Gospel of Mark Chapter Three: Part Two
Introduction: A key idea in the Gospel of Mark is that Jesus is the servant of God. Today, we hope to discuss the condemnation of rejecters and the call to be in Jesus' spiritual family.
Read Mark 3:22-30
2. The Condemnation of Rejecters. Jesus deals with the religious leaders who were opposing Him in this section of the Gospel of Mark.
They said that He was moved by the devil. Jesus taught this was not so and that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an eternal sin.
- Place of encouragement and support.- Notice in vs. 22 that Jesus' opponents traveled from Jerusalem to cause Him trouble. We learn from the Gospel of Mark that the devil can use people to cause so much trouble for those who are trying to live right.
Let's work on developing our faith (i.e., prayerful study and obedience with the support of other believers), so we can withstand the devil.
Let's work on making our church a place of encouragement and support for those who are trying to live right.
- Discipleship and submission to the body concept.- In the three chapter of the Gospel of Mark notice in vss. 24-25 that Jesus taught that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
If we are not standing then we are falling. We have invested too much, our community needs too much, and God has invested too much in us for us to be a falling church or falling Christians.
Let's work on both our discipleship and submission to the body concept (i.e., cooperation, instead of seizures or paralysis), so we can be a standing, instead of a falling, church.
- Keeping the strong man strong. - Notice in vss. 27-28 of the third chapter of the Gospel of Mark the advantage of keeping the strong man strong, instead of tied up. We don’t have to worry about God, our ultimate strong man, ever being tied up.
However, God has placed strong men/people or leaders in our lives. The Pastor should be a strong man for the church, and husbands should be strong men for their families.
When the earthly leaders are week then the group that they are leading is subject to be robbed. However, when the leaders are strong, they are duty bound to protect their groups.
We can work on keeping our leaders strong by praying that God leads them, so they can lead us, and then trust God to do that. We can help by following leadership with a positive attitude.
We can help by countering the negativity that we hear with positives; reporting issues with details, so action can be taken; and staying away from trouble makers. Let's work on keeping our strong men/leaders strong?
- Offending the Holy Spirit. - Notice in vss. 28-29 the mention of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. The only way to be receptive to the conviction and guidance of the Holy Spirit is to yield to such.
When we reject or blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, we cut off all avenues of being convicted and guided to righteousness.
Without the Holy Spirit, we would never accept Christ as our savior by faith or try to live lives of loving God, ourselves, and others. We would never seek forgiveness from God.
If you have a desire to live for Jesus, it is only because of the Holy Spirit, which means you have not totally rejected Him.
The person who sins without conscious and curses God is the
one who is in trouble. The one who feels sorrow over his/her sins and strives, even if unsuccessfully, to live right is not guilty of blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.
This is true, even if they said some unkind things about God, in their times of trouble.
However, on another page is the issue of grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit (see Eph. 4:30; I Thess. 5:19), we do this every time we disobey the will of God, especially when we are aware of the Spirit trying to get us to do right.
Let's strive to live obedient lives, instead of lives that offend the Holy Spirit, because offending Him leads to our punishment.
Read Mark 3:31-35
3. The Call to be in Jesus' Spiritual Family. Jesus' mother and brothers came to talk to Him in this section of the Gospel of Mark.
Jesus taught that His real family members are those who do the will of His Father. Notice that Jesus adds sisters to the list of family members.
- Developing strong and supportive relationships. - Notice in vss. 33-34 of the third chapter of the Gospel of Mark that Jesus taught that His closest family members are those who obey His Father's will.
It is not strange for disciples to develop relationships that are stronger and more nurturing among them than that of biological family members.
As much as we strive to love biological family members, the truth is that sometimes we grow apart.
One is concerned with Christ, and the other is concerned with the best party in town, or the fastest money, or the greatest amount of material possession.
Let's work on helping disciples develop strong and supportive relationships (i.e., a/p, dds, etc.)
- Our duty to our biological family.- Notice in vss. 33-34 that even though Jesus taught about the value of the Christian family.
We do not see in this section of the Gospel of Mark Jesus teaching the abandonment of the biological family. In John 19:26-27, Jesus made provisions for His biological mother.
In I Timothy 5:8, we see the importance of us taking care of our aged parents and family members. In I Corinthians 12:12-16, we see that the saved spouse is urged to work on the unsaved spouse.
Therefore, we, as disciples of Christ, must not be quick to disregard and sever ties with unsaved family members. We need to be open to God using us to help them get saved and become disciples.
We need to carry out our duties to our biological family members. And we need to be aware that sometimes our family members are not as turned off about Jesus as they are with our "Phariseeical" or over the top religious ways.
Too many of us can be holier than Jesus. Let's not abandon our duties to our biological families.
Conclusion: Let's work on being servants of God. God has much for those who obey His will.
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