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1. Good News

Conrad Vine
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Conrad Vine

President of Adventist Frontier Missions



  • July 18, 2020
    8:30 AM
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Today is is that we're in middle of July and I mean I'll be preaching to this Sabbath the next Sabbath and as I was thinking about this I was one of my can be preaching about I was praying about it and eventually I decided that I wanted to go back to the stories of Jesus himself and so there are 2 sermons today the 1st service and 2nd service I'll be talking about Mark chapter one and Mark Chapter 2 The arrival of Jesus and next Sabbath will be speaking about Mark chapter 3 and much have to force or 4 consecutive sermons over these 2 Sabbaths I'm going to be looking again at the start of the ministry of Jesus what was he teaching what was he doing how does it apply to us today and so as we have begin our studies today and invite you to bow your head with me as Asa Holy Spirit to be with us our heavenly Father now we thank you for the privilege the freedom we enjoy here in America to worship you Father I thank you that Jesus indeed exchanged the glories of heaven for this sorrow earth down here that he was not afraid to walk the dusty lanes of Palestine and to live among an oppressed minority group to identify with us in the depths of us and in order that we might receive the promise of eternal life and father as we gather here today as Christians as disciples of Jesus Christ I ask that our walk with Jesus will be deepened our faith will be strengthened and eyewitness will burn brighter as results of reflecting once again on the wonder of who Jesus is I ask Lord that you descend send your spirit upon me this morning that my words and deeds will be your words and father for those gathered here physically and for all those watching online I ask that your spirit move upon each of our hearts in a way that you know best in Jesus name I ask Amen so invite you this morning to turn your Bibles to Mark chapter one and you want to pray keep your Bibles open in March up while I'm going to be working our way through this chapter this morning it's a beautiful chapter. Full of little kind of little paragraphs little nuggets beautiful stories there and we're going to begin at verse one which is always a good place to begin and it says the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ the Son of God Now I don't know how you are when you write letters to people but I always start writing my letters with a standard greetings and I'm writing as my wife I say deluded Greetings from there in Springs she may live in barren Springs but I always say greetings from there in springs Now why do I do this well it goes back many many years to when I was in northern Afghanistan I used to write for my head office and I drop in Moscow and the deal was if I wrote and said Dia pasta Pavol I'm not going to the topic he knew there was something wrong maybe I was writing under duress or being kidnapped by the Taliban but if I said Dia passed a public greeting from Ozzy Sharif he knew that I was Ok and so we all stopped our letters in certain ways do we not when you receive a letter from a lawyer or a solicitor an attorney you expect a certain terminology and Mark is written we believe in the city of Rome Mark is John Mark we believe this is that the Apostle Peter's testimony and it is written to Christians Gentile Christians living in the hearts of the Roman Empire in the city of Rome itself and so Mark begins with this phrase the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ. By the by drawing I by using the phrase the beginning our minds of drawn back to Genesis Chapter one Verse one in the beginning God created the heavens and the the idea here is that in Jesus Christ God is bringing about a new beginning for fallen humanity something new is about to happen this truly is good news for fallen humanity but in the in the early in the 1st century the phrase good news was a loaded term these days we think that the gospel the good news of us a Christian phrase but when Mock was written it was a Roman phrase and had altogether a different meaning when a Roman emperor came to the throne it was announced as good news Ellen Gelly on throughout the Roman Empire when a Roman emperor had his birthday the civic carols would announce in the cities the airline galley on the good news of the birthday of the Rome this season in Rome but here we find that it is not Julius Caesar or Augustus Caesar on the time of Mark maybe Nero who is being celebrated it is Jesus Christ there is something else that is unique about the way that Mark uses the word good news in the Roman times the phrase good news is always used in the plural and even in my Bible here it says the beginning of the good news is plural of Jesus Christ. But the reality is when when we look at how Mark Matthew and Luke actually wrote this word they use it in the singular It was never the good news about Jesus Christ as in one sense of good news among other sets a good news note the good news of Jesus Christ is that there is one set of good news there is one Gospel it is not about any earthly ruler or any earthly present king prince or Pope there is one news about all of the news must give way before that good news of Jesus Christ it is singular it is the good news and besides which there is no other good news for Humanity today you might say it another way the gospel is the only news in town this is the good news of Jesus Christ and to a Roman audience people listening to this in the city of Rome they would have been used to hearing about the good news of Thai berries the good news of calendula the good news of Augustus the Roman emperors of the time but now they hear of the good news of Jesus Christ of who you might say of Jesus Christ not the Roman emperor no this is the good news of Jesus Christ there is a new emperor in town there is a new ruler has arrived there is a new final 30 in your world and he represents a challenge to all of your for a tease He represents a challenge to every earthly president every earthly Congress every athlete palm and every prince king all principality a ruler Jesus is coming to replace earthly rulers in the very 1st verse of this Gospel here if you turn your Bibles back to 52 and verse 7 keep the fingers in Mark one because we're going to be dwelling in this passage here today but turning your Bibles back to Isaiah Chapter 5052 and verse 7. And it says every famous passages how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet to the messenger who announces peace who brings good news who announces salvation who says to Zion your God reigns this again to challenge your 30 of the Roman seasons of the day and a challenge you'll start see of the rulers or employers of governors here that we live under in say to Michigan today Mark is announcing the fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah the in breaking of the Kingdom of God into the kingdoms of man your God reigns that the prophet eyes I direct challenge the authority of the Caesars and the rulers of this fallen world all who may claim our allegiance our worship our B.D.'s there is only one according to Mark who is worthy of our allegiance there is only one who is worthy of our worship and that is God for he alone can bring salvation then turn to Isaiah 61 and verse one Marcus is full of allusions back to the Old Testament Isiah 61 and verse verse one very famous passage the spirits of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed mean this is our eyes I speaking Jesus quotes these verses in Luke 4 in the Nasser of manifesto God has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed to bind up the broken hearted to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners to reclaim the years the Lord's favor and The Day of Vengeance our God to comfort all who mourn Isiah tells of a time when peace when good news and release from oppression will be showered upon God's people and for the mark in the beginning of this Gospel the arrival of Jesus the advent of Jesus is the beginning of the fulfillment of the good news prophesied by eyes I read centuries before in the parents of Jesus of Galilee a New Age has dawned that calls for repentance and faith as we read for us in our scripture reading this. Morning and the contents of this good news is not a mystery verse one says it is the good news of Jesus Christ the Son of God The good news is not about Jesus but Jesus Himself is the good news it is a person of Jesus Christ who is both Jesus of Nazareth who is both the anointed of God the Messiah or the Christ and He is also the Son of God Now as we go through the book of mock the Gospel of Mark Mark unfolds what it means to be Son of God and he unfolds what it means to be Messiah and we're not going to touch on Mark 15 in this mini series but in mock 15 when Jesus dies on Calvary there's a Roman centurion standing at the foot of the cross and when that Roman centurion looks up to Jesus when he dies the Roman centurion says Truly this man was the Son of God We need to understand why it is so significant Romans and sure in had sworn allegiance to kill on to die for the earthly Son of God of the Roman emperor sitting in Rome and here we have in the end of gospels mark a Roman soldier who lies arms would have tattooed s.p.q.r. maybe some of you saw the movie Gladiator many years ago there is a scene in Gladiator where he cuts off his tattoo on his arms and we remember that scene he has s.p.q.r. tattooed on his arm the gladiator he was a former Roman soldier what does it stand for it sounds a synopsis populous Cairo Monis it means for Senate people in Rome they tattooed onto their bodies their earthly legions and so the end of Mark's gospel we find a Roman centurion who kills in the name of the Son of God of Roan now he worships the Son of God from heaven itself the his loyalty is changed by the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth then we turn to come back to mock one of us is 2 and 3 as it is written in the Prophet Isaiah Behold I am sending my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way the voice of one crying out in the wilderness prepare the way it's a lot. God make his pile straight and this passage here Mark merges 3 Old Testament verses Firstly he's quoting from Exodus 23 in verse 20 why God promises a divine angelic being to go ahead of the people of Israel as they conquered land of Canaan He is also quoting here from Molokai 3 in verse one which refers to an Alija figure Alija figure who was to come and announce the arrival of the Messiah on the arrival of God's kingdom on Earth and he was also quoting from Isaiah 14 verse 3 which in Jewish thinking as important to reflect on this in Jewish thinking Isaiah 43 doesn't just talk about the arrival of the Messiah but it's what was about the appearance of God himself among his people so the Gospel level is therefore is not just the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth it is not just the appearance of Jesus the Christ or Jesus the Messiah this is the in breaking of God in the person of Jesus of Nazareth into human existence God is now present among his people God has come to dwell with his people his name in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter one is Emmanuel God with us a Jesus not called Emmanuel here in Mark's gospel but the sense is very much the same God is breaking in to the existence of humanity in a new and a new way and in a profoundly exciting way the Gospel also called these verses is not God's emergency backup plan for fallen humanity this isn't his backup plan rather the Gospel is fulfillment of all of God's promise to the Old Testament Scriptures that is Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promises God didn't have plan a for Humanity and then when we went when we messed up God had to bring an emergency backup plan no Jesus is the fulfillment of God's plans for humanity he is a fulfillment of his intent for us on the plan of salvation as we're going to see in this chapter here and preaches only so about things in threes because people remember things in 3. Are they not if I would say there are 4 points here nobody remembers what 4 points up say there were 2 points here people go in thinking oh I was short changed today in church no so there are 3 points and I want to talk about what Jesus has all thought see Jesus is coming he's the son of God He is he is the rival to the road the Roman Son of God The Emperor sitting in there in the palace in the modern day back 2nd and Jesus is coming and he has all Thor it's easy and the question is what kind of Will farty does Jesus have in this chapter over what areas of life does Jesus have authority Well there are 3 areas where Jesus Housel 13 The 1st is over the demonic so drop downs of verse 12 in verse 13 and it says. And the spirits immediately drove him that is Jesus into the wilderness he was in the wilderness 40 days tempted by Satan and he was with wild beasts and the angels waited on him so he would find the Holy Spirit drive Jesus into the wilderness to test reasons to determine whether Jesus will use his divine Sonship for his own benefit or whether he will submit himself to the will of his heavenly father 40 days in the wilderness is a long time to go without food a last March I was in a country in Southeast Asia and a colleague of mine said Yeah I just finished a 15 day water fast. And I thought well that sounds pretty good and he said I'm not sure many people can do it and I'm kind of a competitive characters so I said well sure anybody can do a 15 day was a fossil this will go ahead and do it I said Fine I'm going to start right now which isn't the best preparation I would not recommend it now the 1st 2 days you feel a bit light headed and you know I was I was in town Cambodia and Thailand Vietnam the food is delicious it was a very painful 3 days Ok type of food company and food and get me through this really delicious so for the 1st 2 days I felt somewhat light headed and grumpy by day 3 day 3 was I was in Admit to adopt it so I was no way out but the day for my mind was shoppin clay and I'd lost my sense of appetite I remember day 7 I was sitting in the airport in Hokey Minh City and my colleague had a plate of french fries in front of him and he was just pushing in front of me and I thought I would be tempted and say No I had no attraction for me by 10 day 10 I was feeling weak and I was by about 912 are starting to hallucinate about food again by day 14 I was dreaming about what my 1st meal would be and I was thinking as going to be a burger and fries no I can't do that in Cambodia they don't sell out here Ok Rice and I'm not too keen on that she's going to bung me up this white rice What am I going to eat for my 15th day and so I decided Ok I will wait until I get home so I flew home on United Way from from from Southeast Asia that was very nice who don't United but I pushed it once I was going to touch it and I got home and my wife had my favorite meal for me I said you know I'm just going to 15 days with no food you know the most I can eat is a bit of gruelling just just just give me some light vegetable soup or something and so for my 1st meal I had this very small bowl a very light vegetable soup and it kind of ignited a raging fire remain for the next 24 hours all I did was eat and I can tell you that 15 days is a tough time to go without food just on water I lost about a pound of days that wasn't such a bad thing but it's hard to 15 days 40 days though. That's quite a test Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and Elijah was 40 days on Mount Hora we find there in 1st Kings 19 verse 8 when he was fleeing from jazz about in each case the wilderness was a testing ground a proving ground was this person guns protect rely on the promises of God or they going to rely on their earthly strength I'm not recommending we do 40 days of fasting today but there is a benefit in having the wilderness experience. Sometimes we sense our lives are stuck in a wilderness that our lives are on pause that I won't do something great for God but I'm here treading water doing something else it may well be that God is testing us in our faithfulness in what we consider the small things of life so he knows he can trust us with greater responsibilities David himself was many years in the wilderness as a vagabond before he was intrusted with the kingship of Israel he had to be a physical shepherd of gods of sheep which is smelly dumb creatures for he could be entrusted as the shepherd of God's people Moses and Elijah also had their wilderness experiences being of the wilderness is not a sign that God has abandoned you is a sign that God is testing you he's proving your faith he's proving your fidelity to him he's asking is this person truly resting on my promises or are they looking for a quick earthly fixes and it says in the passage here in verse 13 that Jesus was tempted by Satan now Mark does not use the word devil the other lost the general generic but he uses the word Satan subtleness smock is emphasizing that I struggle with evil is going to be personal malevolent malevolent and me evil is out there we understand that you're having a road accident as you might say the expression of evil but beyond that there is a real malevolent being called Satan who's desire is to destroy not just the followers of Jesus but Jesus Himself and in this passage here Jesus overcomes the temptations of Satan it's interesting to reflect the world in which we live today. Spiritual Warfare is not so much a test of power it's a test of truth Satan is the father of lies every temptation is ultimately a lie. It's not a test of power every temptation is a lie when Satan says if you do this you'll be better for you you'll be happier you'll be stronger you'll be wealthy or whatever the case may be every temptation is based upon a lie and the reality is that you react you respond to the lies of Satan with the truth of Scripture This is what Jesus did in the temptation in the wilderness back there in Mount Matthew's Gospel of Matthew fall we're now living in a world that says there is no such thing as absolute truth with familiar with this I won't delve much in thought today but think about the implications if there is no such thing as absolute truth then there is no such thing as absolute falshood. That's right it knows that if nothing is absolutely true then you cannot say that something is absolutely false and therefore every temptation of Satan cannot be considered a lie rather it becomes your truth and so following the temptations of Satan becomes what Oprah Winfrey might call it that is your truth what Satan whispers into your heart because you abandon the concept of truth as an absolute reality therefore you are prey to the lies of Satan because no longer believe philosophically in the possibility of something being a lie and so Jesus however overcame Satan with the truth of Scripture and we are likewise invited to overcome Satan not in our own strength but through relying on the truths of the Word of God and when we're not sure how to respond to say contempt citations we are called as the Jesus to respond by quoting Scripture and aligning our lives with the principles that we find in the Word of God This expression here he was with the wild beasts in the Angels waited upon him what those 1st century Christians in Rome facing persecution from Nero and collect and so forth this was a very comforting passage the idea that Jesus himself had been with wild animals and angels had minutes and to him in the midst of his distress this was an incredible comfort and encouragement to the Christians of Rome who themselves are being put in the arena with the wild animals and then if you turn to verse 21 having having overcome Satan Jesus can now set free Satan's victims Matthew Mark one verse 21 says they went to Capernaum when the Sabbath came he answered the synagogue and he taught they were astounded at his teaching for he taught them as one having the farting and not as the scribes Just then there was an s and he got a man with unclean spirit and he cried out What have you to do with us Jesus. Of Nazareth have you come to destroy us I know who you are you are the Holy One of God But Jesus rebuked him saying the silence and come out of him. And young clean spirits convulsing Hingham and crying with a loud voice came out of him they were all amazed and kept on asking one another what is this a new teaching with all farty he commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him at once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee here we find the story where Jesus begins to exert his authority over the victims of satanic oppression Satan is real his demons are real and his oppression Israel many Christians experience harassment from Satan we say oh how can that be so but look at the text behind me on the wall it says they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus what was the 1st half of that verse say Satan was wrath with the woman and went off to make peace with the remnants of our children is that when the tech says no Satan makes war with God's children the very moment you please say I am loyal to Jesus Christ you become a target for Satan's attacks and so Jesus goes around setting free and liberating the victims of Satan's attacks notice where this occurs it occurs in the synagogue on a Sabbath morning this is a guy who has not been disfellowshipped he is assumed to be a worshipper in good and regular standing he's sitting in the synagogue he's singing the hymns of praise he's returning his tithes and his offerings he listens to the exposition of the Torah Sabbath after the Sabbath and he's experiencing demonization people say oh that cannot be happening in Adventist Church say oh yes it can just look at the example from scripture there may be people sitting within these 4 walls or watching online who are experiencing demonic harassment this demon can sit in the presence of Jesus Christ and not need not be too troubled about it. We say that's a strange thing but it's absolutely true based on this text it's only Jesus speaking the spirit cries out what have you to do with us Jesus of Nazareth have you come to destroy us I know who you are the Holy One of God the 1st to recognize the divinity of Jesus in the gospel of mock the 1st being is the demon they know who Jesus is the demons indeed tremble and James tells us later on in the gossip in the apostle James that the demons believe in God and they tremble the demons know that their time is short Satan has great raffle anger because he knows that his time is short if you want to know a great student of prophecy is Satan because he knows that his end is sure and so here we have this demon crying out and Jesus rebuked the demon and cost him out of this poor man this man cannot help himself but when Jesus the anointed of God comes into contact with unclean spirits there is no contest Satan was already defeated in the wilderness and because Jesus has defeated Satan in the wilderness he can go throughout his ministry setting free the victims of satanic oppression the demon speaks in the singular but he refers to plural demonic forces this is a man in the grip of multiple demonic forms of demonic oppression and possession and the question from the demon implies that the Kingdom of God in the kingdom of Satan have nothing to do with one another we take this seriously brothers and sisters there is no place for cherished anal private sin in our lives we're going to see in the story of the paralytic in our 2nd service there is nothing so distinctive about an individual as the sins. Now everybody here is dressed differently was slightly distinctive You know we like to dress and some people are stressed with flair some people like to well have a certain fashion statement whatever the case may be and we look at distinctiveness on the outside but God knows the inside he knows that there is nothing so unique about me as the as the the the matrix of sin within my own life and here we have we see in this passage here that there is no agreement there is no overlap there is no compatibility between the kingdom of God and the prince apology of Satan the demon recognizes the divinity of Jesus and his cast out and Jesus does not charge this man money for this ministry rather he restores him to his community and to his family this is the 1st form of authority that Jesus has in much up to $1.00 he does something that only God can do he cast out demons and we find if you have a deal with demons that they don't care who you are they don't care about your education they don't care about where you studied what you did or did not study don't care about your musical abilities or your preaching gifts although the compassion you shows a deacon or deacon s. know the only thing the deep demons are afraid of is the name of Jesus Christ there is power in the name of Jesus Christ but there is another form of authority that Jesus exhibits in this chapter. And that's all for a 2 of a disease we picked up in verse $29.00 and it says that as soon as they left the synagogue they entered the house with Simon and Andrew with James and Joan Now Simon's mother in law was in bed with a fever and they told him about her at once. Apparently Simon didn't tell Jesus about his mother in law but the others did I kind of wonder what kind of relationship there was there and he came and took her by the hand and the lifted her up then the fever left her and she began to serve them that evening at sundown they brought him all who was sick all possessed with demons and the whole city was gathered around the door and he cured many who was sick with various diseases and cast out many demons and he would not permit the demons to speak because they knew him so just as Jesus sets a man free from a demon a demon makes life intolerable for those who are alive Jesus also has authority over disease and disease is more problematic because disease actually takes life Jesus has 2 forms or authority over demons and over disease and he heals people and when you look through Matthew Mark and Luke the 3 synoptic gospels you see that there are 3 levels of disease there is physical ailments and Jesus cures them the Greek verb is therapy when we get the word therapy from that Jesus curios physical ailments we also see in these 3 gospels that Jesus cures social ailments you might say working for reconciliation when there's a divide in the family or divide within a congregation Jesus works for social healing as well as physical healing but there is another kind of healing that Jesus performs and we find that at the end of this chapter in verse 40 it says that a leper came to Jesus begging him and kneeling he said to him if you choose you can make me clean now no says the back of the leper does not ask for healing. Because his is a disease until death like sin the leper does not ask for healing he asks to be cleansed it is altogether a much deeper experience of the lepers asking for he doesn't want just be healed of a fever like Simon Peter's mother in law he asks for cleansing because he is sick he is sick on to death lepers in those days it was a fearful disease to have if we know maybe some of us know maybe some of us are unaware of this if you are a leper you a cost out from your family your cast out from your home you are cast out from your community you are forced to wear a face covering because just as we would covert today as a leprosy 18 to your face your face would be horribly disfigured you would be forced to live in a leper colony maybe down in in the Jordan Valley or down in the wilderness of sin south of Judea in the desert nobody wanted to be around you as a leper if you are a leper you had to keep 50 paces from everybody else you had to carry little bell saying unclean unclean so people wouldn't runnings you by mistake we talk about social distancing today we know nothing about social distancing compared with this leper this that when you all about social distancing he was awaiting simply to die he was existing knowing that the leprosy was eating his fingers eating his toes eating his face away and he would die a horrible painful death and yet when this leprosy is Jesus. And he runs and he falls at the feet of Jesus there's no social distancing when it comes to Jesus and he says to Jesus if you choose you can make me clean. His profound faith from a man whom society had rejected a man living under the curse of God as the Pharisees would say because he was sick therefore he must be a sinner will see that in March up to 2 that idea very strongly yet they smile and has a profound faith in Jesus if you choose he doesn't say you can make me better he says if you choose you can cleanse me you can fill my deepest need for in a cleansing his faith reveals that he does not doubt Jesus ability to heal the only thing he questions is the willingness of Jesus to cleanse the sin 6 all and Jesus does not react with horror to this leper he does not flee to a safe location is a up wait a minute social distancing requirements put that mask back on the stand 50 yards back from me doesn't say anything of the sort he says there in the text it has moved with compassion Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him Jesus did not touch the leper after healing him he didn't touch the letters of the lappers is celebrating hug I'm having healed him Jesus touched a leper before he healed him and it was Jesus didn't touch him in this passage here in order to cleanse him that comes later in the in the in this in the story here Jesus reaches out and he touches that leper as he is the human touch is a sign of acceptance is it not in touching this leper Jesus showed his identification with all lepers physical lepers moral lepers spiral spiritual echoes those today may be caught up in a web of spin a physical illness a web of financial bankruptcy despair hopelessness and fear. Jesus showed that he came to show compassion to those whom the world has turned its back on maybe you know somebody today whom the world has turned its back on and if you can be in a follower of Jesus I would challenge you today to should reach out and show compassion to that person today reach out and touch them maybe physically maybe emotionally maybe go for a walk them maybe sit and hold a hand in a hospital bed whatever it is reach out and show compassion to those whom our world has rejected be the living presence of Jesus as Jesus himself was for this letter the physical touch of Jesus that letter was quite possibly the 1st touch he'd experienced in many many a long year and what would it have done it would brought encourage meant it would have brought hope it was a touch of love and sympathy and I can tell you when you go through hard times you don't want people to condemn you you want someone to put their arm around you and to encourage you Jesus affirms that he is willing to cleanse lacka he says I do choose I want humanity to be cleansed of its sickness and to death this man had leprosy we suffer from the sin disease I do choose you choose says Jesus be made clean and the man is cleaned Jesus then commands are restored leper to go to the priests to show Himself to them as Moses had laid out a lot of Moses and he was to go to the priests of Jerusalem and not to tell anybody on the way and used to show his body to the priests and they would examine his body and if he if he was truly healed they would pronounce him clean and he could be reintegrated in the public society but Jesus already knows the jealousy and the hatred of the religious leaders he doesn't want this guy to tell anybody because it is a religiously does get to know that this guy was healed by Jesus then they're going to say oh no no no this man truly is not healed they're going to deny the miracle and keep him on living with a leper colony and so Jesus says Go and show yourself straight to the priests because they need to forgive a social confirmation that you've been cleansed but the man does not do this. It says in verse $45.00 he went out some began to proclaim what Jesus had done freely and to spread the word so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly but stayed out in the country and people came to him from every quarter the man disobeyed Jesus he doesn't go to the priests and he goes and tells everybody what Jesus has done for him is an incredible thing and the only thing he does is he says there he began to spread the word and if you take the time to go to the Gospel of Mark the word isn't just like any of the written word the word is a shorthand for the good news he began cité begins to tell the good news about Jesus Christ this healed leper who was sick unto death who is now being given a new lease of life at the touch of Jesus Christ and it is interesting if you look at this story here that you have a sense of what's going to happen for all of us as we suffer from this disease on to death because at the start of this in a paragraph Jesus can live in the community and the guy is forced to live out in the countryside on his own but the story tells explicitly but that when Jesus cleanse the leper now the leper can go and live with community and Jesus is forced to go live out in the countryside so Jesus doesn't just cleanse the leper but he trades place with a leper he bears that lepers burdens this is aka a foretaste of what we find later in the Gospel of Mark that Jesus not only not only cleanse us from sin but He bears our burdens as well he is the sin sin bearing sin back his the sin burden Sin bearer and so on until stories of the the leper we see a picture of what Jesus does for each one of us not only heals us not only cleanses us but he trades places with us and he bears our burdens just as he bore this lepers burdens himself. Then we come to the final 30 that Jesus exhibits in this opening chapter of the Gospel of Mark now so 40 over disciples we find that in my in March up to one verse of 16 to 20 to 10 there in your Bibles you're going to read just a few verses here it's a very famous passage it says that as Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea for they were fisherman and Jesus said to them follow me and I will make you fishes of men or fish for people my version says in the King James is fishers of men and immediately they left their nets and they followed him as he went a little father he saw James son of 70 and his brother John who were in their boat mending the nets immediately called them they left their fathers empty in the boat with a hired man and they followed Jesus now that these guys were not some subsistence fisherman after us for we see that they have multiple boats we have hired men and we know from his from historical sources that Galilee was a major source of dried fish for Jerusalem they had to buzz a burgeoning export business of dried fish from Galilee all way down to Drew's them this was a viable commercial enterprise and they were the business owners they were not the hired hands that Betty was the father James and John were his sons they were going to inherit the family business about they had hired hands working for them probably on a daily Right so these are people with a certain social economic status they're not just Fischman fishing for their daily fish so they can survive in terms of food but Jesus calls them and says they followed him immediately Now what do we learn about this call of Jesus Firstly it was a call to follow Jesus person Jesus did not say to them follow the Torah. Rabbis in time Jesus would invite people to follow the Torah and they would expound upon the Torah Jesus does not say to them follow the Torah and I will teach you how to do it he says follow me Jesus calls us to follow him personally he doesn't say to us follow the 28 fundamental beliefs true though they may be he doesn't say follow in a very the church manual which is a good delineation of how church really teach you can be structured as an orderly orderly order and godliness there Jesus calls us to follow him as a person as a living person he is inviting us into a one on one connection that is unique to each one of us the rabbis called people to follow the Torah but Jesus calls us to follow him personally Secondly no potential disciple needs to take an exam in the ology or pass the seminary exams of all they can become a disciple of Jesus calls people where they are he called these fishermen by their fishing nets discipleship does not begin in the seminary but it begins in the office in the farm in the workshop in the body shop It begins at the kitchen sink it begins in the classroom in the living room and everything a disciple needs to learn and can do can only be learned as you follow Jesus in person obedience face must be an act of obedience before it is a content of belief before the disciples really understood what they were doing they were already following Jesus in obedience faith is a verb therefore it is a noun What do I mean by that or maybe the most famous person the vibe of John 316 yes which says For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever has faith in him is that what it says. No We think that's what it says that's not what Jesus said is not whoever has faith in Him Faith as a mound intellectual assent to vote various doctrines that's not what Jesus says Jesus says that whosoever believes in him believes is a verb it's not a noun Jesus doesn't say that whoever has Faith me that believes I'm the son of God will be saved know Jesus says whoever puts into practice their faith in me that you live your face that that a saving face is a living faith it's a working faith it's a faith that works through the realities of day to day life saving faith is one that is expressed in the decisions we make in the words we share and the places we go and all aspects of our lives faith is a verb before it is a noun only as Jesus is followed Can he be known if I follow in obedience my faith grows if I do not follow in obedience my faith cannot grow Jesus also says we see in this passage he wants to transform our lives so that we are not just fishes of a fish but we have fishes of people every evening those guys who go out sufficiency of Galilee in order that they might be by bread the next morning to feed their families they work to day to day and week to week a month to month in order the man to live they met live day to day week to week a month to month but Jesus promises to transform his disciples into dissed fishers of men that they might work not just to live day to day but that we might work for eternity and for an eternal reward now this is important for us today why because Jesus recognizes that the cry of the human heart is for meaning for purpose for a greater truth that we can live by now we may limp along for a lie while our western lives we extract small installments of happiness and meaning from the stages of life we may finish high school we may learn a trade or go to college we may get a job we may get married you may start a family we males that ends up paying off our home. These are small installments of happiness that come along life's journey of all other things being equal but they don't answer the cry of the human heart for purpose there is something more and as young people may be trapped may trump young people's eyes may be fixed on the notion of I've got to finish my education I've got to get a skill I've got to get a job I've got to find that special the person I want to start a family etc etc etc But then they discover and then when they hit a certain point of life that something still missing and Jesus recognises this there's more to life than the material as Augustine said and I hate to quote or gusting what he said is absolutely true our hearts are restless and so we find rest in Him yet as Christians today we often live in 2 worlds Western society tells us the complete whatever you want within the 4 walls of your church you can sing whatever you want you can pray however you want you may believe or preach what ever you want but the moment you leave those DAWs you put that Christianity on the back burner and now you're in a secular world and you have to abide by the values of a secular world out there while you have a Christian world within these 4 walls or within the 4 walls of your own home and so for generations that we as Christians we find ourselves living in a world where we kind of pressured into having a privatized faith but a public life in the secular around. Where did this idea come from well let's go back into some Greek philosophy there was a guy want to call Plato and he taught that everything is composed of matter and for me give an example the ingredients of breads that that's the matter but it takes intelligence to turn ingredients into the form that is a loaf of bread you may have a chunk of marble from a quarry that's the matter but it takes a Michelangelo right mind to turn that into a statue of David with the Venus de Milo So you have matzoh which is considered roll and chaotic and somehow bad then you have form where you have meaning and purpose and intelligence and so when Plato was giving his a thinking almost centuries ago the idea came that matter is disordered in chaos chaotic form is rational good the bringing of harmony to creation and so then the idea developed that matter or the physical side of life is inherently deficient or even evil and the spiritual side of life is much better is much more important and this worked its way through into the Middle Ages admit image in the doc ages with with the philosophy of the monks after Augusta we have this jewel istic idea that the physical is bad in the spiritual is good therefore if you're a butcher baker or candlestick maker you don't have a vacation that's a temporal job but the spiritual elites they become monks priests and nuns and you lock yourself into a cloister or into a monastery and so we have this this this this this twin track Christianity develop where the elites become priests pastors nuns and monks and everybody else just how to kind of get along doing regular daily chores. And the so Augustine embraced the idea of a sexism assuming that the physical life and bodily functions were inferior monasteries were to be preferred over workshops prayer and meditation which he preferred over being a seamstress electrician or carpenter and marriage was considered inferior to celibacy but thank God in the Reformation we didn't just learn about righteousness by faith the reformers rebelled against his 2 tier idea of spiritual life and their firms the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers which when they talked about it had nothing to do with the ordination of women they were talking about the rejection of monasticism they were saying that as Martin Luther said you can be of have a vocation as a merchant a farmer making a homemaker or weaver you do not have to be a monk priest or nun to have a vocation from God Rather God says God calls all of us to be his representatives in whatever sphere of life he has called us to be and this is important because running a business or a household is not inferior to being a priest pastor or a nun because all our ways of fulfilling the creation commission that is to participate in God's work of maintaining and blessing his original creation and so Jesus affirms in this passage here the disciples can live for him in the everyday realities of daily life that doesn't really matter if you're a butcher baker candlestick maker a pastor or seminary professor we are all called and we all have gifts and God asks us to use those gifts in the sphere of life where he has called us to save to serve we as a even in the western church we've idealized the experience of these fall and what we say is Well they had a business and they left that business and they went and they went to seminary 3 years for Jesus and then they were full time Apostles we've idealized that So these days when somebody says I want to enter the ministry the idea is you've got to leave your job to go to the seminary and then you can become a full time pastor. Well that is true about these 4 but the most successful minister of the Gospel New Testament was pole and he did not abandon his job as a tent maker in order to become an apostle Paul used his skills as a tent maker to work in the marketplace where you can gain access to the marketplace of ideas in the marketplace of discussion where people are actually spending their days in the market and the Gospel spread through whichever city whole set of business as a tent maker in this passage here. Jesus is calling us to to rethink how we view our lives we are all engaged in a vocation from God whether we are an airline pilot whether we are a homemaker whether we are an accountant a professor a farmer whether we run a welding shop or the electrician or carpenter we are all called to be the light of the world in which ever polished portion villian God has placed us our jobs are not separate from of location from God God is calling us to be his representatives in our sphere of influence and if everybody were in the same knew if everybody were in the pulpit how would the farmer or the man in the animal market or in the Corn Exchange ever hear of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are all called to be 10 makers for Jesus Christ these 4 they left Jesus and they followed him pres we go through the gospels we find that Jesus commissions people to be his representatives and not to change their profession but to live for Him and not to say in church I'm a Christian but outside of church I'm going to bow to the secular world No I'm going to live for Him and allow the principles of the Kingdom of God to flow through the decisions I make on a day to day basis so what do we say as we draw to a close today when the good news of the Gospel of Mark the only good news beside which there is no other good news is that in the person of Jesus of Nazareth God has broken into human history in a way never experienced before in my chapter one Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah the anointed of God in Greek that means the Christ and He is also the Son of God and as such a bad as a divine authority he has authority over the forces of Satan over demonic forces has authority over disease and has authority over disciples. And how do we respond well the chapter also tells us how do we respond to the arrival of Jesus Christ now lives how do we respond is it through an insurrection a sense of faith or possibly but it was read not scripture reading advice is ironic and this is how we are to respond it says them are one verse 14 now after John was arrested Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the good news of God and saying The time is fulfilled the kingdom of God has come repent and believe in the good news there are 2 commands given in this chapter in this verse in his teaching of Jesus in fact the teaching of Jesus in my one is almost identical to the teachings of John the Baptist John the Baptist said repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand and Jesus says repent for the Kingdom of God has come so they are to come on to the 1st Their 2 verbs is to repent. Now my my English just says repentance it doesn't give you any sense of what kind of pence and he's talking about now there are 2 kinds of repentance are Eastern present continuous in the Greek it was all rest I mean just like a one off repentance like I repent today and that's it that's not what Jesus is talking about that Jesus uses a present imperative which means I want you to live in a state of ongoing repentance states of on going day by day seeking to turn away from sin the response of the gospel is not just a one off I repent day and no more the response of the gospel is to live in a daily state of repentance daily turning away from sin daily abhorring sin daily rejecting sin in our lives involves a daily listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit revealing to us how sinful needs deeds not fallen nature and by grace turning from God from anything sorry that would turn us away from Jesus as our Lord and Savior So the 1st response that Jesus is looking for is this live a life of repentance live a life of turning away from sin live a life of being open to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking in your heart not quenched in the Holy Spirit of the Spirit is speaking to even Smalling and same brother Soandso sister so on so there's a sting in your life that need to be turned away from do not harden your hearts to listen to the voice of the spirit as you listen to the voice of the spirit the voice and spirit will become stronger and stronger in your life as you go day by day so the 1st command of Jesus is this live a life of repentance turning from anything that would keep you from your Heavenly Father and the 2nd command of Jesus he says repent that he says and believe. Repentance for 1st that which we turn from belief prefer that which we turn to so we're turning from sin and we're turning to and says believe in the good news and the good news is Jesus Christ himself is not a story about Jesus it is to believe in Jesus Christ itself and this is a verb which means Jesus is asking us to live a life of turning away from Sen And he's asking us to live a life where we are faithfully representing Jesus and his values on a day by day basis being a Christian is not a matter of so much of of intellectual assent it's a daily reality in our lives I'm consciously turning away from sin in order that I might be filled with the Spirit of God and my nephew Jesus day by day and every decision I make every word I oughta every breath I take I will be living for Jesus Christ repentance and police cannot be applied to some areas of our life and not to others Jesus is calling for total legions in all areas of our lives why is that what we see in the story of a leper Jesus traded place with a leper and he bore the lepers Burton he traded places with elected him on Chapter one The March Up to 15 Jesus traded places with you and me he died eternal death that is Algy you know that we might have the eternal life that is his to give he traded places with me he traded places with you so the call today is the same as he gave in his 1st chapter Here's Mark to the church a village in barren springs of those watching online repent. Turn from sin seek for the guidance of the Holy Spirit be opened and sensitive to the Spirit's convictions today and believe in the good news of Jesus Christ live for Jesus every moment of the day every decision you make and every word you utter in every job you do be a living presence of Jesus because he took your place that we might have histories paternity on. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons they visit w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.


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