Cornerstone EPC Franklin, NC 28734
Sunday morning January 16, 2022
We come today to the first installment in a series entitled, “He Came….” We shall note
in each installment, God willing, what Jesus is doing in each Scripture text that we examine in this series—and we shall not what we are to know and to do based upon what Jesus is doing.
Today, we note that Jesus came preaching. Let us examine this further as we hear these
verses from the earliest portion of Mark’s Spirit-led Gospel.
(HERE READ THE TEXT)
Our text opens with a reference to the arrest of John the Baptist—and, after this, Jesus
came. He came in several senses. He came from Heaven to earth in the miracle of the
Incarnation. More recently, He came from obscurity into His public ministry. Even more
recently, Jesus came from the Judean wilderness, where He underwent a three-fold
temptation by Satan after a forty-day fast, into Galilee—where we meet Him today.
Jesus came preaching. The Greek New Testament word rendered proclaiming in the
English Standard Version is the ordinary word for preaching (kerusso [khrossw]). Jesus
came proclaiming a message like a herald (“Hear ye, hear ye.”), town crier (“Four o’ clock and
all is well), or corner newspaper hawker (“Extra, extra, read all about it.”). Jesus came
heralding a message (which we shall investigate more closely presently) in order to obtain a
favorable verdict upon it. That is, Jesus (and all other Gospel preachers who follow in His
train), preached to obtain acceptance of His message and compliance with it. Now that we
see that Jesus came preaching, and now that we see the manner of that preaching, let’s turn
to the substance of that preaching.
Jesus begins His brief sermon by saying, “The time is fulfilled”—that is, the opportune
time (Greek kairos [kairoV]). Jesus appears on the scene at the turn of the
Testaments—the very time for the Law and the Prophets to be fulfilled. The Lord expresses
this elsewhere, some twenty years after Jesus’ public ministry, through the pen of the Apostle
Paul, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born under woman,
born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive
adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
Jesus then connects, to the fullness of time, the fact that the Kingdom of God is at
hand. Indeed, the Kingdom of God, that is, God’s righteous reign, is at hand. After all, the
One to Whom the Law and the Prophets testify, Jesus Christ, stands incarnate before His
hearers. Moreover, He will verify His claim that the Kingdom of God is at hand with signs and
wonders that only God can perform (Mark 1:21 ff.). Hence, at just the right time, God Himself
has come to earth, incarnate in Jesus Christ, to do what only He can do. Because of this, two
duties lie incumbent upon every person.
First, we are to repent, as Jesus cries in Mark’s Spirit-led Greek, “Repent ye.” We
often confuse repentance with remorse—which itself is not the same as Godly sorrow (2
Corinthians 7:9-11), which leads to repentance. Judas Iscariot felt remorse at his betrayal of
Jesus—yet, alas, he never repented. Had Judas repented, he, of course—like Peter, who did
repent of his three-fold denial—would have found mercy from the Lord in abundance.
Repentance, fundamentally, involves turning or changing. To repent is to undergo a
complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness. 1 This complete
change of thought and attitude, therefore, results in a complete change of behavior. We, as
1 This is the definition of the Greek metanoeo (metanoew), “I repent,” in Johannes P. Louw and Eugene A.
Nida, eds., Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United
Bible Societies, 1989).
I’ve heard in many an evangelistic presentation, agree with God that His way is right and mine
is wrong, turn with the Lord’s help from the wrong, and purse the right by His help. Jesus
calls us, in view of the fullness of time and the nearness of His Kingdom, to repent—but He
calls us to more.
Second, we are to believe in the Gospel. We are to believe in the Good News about
Jesus Christ to the extent of complete trust and reliance in it. The very word gospel from an
Old English word, godspell, which means good news—to wit, the Good News about Jesus
Christ, as written in Scripture. Jesus’ call, then and now, is to believe ye, and thou, in the
Gospel to the extent that you become, or continue, as a student-follower—a disciple—of the
Lord Jesus Christ. 2 This is faith in Christ, as Scripture defines the term.
Again, Jesus came preaching for a favorable verdict—both concerning Himself and
concerning His message. Can you, by His grace, return that favorable verdict which He
seeks? If you find yourself believing in Him today, for the very first time, will you receive Him
by faith today? If you believed on Him and received Him some time ago, even long ago, will
you continue to receive Him by faith and go with Him, with Him, all the way—as the old hymn
If you have returned a favorable verdict concerning Jesus and His message, either just
now or long ago, know that you have certain benefits that never can be taken away. Know for
certain that you have forgiveness of your sin. Know also, consequently, that you have life:
both abundant and eternal. Know also that you ever shall be where He is—both in Heaven,
the intermediate state, and in the new heavens and the new earth at the consummation of all
things. Jesus came preaching. Let us hear Him.
2 For much of the information in this paragraph I am indebted to Louw and Nida, ibid, for their definitions of the
Greek verb pisteuo (pisteuw), “I believe.”
3 “Where He Leads Me I Will Follow.” Words by Ernest W. Blandy, Music by John S. Norris, 1890. Public
Domain. (https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Where-He-Leads-Me, accessed January 14, 2022.)