As we continue our verse by verse meditation on Mark, verse 38 of chapter 1 is our focus today. It reads, "And he came to them, "Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out." "Came out" of where? From heaven! Any time you read Jesus saying, "I came," or "The Father sent me," you have insight into why he left the splendor of heaven to enter the squalor of earth. From his own lips, we hear the reason for the Incarnation.
From this one verse in Mark 1, I think we see the major reason Jesus left heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords to come to earth: to preach the Gospel. Sometimes I wonder what other profession I would have entered if I had not been called to preach the Gospel. I don't go far down that path at all. Soon I realize that God's call upon my life to preach the Gospel is the highest calling an individual can possess. It was Jesus' highest calling, too. He went from town to town to preach the Gospel.
What is the Gospel? It begins with the "Bad News" that we are rebels, enemies, sinners before a holy, perfect God. Because of our old sin nature, we have fallen way short of God's glory. We deserve eternal death. Then comes the "Good News." But God loves us, passionately, dearly. He loves us so much that he came to earth as a human. He lived the perfect, righteous life we could never live because of our sin. He died on a Cross, absorbing the penalty for our sin upon himself. It should have been our Cross but he died in our place. Then he was raised from the dead to prove we are now forgiven and righteous before God. All this is a free gift, not earned, for we could never earn it. It is given to us by grace through faith. Otherwise, we would boast of our good works before God forever.
This is the Gospel Jesus preached. It's the Gospel I and thousands of others preach around the world. It sets captives free. It looses souls bound in guilt and grief. It is the power of God for eternal salvation for the world.
Have you received this Good News? Please do so, I implore you. It gives life meaning today. It gives great hope for tomorrow.
Perhaps you have a child who has said to you, "I may be called to preach the Gospel." Don't deter them. Don't worry about them. Potentially, they have the highest possible call on their lives.
And remember: it's the major reason Jesus came to earth from heaven.