Zechariah

Scott Hoezee

Read: Luke 1:5-25, 76-79 Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this?” (v. 18) It’s a good question. Logical. It seems no different than the question Mary asked: “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” When angels show up, it’s a fair bet they will announce something unusual. You don’t dispatch an angel to give the weather report or remind someone of a dentist appointment. Angels announce surprising things, and so in addition to falling back …

First Sermon

Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 1:14-15 Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God. (v. 14) Mark moves right along. Without giving any details, he swiftly informs us that John the Baptist got thrown into jail. For Jesus this seems to have been like the ringing of a bell to signal the start of his own ministry. John was finished preparing the way and so now it was time for Jesus to head down that way himself. Not surprisingly, he starts by …

Shalom

Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 1:12-13 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. (v. 12) Everything in Mark happens “immediately” or “at once” (this occurs 11 times in Mark 1). This story is fast-paced. No sooner is Jesus baptized than immediately the Spirit who came as a dove transforms into a different bird: a hawk or an eagle that picks Jesus up in his talons and (literally in Greek) hurls him headfirst into the dangerous wilderness. Why? If Jesus is God’s …

Beloved

Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 1:9-11 You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. (v. 11) In Mark 1 Jesus appears seemingly from out of nowhere and takes his place in the line of people waiting to get baptized. We saw yesterday that John’s baptism was for repentance, but Jesus did not need that. Still, by letting himself be washed by John in the Jordan, he identified with everyone who did need it, and so with everyone he had come …

The Baptizer

Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 1:1-8 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness . . . (v. 4) John became the most famous preacher of his generation. For many, he outshined his cousin Jesus. In Acts 19, Paul even reports meeting a group of believers baptized by John who had not heard of Jesus. When he told them about the promised Messiah, they gladly accepted a new baptism in Jesus’ name. John himself did his best to tamp that down. “I’m just the warm-up …