Last Sunday’s message from the closing verses of Mark 9 was filled with hard teaching. The main idea I attempted to share was the difference between individualism and discipleship. I think this is one of the greatest battles facing Christians today.
As we continue our study of Mark, what is becoming clearer is the plain fact that Jesus wanted real disciples, not just followers who were still trying to pursue their own ideas or agendas. He knew He could build a movement, but only with genuine, fully committed disciples. He pushed them to lay down their individualism and take up His discipleship cross.
It is possible to be a professing Christian and still be far from Jesus. I’m sure you knew that. It’s also possible to love Jesus, but fail to love others like Jesus. Could there be anything worse than a Christian who doesn’t love others like Jesus does? Think a moment about that one...
In Mark 9, Jesus has been speaking very clearly, but His disciples are struggling to grasp it all. He wants them to know that the way we treat others, loving and offering mercy to them, has significant eternal consequences. Why?
Do you know what unsaved, unchurched people need from Christians? They need to be loved better than the world loves them. Our world is a mess. It causes people to argue and fight with each other. Our world needs to catch a glimpse of Jesus, which Mark’s Gospel will show us, as He resolutely heads for Jerusalem, there to be the perfect and sinless man who was put to death on a cross. Our world needs to see our loving Jesus, not as a warrior with His foot on the neck of His enemy, but as the Lamb slain for all the sins of all time, who longs to save everyone… We are the messengers of His love...
Jesus’ Kingdom is a kingdom where even the enemies are loved. This is the mark of the Christian.
At the end of Romans 12, which is a great read, Paul wrote this:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21 ESV
Let’s overcome the world with good!
Grace & Peace!