Gospel of Mark Chapter Twelve (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in the Gospel of Mark is that Jesus is the servant of God. Today, we hope to discuss Jesus' teachings concerning resurrection and the greatest commandments.

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Body:
Read Mark 12:18-27
5. Concerning resurrection.
Religious leaders continue to hound Jesus. Now they are talking about marriage in the resurrection. Jesus teaches against marriage in the resurrection, and He affirms that there really is a resurrection.

Applications –
- Godly marriages.
Notice in vss. 19-23 of this chapter of the Gospel of Mark the idea of marriage for the sake of linage. Staying married based on love is hard enough. Building a marriage on simply having a child to carrying on the name of the family is way too flimsy. What if the child dies before he can have children?

Let's work on building marriages on our confidence that it is the will of God. Let's further build our families around marriages, not children. Children are designed to be raised and released. Marriages are designed to be until one of the spouses die.

- Death. Notice in vss. 19-23 of this chapter of the Gospel of Mark the idea of dying. Even though we don't like to talk about it, we all must die. We should do what we can to make ready for our date with death and the death of our loved ones. We should make sure we are saved.

We should make sure we have at least $10k worth of life insurance for burial expenses (cremation and organ donating). We should develop a will and include what we want the church to have, if we don’t give it to the church while we are alive.

We should develop a living will, so loved ones don't have to argue about life support issues. We should love people while we can, instead of waiting until they die or until we are on our death beds. Let's make ready for death.

- Understanding and living by the Word of God. Notice in vss. 24, 26 of this chapter of the Gospel of Mark Jesus' talking about how the religious leaders were in error because they did not understand the scriptures. First, notice how direct and perhaps aggressive Jesus was with the religious leaders.

There are those who think that issues in the church should not be dealt with directly with the word of God. However, Jesus was rather direct, especially with those who challenged Him. Second, notice that no matter what title one has, maturity is about knowing and living by the word of God.

A person can have title, seniority, and other things going for him, but if the person is not understanding and living by the word of God, the person is lacking. Let's work on understanding and living by the word of God.

- Marriage in the resurrection. Notice in vs. 25 of this chapter of the Gospel of Mark that there is no marriage in the resurrection. It is my prayer that since there is no marriage in the resurrection that God will do something with my affections and memories.

I don't see how I could be in love with my wife and remember decades of memories and then not be married for eternity in the resurrection. I am confident that God has a plan. Let's make sure we have accepted Jesus, so we can be in the resurrection, and trust God with all of the arrangements once we get there.

Read Mark 12:28-34
6. Concerning the greatest commandments.
There is an exchange between Jesus and a teacher of the law. Now the issue is about which commandment is the greatest. Jesus taught that loving God with all that one has is the chief commandment and loving one's neighbor as one's self is the second. Jesus told the teacher that he was not far from the kingdom of God.

Applications –
- Loving God.
Notice in vss. 29-30 of this chapter of the Gospel of Mark that the greatest commandment is to love God with all that one has – heart, soul, mind, and strength. Instead of trying to separate these four items, we should try to simply aim all that we have control over towards loving God.

Our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and value system should all point towards lovingly obeying God. Let's love God with all that we have. If our love doesn't move us to at least tithe, to be a registered reacher, to be enthusiastic in worship, and to be courteous towards others, we have much growing to do.

- Loving ourselves and others. Notice in vs. 31 of this chapter of the Gospel of Mark that the second greatest commandment is to love one's neighbor as one's self. This kind of love should be known for not only evangelism, being kind, and meeting needs, but it should be noted for trying to empower the weak and reform oppressive systems.

Notice further that loving others as one loves one's self assumes a certain amount of self love. Specifically as Black believers, we need to revisit our self love. Self love gives attention to health stewardship, economic stewardship, and knowing the history of one's self.

Our poor health and economic stewardship coupled with lack of appreciating our history casts a shadow of doubt over self love. Let's work on self love, so we can carry out the second greatest commandment, as a demonstration of the first commandment. John 14:15 teaches that if we love God then we would obey Him. Let's work on loving ourselves and others.

- Being all the way saved. Notice in vs. 34 of this chapter of the Gospel of Mark that Jesus says that the teacher is not far from the kingdom of God. First, the kingdom of God is wherever the king rules. God, our King, should rule every area of our lives. And God will rule in the millennium kingdom, which is what the text is probably referring to and we are yet waiting on.

Second, being close is not good enough. We need to make sure that we are all the way saved and try to help our loved ones be all the way saved. Not far from being saved leaves one still going to Hell. Let's work on being all the way saved and helping our loved ones do the same.

Conclusion: Let's work on being servants of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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