Mark 1:14-20 “Big Call”

In Mark 1:14-20 Jesus is making some ‘big calls’. He makes two specific claims regarding God’s
Rule and Discipleship which necessitate a response. The particular response Jesus expects is for us to acknowledge his Kingship/Kingdom, to repent, believe and follow him. In reality we can either treat Jesus’ claims here as either fictional self promotion or the truth.

How will we respond?

Play

Mark 1:14-20

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;[a]repent and believe in the gospel.”

16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[b] 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

Mark 1:12-13 – “Encountering Jesus, One who passes the wilderness test.”

What made JesusWilderness Test so extreme?  This only becomes clear when we understand the Biblical reality of the Wilderness.  The Bibles idea of the Wilderness, combines several ideas.

In the Wildernesswe will experience spiritual tension – often arising out of a physical situation, have our faithfulness tested and be exposed to Satanic temptation.  As a result we might begin to doubt our commitment to God and our faith in the goodness or even existence of God.

During a Wildernessseason we will often realise just how fragile our faith really is.  In Mark 1:12-13 we see Jesus in his Wilderness experience – the only difference being that he remained perfectly faithful.

This is encouraging for us as we remember/realise that if we are in Christ – because of his faithfulness – we have been declared perfectly faithful, are welcomed into a blessed relationship with God and fight in a spiritual war that has already been won.

Play

Mark 1:12-13

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Mark 1:1-11 – “Delighting in God”

To delight in something or someone means to take great pleasure in them.  A child delights in that old blanket, a connoisseur delights in a perfectly brewed coffee.  Similarly, we delight in God when we take great pleasure in Him.

Mark helps us to see just how perfectly united God – in the Trinity – is which might impress us.  Mark does more though.  He reminds us of what God is accomplishing.

God is beginningthe Gospel in his Son Jesus Christ.  This does more than provoke intrigue, this gives us a foundation for delighting in God.  To Delight in God is to take great pleasure in his perfectly united, perfectly gracious character.

Play

Mark 1:1-11

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[a]

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,[b]

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare[c] the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[d] with you I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:1 “Good News”

We can easily read Mark’s opening words without really understanding just how provocative they are. They can appear, to our eyes, as a simple title or summary sentence.  

This wouldn’t have been the case for the original listeners. They would have known these words were fighting words. Mark has ‘come out swinging’ as they say.

By using the word ‘Gospel’ with reference to Jesus, Mark is communicating the following ideas.

 

  1. To the Roman Citizens – Don’t look to the Caesar for perfect Peace – look to Jesus.  
  2. To the Jewish Listeners – Your Hope for God’s mighty work is fulfilled in Jesus who establishes the Kingdom of God through his Death and Resurrection.
  3. To the Christians – Jesus gives true Joy, even to those who are suffering (Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good, provocative, reaction demanding News.

Play

Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Mark 1:9-20 “How Jesus Teaches us to be Humble”

In the Gospel of Mark, we encounter Jesus as the Discipler.

As the discipler, Jesus is constantly shepherding his followers towards spiritual maturity.

But, what exactly does spiritual maturity look like?
What is the end goal for Jesus in discipleship?
Jesus has an end goal of Humility for his Disciples.

He shepherds his disciples towards humility by showing them the true reality of who he is – they
see that he is the Son of God, Messiah and Suffering Servant – and by helping them understand
the true reality of who they are – unable to understand who Jesus is and even persevere in

following him.

This not only helped the disciples to be humble, it helped them to worship.

Play

Mark 1:9-20

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[a] with you I am well pleased.”12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;[b]repent and believe in the gospel.”16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[c] 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

Genesis 3

Whether we acknowledge it rationally or intuitively, we know in some way that we are an Imperfect People in an Imperfect World. 
We know that the situation we’re in isn’t as bad as it could be, far from it, but that we are Imperfect People in an Imperfect World. 
The question we want to answer today is, how did we get here?
Play

Genesis 3

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LordGod had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool[c] of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LordGod among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”[d] 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
    cursed are you above all livestock
    and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
    and dust you shall eat
    all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[e] and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to[f] your husband,
    but he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
    and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
    ‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.”

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.[g]21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Acts 13 and 14

In Acts 13-14  we are seeing God’s purposes for the Gentiles, like gushing torrents, bursting forth onto the pages of History. God has plans to redeem the Gentiles, to offer them salvation. 
 
We see this happening through Paul’s first Missionary Journey as he establishes and encourages churches all through the Gentile regions he visits. This reminds us of God’s purposes ( Daniel 7 ) to draw many nations together in his Son Jesus Christ in order that they might worship him. On a practical level this encourages us to think about the Church as a visible manifestation of God’s eternal church, here today – with multi cultures, languages and nations gathering together, united by Christ himself. It also reminds us that we are called to promote this kingdom with whatever resources we have, to share the good news and to see the Kingdom grow. 
Play

Acts 13-14

Ecclesiastes 4:4-8 “Motivation and Work”

What motivates you in your work?
The reality for many of us is that this is a very dynamic and hard question to ask.  We often don’t analyse our own motives and instead often just go though the motions as we seek to provide for needs and desires.  In Colossians 3:23 Paul reminds us that no matter what we do, we should do it heartily as for the Lord and not for men.
The question then becomes;  Are you motivated by a desire to serve and please the Lord Jesus Christ in your work?  The reason this is so important to ask ourselves this question is because Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4:4-8 identifies two common, productive ways that we are motivated to work which aren’t healthy or biblical.  The first is to be motivated to work by envy, the second is to be motivated to work by discontentment.
Play
Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity[a] and a striving after wind.

The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

Ecclesiastes 3:16- 4:3 “Disillusioned”

To become disillusioned – you become disappointed in someone or something as you discover them to be less good than you had believed. For example – A pupil can become disillusioned when they take a complaint about bullying to the Principal who then proceeds to ignore his complaint because the bully is one of the star players in the first 15 rugby team.
Solomon is clearly in a state of disillusionment with the world and the people in it as he writes in this text today. The reason for his disillusionment being that he is seeing the horrible ways that people are willing to treat one another.
However, Solomon in this situation still remains hopeful. What is it promotes hope in such a depressing situation?
The hope he has that one day the Lord will come again to judge.
Play

Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:3

16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[a] 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?

Evil Under the Sun

Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-15 “Purpose”

To have a strong sense of purpose is one of those things that we as humans seem to crave.
We seem to thrive, when we know what it is we want to do with our lives, that whatever we want to do is actually significant and that we are able to get it done.
The reality though, is that, We often experience frustration and confusion regarding our own particular purpose in this life.Which is what makes Solomon’s wisdom so helpful –  In Ecclesiastes 3 9-15 Solomon gives us a reason for why this frustration might exist.
That reason being that God in his wisdom has actually made it happen this way. Made in his Image, Made like Him, We have been designed with a desire to be purposeful. Yet we have been given limitations. We can’t perfectly understand our purpose. Why on earth would Ido do this? So that we continue to trust and worship him.
Play

Ecclesiastes 3:9-15

What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.[a]

  • Contact us

    Sunday Morning Worship takes place at 10am in the Piano, located on 156 Armagh Street. Free parking for GPC attendees is available off Oxford Terrace.