Andrew Fountain - Mark and the Kingdom of God

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Sermon notes - Mark and the Kingdom of God

Purpose

To engage you with the message of Mark

so that as you read it

the message will engage you in return.

Mark in a Month Pt.2

  1. Who wrote Mark and why?
  2. The Shape of Mark—how it fits together
  3. “The Kingdom of God”—what it means and how it challenges us

1. Who wrote Mark and why?

  • Who: John Mark wrote it on behalf of Peter
  • Widespread external evidence in early church writings
  • Good internal evidence that it is Peter’s eyewitness account
  • Why: Written in Rome for Gentiles
  • Doesn’t assume you know the O.T.
  • Shortest, fast paced
  • Just the “beginning of the good news” (1:1)

Message:
Call to discipleship

  • Following a person, not simply a code of conduct
  • Fellowship with Jesus is at the heart
  • Trusting him
  • Confessing him to others
  • Taking note of his conduct
  • Following his teaching
  • Being shaped by a relationship with him
  • Being prepared to face rejection (ESVSB)
  • bring up outline parallel

2. The Shape of Mark
—how it fits together

  1. Starts with a bang
  2. Expands to another level
  3. Seeing the real Jesus
  4. The Kingdom extends beyond Israel and Jesus replaces the Temple
  5. Truly, this man is the Son of God --a Roman becomes a disciple

3. “The Kingdom of God” —what it means and how it challenges us

  • Explain what we are doing for those who were not here last week
  1. Pray!!
  2. Read:

Mark 4:21-34

  1. He also said to them, “A lamp isn’t brought to be put under a basket or under a bed, is it? Isn’t it to be placed on a lampstand?
  2. For nothing is hidden except to be revealed, and nothing concealed except to be brought to light.
  3. If anyone has ears to hear, he had better listen!”
  4. And he said to them, “Take care about what you hear. The measure you use will be the measure you receive, and more will be added to you.
  5. For whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
     
  6. He also said, “The kingdom of God is like someone who spreads seed on the ground.
  7. He goes to sleep and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.
  8. By itself the soil produces a crop, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.
  9. And when the grain is ripe, he sends in the sickle because the harvest has come.”
     
  10. He also asked, “To what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to present it?
  11. It is like a mustard seed that when sown in the ground, even though it is the smallest of all the seeds in the ground —
  12. when it is sown, it grows up, becomes the greatest of all garden plants, and grows large branches so that the wild birds can nest in its shade.”
     
  13. So with many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear.
  14. He did not speak to them without a parable. But privately he explained everything to his own disciples.

based on NET Bible


  1. Next I come up with a title
  2. Then several points of summary of the passage

Mark 4:21–34

  1. (Title) Kingdom Parables
  2. (Summary points)
  • Lamps should be put on a lampstand
  • Those who “hear” will get more
  • The Kingdom is like mysteriously growing seed
  • The Kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed growing to a large tree
  • Only those who followed got a full explanation of parables

Notes

  1. Context: The parable of the sower
  2. Message: We can only really understand Jesus’s teaching if we are actually his disciples
  3. Me: I want this! How can I be following him better right now?
  • The word “Kingdom” comes 20 times in Mark
  • I want to talk about the Kingdom for a few minutes

A. No more Lukewarm

  • “You were made to live with something to die for” (Edwards)
  • We are living in an age that is screaming out for something real.
  • Buried in the human heart is a desire to devote ourselves totally to something that we believe in
  • Paradoxicaly we live in a comfort culture, dedicated to insulating us from the slightest discomfort
  • The words of Jesus are a culture-shock to us:

Matthew 10:32-40

  1. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,
  2. but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
  3. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
  4. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
  5. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
  6. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
  7. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
  8. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
  9. “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.

based on NET Bible


  • We all know what “Lukewarm” means, —it is “tepid”, neither hot nor cold
    • People like hot drinks, or cold drinks, but nobody likes them lukewarm
    • “want a cup of tea?... hot, or is lukewarm ok?”
    • hot day, lemonade has been sitting in the sun, sort of hottish
  • We all know what Jesus thought of the lukewarm church in Revelation
  • Edwards says: “You were made to live with something to die for”
  • We are living in an age that is screaming out for something real.
    • How come that Radical Islam can recruit even in places like Canada
      • because they actually believe in something
      • They demand everything, total sacrifice. Islam means submission
  • buried in the human heart is a desire to give ourselves totally to something that we believe in
    • Why would people possibly join some extreme terrorist group?
      • People want a cause to follow—we were made that way
    • When we first rented a home in Canada, our landlord was a Hindu.
      • His highly qualified university graduate daughter was swept up into a Hindu cult
        • Married to a god—a statue, in a wedding ceremony
    • There is something in all of us that dispises the Lukewarm and is attracted to total commitment
  • I am saying that we should live like we have something to die for!
    • Doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be like Francis of Assisi or C.T.Studd and give everything away
    • Doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be like Martin Luther and pray for 3 hours every morning
  • But as Edwards says, our lives should shout transcendence this world—there is something greater!
    • Our lives should shout “There is a God, there is a God, and he has a Son, and his affections are on me...”
  • Moses spent time with God and afterwards his face was shining
    • This world is desperate for answers, for hope. Our lives should reflect something greater than these dark days
  • But it is not good enough just to be passionate about something, you have to be right as well
    • I love cats, and the thought of our cat getting lost, or other people losing their cats is very upsetting
    • Saw a poster for a lost cat...
    • I was passionate to save the cat, but I was wrong!

Jesus was not lukewarm

  • He only lived for one thing—to please his father
    • “My food is to do the will of him who sent me”
  • So what did this look like?
    • He had a burning passion for the kingdom
    • He lived, ate, slept, and talked the kingdom
    • It was all he spoke about
    • It was the chief concern of his life
    • Mark 1:15 From that time Jesus began to preach this message: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
  • What was he looking for from his followers?

The Kingdom

  1. No more Lukewarm
  2. What does “the Kingdom of God” actually mean?
  3. How do we express a passion for the Kingdom?

Mark 8:34–38

  1. Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
  2. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it.
  3. For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?
  4. What can a person give in exchange for his life?
  5. For if anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
  • explain adulterous

B. What does “the Kingdom of God” actually mean?

  • not = Church
  • It primarily means God’s rule
  • What does the Kingdom look like right now?
    • a POWER and a PEOPLE
  • not = Church
    • It primarily means God’s rule
      • righteousness, peace, justice, love, mercy
      • When God’s rule comes into a situation, it brings these things
      • When God’s kingdom comes into a marriage, anger and selfishness get replaced by love and servanthood
      • When God’s kingdom comes into society, the poor get treated fairly and the oppressed are liberated
      • When God’s kingdom comes into broken lives, people are set free emotionally
    • It is everything that is opposite to Satan’s kingdom, the kingdom of darkness
  • What does the Kingdom look like right now?
    • a POWER and a PEOPLE
      • There is a power to forgive, to heal and to overcome Satan
      • This results in a people who are forgiven, healed and set free from the kingdom of darkness
      • The church is not exactly the same as the kingdom, but it is the primary visible expression of the kingdom
    • You can’t say you love the Kingdom but don’t much care for the church, because the church is the main tangible expression of the K.

C. How do we express a passion for the Kingdom?

  • No compartments in our lives
  • God is involved in everything and prayer pervades everything
  • But most of all it has to do with what our priorities are
  • Edwards says: “Write eternity on our hearts that we would live by the age to come.”
  • No compartments in our lives
    • God is involved in everything
    • prayer pervades everything
    • supernatural is part of life (more in a moment)
  • But most of all it has to do with what our priorities are
    • Edwards says: “Write eternity on our hearts that we would live by the age to come.”
    • this life is a vapour, it will be gone in a moment
    • This life is so short and eternity is so long
    • at the time of my salvation, I had a picture...
  • We live in a culture pre-occupied by seeking comfort
    • Jesus calls us to follow him
    • to suffer discomfort for such a short time
    • and then to enter into glory

Kingdom means warfare

  • Most spiritual warfare is not very glamorous
  • saying no to temptation
  • saying no to the flesh
  • fighting against what Paul calls “the old man”
    • actually habits, reaction, old ways of behaving
  • saying no to fear and unbelief
  • believing we can trust Jesus, and acting on it
  • He is the pearl of great price
    • isn’t he worth selling all that you have?
    • isn’t he a better treasure than all the fading vanity around us?
  • Are you a follower of Jesus?
  • Jesus calls us to follow him, all of us. Back to Mark 8:

Mark 8:34–38

  1. Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
  2. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it.
  3. For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?
  4. What can a person give in exchange for his life?
  5. For if anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Updated on 2017-09-19 by Andrew Fountain