Disclaimer: this blog post comes out of a sermon I preached on 9/12/2021 at First Baptist Church Spring Hope in Spring Hope, nc.
At the top of Mark’s Gospel in my Bible are written the words, “The King has come!” I am not sure when I wrote this or what sermon I was listening to or who brought this to my attention, but those words are forever printed in blue ink above the Title “The Gospel According to Mark.” On September 12, 2021, I had the opportunity to preach about King Jesus at a local church in the area, and I pray this content will benefit you in your walk with Christ.
The Gospel’s Background
Mark’s Gospel is written to a Roman Christian audience. Rome, throughout the years, was ruled by the Caesars, and most likely this book was written prior to Emperor Nero’s vicious persecution of Christians in AD 64. Mark’s intention for writing was to show his audience, and you and me, that the long awaited King–the one who the Old Testament foreshadowed–has arrived, and his name is King Jesus.
The Ministry of John the Baptist
Mark chose his Old Testament content very well. He knew that his Roman audience would have been aware of forerunners who would go ahead of the Roman Emperor to prepare for their arrival. With this context in mind, Mark uses John the Baptist to illustrate that he is the forerunner–i.e., the “one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'” (Mark 2:3)–to King Jesus. Mark’s audience would have picked up what Mark was throwing down. This Gospel writer was illustrating that behind John the Baptist was coming a King, the gospel, the Son of God, and his name is Jesus (Mark 1:1).
The rest of Mark’s gospel seeks to illuminate that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Christ, the one who came to take away the sins of the world. In other words, “King Jesus has come!”
The Comfort King Jesus Brings
Roman Christians would have held onto this message tightly because they remained under Roman rule as believers. They would have embraced this King more strongly when Roman persecution began to ravage the church. Nevertheless, I believe that Christians no matter what culture or century they live in should find comfort in this truth that Jesus is the King of kings.
Read these words by the Apostle John in Revelation 1:5-6, “From Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” The comfort, brother and sister in Christ, is that we have a King who is far greater and more superior than any earthly king or governmental power in this world. From mere observation of our world, we can see that things seem to be gloomy all around us. The reality of our world may cause many of us to be anxious or to be fearful or to be paranoid about the way things are in society. Yet, Mark’s Gospel points us to the fact that we have a greater King who rules and reigns over all creation.
This truth should bring us both peace and comfort. Since King Jesus rules over the entire earth, nothing happens under his watch without his approval and authority. Not even Satan has free reign on this earth because he is still under the control of Christ (see Mark 1:12-13; 24-26). Therefore, we do not fear the world because we hold fast to the one who has overcome the world and who has made the world his footstool (see Matt. 10:26-33; Psalm 110:1).
While I believe that Christians should be the best citizens, I would also confirm that we are good citizens because we follow a King whose name is above all names (Phil. 2:9-11). In other words, our actions represent the King we serve. We have given our full allegiance to Jesus Christ the moment we placed our faith in his perfect life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection. As Christians, we live to bring glory and honor to our king even in the midst of societal turmoil and difficulties. Jesus has, by his grace, called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and this truth brings us peace and comfort because we know that King Jesus has all power and authority over any and all earthly powers.
While the world may be dark, and seems to be growing darker by the day. We are Christians who cling to the light of the gospel found in the work of Christ. We can go through these times with joy knowing what Paul says is true in Philippians 3:20-21, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Therefore, since we know through Mark’s Gospel that King Jesus is ruling and reigning and has all authority over the heavens and earth, may this truth allow us to walk in “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [which] will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). To put it another way, we can go through the difficulties we face on a local and global scale because we are comforted by the fact that we have a victorious King!
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