This devotional is a part of the 2021 Christmas devotional book – “Joy to the World.”  Access the entire devotional and download your free copy by clicking here.

December 11

Rejoice!  He came to serve!

Scripture Reading:  Mark 1:1-45

How do you tell the Christmas story at your house?  Many tell it in the songs that we sing.  Others tell it through Nativity scenes set up around our home.  Still others remember Christmas through reading books or watching particular movies.  There are many ways we tell the Christmas account.

In the Bible, there are four biographies written about Jesus.  These four (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) provide the most detail for us of Jesus’ earthly life.  What is interesting is how these four biographies tell the Christmas story:

  • In Matthew, we get the story (mostly) from Joseph’s perspective + the wise men.
  • In Luke, we get the story (mostly) from Mary’s perspective + Elisabeth + the shepherds.
  • In John, we get the story from God’s perspective (“in the beginning was the Word …”)

But what about Mark?  If you haven’t yet, go back and read Mark 1:1-45 and look for what Mark tells us about Jesus’ birth.  What do you see?

Nothing.  We see nothing … except that Jesus was obviously born, because He is alive throughout the chapter.  Mark begins His Gospel with a statement – “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” – then He proceeds to leap right in to the account of 30 year old Jesus being baptized and starting His public ministry.  We do not have any data about the manger or the magi, but we do learn:

  • That God the Father authenticated Jesus as God the Son at His baptism (1:9-11)
  • That Jesus was tempted by Satan (1:12-13)
  • That Jesus message was simple, “The Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe” (1:14-15)
  • That Jesus called His disciples and gave them new roles (1:16-20)
  • That Jesus healed many with miraculous power (1:21-45)

We should not deduce from Mark’s omission that the Christmas account did not really happen, or that it was somehow unimportant … remember all Scripture works together and all Scripture is inspired by God.  Mark simply allows others to tell that part of Jesus life, while He focuses on other things.  Like a child with a story too good to keep to themselves, Mark rushes ahead to the part of Jesus’ life He is most prompted to share.

By seeing where Mark begins, though, we are reminded that Mark’s perspective at the beginning of the Gospel is not Mary or Joseph’s or even God’s … it is OURS!  Think of the relevance where Mark begins:

  • Jesus was tempted … and WE are tempted.  Jesus navigated temptation without falling and can help us do the same!
  • Jesus preached a message of belief and repentance … and that is the response we need to have today as well!
  • Jesus calls disciples and gives them new roles … and He is calling us to follow Him and serve Him as well!
  • Jesus demonstrated miraculous power over life’s most difficult infirmities … and if we trust in Him, His power will ultimately give us life after death!

In His own words, Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).”  Jesus was serving from the beginning of His ministry, and He is still serving us today as well.  When you tell the Christmas story this year, don’t forget where it all heads.  From our perspective, Jesus serves us and saves us … Rejoice!  Christmas is just a beginning!

Suggested song for today:  Come Adore the Humble King

In this Christmas devotional, there is a song referenced for each day.  All these songs, are included in a playlist found on Apple Music and Spotify at the following links:

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