Look to Jesus

Mark 1:9-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[a] with you I am well pleased.”

The Temptation of Jesus

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Several years ago, writer Charles Conn was living in Atlanta and was looking for a place to eat lunch. He thumbed through the yellow pages, you might not know what those are, but we used to get these books delivered to our homes with listings of people and business, you know this is an old story. Charles came across a peculiar restaurant name and out of curiosity called the number. The name of the place was Church of God grill. Charles asked the man who answered the phone how they came up with the name. He said. Well you see we had a little mission down here, and we started selling chicken dinners after church on Sunday to help pay the bills. Well people liked the chicken, and we did such a good business, that eventually we cut back on the church service. After a while we just closed down the church altogether and kept on serving the chicken dinners. We kept the name we started with, the church of God grill.”

The church of God in Atlanta went looking for answers in all the wrong places. The church stopped looking to Jesus. When the church took their eyes off Jesus you see they abandoned Him and His mission. My prayer for us this morning is that we would focus our gaze upon Jesus Christ the anointed Son of God.  That we would see the cosmic purpose of God finds its reality in Him.                              I would like to remind you of the aim as we study the gospel of Jesus Christ according to Mark, Our Aim- That we would believe on Him whom He sent, confess that He is the Son of the living God, and that we would follow the teaching, manner and way of life of the gospel’s hero Jesus Christ.

Look to Jesus

Christ Jesus came as one of us and lived unlike any of us!

Look to Jesus- He lived in perfect obedience

Look to Jesus- Heaven declared and empowered Him

Look to Jesus- He was tested and proved true

We left last weeks study with John the Baptist declaring the greater One is coming. He said in essence, “don’t look to me, I am lower than the filth upon His feet, I am unworthy even to untie the straps of His sandals, don’t get excited about me, look to Jesus. His is a greater Baptism, get excited about the One I am pointing you to.”

Do you remember the dragnet T.V series? Jack Webb was the matter of fact L.A detective who often said when interviewing complainants, “Just the facts, Ma’am.” The writer of the gospel of Mark seems to be just the facts kind of guy. Look to Jesus, He came as promised, as prepared, as proclaimed from a real place, at a real time.  Remember that the first audience had been facing immense persecution from Caesar Nero, the gospel writer is quickly and intently driving the good news of Jesus home that they would believe on Him whom He sent, confess that He is the Son of the living God, and they are to follow His teaching, manner and way of life.

The gospel according to John gives us a detail that will help us focus in on what Mark’s gospel is driving at. John 1:29 records John the Baptists words at the appearing of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Behold, look to Jesus, He is the One who came to take away sin

You might be asking, why would Jesus the sinless One be Baptized by John, He had no need of repentance, or remission of sin?

                                                                                                                

John the Baptist asked this same question in Matthew’s account, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.

 Christ Jesus came as one of us and lived like none of us. Look to Jesus, he lived in perfect obedience. Look to Jesus, He fulfilled all righteousness.

Are there any among us who have obeyed God perfectly? Are there any among us who are altogether righteous in our behaviors and attitudes?

Isaiah speaks against a hypocritical human righteousness, Isaiah 64:5-6

 You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,  those who remember you in your ways.
Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;  in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?[b]
We have all become like one who is unclean,    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,  and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Look to Jesus who fulfilled all righteousness, look to Jesus who perfectly obeyed the Father. Jesus is the One who will baptize you with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life. Jesus identifies with sinners like you and me in Baptism. He came as one of us and lived like none of us.

                                                                                                                                               We will notice the word immediately or straightaway in the Greek euthus This word occurs 11 times in chapter 1 and 37 times in Mark’s account of the gospel. Reminder we are driving from Chapter 1 verse one to the pivot point of the book in chapter 8:29 Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ. Which is the driving point this morning. Look to Jesus, confess Him as Lord and Savior, follow his manner of life and teaching.

Look to Jesus, He is the heaven sent, Father approved, Spirit empowered Son of God. Look to Jesus, He is the image of the invisible God. Look to Jesus, for in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven.

 The heavens were torn open. The cosmic purpose of God has manifested it self in the person of Jesus Christ. The purposes of God in the heavens met with humanity in Christ Jesus, look to Him!       

                                                                                                                 

Listen to what God said when He created us, 26 Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the

earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;    male and female he created them.

A simple way for us to think about a life that is pleasing to God, is living in such a way as we bear the image of God perfectly. Let’s look at what the writer of Hebrews says of Jesus, in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

 

The Gospels are like a biography and go beyond what a biography does. The gospels claim all human history is consummated in Jesus. Jesus brought the kingdom of God to earth. Jesus is the ultimate model for humanity. Jesus nature is beyond human. Jesus is not just a figure in the past but is living in the present.

Do you desire to live a life pleasing to God? Look to Jesus, He obeyed perfectly. Look to Jesus, He is the radiance of His glory, the exact imprint of the invisible God’s nature. Look to Jesus, hide yourself in Him.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory

Christ came as one of us and lived like none of us!The Spirit drove Jesus immediately to be tempted and tried as we are. Satan and the realm of this age wars against us. The questions and temptations are always the same. Are you going to believe and obey God’s word? Are you really His Son, daughter? If so you would not be hungry. If so you would have all that you desire. Look to Jesus. He came like one of us and lived like none of us.

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