Mark’s gospel is the shortest account of the four. It is packed with action showing Jesus works of service as He carried out His ministry. Several things about Jesus rise to the surface in Mark that help us see God’s vision and mission for His people. We see that Jesus is truly God’s servant, sent here to seek and save the lost.
As we continue to move through the New Testament together remember to keep this focus question in mind and note what you hear the scriptures revealing concerning them. Our focus question is: What is God’s vision and mission for His people, and how do the concepts of seeking, saving and serving describe God’s mission for us here at Signal Mountain Church of Christ today?
Slide one (Matthew 6:33)
Jesus seeks us as lost sheep. He is a seeking Lord and King, searching our hearts and seeking out those who will follow and find in Him their all in all. Just as Jesus sought to do the will of His father and fulfill the scriptures, He calls us to be a seeking church. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33 – Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Would you say this with me?
Slide two (Matthew 28:19-20)
Lord, make us to be a seeking church. Seeking your face, seeking to please you, seeking your will and way, seeking first Your kingdom and righteousness. Help us grow as a seeking church.
Jesus is our Savior. He came here to seek and save that which was lost. Jesus brought us salvation. He bought our salvation with the price of His own blood. Jesus is a saving Lord and King. He calls us to join in His saving work by sharing our faith and making disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:19-20 – All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Would you say that with me?
Slide three (Mark 10:45)
Lord, make us a saving church. Show us how to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, your power to save us from our sins. Teach us how to make disciples of others. Help us grow to become a great saving church.
Jesus is God’s Servant. Jesus is the Son of God, and yet He came to us in the form of a Servant. Isaiah spoke of Him in about 800 B.C. “Behold my servant…” Jesus own words to His disciples in our reading today remind us, as Jesus said, “I did not come here to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for men.” Jesus is a Servant Lord and King. He commands us to follow in His steps and in His style of life as a servant.
Mark 10:45 –“ The Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Song: Lord, make me a servant
In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan said he would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. John Milton thought that when God created man on earth, God gave the angels the responsibility of serving us. Lucifer objected saying that he could not serve anyone but God alone, because God alone was greater than he. Lucifer’s pride corrupted him and ultimately God cast him out from his presence and when He did, Lucifer took other angels with him into the darkness. What Lucifer failed to see, because of his pride is that God is not proud, but humble. God’s command to serve man was an opportunity for the heavenly hosts to open their hearts and discover that in serving, they would find God’s heart and become more like Him.
Lucifer became Satan, the accuser, and his corruption overwhelmed him. He became utterly unlike God so that instead of speaking truth, he spoke lies. Instead of bringing life, he became a murderer. Instead of giving, he stole. Instead of creating, he destroyed. Instead of repenting, he accused even God, and God’s children. He became utterly evil and like a roaring lion he roams about seeking someone to devour. Scripture makes it plain that he is a force to be reckoned with, and while many things appear to be given over to him, God preserves our power of choice.
We can choose to follow Jesus, the Son of God, the true image of God and show our hearts are drawn to be like our Father’s or we can go the way of darkness. We can become corrupt and walk in the way of deception, destruction and ultimately complete condemnation. God preserves our choice. He seeks us, He saves us and He serves us. He is calling us to choose Christ. If we choose to follow Jesus Christ, we learn how to be like Him seeking, saving, and serving for His glory and honor and He will reward us with a rich welcome into eternal life.
The Bible shows us clearly. God always had a plan. From before the foundation of the earth, God’s vision and mission were purposed and ordained to come to pass. God created humanity in His own image and likeness. God made us to be like Himself. He has given us every good and perfect gift. Life itself is from God. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all fruit of God’s Spirit and blessings given to God’s people.
God is a giver. Wow! In fact, part of God’s serving us is in His giving. Remember Jesus words? The Son of man came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Giving our lives is our greatest service.
Tonight in your groups you will be talking about the gospel of Mark. I hope you will focus your attention on how Jesus served. Mark’s gospel, more than Matthew, Luke or John, reveals Jesus as Servant.
Listen to what Jesus said in Mark 9:33-37. Here again in Mark, Jesus is teaching His disciples the meaning of greatness. This is true greatness because this is the likeness of God Himself. Jesus wants us to be servants so that we will embrace the likeness of God.
What we sometimes think about serving is that it comes from weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Serving in Christ does come from humility, but it is not weak, spiritually speaking. When God calls us to be servants, He is actually calling us into His power. Jesus told the apostle Paul, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” Our serving Lord knows that until we give up our pride we can not be like our Father. Until we bow and serve, we are more like Satan than like Jesus Christ. Do not despise the humble calling of serving. It is there that we discover God’s heart and find His richest blessings.
Jesus as servant in Mark’s gospel is undefeated. Nothing can overcome Him. In Mark, everyone except Jesus stumbles and falls. The disciples don’t understand. Peter fails him at the end. Pilate gives into fear of a crowd. Jesus stands alone undefeated. Demons submit to him, sickness and disease flee at His word, stormy winds obey his voice, even his enemies can’t find agreeing witnesses to condemn him, crucifying Him does not defeat Him, it merely fulfills His very purpose in coming a seeking, saving servant. It’s like Jesus beats the devil even with both hands and feet nailed to a cross! Death can’t hold Him. Jesus the undefeated servant, stands in victory above all power and above all His enemies. Jesus shows us the humility and yet the amazing power of being God’s servants.
I love the paint camp slogan that our kids do in the summer: You are never more like Jesus than when you serve.
To serve one another and be served by God are central to living in Christ Jesus. We are servants of God in Christ. Lord make this church more and more a serving church!
Part of growing to be a seeking and saving church is found here. Let our serving include sharing God’s message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Serve like Jesus by giving to someone else the gift of faith by sharing the gospel of Christ with them. When you read the New Testament on this 90 day adventure together don’t forget to pray and share as part of the journey.
Let’s close with a look at Philippians 2:1-11. This passage is called the Christ song and may well have been part of a song of the early church. Notice in it, what Satan would not do in serving humanity, God Himself did in Jesus Christ His Son.
God exalts His servants. Be sure to be a servant of Christ and in serving Him call someone else to serve Him too.