Growing a Kingdom - Mark 3 7-35

Mark - The (Un)expected Kingdom of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  19:39
0 ratings
1. Living in community a. Our community i. next week, God willing, will be our last week of completely abnormal church ii. as of the 26th we will be back in the building, where some of you are right now, doing a live church service iii. and Friday marked our exact half way point in our journey of reading through the psalms - Psalm 75 of 150 (1) which means that it was 15 weeks ago we began the strange journey of church online iv. at the start of it all, when the Lauren, Ben and I thought about it - we wanted to preserve and invest in the things we thought we were strong in (1) and a primary one of them was our community. Our sense of "being together" - which is so good and something I think we value deeply. (a) and it's a wonderful thing! I'm glad we like each other! b. God's kingdom i. and that's what Mark tells us Jesus says has come to do - to build a community (1) but he uses a slightly different word - rather than community he calls it a kingdom, God's kingdom. ii. there are all sorts of communities in our world and at any time we can be members of a number of them. (1) I am a member of the community of Astronomers in NSW (a) and I participate in an online French language community (2) and another that I am sure will shock you called "Nerdy Language Majors" iii. but what is God's community - his kingdom - like - and how is he creating it? (1) What is Jesus doing to make the kingdom of God appear? 2. the crowds a. growing popularity i. when Karen read Mark for us earlier, did you notice in the start of the passage just how popular Jesus was getting? (a) They were somewhere near lake Galilee in the north west corner and (2) You might have noticed that people were coming from all over (v8) (a) When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. (3) which was more than you think. - now you know I am a cartophile, a map lover - it's never a real Ken sermon without a map, so ... (a) Judea and Jerusalem were 140k away, (b) Idumea was a staggering 240k away (i) and they did it ALL BY FOOT - 9 days walking 6 hours a day according to google maps. With sick and crippled and diseased people! 1) amazing commitment (c) and even more surprising - Tyre and Sidon, while only 70k away were in a completely different country! They were in Phoenicia. (i) and they did this all to come and see this Jewish healer and preacher (d) now that is popularity. Think of any of your "must see people" - would you walk for 9 days to see them? And then 9 days back? (i) most celebs or pollies would kill for that sort of interest... b. strange behaviour i. and you would think that with all this popularity, Jesus would soak it all up. (1) if he is building a kingdom, then all the people flocking to him are a great start! ii. they were coming to him for healing - and MANY were healed. (1) we think the Coronavirus vaccine will change the world (a) there was nothing Jesus couldn't heal - with a touch! iii. so the first strange behaviour was, he was charging nothing - no fee. (1) Not many doctors I know don't ever charge fees... iv. but his second strange behaviour is the really surprising one - he actually withdraws from the crowds. (v9) (1) Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. v. If you're going to start a kingdom, you need popular support - an insurrection will always fail without it - but Jesus withdraws (a) and he's helping so many people - surely he'd be better off staying and healing everyone that could drag or be dragged to see him (2) but we saw this different priority earlier in Mark 1 as well (v37-38) (a) the disciples say - (b) "Everyone is looking for you!" Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else-to the nearby villages-so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." (3) Jesus hasn't come primarily come to heal - he hasn't come to build an army of rebels, he's not running a popularity contest (a) he is making something quite different. (i) He's not building the usual sort of human kingdom. 3. the twelve a. echoes of Exodus i. and so instead of calling the thousands to himself by the lake he goes up a mountainside (v13) (a) Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. (2) you might think that he went up on the mountainside to get away from the crowds, but it would have been better to stay on the boat to do that (a) he might have done it to get a better vantage point - but that seems a little strange with a big crowd (i) how would you hear anything Jesus said here... (3) but I am pretty sure neither of those were the main reason Jesus went up a mountain (a) because Jesus comes like Moses comes, with echoes of Exodus (i) as we saw in the first chapters in Mark, Jesus is gathering a new Israel, just like Moses gathered Israel (4) and Moses went up on a mountain in Sinai - Karen read that for us too (a) first to receive the law - in Exodus 19 (i) but then to meet with God. in Exodus 24. ii. and instead of calling the entire crowd who were with him up onto the mountainside, (1) Jesus called a very special few "those he wanted" as we read just then - and who were they? b. calling the twelve i. we know them as the disciples (or later the apostles) because they learnt from Jesus - that's what the word disciple means. (1) Here we can see the 12 names in vv16-19 (a) but the names are less important than why he chose 12 (2) and that's because if you are going to create Israel, you need 12 elders. (a) Israel has 12 tribes, and the kingdom of God has 12 apostles. (3) he is making a kingdom - but it's quite a disappointing start - yes there are12. but they are fishermen, and tax-collectors. Quite a motley crew! c. sending the twelve i. and they were to be with him (v14) (1) He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach ii. and then he would send them on a mission (1) that's why they are called apostles - which just means sent ones (a) because Jesus sends the 12 into the world. - and why Judas Iscariot had to be replaced by Matthias after his suicide. iii. they were sent to preach! (v14) (1) To do the same thing Jesus had come to do (a) to be his ambassadors and representatives of the kingdom. (2) and for those 12 to have the authority to drive out demons (v15) (i) and to have authority to drive out demons. (b) his 12 new ambassadors of this kingdom of fishermen and outcasts doing the work of the king. 4. the two opinions a. out of his mind i. the crowd loved him because they were being healed - he was the wonder worker of the 1st century (1) but what did others think of him? there are 2 opinions we see here in the passage. ii. his family had a very family sort of view didn't they (v21) (1) When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." iii. you've got to look after yourself Jesus - eat good meals. get enough sleep (1) you can't ignore these things! So they come to get him. (a) which isn't unreasonable really - sometimes it's just right for families to step in to help - or to fix situations. iv. but it is contrasted to the teachers of the law from Jerusalem b. impure spirit (v22) (1) And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons." ii. they take a much darker view of what's going on here - they look at him and see danger and evil (1) so they accuse him of being Baal - the chief Canaanite God (a) the opposite of the loving God - YHWH - a warlike - appease me sort of God - who at times even demanded child sacrifice. (2) and Jesus replies with the parable showing that it just doesn't make sense for the evil one to be working against his own kingdom (a) there is no reason for Satan to free people (v26) 1) And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. (b) when he does opposes himself - then he is defeating himself. (i) rather - if you are going to overcome the evil one you have to be stronger than the evil one - so think that one through teachers of the law! (c) this is the first time Jesus speaks in parables. You have to be very careful about over interpreting parables. (i) They are easy to read too much into. And we'll hear more about that next week Parable of the Sower. c. blasphemy of the Spirit i. but then Jesus says something many of us struggle with (v29) (1) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin." ii. We find this hard because we don't know what exactly it is, and some of us with more tender consciences are terrified that we may have committed it. (1) before I attempt to explain it I want you to look closely and drink deeply in v28 though (a) Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter (2) all their sins, every slander - can be forgiven. No matter what it is you have done it can be wiped clean (a) isn't that great news! It's the great news of the gospel of sins forgiven, of new life and a new heart and new start. (b) Relationship with God restored by him. iii. there's only one thing that cannot be forgiven - and that is the blasphemy of the Spirit (1) which is not saying those words as a swear - though please don't do that. With any name of God (2) rather it is what follows (v30) (a) He said this because they were saying, "He has an impure spirit." (3) that is to blaspheme the Spirit is to stand and judge that Jesus is evil. (a) to so blaspheme the Spirit is to reject the work of the Spirit in bringing you to faith in Christ, (i) that you even accuse him of being evil all your life. (b) That's not forgivable - because the only unforgivable thing is to reject Jesus. iv. to walk away from the king of the kingdom that is coming. (1) let me just encourage you - if you are worried that you may have committed this sin, then you almost certainly haven't. (a) One of the marks of this attitude would be that you just don't care anymore... 5. the family a. the obvious answer i. another obvious community that we are all part of is our biological families (1) the one we are born into - and the biological family of Jesus is here to take him away. ii. it's important to note that even on the cross Jesus sees and acknowledges his mother - he never disowns his physical family. (1) but he has a bigger answer than that obvious answer b. the true answer i. he asks the question himself (v33) (1) "Who are my mother and my brothers?" ii. his true answer is that his family are not just those who are related by blood, but those who obey God. (v35) (a) "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." (2) the community that Jesus is building, his kingdom, is not one related by blood - by genetics (a) but by commitment. By a desire together to serve the one true God and do his will. (3) and that this community are those who are with him, rather than those who oppose him or who just want the quick fix. (v34) (a) Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! iii. this community is even closer than flesh and blood (1) because we are tied together not by a chance of genetics, (a) but by the bonds of wanting to obey the same God (2) to serve him together and to love him as brothers and sisters together as our heavenly father. iv. that is deep and transformative because it changes the purpose of life altogether. 6. God's new community a. the community of faith and obedience i. So God is building his kingdom, his community of faith and obedience. (1) and he is building it out of people who will obey the will of God the father (a) which is to trust in the Son - in Jesus - as our king (2) and that community is deeper and stronger and broader and greater than any biological family. (a) it's an experience of community that should be of love - like God loves (i) a community of common goal, of one father, one faith, one God and one Lord Jesus Christ. (b) a community that seeks to serve and proclaim and share him with the world ii. What are you looking for in church? (1) friends? - well I hope you find some (a) help? - we will if we can (2) I am so glad we have a community that we value... (a) but first and foremost what coming to the community we call church (3) is a common allegiance, a joint loyalty, (a) a shared goal and aim in life that will fill you to overflowing (4) Nobody can contain the greatness of God and his vision for the world - for transforming us and it (a) as he grows his kingdom and his community into a place (i) where his name is glorified, his commands obeyed 1) and his Son Jesus trusted and exalted. (ii) where are you? What do you want? (5) How do you experience community? And what can you bring? (a) how can you serve and love and care for others, in showing your love for God and obedience to him. (6) let me give you one really simple suggestion (a) join a growth group if you can and when we can - great place to put this into practice - talk to me iii. but something everyone can do - even if we return to lockdown - is (1) find someone else to share the Bible and prayer with every week. iv. And encourage them to love and obey God as your brother or your sister in Christ. b. God is building his new kingdom under his son Jesus Christ his king amongst and through us. i. What a wonderful place to be and what a privilege to participate in. let's pray. open our hearts that we may see you as you truly are - the king of this new kingdom that you are building from all sorts and conditions of people. May we see our church community as your kingdom, in your world, showing you to our world that so often just wants to ignore you. Give us patience and courage and wisdom as we seek to share the love of Christ with those around us. Growing a Kingdom page 6 of 6 Mark 3:7-35
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more