Sunday, October 6, 2019

October 6, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Jesus Breaks Down the Ancient Citadels | Mark 7:1-23


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October 6, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Jesus Breaks Down the Ancient Citadels | Mark 7:1-23

Jesus Breaks Down the Ancient Citadels
Mark 7:1-23

After the feeding of five thousand in our last lesson, we watched Jesus quickly send His disciples away ahead of him (Mark 6:45). Jesus did this because He did not want the crowd, who was satisfied with Him being a worker of miracles, to seek to make Him a king by force (John 6:15). We noted that this was also an important event because it demonstrated that Jesus was confronting an eschatological issue as well. Namely that God’s Rule, The Kingdom of God was the central force of His mission. He was not coming to fulfill a Jewish Eschatological Hope. That hope was centered in the belief that one day the Messiah, the One whom Moses spoke about, would come and throw off the oppressor (the satan) from the political neck of Israel and rule in Jerusalem forever. No, Jesus, the Messiah was coming to bring both a great change, but a change that God was initiating. Yes, it would include defeating Satan, but the oppressor Lucifer, the Prince and Power of the Air. Yes, it would set a rule over His people, but a people redeemed buy the power of His destruction of sin and death at the cross. In this text of Scripture Jesus will confront the massive citadels of the Jewish tradition, the teaching of the elders of Israel, the great citadel of the Mishnah.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

September 15, 2019 | Pastor Roger Melson | The Eternal Perseverance of Our Faith | Genesis 12:1-9


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September 15, 2019 | Pastor Roger Melson | The Eternal Perseverance of Our Faith | Genesis 12:1-9



                                               Roger and Marsha Melson

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September 1, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Instructions for Disciples: The Power of Solitude | Mark 6:30-34


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September 1, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Instructions for Disciples: The Power of Solitude | Mark 6:30-34

The Cost of Discipleship Mark 6:6 to 6:30

Instructions for Disciples: The Power of Solitude
Mark 6:30-34

    In most commentary sources, this section is a transition to the account of the feeding of the five thousand. It is simply the moment when the disciples return and report to Jesus the results of their first missionary journeys and is quickly followed by the feeding of the five thousand. In Mark’s Gospel he inserts several very valuable observations Jesus makes to twelve disciples, whom he calls Apostles. Here is the lesson that the disciples observed in Jesus’ life. Perhaps they had forgotten it. Perhaps we forget it too easily. It the discipline of solitude. Solitude, rest, separation from and restoration from life – there are many descriptions. It is more than a goal, it is a survival skill for the disciple of Christ. Mark’s audience is a battered Roman community. May we lean in close today and listen to this wise counsel also.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

August 25, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Instructions for Disciples: The Ultimate Sacrifice | Mark 6:14-29



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August 25, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Instructions for Disciples: The Ultimate Sacrifice | Mark 6:14-29

The Cost of Discipleship Mark 6:6 to 6:30

Instructions for Disciples: The Ultimate Sacrifice
Mark 6:14-29

The Gospel of Mark opens with the account of John the Baptist. This was a truly disturbing day in the life of Christ. Jesus said to His disciples prior to the beheading of John: “11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Mat.11:11). John had been the forerunner of Jesus “… preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”(Mar.1:5). Mark states that his message was singularly about the coming Messiah: “And this was his message: ‘After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” From his birth, John was elected by God to be not only a prophet, but also a disciple of Jesus. As he told his over five-hundred disciples, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less” (Joh.3:27-30). This account of John’s martyrdom is not incidental. Mark places it strategically between the sending and return of the disciples on their first missionary journey. He gives the greatest example to his Roman audience, and to us, of the dedication and ultimate sacrifice that comes with being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

August 18, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Instructions for Discipleship, Then and Now | Mark 6:6-13


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August 18, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Instructions for Discipleship, Then and Now | Mark 6:6-13

The Cost of Discipleship Mark 6:6 to 6:30

Instructions for Discipleship, Then and Now
Mark 6:6-13

     No disciple can passively stay at the feet of his Master. A true disciple must take up the calling and mission of his master. In his synoptic parallel Matthew gives the key to discipleship: “8 Freely you have received; freely give” (Mat.10:6-8). Truly the strength of discipleship is found in duplication. The disciples were called by Jesus, heard His teaching and marveled at His person and powerful acts. Mark does not outline new techniques or teaching for the disciples to perform. Everything Jesus tells His disciples to do, He has modeled. What they gained was not their own personal message and power. Their strength was that they were going to do what Jesus had done, yet not with their own authority, but His. They were being sent to give what they had received. Mark shows Jesus sending out His disciples to duplicate His mission. Later Mark features their return to report to Jesus the successes of their journeys. In between these two events, Mark will present the martyrdom of John the Baptist, Jesus’ first and finest disciple. Using these three events together Mark will show the cost of discipleship. Let us pay attention as we too are being called to go into our mission field today. May the Holy Spirit take the instructions of these passages and forge us into disciple Jesus Christ.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

August 11, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Where a Prophet has No Honor | Mark 6:1-6


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August 11, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Where a Prophet has No Honor | Mark 6:1-6

Where a Prophet has No Honor
Mark 6:1-6

     In each of the four Gospels some portion of this phrase: “A prophet is no without honor, except in His own hometown.” In this text today, Mark reveals a strange teaching. This narrative has a similar twist as the healing of the woman with the issue of blood. Jesus told that her faith had healed her. In this text, Mark editorializes that the lack of faith in Nazareth was the reason that Jesus could not perform any miracles. In this sermon, we will make a very close examination to understanding of what this often misunderstood phrase means. As a means of context let us read Isaiah’s view of the Messiah. “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isa.53:1-3).

Sunday, August 4, 2019

August 4, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Lord Over Principalities and Powers: Now You Have a Testimony | Mark 5:21-43


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August 4, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Lord Over Disease and Death: Salvation Has Come (Part 2) | Mark 5:21-43

Jesus’ Lordship Over the Fallen World: Chapters 4:35- 5:43

The Lord Over Disease and Death: Salvation Has Come (Part 2)
Mark 5:21-43

      Mark is writing to a suffering community of Christians. His audience is in Rome during the ferocious reign of Nero Caesar. He has presented two powerful illustrations from the life and ministry. First: he shows that Jesus is The Lord Over the Creation, in which Jesus, with a word, calmed the winds and the waves on the Sea of Galilee. Second: he presents Jesus as Lord Over Principalities and Powers as He drives out the legion of demons from the maniac at the caves in the region of the Gerasenes. Today, in his third installment, Mark will bring us into the lair of the final enemy, death and it’s grave companion, disease. All three of these Principalities and Powers existed in Jesus day. All three of these conditions struck out at the Roman church and each of them continue to seek a foothold in our lives today. What is the purpose of suffering? What is the point of death? Today we will look closely at these issues through the eyes of a grieving father and an woman stricken with a deadly disease. May we come from this study praising God through Jesus Christ that He has set us free from our last enemy, death and encourage our hearts as we cling to Him in our suffering.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

July 28, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Lord Over Disease and Death: Salvation Has Come | Mark 5:21-43


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July 28, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Lord Over Disease and Death: Salvation Has Come | Mark 5:21-43

The Lord Over Disease and Death: Salvation Has Come
Mark 5:21-43

    Before we have focus upon each of these three illustrations of Jesus’ lordship over the fallen world, let us review Psalm 24;1 which states: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”

    Mark is writing to a suffering community of Christians. His audience is in Rome during the ferocious reign of Nero Caesar. He has presented two powerful illustrations from the life and ministry. First: he shows that Jesus is The Lord Over the Creation, in which Jesus with a word calmed the winds and the waves on the Sea of Galilee. Second: he presents Jesus as Lord Over Principalities and Powers as He drives out the legion of demons from the maniac at the caves in the region of the Gerasenes. Today, in his third installment, Mark will bring us into the lair of the final enemy, death and it’s grave companion, disease. All three of these conditions strike out at the Roman church and continue to seek a foothold in our lives today. What is the purpose of suffering? What is the point of death? Today we will look closely at these issues through the eyes of a grieving father and an woman stricken with a deadly disease. May we come from this study praising God through Jesus Christ that He has set us free from our last enemy, death and encourage our hearts as we cling to Him in our suffering.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

July 14, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Lord Over the Sea and Wind: Why Are You Afraid? | Mark 4:35-41


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July 14, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Lord Over the Sea and Wind: Why Are You Afraid?  | Mark 4:35-41

The Earth is the Lord’s: Chapters 4:35- 5:43
The Lord Over the Sea and Wind: Why Are You Afraid?
Mark 4:35-41

Psalm 24 states: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” In the next section, using three illustrations of Jesus power over the fallen world, Mark will raise the understanding of his suffering audience to a new level. Though men may cause you to suffer, God is sovereign over the natural powers of the fallen world– illustrated by Jesus dominion over the sea and winds. God is sovereign over the spiritual powers of the fallen world – illustrated by Jesus dominion over the demonic forces. And, God is sovereign over the last enemy in the fallen world, death – illustrated by the raising of a dead girl and the healing of a sick woman. In His death, Jesus would bring a final resolution to the powers of the fallen world. Here Mark provides his audience and us with a foretaste of the power of the Son of Man at work in His world.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

July 7, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Parable of the Sower: From Small to Great | Mark 4:30-34


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July 7, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Parable of the Sower: From Small to Great | Mark 4:30-34

Parables of the Kingdom of God: Chapter 4:1-33
The Parable of the Sower: From Small to Great
Mark 4:30-34

In these four Kingdom of God parables, Mark examines the entire scope of how the Kingdom of God advances. He is clearly using botanical metaphors, but the Lord’s message is even more clearly a spiritual application. We need not parse the words in any of these four parables to see if Jesus really was omniscient, all-knowing. If he is God, then why doesn’t’ He know that there are seeds smaller than Mustard or that his calculations on the aeration of soil are off, or that ... on and on it goes until the entire point is lost resulting in agreement, denial and ultimately (the devil’s real goal) to bring the Christian life and the Kingdom of God to spiritual unfruitfulness. We see a progressive pattern in the four parables: The first verse, The Parable of the Sower highlights that our ministry is to share the Gospel, sow the seed of the glad tidings in whatever soil, whatever type of life we encounter. It is not an examination of soil or life types to sow into or from which to withhold the previous seed. This parable shows us that our redeemed purpose is to so the message of the Gospel into every life we encounter. Sow the seed! The next verse: The Parable of The Parable of the Lamp on the Stand, is again an exhortation to sow the seed. It is inconceivable that anyone who has been touched by the light and filled with the light could or would then seek to hide its rays from others. This Parable shows us that we must let our light shine. Even the smallest ray will bring illumination to others. The third verse: The Parable of the Growing Seed brings us to marvel at the power of God in regeneration, bringing something to life that is dead and hidden in darkness. But the seed, though hidden in the depth of the soil, is touched by the very breath of God. “All by itself,” automatically, by the power of God alone, it germinates, comes alive and begins to grow. It is God’s work. This parable teaches us how the Gospel grows in the heart of the believer. In this last verse: The Parable of the Mustard seed shows us the capacity of the message of the Gospel. Though it begins as a small, seeming insignificant part of someone’s life, it grows and becomes the defining factor in the whole of each believer’s life.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

June 30, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Parable of the Sower: The Source and Power of Our Work? | Mark 4:26-29


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June 30, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Parable of the Sower: The Source and Power of Our Work? | Mark 4:26-29

Parables of the Kingdom of God: Chapter 4:1-33
The Parable of the Sower: The Source and Power of Our Work?
Mark 4:26-29

Seeds are remarkable things. Their growth is dependent upon good soil, water, and air. Without any of these three things, seeds won’t germinate. They will die in the soil and eventually become part of the soil. They will turn into dirt. Even more interesting is the fact that all of the process of growth in a seed takes place secretly, unseen, under the soil. It has to be left alone to germinate and grow. Digging it up from time-to-time to see how it's getting along only hampers it's development and most likely will stunt it’s growth and even kill the new, tender plant. By the time it is seen above the ground, it’s already fully a plant – roots and all. And still it can’t be disturbed. Digging around it to free it from the soil or, in some cases, even touching the plant can hinder it's growth or even kill it. So, in the early stages it just has to be left alone to do its thing – be a plant. As it grows above the ground, it stays fully connected to its root system which networks out into the soil to get water which it sends upward through the stem. Above the ground leaves begin to show. These are the sun gatherers which drink the sunshine and change it into food and send it down through the stem and into the roots. All these systems: the soil, the water, the air, the roots, the stem, the plant, the leaves and the sun work together in perfect coordination in order for the plant to grow and eventually produce a product: more seeds, or fruit, which has seeds in it. Mark is the only one of the Gospel writers who includes this parable in his Gospel. I’m not sure why he was the only one, but he was not the only one to know that the Kingdom of God is advancing, not by the power or effort of people, but by the power of God. A we look closely at this very brief parable of Jesus and it’s simple point, perhaps it's so simple that we pass right by it’s meaning.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

June 23, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Parable of the Sower: Uncover Your Light | Mark 4:21-26


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June 23, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Parable of the Sower: Uncover Your Light | Mark 4:21-26

Parables of the Kingdom of God: Chapter 4:1-33
The Parable of the Sower: Uncover Your Light
Mark 4:21-26

        It is clear that Mark is not talking about how to manage the lighting of a home. He is building upon the previous parable of the sower. In that parable Mark highlighted the attitude of the sower and the context of his sowing: hard ground, thorny, rocky and good soil. Here there is a exhortation to do the work of the sower, namely to sow the seed, to share the Gospel message. Using the metaphor of a lamp, Mark asks us to consider the purpose of a lamp – a candle. What is it for, to hide light or to broadcast light? In similar manner, what is the purpose for hearing the Gospel and being born again? Is it so that we can know we’ve heard it and are saved? Is that the propose of sowing seed, so we can eat it ourselves? Or is it so that we can bear fruit? Does the person who does not sow the seed of the Gospel, really understand what happened in their life? Simple question, but often a challenge of answer.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

June 16, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Parable of the Sower (post script) | Mark 4:13-20


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June 16, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Parable of the Sower (post script) | Mark 4:13-20

Parables of the Kingdom of God:
The Parable of the Sower (post script)
Mark 4:13-20

      In each of the Gospels, Jesus responds to the questions of His disciples regarding the meaning of the Parable of the Sower. We will soon discover that an important theme rises as he clarifies the meaning. That theme clearly has to do with sowing the seeds of the Kingdom of God. The disciples think they are going to receive the meaning so that they can understand it themselves, but Jesus has a far greater purpose. He is training these men to be sowers. This is a theme that dominates all three of the remaining parables which Mark presents in his Gospel. It is also a theme for our lives. The message of the Gospel is not simply something to be understood by Jesus disciples. The Gospel, like a seed, is for sowing. The only way to gain the benefits of the message of Christ is to give it away.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sunday, June 2, 2019

June 2, 2019 | Pastor Roger Melson | The Eternal Perspective of Our Faith | Genesis 11:27-12:4


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June 2, 2019 | Pastor Roger Melson | The Eternal Perspective of Our Faith | Genesis 11:27-12:4

The Eternal Perspective of Our Faith
Genesis 11:27-12:4


                                               Roger and Marsha Melson

Sunday, May 26, 2019

May 26, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Parables of the Kingdom of God: The Parable of the Sower | Mark 4:1-12


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May 26, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Parables of the Kingdom of God: The Parable of the Sower | Mark 4:1-12

Parables of the Kingdom of God (Chapter 4:1-33)
The Parable of the Sower
Mark 4:1-12

In this sermon, a brief overview of the characteristics of Parable literature and then goes a detailed teaching of the Parable of the Sower are given. In the process of interpreting of the Scriptures, it important to recognize and be familiar with the characteristics of the literary type that is being used by the author to present the Gospel. Parable literature is certainly no exception to this rule. The basic definition of a parable is “to throw alongside.” A parable, like an illustration, places a known and an unknown truth beside one another in order to make an illuminating comparison A parable, like a good joke or short story is dependent upon timing - hiding the main point until the very last moment. The more the hearer has in common with the story, the greater the reaction. This surprises of shocks the hearer by the response of laughter, conviction, and in some cases anger, depending upon the purpose of the one telling the parable. Jesus’ audiences were made up of friends, skeptics and outright enemies like the Pharisees, teachers (scribes) and priests. When Jesus told a parable the element of mystery was always present. This mystery was not simply solving an unknown idea. As several author’s have stated: “It (mystery) is not something we don’t know, but something that is too much to know.” “Mystery is not the absence of meaning, but the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.” In this text of the Scriptures, mystery has a dual meaning. On the one hand, the characteristic of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God were being hidden or downplayed by certain hearers, yet, on the other hand the message was filled with life-changing truth, redemption, awe and majesty for those who were Christ’s sheep. The goal of this sermon today is to amplify the mystery and the conviction that the parable of the sower presents both then and now.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

May 19, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Experiencing Together the Love of God | Ephesians 3:16-19


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May 19, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Experiencing Together the Love of God | Ephesians 3:16-19

Experiencing Together the Love of God
Ephesians 3:16-19

We have all experienced God’s love through emotional, overwhelming feeling of kindness, mercy, and correction. We have read the Word and have been impressed about love. We have we can seen it in the grace God has extended to each of us. We have watched when people who we thought had every right to be angry, unforgiving, and even justified to show revenge, responded with forgiveness and love toward others. Our response is that only God’s love could bring about such a reaction. In our lives we have failed to live up to our standards of behavior and known the forgiveness and love of God. Often the thought, “How could God love me?” In this text Paul is praying for us. He is praying that we will come to know the love of God even more fully. Today my hope is that we can all grasp more fully how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

April 14, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Later Galilean Ministry - Solitude in an Insane World | Mark 3:7-12


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The Later Galilean Ministry (Mark 3:7–6:13)
Solitude in an Insane World
Mark 3:7–12

   What message can we discover in this text beyond the description of Jesus becoming overwhelmed by the size and demand of the needy near-mob of people who were seeking his attention night and day. The numbers are not stated here, but Mark later gives a figure: “44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand” (Mar.6:44). That’s just the number of men! I can’t imagine the impossibility of functioning at all in this context. However, today we will see that this crowd, though formidable, did not deter Jesus from His methods and mission. There is both a reaction that we can have from this text today and a life-instructions as well.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

March 31, 2019 | Pastor Roger Melson | The Centrality of Public Worship in the Life of a Christian | Hebrews 12:18-24


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The Centrality of Public Worship in the Life of a Christian
Hebrews 12:18-24

                                               Roger and Marsha Melson

Sunday, March 24, 2019

March 24, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | The Galilean Ministry - Days of Conflict #4: The Lord of the Sabbath | Mark 2:18-22


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The Galilean Ministry (Mark 1:14 to 3:6)
Days of Conflict #4: The Lord of the Sabbath
Mark 2:18-22

In this text today, Mark highlights the incident of the disciples taking grain as they walked with Jesus in a wheat or Barley field, rubbing off the grain from the head of the stalk and eating it raw. It was the Sabbath. In Rabbinical tradition this action was was a violation of the Law. As was the case in several of the previous narratives, we see the Pharisees following Jesus and scrutinizing his every word and action. This is not a friendly relationship. These Pharisees have likely been assigned to follow and watch this mysterious man who preaches in such a way as to drive people to near insanity, forgives sins, works miracles of healing and casts out demons. A dangerous man indeed.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sunday, January 6, 2019

January 6, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Baptism Into a Fallen Humanity | Mark 1:9-11


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Baptism Into a Fallen Humanity
Mark 1:9-11

    As we study the prologue to the Mark’s Gospel, he continues to introduce the person and mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In these verses today we see a presentation of His redemptive work pictured for us in His baptism. As we begin the question comes prominently to our thoughts, why is Jesus coming to be baptized for repentance and forgiveness of sins? This was sharply John’s own quetion recorded in the Gospel of Matthew: “But John tried to deter him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Mat.3:14). In sharp contrast to all the people who came out into the wilderness to hear John and receive his baptism of repentance, the very idea the Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God would also ask for this same blessing is far outside our understanding of what Jesus needs. It has been asked, Did Jesus need to be baptized? Was Jesus a sinner up until the moment he was baptized? And the more troubling idea: was Jesus’ understanding of his life and mission progressive? That is, did Jesus become aware that he was the Messiah during this moment of baptism, as modern media asserts? In all these questions lies a view that Jesus was something before his baptism and became something after. Today we will see that all these questions are outside the meaning of the inspired truth Mark is presenting.