Don’t just take our word for it . . . take His! We would encourage you to spend time examining the following Scriptures that shaped this sermon: Mark 1:1-8 ESV
John the Baptist was a man that dedicated his life to preparation. He was the New Testament Prophet of Advent. (vs 2-3) He called people to “get ready for the arrival/coming of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. He was a forerunner. One who goes before to get things ready for the arrival of another that would come – Jesus of Nazareth.
John was unorthodox. He was different and he embraced it. He didn’t conform to his cultural moment rather he lived outside of it.
The world John arrived in was hurting, confused, bewildered. God was silent during what we now call “the inter-testamental period.” John’s voice was the first time God spoke in 500 years (because Mark was written first chronologically) and it was the fulfillment of the last verses in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.
The reason we must live as prepared: John prepared the way for our Lord, Jesus Christ the first arrival. We Christians prepare the way for his second arrival when he returns to judge the living and the dead and also to wipe away every tear from our eyes. We are now the voice crying out in the wilderness. A voice of hope to the weary world.
John’s life was spent pointing others to Jesus. Are we willing to do the same or are we tempted to point to ourselves?
How can we live prepared this Advent season and beyond?
- Resist the pull of hurry and busyness by embracing wilderness living. It’s slow. It’s sacred. (vs 2-3) It’s where Israel, John, and Jesus all had powerful encounters with God. Make space for prayer, worship, community, Scripture.
Practice: The Daily Office
- Refuse to blend in with the world. Locusts, camel hair, honey. (vs 6) These are things that God alone could provide. John was covered in the providence of God. He resisted “consumerism.” We too must reject the cultural norm that Christmas is about “getting things” and embrace generosity.
- Recognize why God sent Jesus into the world (vs 7-8). The answer is revealed in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He sent his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Practice: trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior so that you might experience the Baptism John spoke of: the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, regeneration of spirit, and eternal life through Jesus Christ.
You can listen to the sermon by using the player below or via the St Andrew’s Sermon Podcast.
Do you have a question about today’s sermon? Email Rusty Graves (RGraves@StAndrews.Church)
The outline and application questions are intended for your further reflection and action upon the weekend message. They are also designed to facilitate discussion and accountability within your Life Group.