Posted on July 17, 2013
#11: Lessons Learned
Welcome back to our study on Mark. We’re on a mission to know Jesus better. So glad you’re here! Pick up your Bible and read on.
Read Mark 1, letting your mind wander back over all we’ve discussed during the past several weeks.
As the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14), Jesus came to speak God in human terms—to demonstrate how God would live as a man, so we can know how to live like God. If God was a man, what would His priorities look like? How would He treat His fellow man? How would He handle temptation, anger, betrayal? How would He manage His time? What would He do when, in His humanity, He wanted one thing while the Father wanted another?
Jesus came to show us, and He did it perfectly, without a single sin. If we want to be godly, we can confidently follow His example. Jesus said—and quite literally meant—”If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him…. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (Jn. 14:7,9 NIV)
Through Mark 1, we’ve caught flashes of understanding. Let’s take a quick look back at Mark’s first chapter, so we don’t miss lessons learned….
Jesus fulfilled all righteousness…. Jesus came, sinless, to be baptized by John—with a baptism of “repentance.” When John objected, Jesus assured him it was necessary to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus was obedient to His Father at every point. We should be also, whether or not there’s a perceived need. For example, you may think you can be a Christian without being involved with the church. But the Word commands you to not neglect that involvement (Heb. 10:25). So go! Go for your own encouragement and go for the encouragement of others. Fulfill all righteousness.
Jesus met temptation with the power of scripture…. Does satan keep dropping lures in front of you? Are you struggling to resist? Memorize three or four pertinent scriptures and use them! In the moment of testing, push satan away with scripture—just like Jesus did. God will never leave you (Heb. 13:5b-6a) nor has He left you defenseless (1 Cor. 10:13). Jesus demonstrated how to deal with temptation. Do it!
Jesus offered healing and hope…. Every encounter with Jesus left people better than they were before. Do we leave a trail of hope? Do we pray for our families? Are we faithful in praying for our church? Do we really pray for those struggling with sickness or sin-sickness? Or do we just say we will? Do we follow our prayers with action? What act of hope could you offer someone in the next hour?
Jesus kept His own spirit strong…. We see Jesus taking time out of a ridiculously busy schedule for time alone with God. He knew He needed it. Do we need it any less? Spend at least a few minutes each day giving God a chance to recharge you through His Word. Pray your way through the day. Jesus told us to “abide” or remain in Him, just like a fruit-bearing branch remains connected to the vine (Jn. 15:4-5). Stay connected to Him. Stay strong.
Jesus touched the untouchable…. He saw people as they could be, rather than as they were. Do we limit our associations to the comfortable, the nice, the easy? Or do we see folks as they could be, then reach out a hand of compassion and touch them? Do we use our secure position in Christ as home-base to venture into a lost world and touch it for Him? Or do we hole up and hug each other??
Powerful stuff, isn’t it? And that’s all from Mark’s first chapter. There’s so much more to come! Do you want to know Jesus? Follow along as we dive into Mark 2, beginning next Wednesday.
Share your thoughts!
In your mind, what’s the most powerful lesson from Mark 1? What do today’s Christians need to focus on most? What do you need to focus on most?
© Diane McLoud 2013