In 1941, It’s a Wonderful Life actor, Jimmy Stewart, enlisted into the Air Corp. A couple of years later, he was deployed to England. In 1950, the founder of Wendy’s Restaurant, Dave Thomas, was enlisted into the U.S. Army. A short time later, he was deployed oversees, where he served as a mess sergeant. In March of 1958, “the King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley, was enlisted into the U.S. Army. And after training, he was deployed to Germany, where he was allegedly treated like every other soldier.
In Mark 1:9-13 a brief report is given concerning the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. This description summarizes Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and his temptation by Satan in the wilderness. And through these two accounts, Jesus is seen being enlisted and deployed into ministry.
In vv. 9-11, Mark summarizes Jesus’ baptism. In being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus publicly committed himself to the mission that he was sent by God to complete. And through this symbolic act, Jesus associated himself with sinful mankind, as well as, gave indication to his upcoming redeeming death and resurrection.
Jesus’ baptism can be viewed as his formal enlistment into ministry. And just like Jesus, the moment an individual believes in and commits their life to Christ, they too enlist themselves into Christian ministry. Generally speaking, every believer has been commissioned by Jesus to be his representative and disciple maker (See Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8). These are two closely related missions that the Church and every Christian has been assigned to complete.
Mark continues to summarize the beginning of Jesus’ ministry by reporting in v. 11 that upon the heels of his baptism, “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.” Here we see that Jesus was, without a moment’s notice, deployed into ministry. And in this hostile environment, he was confronted by Satan. This is the tenor of the remainder of Mark’s gospel. Jesus is seen verse after verse, chapter after chapter, fully engaged and striving towards completing his God-given mission.
Every Christian needs to realize that not only have they been enlisted, but they too have been deployed into ministry. The Bible makes it clear that ever since Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden, a cosmic war has been waging on. Satan and his evil cohorts are endlessly attempting to thwart God’s plan of salvation and prevent believers from completing their God-given mission. Satan’s attacks, however, are fruitless, because the Bible makes it clear that he is doomed. Jesus proved himself to be victorious over Satan when he conquered sin and death through his resurrection. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:54b-56, “‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Christians have been enlisted and deployed into this spiritual war armed with the all-powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ. And as believers seek to declare and demonstrate this message in the world, victory is guaranteed!