The Lord Is My Shepherd
Have you noticed that the temperature is changing in Australia? I’m not talking about global warming but as Christians things are getting hotter and hotter! But when we turn to the next section of Mark’s gospel we find that it was pretty hot as well for Jesus. He was ministering in the midst of unbelief, sin and persecution and what does he do? In the midst of it all he sends his disciples out on a mission to preach repentance and forgiveness. So our situation is not that far removed from theirs. So come along on Sunday and see why Jesus does this and what he expects of all of his followers, including you and me.
Are you fearful about anything? Is fear then the opposite of faith? Can fear and faith coexist? In this section of Mark, we are looking at some of the things that that we fear – danger, demons, disease and death and we will see a right faith in Jesus, even a holy fear in Jesus will help us to cope with our fears of these things.
Mark 4 brings us the parables, simple stories with a deeper meaning. We are encouraged to listen, really listen because the parables are a test. To see if we the right sort f heart. To see if the seed of the word of God is going to grow in our lives. To see what sort of fruit there will be from God’s word.
Appearance can be deceptive. Not everyone who looks like a Christian, acts like a Christian or come from a Christian is a true follower of Jesus. In Mark 3, Jesus came across crowds that flocked to see him, voices that proclaimed who he was, disciples who were willing to follow him, teachers who knew their bible and even family members and they all looked like they were followers of Jesus but many of them weren’t. This is a reality check for us. Are we really following Jesus or does it just look like it?
As we start Mark 2 the storm clouds appear on the horizon for Jesus. Can he really forgive sin? Why does he eat with sinners? Why doesn’t he fast and keep the Sabbath? Opposition begins to build. How will Jesus cope find he finds himself in controversy corner? What can we learn about him and the way he wants us to deal with the storms of life?
This week we're thinking about the competing voices in Jesus’ head - what God wanted him to do versus the voices of what others wanted him to do. We'll see how that applies to the competing voices we have everyday telling us what we should be doing.
This week we start a sermon series on the Gospel of mark. Mark is the shortest of all four gospels and there is a really urgency about how he writes. In it Jesus always seems to being going somewhere and doing something. One of Mark’s favourite words is “immediately”. But don’t think you know everything that mark is going to say for in Mark 1:1-15 he starts with a host of surprises! Even having read the gospels for 40 years I was surprised by how Mark starts his gospel.