Mark: 1:14-15 | Jesus’ First Sermon

May 24, 2020
Book: Mark
Series: Mark

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Would it surprise you to find out that Jesus’ first sermon was the same message from John the Baptist and many of the Old Testament prophets? In Jesus’ first message He teaches about “The Kingdom of God” and the need for repentance. Pastor Dustin Daniels teaches Mark 1:14-15 verse by verse and applies Jesus’ teaching for us today.

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Full Sermon Transcript

Mark: 1:14-15

Jesus’ First Sermon


Several weeks ago, before Pastor Thomas gave me a two-week break, we looked at the temptation of Jesus in Mark chapter one.

We learned that after Jesus was baptized, The Holy Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness so that he could be tested for 40 days and 40 nights.

We learned the significance of the number forty.

We also discussed the kinds of temptations that Jesus experienced from the other gospels— because Mark doesn’t give us those details.

We learned all that and more— in just two verses.

Well, today, we’re going to look at the next two verses— and learn what Jesus preached in his very first sermon.

Mark records Jesus’ first sermon as only one sentence.

That’s all you get! Just one verse!

Now, some of you may be thinking, “you know what Dustin, you may want to take a cue from Jesus and narrow your sermons down to only one sentence.”

Well, let’s take a look at what Jesus said.

SCRIPTURE: Mark 1:14-15

After John (the Baptist) was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. (NIV)

15. “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (CSB)

This is the Word of our Lord, Amen.


Father, we want to thank you for the Kingdom of God. We want to praise you and worship you today because your Kingdom is near. I pray we come a step closer to experiencing your Kingdom today. I pray that we learn what repentance is and apply it to our daily lives. 

For those who are watching today who have never heard the Good News/Gospel, I pray Father that you continue to draw them close so that they can hear and accept the best gift that’s ever been given—and that is grace, by your Son Jesus, our Lord, and Savior.

In Christ’s name. Amen.

EXEGESIS: Mark 1:14-15

14. After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. (NIV)

The first thing to note here is that there is a time gap between verses 13 and 14.

13. And Jesus was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to Him. (ESV)

There may be as much as a six-month gap between these two verses.

And the reason why we don’t see this at first is that Mark fast forwards through what the gospel of John recorded in chapters 1:35-4:4.

All three of the synoptic gospels (similar gospels/Matt. Mk. Lk.) skip…

Jesus’ first miracle—turning water into wine. That happened at a wedding in a town called Cana in Galilee.

Galilee is kind of like the state of AZ, but not really. Galilee a territory with loose borders.

Mark also skips the first cleansing of the temple…

 Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus both events happened in in Judea—a different territory that south of Galilee

Mark bypasses the story of the woman at the well in Samaria, another territory that just happens to be in the middle of Galilee and Judea.

All that to say, Jesus was traveling doing ministry, so six months may have passed since His temptations in verse 13.

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee,

This is Jesus’ second trip to Galilee.

In Matthew, we learn that Jesus left the town of Nazareth—where Jesus grew up,

was living in a city called Capernaum and went into Galilee.

This means that Jesus was traveling because both Nazareth and Capernaum are in Galilee.

So it would be like Jesus traveling around the state of Az.

Verse 14 tells us that John the Baptizer was put in prison.

Even though Jesus was traveling and doing radical ministry—He wasn’t preaching.

Jesus doesn’t officially begin his ministry until the ministry of John the Baptizer has ended.

So there are about six months of overlap.

John, being thrown in prison, is a sign/symbol—the old covenant of law was ending.

Jesus was introducing the new covenant of grace…in Galilee of all places.

Galilee was the northern part of Israel.

It was the outskirts of the big city.

It wasn’t important compared to Judea—where the city of Jerusalem is.

It’s like Cottonwood and Phoenix.

It took three days to walk from Jerusalem into the territory of Galilee if you went through Samaria.

Which Jews didn’t do, so that added two extra days.

Jesus was making a statement.

He launched His ministry in Galilee to rebuke the religious muctky-mucks with all their corruption in Jerusalem.

So Jesus is traveling from town to town, from synagogue to synagogue, from one countryside to the other preaching.

This was Jesus’ first preaching tour around Israel. He has several preaching tours.

Jesus was very clearly telling the Jews that He is the Messianic King they’ve been waiting for.

The Messiah- The anointed one from God.

History shows us that there is no evidence that any Jew claimed to be the Messiah before Jesus.

Jesus was preaching the good news of God about Himself.

15. “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (CSB)

“The time is fulfilled,

This is a turning point in the history of mankind.

cf: Galatians 4:4, (ESV)

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son…

cf: Eph. 1:9-10 NLT

God has now revealed to us His mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan.

Christ is not Jesus’ last name; it’s His title.

Jesus is the Christ. Christ means “anointed one.”

10. And this is the plan: At the right time, He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.

So Scripture teaches that Jesus’ ministry started according to God’s sovereign timetable.

This was the hour the world had been waiting for.

This is one of the most significant moments in history.

Back to verse 15.

15. “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near. 

“Kingdom” means that “God’s reign.”

God rules and reigns.

Jesus says that this His reign has “come near.”

In other words, it’s almost here— or is practically here.

Jesus is saying that this is the “critical or opportune moment” (as opposed to chronological time).

We’re talking about God’s appointed time.

The “Kingdom of God” is taken from the OT.

cf: Exod 15:18 (CSB)

The LORD will reign forever and ever!

Have you noticed that God’s not on your timeframe?

What’s the old joke, “if you wanna make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

When Jesus speaks of “Kingdom of God,” He’s speaking of entering the Kingdom as a changed person.

cf: John 3:3 CSB

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

You can not—and will not enter the Kingdom of God by human effort.

Scripture is very clear that God does not put your good deeds and bad deeds on a scale.

He does not grade on a curve.

It doesn’t matter what denomination you belong to or what your parents believed.

“The kingdom of God” is an expression that first symbolized the hopes of the Jewish people.

They hoped that God would remove all evil from the world.

But it seems to me that we have a problem.

How can Jesus say that the Kingdom of God is near when John the Baptist was just arrested?

Jesus goes on to say that John is the greatest prophet who ever lived.

John the Baptist gets himself murdered for speaking truth.

So, how is it possible that people still suffer and die if the Kingdom of God is near?

What Jesus is saying is that the Kingdom of God has come.

Because where Jesus is, the Kingdom of God is there.

However, we’re still waiting for its completion.

Biblical history shows us that God chooses to do things in stages—over long periods.

So just because the Kingdom of God is near, doesn’t mean that it’s complete.

It’s like the Kingdom is an embryo, and it too has to grow to maturity.

The Kingdom of God is a mystery to us.

That’s why Jesus used it in analogies and parables.

Jesus said it was like:

  • Mustard Seed (I thought it might sound a little more dramatic than that.)
  • It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God (Matt. 19:24)
  • All kinds of sinners and prostitutes will enter the Kingdom of God before religious people. (Matt. 21:30)
  • Jesus said that the Kingdom belongs to children, and that we, as adults, must have childlike faith to enter. (Mk 10:14)
  • (Paul) for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom 14:17)
  • (Paul) For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Cor. 4:20)

So yes, the Kingdom of God here and now, and is a mystery.

Now to verse 15, this is Jesus’ first sermon.

“The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (CSB)

Jesus’ first and primary message is salvation centered—Repent.

It’s the same sermon from John the Baptist.

In today’s culture, Jesus would be accused of plagiarism.

As we read the gospel of Mark, you’ll notice that Mark stresses that when you encounter the Living God—Jesus— the only proper response is to repent.

Repentance—to repent means more than feeling sorry for your sins.

A Biblical definition of repentance is “to change one’s mind.”

Your mind is where it starts.

It’s to chose—not feel—to willfully and consciously decide to change your mind from one thing to another.

So when it comes to spiritual things, repentance is about changing your mind— from lies to truth.

Repentance is a complete reorientation of what you believe about sin and God.

15. Repent and believe the good news!”

Jesus also says we are to believe as well.

We are to turn from our old sinful lifestyle and to believe that Jesus is God.

 Jesus is the standard of all truth.

He has a much better way to live because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Repenting and believing is a carry-over concept from the OT.

Jesus is revealing the Kingdom of God in terms of divine blessings and a human obligation.

There is a human responsibility for entering the Kingdom of God.

Scripture teaches that God will draw you in and reveal Himself to you—He will get your attention.

But at the end of the day, you must choose to believe in Him.

cf: Romans 10:9

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

That kind of belief is not a halfhearted decision based on a whim.

This kind of faith is a wholehearted embrace of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

And because God chose to humiliate Himself by becoming a man and offering you this gift of eternal life by His grace—this demands a response from you.

Jesus says…

Repent and believe the good news!”

Good News / Gospel:

  1. Jesus died for your sin. (Substitute/sacrifice)
  2. He was buried. (He was truly dead)
  3. He walked out of His grave on the third day, conquering sin and death.

I don’t know about you, but anyone who predicts their own death, and resurrection, and does…has my attention.


Why is Jesus telling people to believe in the Good News, when those three things haven’t happened yet?

It seems to me that this gospel message could only be proclaimed and explained after Jesus did all those things.

So, it can be a little confusing here…

From a Jewish standpoint, the gospel Jesus was proclaiming at this time was only to believe that Jesus was the Messiah—the anointed one from God.

The Jews were to look at Jesus and believe that this man—in flesh and bone—was Almighty God.

So the content of the gospel is not always the same.

Make sense?

When Jesus did start to talk about his death and resurrection, it caught the disciples by surprise.

They were confused!

Remember what Peter said?

 “Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to you!” (Matt. 16:22)

How did Jesus respond? “Get behind me, Satan! (Matt. 16:23)

You know you’re having a bad day when the King of the universe calls you the prince of darkness.

The Jews expected Jesus to be a conquering King now.

But that’s not how it turned out.


Do you find it comical that the first message that Jesus preached was the most offensive message anyone could hear?


Stop living the way you’ve been living and turn toward’s Me.

So let’s fast forward 2,000 years, and focus on how you’ve been living?

Oh, I don’t know Dustin, you’ve gone from preaching to meddling.

Isn’t that what Jesus did?

 Meddling is preaching the Kingdom of God.

John the Baptist preached, “Repent!”

Jesus, the King of kings, preached, “Repent!”

Isn’t it appropriate that your pastor preaches, “Repent”!

What do you need to repent of today?

Let me ask it a different way…

How well have you adjusted to this COVID disruption in your life?

Are you angry and irritated?

Are you fearful?

Do the news and social media consume you?

Do you believe more about what the “experts” have to say—than what God says?

I’m starting to see signs regarding this COVID thing stating, “We’re in this together.”

Are we?

Oswald Chambers, in his devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest,” said this on May 22.

God allows things for His purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better and more noble…or they are making us more critical, fault finding, and more insistent on our own way.

The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on your relationship with God.

When we understand God’s purpose, we will not become small-minded and cynical.

So where are you?

Is COVID and lockdown and not having enough toilet paper making you more evil or more saintly?

Over the past two months, where has your focus been?

Has your focus on the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of you?

15. “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (CSB)


“Our Father in heaven, Holy is your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

In Jesus Name Amen.

Tithes and Offerings:

I wanted to introduce you to Randy, and Anita Jordan serve in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

They work with and disciple students in Manila in the Christian faith.

Most of these students have only heard the name “Jesus.” They do not know Him personally or even know that’s possible.

A portion of your tithes and offerings go to missionaries like Randy and Anita all over the world.

We now have three ways to give:

  1. PO Box 4540 Cottonwood AZ 86326
  2. Online via our website at
  3. Or text 928-421-4030. Give 1

 Okay, River. I pray that you are staying in touch with one another.

We are preparing for a physical service on June 7.

Online prayer every Wednesday at 12 noon

Online Bible Study Thursdays at 6:30 pm

I love you. Peace and blessings.

May 24, 2020

Sermon Bibliography

Mark 1:14-15 | Jesus’ First Sermon

Cross, F. L., and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Edwards, James R. The Gospel according to Mark. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos, 2002.

Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. Yeshua: The Life of Messiah from a Messianic Jewish Perspective. Vol. 1. San Antonio, TX: Ariel, 2017.

MacArthur, John. Mark 1–8. MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2015.

Kernaghan, Ronald J. Mark. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007.

Osborne, Grant R. Mark. Edited by Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton. Teach the Text Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2014.

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