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If Jesus was just a man, there would be no reason to pay Him any attention at all. But if the possibility exists that He is actually GOD in the flesh, we would be more than fools to ignore Him without giving Him a second thought. It is not unreasonable to at least consider the evidence and ask some important questions about Him.
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A Reasonable Response to Jesus
This section reveals a pathway to discipleship: Trust, submission, devotion, and mission. These are the responses that come from the facts presented by Mark and are the focus of the lesson.
Elijah Faced God
1 Kings 19 reveals the prophet, Elijah, running for his life. Depressed and terrified of his enemies, he ran to the safest place he knew–Sinai, the mountain of God.
This is where God revealed Himself to Isreal in the wilderness. It is where He passed down to them His laws to form them into a new nation. Where He once shook the mountain and presented Himself in fire and thick clouds.
In verse 9, God came to Elijah and asked, “What are you doing here. Elijah?” Once Elijah arrayed his complaints and fears, God responded, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” It was then that God passed by him. A great and strong wind tore into the mountains–it was so strong that it broke rocks in pieces there. But, curiously, the Bible says, “But the LORD was not in the wind.”
After the wind came an earthquake, and again it says, “But the LORD was not in the earthquake.”
After the earthquake, a great fire came. But the LORD was not in the fire.
Then there came a still, small voice.
And 1 Kings 19:13 says, “When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.” Elijah understood something important. Miracles are not God. They merely show His actions. God is much more than those great things.
Jesus Expressed God
If we think of the fact that Jesus was the expression of God, we might remember all the miracles that He performed. We might get caught up in the spectacular and inexplicable activities related to healing the sick, casting our demons, and even raising the dead. But if we get too caught up in the miracles, we might miss the message of those miracles.
When you read Mark 1:16-39 and think about the deity Jesus expressed, the first things you will notice are the accounts of casting out demons and healing the sick. It is easy to see the divine in those activities! Without question, only God could do those things. But as amazing as those are, they are not the “divine points”. Those miraculous activities pointed to something more. The miraculous pointers might have been more noticeable and caused the most excitement, but the message His other actions pointed to were every bit equal in the Deity expressed.
In fact, as we look at this passage, you will see what expressed Deity. You will better understand God’s nature.
Look at what Jesus expressed related to God’s nature.
Jesus expressed deity through His leadership.
Anyone can lead, but if you want to know how GOD leads, look at what Jesus did. This is it.
We could spend a lot of time on this. In fact, this is something that I was thinking about devoting an entire lesson to developing. But I have other plans for this lesson. One day I hope to pursue this further.
If you want to lead people the way God did, study Jesus. Study His methods.
There is much more to this idea about leadership than what Mark reveals. You will need to look into John 1 and other passages to find more information. When you do, for example, you will learn that what we see in Mark 1:16-20 comes after about a year of interacting with these men. So when Jesus asked them to devote themselves to Him, they jumped at the opportunity.
But let’s not miss Mark’s point here. He was not trying to give us a lesson of HOW to lead. He was showing us that Jesus KNEW how to do it. He knew human nature and knew what it took to not only command an action of men, but also how to get them to commit their lives in devotion to Him.
The obvious take-away from this is that I should learn to TRUST Him. I have good reason. These good men did, and the things I need to know about Him that are taught in the Bible, these should lead to trust.
Even a little trust can be nurtured. Can you find anything at all trustworthy about Him? Certainly we can! These things were recorded for us just for this reason. But no one should expect that trust to develop over night. These men did not leave everything simply because a man they never met walked up to them and said, “Hey. I’m looking for a few good men to follow me and obey my every command so that I can teach them a better way to live. Want to follow me around?”
That’s pretty unrealistic.
Why is it that we try to do that to other people though? “Let me tell you about Jesus. Here’s 30 minutes of discussion. So. Are you ready to give your life to Him yet?”
We also expect more from ourselves. Most people want greater faith but never spend any time reading their Bibles to learn more about Him.
It’s not enough to know the miracles He did. You’ve got to get to know HIM. And that comes through study and effort.
So what is it that motivates someone to look into learning more about Him? Things like what we see in this passage. The fact that grown men would leave everything to follow Him ought to make us at least sit up and take notice. To then see their growth and the ultimate sacrifices they made for Him even after He died–that says everything we need to hear.
Not everyone will respond to this. So many people are so caught up in the processes of trying to make their lives better that they never really sit down and consider what is required to make their lives better.
Also keep in mind that since they knew Jesus, they also knew of His message. They knew that He was starting something spectacular. They knew they wanted to be a part of what He was doing.
When we talk to others about Jesus, don’t forget that He was doing something amazing. He was ushering in a new way of looking at life, and this way is STILL new to the people around us, even if they already know a little about Him.
But for you. Do you trust Him? Do you think He knows what He is talking about? Can you read His teachings and see that He is wise and you would be better off learning from Him?
Do you see Deity expressed through His leadership?
Jesus expressed deity through His authority
Then consider Mark 1:21-28. The point here is not that Jesus cast out a demon. Well, obviously, this was a monumental event. Who can do that? Who can control the demonic realm by simply telling demons what to do?
You see, the people in the synagogue understood that this was not just about the fact that He cast out a demon. This was about the fact that He COULD do at all. Notice their words in verse 27. “What is this?What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
Those last four words express the most thrilling sense of awe. AND THEY OBEY HIM.
We understand this. If Jesus was just a man, there would be no reason to pay Him any attention at all. But if the possibility exists that He is actually GOD in the flesh, we would be more than fools to ignore Him without giving Him a second thought.
The stakes are simply too high.
Jesus expressed authority. My response should be submission to Him.
Jesus expressed deity through His compassion.
He took the time to heal people and to cast out more demons. How can we miss that? Someone with the ability and authority to do things that only God can do. How would you use that power?
How do people use the little power they have today? They use it for their own benefit. They use it to leverage more power and more authority. It was the same back then too. But Jesus did not do that. There was no reason for Him to leverage His power for more. He used His power and authority to help others.
Who really does that? Only people who are truly compassionate. And here we see a Man who lived in some of the cruelest days of history, and He had all this power and could command anything He wanted. He did not command riches and wealth. He commanded demons leave people alone. He commanded disease to leave bodies.
The fact that He COULD shows authority. And the fact that He DID shows compassion.
Is it any wonder people trusted Him with their lives?
Should it not lead you to trust His leadership and submit to His authority? Should you not see His compassion as an expression of how God really is?
Jesus expressed deity through His focus.
He did not come just to focus on the suffering of disease and the temporary problems of this life. He also understood that the spiritual life was even more important. He understood that He needed to get the message out to as many people as possible so that they could find life.
He had mission and was not detracted from it.
And He is leading YOU on that mission, if you will allow it.
Trust Him. Even if it is a little bit. Trust Him as far as you can. Look at His life and teaching and see His authority–His right to have you following Him. Notice His compassion and His vision. He knew where He was going, and He can lead you in the same way today.
Those great Apostles of the past were not great because they chose to follow and support a man 2000 years ago and make His name great. They were great men because the man they chose to follow 2000 years ago fashioned them into great men.
And he can do the same for you. He wants to.
Keep digging into His word and let it change your life as you see Deity expressed through Him.
And as always, may God bless the study of His word.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]