Passage: Mark 1:1-14

Speaker: Steve Hands

Coming Home

“Headed home.” Home evokes images of warmth, safety, love, and comfort foods. When I returned home after college, I still remember the satisfying of my mother’s ddaenjjang-jigae(soybean soup) that no amount of pizza and pasta could ever satisfy. God leads his people out of slavery to adopt us as his children to bring us home in the Exodus, and this story is retold in the gospels as Jesus leads his people out of slavery to sin to be adopted by the Father and bring us home. Before we begin our journey through the Exodus next week, we will look at Mark 1:1–14 and see how the themes from the Exodus shape the story of Mark’s gospel. Specifically I want to invite you to journey from slavery to the Father and into the Kingdom. 

First we see a journey from slavery(Mark 1:1–8). Mark draws from Isaiah’s language of a new Exodus, where Israel’s journey out of exile is understood as a second Exodus. Yet this journey out of exile is reinterpreted as a journey out of slavery to sin.  And the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, begins when we journey through the wilderness to be baptized by John for a repentance from sins. Similarly we must all begin our journey. We must refuse to settle for slavery to sin but journey from slavery to the place where we confess our sins in the wilderness.

Yet this journey from slavery is to the Father(Mark 1:9–11). Just as Israel is adopted as the firstborn son of God at the Exodus (Exod 4:22), so Jesus, the new Israel, is adopted as the beloved Son of God in the wilderness (Mark 1:11). Similarly we are invited not only to a journey from slavery but a journey to the Father. We must know that we are beloved sons and daughter in whom the Father delights. This status is not earned but given as a gift by grace.

And we journey from slavery to the Father and into the Kingdom (Mark 1:12–14). Just as Israel journeyed from slavery through the wilderness for forty years and into the Promised Land and reign of God, so Jesus journeyed through the wilderness for forty days (1:13) and into the reign of God and the invitation to the kingdom (1:14).

So what? When we see how Mark uses the story of Exodus to tell the story of Jesus, we see that we ourselves are invited into that story. Exodus is not simply somebody else’s story; this is our story as well. Let us step into this journey from slavery to the Father and into the realities of the Kingdom of God.