Date: January 31st
Speaker: Michael Dugone
Text: Mark 1:14,15 (NASB) 14 Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
The Big Idea: Repentance is often cast as being negative; however, repentance is actually a very positive step that brings about freedom, life and future hope. Repentance cannot be uncoupled from the Gospel message and has, in fact, been a part of the Biblical narrative from the beginning, contained in both the Old and New testaments and emphasized by Jesus himself. We should not try to avoid the message of repentance but should instead look deeper into the true meaning of it and how it leads us to a saving faith.
Matthew 4:12-17 (NASB) 12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
[a]By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the [b]Gentiles--16 “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to [c]preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 4:14-20 (NASB) 14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. 16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the [e]book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the [f]book and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, 19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” 20 And He closed the [g]book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your [h]hearing.”
Jesus was the fulfillment of John’s message about, “One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.” If you notice, John did not preach the Gospel message, yes the message was similar “repentance” and “forgiveness of sins”, but the amazing thing about the Good News is that it was brought by God himself, about himself, to the lost. This is the message that changes lives. No matter how we package it, or present it, we cannot change it. To do so is to present, at best, a watered-down version, and at worst, a false gospel that will still lead to death. The Good News is that God himself made a way for us to be reconciled with Him, to end the exile that started so long ago in the garden, however, in order to have saving faith in Jesus we must first repent and turn from sin, that has separated us from God, toward faith in God. (Acts 3:19, Hebrews 6:1) In the Gospel of Mark, Mark does not water the Gospel message down but instead reduces it, to its very core, so that we know, without a shadow of doubt, what the Gospel message is that Jesus brought...repent and believe for the Kingdom of God is at hand.
Read Ezekiel 14: 1-6 1 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. 2 Then the word of the Lordcame to me: 3 “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocksbefore their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. 5 I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’ 6 “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!
Teaching Team at BC: