Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Gospel of Mark Part Two – Jesus Came To Work


Mark 1
14 ¶  Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15  and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
·        Jesus preached a message of “change and believe the Good News!”
16  And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
·        We understand that the Gospel according to Mark is most reasonably the Gospel according to Peter. It is uniformly accepted that Peter either dictated these accounts to Mark while he recorded them or at the very least repeated them over and over in their journeys together so often that they were indelibly impressed into Mark’s memories.
·        It is interesting to note that the Gospel message is a personal message and in many ways the work of God really begins when it first touches and changes your life.
·        Note as well that Peter and Andrew were casting a net – indicative of an evangelist who has a passion for gathering …

17  Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
18  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
19  When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.
·        James and John, in contrast to casting their nets, were rather mending their nets when called by Jesus to follow Him.
·        The mending of nets speaks of the pastoral grace which Jesus was adding to His team of ministers.

40 ¶  Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, "If You are willing, You can make me clean."
41  Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed."
42  As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.

·        If You are willing? … “I am willing …” Healing is the will of God!
43  And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once,
44  and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."
45  However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.

This cleansed leper was so blessed by Jesus and yet did not respect Him or His authority enough to simply obey His instructions. This healed man broke The First Principle of Spiritual Authority -

When we know who, and the who is God, the why is no longer the question.

I can’t imagine anyone wanting to hinder the work of Jesus however that’s exactly what this report confirms. God sees so much farther than we can imagine and His plan stretches for generations; He knows the end from the beginning.

The Bible gives very plain general orders concerning obeying God and His ordained Authorities. The reason I say general orders is because of the extreme situations a few might face in which other higher principles of God’s Word override the general orders to obey husbands or parents or bosses or teachers. God did not legislate to loopholes or focus our instructions on the lowest common denominators in life – rather He gave a picture of the perfect and instructed us to strive toward that goal.

If you find yourself in a legitimate position of authority over others, natural authority or spiritual authority, recognize that there are limits and restrictions placed on you as a God ordained leader. As well, in the places in life where we find ourselves in a God ordained submissive or supportive role, we must also embrace, obey and support those in authority over us and their decisions.

What are some possible reasons why this person did not obey? The same reasons why many choose to not obey their God ordained authorities:
·        They don’t agree with the decision
·        They don’t like the decider
·        They didn’t listen to the instructions
·        They don’t fear the consequences
·        They don’t understand the potential overall negative impact
·        They can’t see a reason why the decision was made
·        They are stubborn and opinionated and unbroken
·        They have never really seen themselves as in light of their actions but    rather in light of their intentions.
·        They have a reasons

The first chapter of the Gospel of Mark covers quite a lot of ground. This is indicative of the life and temperament of the Apostle Peter. He had quite the sanguine personality and often spoke or acted before he obeyed.

More than once Peter is rebuked by Jesus, both before and after the resurrection, because Peter thought that he had the better idea. More than once decided that he would tell the Lord where the Lord had it wrong and help Jesus see it more clearly. 
·        Once when it came to the crucifixion and Peter’s outburst about Jesus not going to the cross.
·        Once on the rooftop in Joppa when Peter argued with Jesus and reused to eat what was offered to him.

Jesus said it’s not enough for us to claim that we love when we don’t obey.

The first chapter of Mark is an exciting account of disciples in boats and demons in church, of mothers and friends, the devil, temptations, open heavens and early-morning prayer. Mark established the fact that Jesus came to work. Tonight Mark will leave us with this encouragement:

Mark 1:35  Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.

Since Jesus found it necessary to pray before beginning His day … us too!