Last week at Adventure Christian Church, we began our study of the Gospel of Mark. For most of the next 20 weeks, our messages on Sundays will focus on the life of Jesus as told in this Gospel.
The first series from this study we have titled: “The Power of Jesus.” This post’s notes relate to the first sermon I preached on April 7 which I titled: “The Power of Jesus Is Bigger than Your Issues”.
As always, you can go to our church website to hear the podcasts.
Here are my notes from April 7 (remember, these are just my notes and not written in “article” format):
What is the Gospel of Mark about? — Mark shows us that God is a God of new beginnings, reminds us of the foundation of our faith, and also provides an example of peace in the face of persecution and opposition. These themes will be shown repeatedly throughout this Gospel.
Jesus Is Bigger than Your Security Issues
Mark 1:16-18 – “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him.”
note: These men had sacrificed their financial security in order to follow Jesus. They were not tied to their wealth nor did they find their significance therein. And because of their faith in Jesus instead of their security he transformed them / promised them to have a higher purpose: from “fishermen” to “fishers of men.”
Jesus is Bigger than Your Social Issues
Mark 1:19-20 – “When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”
note: These two men were willing to put aside their social alliances and comforts (i.e., their family). Are we willing to sacrifice our social structure and comforts for the One who is even more powerful?
to “leave” = “to depart from permanently” (note: they didn’t just leave for a day – they were going to be different people, with a different social bond).
“The problem with trying to balance friendship with the world and service to God is that one becomes religiously a split personality, looking both to God and to the world for standards and assurance.” – Dave Garland
Jesus Is Bigger than Your Past Issues
Mark 1:23-24 – “Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!’
Mark 1:25-26 – “Be quiet! said Jesus sternly. Come out of him! The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.”
note: This man had been plagued in the past by an evil spirit. We all have our own past evil spirits that dwell within us that we can easily allow to fill us (for e.g., regret, abuse, unforgiveness of self or others, past sins). Jesus has the power to remove our past evil spirits and set us free.
“What once could invade human personalities and evade God’s control, can no longer do so!”
Jesus Is Bigger than Your Indirect Issues
Mark 1:30-31 – “Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.”
note: This issue was not directly Simon’s. Instead, someone close to him had an issue which undoubtedly affected him too. That happens to us – we have friends and family who have “issues” that cause trouble in our lives. However, when we introduce Jesus into the picture of that person’s life, He can overcome those issues as well.
Jesus Is Bigger than Your Personal Issues
Mark 1:40-42 – “A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, If you are willing you can make me clean. Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. I am willing, he said. Be clean! Immediately, the leprosy left him and he was cured.”
note: There is nothing more personal than a skin disease. It was painful and even more devastating it caused the person to be unclean and therefore shunned. We can allow our personal sins that make us so unclean to keep us from the people who can help. We can get caught up into thinking that we aren’t worth Jesus’ healing power or that He can’t help. But he can. He has power over our sin.
The leper was worth the effort — and so are YOU!!
Remember where the power is:
Mark 1:15 – “The time has come, he said. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”