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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Revelation 21:1-5, 22:1-5 “New Heavens And New Earth”

Andrew Young unpacks Revelation 21 and 22 to show us how we can be forward facing and have hope beyond this life as God’s creational purpose is fulfilled in the new heavens and new earth.

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Revelation 21:1-5 and 22:1-5

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

22 Then the angel[f] showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life[g] with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

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?
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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.

Psalm 135 “God is faithful to His people”

Starting out in life we all develop expectations on how it will work out. But when these expectations are not met we can question God’s power, promises and care. Psalm 135 draws our eyes up to praise God for he is in control and is working out a far greater life than we could ever imagine. God is bringing all things together for a life that brings praise and honour to Christ and brings us joy in him.

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Psalm 135

Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord,
    give praise, O servants of the Lord,
who stand in the house of the Lord,
    in the courts of the house of our God!
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
    sing to his name, for it is pleasant![a]
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
    Israel as his own possession.

For I know that the Lord is great,
    and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, he does,
    in heaven and on earth,
    in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
    who makes lightnings for the rain
    and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    both of man and of beast;
who in your midst, O Egypt,
    sent signs and wonders
    against Pharaoh and all his servants;
10 who struck down many nations
    and killed mighty kings,
11 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    and Og, king of Bashan,
    and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
12 and gave their land as a heritage,
    a heritage to his people Israel.

13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever,
    your renown,[b] O Lord, throughout all ages.
14 For the Lord will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
    the work of human hands.
16 They have mouths, but do not speak;
    they have eyes, but do not see;
17 they have ears, but do not hear,
    nor is there any breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them become like them,
    so do all who trust in them.

19 O house of Israel, bless the Lord!
    O house of Aaron, bless the Lord!
20 O house of Levi, bless the Lord!
    You who fear the Lord, bless the Lord!
21 Blessed be the Lord from Zion,
    he who dwells in Jerusalem!
Praise the Lord!

Genesis 1:26-31

Is there any thing more pressing for us than to know who we are and what are here for – our Identity and Purpose. Today, we’re looking at how God, through the Bible, answers those questions and asking how we can apply this truth in a tangible way in our lives.

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Genesis 1

In Gen 1 God reveals himself to the newly freed nation of Israel from slavery. His introduction sets him apart as the only true God who is uncreated and has all authority. And also reveals his fatherly love for his creation as shown in his original plan, placing them as gardeners in the garden of eden and his rescuing Israel from slavery by his grace.

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    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.