New Hope Baptist Church
Monday, September 24, 2018
a place to call home

12-2-13

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord you God has chosen you to be people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth

Duet 7:6

 

The New Exodus

Mark has made some bold claims right off the start: 1. Jesus is the long Awaited Messiah; 2. Jesus is God; & 3. The Good News of the King’s victory is being told. From the start he is setting us up to have a reaction towards his book that draws lines, either you believe it, or you deny it. No in between and no discussion for debate on the issue of Jesus just being another “good teacher.” This is a story of redemption and a wilderness called life that Jesus is our only hope in.

But Mark skips the back story about Jesus, by doing so he jumps right into the account of John the Baptist, the forerunner to this “Gospel” or in the Greek, euangelion – the news of victory. He cites Malachi 3:1 and associates Jesus’ coming with that of God coming to his temple in judgment. Next Mark cites Isaiah 40:3 concerning John the Baptist. This is a prophetic reuse of the Exodus motif of entering the Promised Land from the wilderness. This shows that Mark is patterning the life and death of Jesus with that same experience of Israel being chosen out of bondage to come into relationship with God.

No doubt this parallel between the wilderness of Israel and that of our own life’s struggle is seen in Mark’s account. Through a journey of hardship and turmoil, what we call the wilderness, God delivered Israel and through a similar journey of life God delivers his people, us, into the promise of eternal dwelling. But that road to our heavenly home is much similar to the growing pains of the Israelite nation. We encounter tragedy, doubt God and are left groaning and moaning for more as he leads us further and further into the desert.

Yet we’ll see, throughout Mark’s Gospel that it is not in the hope of peace on earth that we rest in; it is in Jesus, our true King that we find the wilderness bearable. It is in knowing that he has come, he has conquered and he will reign forever that we rest, even in the wilderness.