The Kingdom of God is at Hand
Mark 1:9-14 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
The Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, was revealed in a person who is the Son of God, in the person named Jesus of Nazareth over two thousand years ago. This was first publicly made known when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River in Israel. When Jesus was baptized a visible sign confirmed to all of mankind that this was no ordinary man. He was revealed at the very beginning of His public ministry as being equal with God and yet just like you and me. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh and yet is the Son of God.
The only means by which we may enter into the Kingdom of God was publicly revealed for the first time as Jesus of Nazareth came up out of the water and the voice of God the Father was audibly heard and the Holy Spirit was visibly seen coming upon Him in the form of a dove. This was an amazing and dramatic scene of which the very thought of should elevate our soul and spirit into the presence of God! The Kingdom of God was at hand! The Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God was being publicly revealed for the first time! The veil of secrecy had been lifted! The first 30 years of Jesus’ life upon this earth was hidden from public view and very little is described in the Scriptures. But now, in the fullness of time, the means of our salvation was revealed!
What was Jesus doing for those 30 years as He was hidden away from public view? What are you doing as you are hidden away in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis as we are all forced to isolate and keep distance from others? For many they are acting as if nothing is going on. They live under the words found in Isaiah 22:13 “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” They live as if there is no God and there is no fear of God before their eyes. They live for the pleasures of this world and have no fear of the final judgment. For others they are gripped by fear and anxiety but they do not turn to Jesus Christ as their only hope. In secret they are falling apart. And as a result they are responding out of their flesh and lashing out in anger and lust and carnal thinking. They don’t know the Savior and as a result they have no peace.
But as Jesus remained hidden from public view for thirty years He was living in perfect obedience to His Father. His isolation was a time for holiness. In that time of secrecy and being alone with the exception of his earthly family He was at total peace with God. He was waiting to begin His public ministry but at the same time He prepared perfectly for our salvation to be revealed. For if Jesus did not live a perfect life of obedience to God in those thirty years of secrecy there was no way that He could be the perfect sacrifice to die in our place. Without His perfect submission to the Father in these thirty years the signs surrounding His baptism would never have occurred. What was hidden in secret was revealed in glory.
Immediately following Jesus’ baptism He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. As the Christ was publicly revealed so came the greatest opposition against Him. Satan had been able to defeat every other man in human history and cause them to sin against God but not so with Jesus of Nazareth! He remained perfectly within the will of God. His thirty years of love to God in secrecy was confirmed in His obedience to the Father in the face of the devil’s temptation in the wilderness. Truly the Kingdom of God was at hand!
So how are living in isolation right now? If you do not know Jesus Christ are you being drawn to Him? Has this begun to peak your curiosity and is this intriguing to you? Do not think for a moment that Jesus Christ does not know what you are going through. He absolutely does and He came to this earth for the very purpose of saving you if you will only repent and believe in the gospel.
But do not think for a moment that we can live in wickedness right now and God will be pleased with us. We should be in every way desire to live in the same manner that the Son of God lived for thirty years in secrecy. He loved God the Father with all His heart. He lived a life of holiness. This is how we are to be living right now. Are you drawing near to Him or are you living as if you can do whatever you want? The glory of God will be revealed in us in the future if we love Him in secrecy. What is hidden will be made known.
Pastor Murray Hack
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