is unlike you. But your King is with you and for you and he loves, loves, loves to give grace. He loves to give you grace. I don’t care what wilderness experience you’re walking through today. It’s not an accident. I don’t care how difficult it is. I don’t care how painful it is. It’s not an accident. God desires it and designs it for your good to teach you to run to him. Stop running from him. See, this is the grace of the Gospel – the grace of the Gospel is [that] it’s not about how good you are. It’s about how good Jesus Christ is. The grace of the Gospel is that you now – because your King is like you and unlike you, but with you and for you – you now have an advocate with the Father. You have an accuser of the brethren that stands before God, night and day and accuses you (1 Timothy 4:13):
“You’re filthy, you’re disgusting, you’re wretched.Give up, walk away. Run back to the world.”
But you have a high priest, a King who is like you, [and] unlike you, and with you and for you. He’s one with the Father, and he pleads night and day over you.
“Father, what the enemy has said is true. But my wounds have paid the price. The blood has covered them.”
Our King is like us. Our King is unlike us. But our King is with us and for us. The hiding is over Hillside. Whatever you’re using to hide from God today, He’s calling you to run to him and stop running from him. Would you do that today?
Father God, thank You for the time this morning simply to look at your brilliant wisdom in providing a way of salvation through your Son Jesus Christ. And so Father, today I pray for those who have been hiding for years using religion to hide. Father, using substances to run and to hide and numbing themselves. Father, today by your grace, through your Spirit would You set us free? Set me free from those areas where I’ve hidden from You because I’m afraid of You. Thank You for sending the Son. Jesus, thank You for coming to be like us, unlike us, but with us and for us, perfectly walking the gauntlet of life. Thank You for the grace that You give. Would You give that grace abundantly to your body today? In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mark 1:9-13 NASB
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
12 Immediately the Spirit *impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. 13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.
- Jesus is Like Us 1:9
- Jesus is Unlike Us 1:10-11
- Jesus is For Us 1:12-13
- What was your biggest takeaway from the text this week?
- How do you tend to view Jesus most—like you or unlike you? How does this impact how you live?
- How does Jesus being for you change how you view coming to Him? How does Hebrews 4:15-16 impact how you come to Jesus? How does it impact how you encourage others toward Jesus?
Next Week – Mark 1:14-20
- What do you think it takes to build a great organization? How did Jesus go about building His?
- What was Jesus’ message that He preached? What does it mean to repent and believe? What has this looked like in your life and small group?
- What have you given up to follow Jesus?
- In our culture, what are some of the idols Christians are tempted to cling to for happiness? What does it look like for us to repent and believe?