This is the audio from the January 5, 2020 sermon, “Proclaiming the WAY”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Mark 1:1-15
As we look forward to the return of Jesus, and study the life of John the Baptist, there is much we can learn about proclaiming the way of Christ. As John prepared the way for the ministry of Jesus to be received by the people, we too can prepare the way for people to be ready for Christ’s return.
Preparing for Christ includes proclaiming His:
- Mark 1:7-8, Hebrews 3:3 — John understood that the worth of Jesus far exceeded his own. In fact, it was his role in announcing the coming Messiah that fulfilled his purpose in life and gave him worth. To those who honored Moses and esteemed him for his role in serving God as the deliverer of Israel, God said that the builder and architect of that deliverance had even greater worth. When we stop to recognize the work of God in our life, we ought to be filled with stories to tell people of just how much Jesus is worth to us. For starters, our deliverance from sin was accomplished through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. But not only that, each day that we experience a moment of hope, peace, comfort, endurance, love, kindness, or any other of an assortment of God’s characteristics, we have a story to tell of the worth of Jesus in our life. Not only can our words give honor to Jesus and proclaim His worth, our level of obedience to Him communicates to those watching us just how much we really believe Jesus is worth.
- Mark 1:10-11, Matthew 28:18-20 — Nothing says authority like having God speak from heaven and announce Jesus as His Son in whom He is well pleased . . . well, except perhaps Jesus stating in the end of Matthew’s gospel that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him. We proclaim the way of Christ when we proclaim His authority over all things. While it is relatively easy to proclaim His authority with our words, the more telling story is how well we submit to His authority in the day to day activities of life. In a worldly culture that rejects the idea of authority belonging to God and a Christian culture that wants God’s authority applied to everyone but themselves, our choosing to live under the authority of Jesus goes a long way towards making our proclaiming that authority believable.
- Mark 1:14-15, Luke 4:17-21 — Mark writes and tells us that Jesus announced the time had come for the kingdom of God to be near. Luke tells us that Jesus announced His coming was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah regarding the year of the Lord’s favor. I remember a time when each year was referred to as “The year of the Lord, _____”. I don’t hear that anymore and I’m not sure when its usage was dropped. As each year rolled around, we would say it was the year of the Lord, 1972 . . . or whatever year it happened to be. While subtle, the very proclamation of such was a recurring reminder that the year did indeed belong to the Lord. While we don’t know the year of the Lord’s return, by proclaiming this as a year of the Lord in our life, we can be that consistent reminder of who the year belongs to . . . and who we belong to.
We will help others be ready for the return of Jesus when we make it our practice to Proclaim the WAY!
It is my prayer that you not only proclaim the way to those who would listen, but that you would live each day according to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.