Joseph Prince - Jesus, The Perfect Servant Unveiled In The Gospel Of Mark
You ready for God's Word? You know, every time you come to God's house, something is happening to you, something is being set free, something is loosed, something is added to, and you are not the same. You are being transformed from glory to glory. Praise God. Look at 1 Corinthians 15 up here. Many of us, we've been saved for a length of time already, whether you have been a number of years Christian or just within a year. The next thing you need to understand is that once you're saved, once you are filled, you need to know that you are so full, all right, you are so loaded up now and God has filled you so much so that you can be a blessing. You are blessed so you can be a blessing. There is a verse in Zechariah that says: "So will I save you and you shall be a blessing".
Look at this verse 58 of chapter 15, 1 Corinthians: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord". I wanna encourage you, each one of you, to serve the Lord in some capacity. We'll come back to this verse again, but look at John, what Jesus said about serving the Lord. Jesus says: "If any man serve Me," this chapter 12, "let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me," not serve their interest. So when I'm serving Christ, something happens. The Lord says, "If any man serve Me," what's gonna happen? "Him will My Father," what? Honor him. "My Father will honor". And honor here from the Greek, timao, which actually means he will prize you, he will regard you very highly, amen.
Now, he loves all of us, okay? But he will honor the one who serves his Son, who serves the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. He will make sure that you are taken care of. Now, 1 Corinthians 15 again, all right? "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast". In the work of the Lord, be steadfast, unmovable. We don't do things for people's eyes. We do things for Christ. Therefore, if somebody doesn't come and pat me on the shoulder, it doesn't really matter. It wasn't for him. It was for Christ, amen? It is when we start looking at each other we get hurt. We get disappointed, we get resentful. We get disillusioned. Our eyes must be on Christ.
"So brethren, be steadfast". Steadfast here is a very interesting word. It is from the Greek word for sit, sit down, sit. That is the word "steadfast". It's from the root word "sit". Sit means you are settled. Before you can serve Christ, you've got to be seated, you've got to be settled. Settled, your sins are forgiven, that God loves you, amen, that he has blessed you, he has favored you. You must be seated in that. You cannot serve Christ to be righteous. Unmovable means cannot be moved. This guy serves the Lord. Man, I'm telling you, when he serves the Lord, whether you encourage him, you discourage him, you say things about him, he is unmovable. Unmovable, amen. Praise God. What a way to open a sermon.
"Always abounding in the work of the Lord". "Always abounding" means what? Always full. Abounding is a very wealthy word, rich word. It literally means, abounding means going beyond the measure, going the extra mile, not just doing the bare minimum. Always abounding. And the word "abounding" has quality and quantity. In other words, "Pastor Prince, you know what I do or not? Every Sunday I serve the Lord". It's not a matter of serving the Lord every Sunday. It's a matter of serving the Lord day-to-day, amen, for the rest of your life. You know, you are cool, you're unmovable, and you're always abounding in the work of the Lord, amen? "And knowing this, that your labor is not in vain in the Lord".
If you serve Christ, God honors you, his Father honors you, amen? And not just that, there is a fruitfulness to your labor. In other words, there's a reward coming your way. Your labor is not empty. The word "in vain," means it will not be fruitless, it will not be empty, it will not be futile, amen? When I look at the Bible and I look at people in the Old Testament or even in the New Testament and I try to find someone who's a wonderful picture of a servant of the Lord, all right, every time I find someone this, I find someone with clay feet. I find someone with weakness. Not a single one who is a perfect servant. So I have to go back to the one perfect servant of the Bible. His name is Jesus Christ. As we behold him, may we all be transformed from glory to glory, even to the same image of the Lord. Can I have a good "Amen," church?
And for that, we'll go to the four Gospels but particularly one Gospel, okay? The Gospel of Mark, which is the Gospel of the servant of Jehovah. And we just focus on Mark 1, chapter 1, the first chapter. And it begins like this: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God". Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Son of God became a servant. How many understand the son in the house and the servant in the house are two different things? The son don't have to do the thing that servant does. But a servant has no dignity and privileges like the son does, all right? But here, the Son became a servant. You see, there is majesty and there is meekness, amen.
Let's dive now straight into the meaty part of it, all right? I wanna help you, okay, church? I'm gonna help you, all right? So I'm gonna give you my notes. Is it okay? Are you happy with my notes, okay? Because I'm gonna call these the seven "A's". Seven "A's". The first one, they're all from chapter 1, okay? I'm just focusing on that alone, chapter 1. No more, okay? But the first part, we read, the beginning of Jesus Christ, the gospel, the Son of God, all right? It tells you: Announced by the forerunner: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness," chapter 1, verse 3. "'Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.' John came baptizing in the wilderness". So it opens up straight away with the forerunner, announced by the forerunner. The forerunner is John the Baptist. Now, the Bible says of John, all right, it quotes this verse: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.'" Now, he's quoting Isaiah 40. Look at the quotation, Isaiah 40. He says, what? "Prepare the way of the Lord".
Now, look at the word "Lord" there. That is Yahweh. That means it is saying Jesus was coming, prepare the way for him. He is Yahweh. He is God in human flesh. Look at the last line: "A highway for our God". God there is Elohim. Jesus is Yahweh, he's Elohim, wow. And he came as a servant. Are you with me? All right, let's go to the next "A". Approved by the Father. Okay, very good. Look at the passage here. Look at the passage here. "And immediately, coming up from the water," all in chapter 1, okay? "He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'" The Greek there, "I am well pleased," should be like this: "You are my beloved Son. In you is all my delight".
And there are two occasions the Father actually said, "You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased". One is over here when John the Baptist baptized Jesus, all right, in the River Jordan. And another one is at Mount Herman when Jesus brought Peter, James, and John and went up there and he was transfigured, and the Father says, "You are my beloved Son. In you I'm well pleased. Hear him," he told them, all right? Remember that? So two occasions. Now, watch this. Watch this now. Mount Herman is the highest mountain in all Israel, and is the northernmost part of Israel. Those of you who have been to Israel, you see the snow-peaked Mount Herman, all right? Right at the top, the highest point of Israel, the Father announced, "This is my beloved Son".
Now, when Jesus was baptized, he came out. This part here, scholars and many of us we know, we have been there, is actually the place of baptism which is not the traditional site. Actually, the real site is right near the Dead Sea: Bethabara. It's called Bethany Beyond Jordan. There are two Bethanys. Bethany... not the Bethany of Lazarus that is in Judea, but this Bethany is beyond the River Jordan where the crossing of Joshua and the men took place where Jesus was baptized. It is at the lowest place of planet Earth. And mind you, this is the southernmost of Israel, and this is the northernmost. It's almost like God is saying, "From North to South, from land to land, from border to border, all right? All across the land, proclaim Jesus is my beloved".
Okay, then we have the third one, okay? The third one is: Anointed by the Spirit. Anointed by the Spirit. By the way, there are exactly seven, okay? I'm gonna give you seven. The theme of Mark is divine service. The divine servant of Jehovah, our Lord Jesus. And what he did, when he came to serve us with grace, love, and power. It's one thing to have a lot of love in your heart, but you have no power to remove the affliction. Well, Jesus came not just with grace, he came with power, amen, church? And Jesus said this, and this is the theme of Mark. In Mark chapter 10, Jesus says, "For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many".
You see, even though we want you to serve the Lord, we consider it a honor and privilege to serve the Lord. Actually, it is the Lord serving us. He serves us until we are so full, like the woman at the well, I love it. Even when he's tired, he's serving the best. He was sitting at the well because he was tired, remember that? Even in his most tired form, Jesus was giving the best. "Steadfast, immovable, abounding in the work of the Lord". Even when he's tired. And the woman came to be served. She didn't know she was being served. But man, was she served. After she was so full, she became an evangelist immediately. No Bible school, nothing, amen?
So I'm telling you, church, he wants to serve you today. Is it okay? He want to serve you the living bread. He wanna give you the rivers of living water. He want to give you the bread of healing. He wants to wash your feet. He wants to give peace to your mind. Can you allow him to serve you? Are you with me so far? All right, let's go to the fourth one. The fourth one is: Assailed by the devil. After he was baptized, he came out and the Father spoke. Straightaway, the Bible says, read your Bible, It tells us this: "Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness". Hey, the devil didn't send Jesus there. The Holy Spirit sent Jesus into the wilderness to be tested of the devil. Next verse. "And He was there in the wilderness 40 days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him".
You say, "Pastor Prince, why did the Holy Spirit right after the Father says, 'You're my beloved Son,' the Holy Spirit drove Jesus right into the wilderness. Why"? By the way, the word "being tempted by Satan," this word "tempt," can be the word "tempted to sin," or "being tested". I wanna tell you something about our Lord Jesus Christ. He cannot be tempted to sin. Now, some people say, "Well, Pastor Prince, then he was not be tempted to sin. That is not a real temptation". No, he cannot be tempted to sin. The word "tempt" for him is the same word for tested. Let me explain. When we are tempted, there is something inside us responding. It's still a temptation, but there is something inside us called the flesh that is responding. The sin principle that came in when Adam fell. All men have it; Jesus does not. You know, when he's tempted, there's no stirring inside him. And that's why in Hebrews, "If you quote to me Hebrews, Pastor, it says he was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin". Don't forget the last part: "Yet without sin".
You study the Greek there. Literally, it means... he is not saying sinless. He's sinless, yes. Without sin means he was tempted in all points but not pertaining to sin. Not pertaining to sin. He was never tempted to sin. He cannot be tempted to sin. For men, it's used "tempted," all right, "to sin," for sinful men, but for Jesus, "tested". In other words, testing is not just to show, all right, something is wrong, something is amiss. Testing is also to show it is perfect, amen, church? All right? So we have announced by the forerunner, approved by the Father. We have anointed by the Spirit, and now assailed by the devil, all right?
"He was there in the wilderness 40 days, tempted by Satan," or tested by Satan, "was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him". It is amazing that so much can be said in one verse. It's all compassed in one verse. Jesus was there, the Lord was there, right? He was there. Satan was there, Satan was there. Then you have the wild beasts. They were there. It's the only Gospel that mentioned the wild beasts. And then you have angels coming to him. Now, go real slow. We have assailed by the devil. Next "A," put down there: Acknowledged by the wild beasts. Forty days of being tempted, six weeks. He was with the wild beasts.
You might think, "Well, he was in the wilderness, and in the wilderness there are a lot of, you know, a lot of animals there and kind of thing. And they were there, and he was there". It's not that. He was with the wild beasts, literally was he was in the presence of the wild beasts. They were his companions for six weeks. They all acknowledged the Lord of glory, the Lord of creation. Even the wild beasts acknowledge him. Only man doesn't. Maybe the wild beasts are more intelligent than man. Okay, so, acknowledged by the wild beasts. Attended to by angels, all right? Same verse, the last part of the verse tells us: "And the angels ministered to Him". The angels came.
Now, do you believe in the ministry of angels? They are here right now. I said, they are here right now. Every time we are gathered and the name of Jesus is proclaimed, angels are there. Angels are there to make sure that the one who proclaimed the name of Jesus and those of you who are serving Jesus are being kept in the way, amen. You are protected because you become valuable to God. And I'm telling you, angels are with us. The Bible says there are more angels with us than with the devil who fell. "He will give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways". And that's something the devil did not quote: "To keep you in all your ways," amen?
All right, let's go to the next one: Acclaimed by the multitude. Look at these verses, verse 32: "At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door". The whole city gathered together at door. "Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him". They would say things like, "You are Christ, the Son of God. You are the Holy One of God". Jesus did not need their publicity, hm? It's only blinded men that does not know who... and man is wondering, "Well, how come I don't have health? How come I don't have wisdom? How come I don't have direction? How come I don't have peace? How come"... You have been cut off from the source. By him were all things made. No wonder you are like this.
Do you know that Mark chapter 1, and I close with this. Mark chapter 1 closes the chapter with sunset. The last chapter of Mark, Mark 16, opens with sunrise, okay? Here in verse 32, "When the sun had set," can you see that? This is the first chapter of Mark. The last chapter of Mark, Mark 16: "Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen". So, first chapter, last chapter. First chapter, sunset. Last chapter, sunrise. That means what? He came into our darkness, because sunset to sunrise is the darkest time of the day. Jesus, the perfect servant, came into our darkness and brought the light of his glory, of his grace, to bear on our darkness. And the world is still dark, but we have Jesus. We have our Lord who is with us, and our Lord came into our darkness.
And, church, it's getting brighter now. It can only get brighter. It's not sunrise to sunset. It is sunset to sunrise. And he came and ministered in the darkness. All the chapters are chapters where he is the light of the world and he stepped into the darkness. No wonder the demons were afraid. You see, for us, we don't have to be afraid, he knows all about us, and he still loves us. The best thing is to bring all your junk to him and say, "Lord, thank you for loving me," and let him wash your feet. Let him save you. The very last verse of Gospel of Mark, chapter 16, the very last verse says this and I'll close with this. It says: "So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out," the disciples. "They went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs, amen".
Even though he's exalted in glory, he is still working. I want you to know something. When you serve the Lord, you are not alone. He works with you. You say, "In the name of Jesus," Jesus comes in and heals. You say, "In the name of Jesus," Jesus comes in and casts the devil out. He is still working, with, not apart from, with, the Lord working with them. As you serve the Lord, you are not alone. Isn't it amazing that in the first chapter of Revelation when John saw Jesus, he was glorious and shining with glory. And the Bible says John fell at his feet as dead, and John looked at Jesus and he was girded about. The girdle is the garb of a servant. He was still girded around the breast, which is a royalty girdle, with gold, girded with gold, the Bible says. In other words, even though he's glorified, high and lifted up, he still serves. He still ministers. And he says this: "I did not come to be served. I came to serve".
Some people are proud. When the Lord want to serve them, they're, "No, no, I want to serve you, Lord. I wanna give to you, Lord. I want a path to you, Lord. I want", and you're empty. No, this message is for those who are steadfast. They are seated. They've allowed the Lord to love them, fill them up. They're unmovable. And now, they're abounding, amen? "From heaven you came helpless babe. Entered our world your glory veil. Came not to be served but to serve. And gave his life that we might live. This is our God the servant King. He calls us now to follow him. To give our lives as a daily offering of worship to the servant King". Amen.