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Jesus Builds A Family- Mark 3






Mark 3:7–15 (ESV)

7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known. 
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. …

1. Jesus had circles.
-Community: Knew Jesus publicly. 
-Crowd: Knew Jesus socially. 
-Committed: Knew Jesus privately. 
-Core: Knew Jesus intimately

2. Intimacy is his highest value.
“He is a relational creator.”

John 15:15–16 (NIV)15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 

3. Relationship > Assignment
Mark 3:15 (ESV) 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach...

“Working FOR God typically involves working apart from God.” 

John 6:28–29 (NIV) 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
“In the Kingdom, relationship is the greatest accomplishment.”

4. 
Some won't stick
Mark 3:20-22 (ESV) 20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

John 6:66–68 (ESV) 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life…”

Are you with him?
You are as close to him as you want to be.
“Following Jesus closely is costly.”

Mark 3:25 (ESV)  If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

Jesus desires undivided devotion.

Mark 3:31–35 (ESV)
31 His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”


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Additional reading:
  • Crowds Follow Jesus: Mt 12:15,16; Lk 6:17–19
  • Jesus Appoints the Twelve: Mt 10:2–4; Lk 6:14–16; Ac 1:13
  • Jesus Accused by His Family and by Teachers of the Law: Mt 12:25–29; Lk 11:17–22, Mt 12:46–50; Lk 8:19–21

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Fasting | Mark 2: 18-20

Fasting
By: O'neill Trull

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Mark 2:18-20
18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.

Fasting is an oft neglected discipline in the church, but its history far outdates the 2000 years since Jesus left. Throughout the Old Testament we read of fasting, and in one of my favorite passages of scripture, Isaiah 58, the prophet writes of the true fast that honors God.

One of the things that stands out to me in Mark 2 is the fact that fasting in and of itself is not what moves the heart of God. The Pharisees regularly practiced fasting, but Jesus said their hearts were far from the things of God. Jesus seems to indicate here that the highest purpose of fasting is intimacy with Him, not to impress God. How often do we seek to impress God with our spirituality, rather than seeking a deeper connection?

Here are some things I’ve learned through fasting. We are very frail, even 24 hours without food is a struggle! As we fast, we are reminded of our complete reliance on Him to meet even our most basic of needs. As we fast it can remove many distractions in our lives, yes, food for most of can be a distraction form our relationship with God. Fasting, if done with a heart of humility and a desire to learn, will always reveal sin in our lives, but it will also reveal God’s grace and peace, and His desire to deliver us. Some of my greatest spiritual growth has followed a season of fasting, because in the fasting, I met with God.

As we fast, we are reminded of our complete reliance on Him to meet even our most basic of needs.


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Matthew’s Transformation | Mark 2:13-17

Matthew’s Transformation | Mark 2:13-17
By Krista Vaughn

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“He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”” Mark 2:13-17 ESV Once upon a time in the city of Capernaum, there lived a tax collector named Levi. Now during the trying times of the first century of the common era, tax collectors were greatly disliked by people from all backgrounds, except the Roman Empire of course. Being a tax collector was a wealthy trade. It was the task of the tax collectors to make the monetary goal of the districts from the people living in it. The tax collectors even kept the surplus money. Now, having a career with dirty money was greatly frowned upon and gave them the titles of “sinners” by the Pharisees, and if they happened to work for Rome, traitors.

What about our fellow, Matthew? Well, in the book of Mark and Luke, his name is Levi. Levi stems from the tribe of Levi who consisted of priests, especially from the Levites…so a descendant of holy attribution took up a career known for deceit and thieving. AND being marked as a sinner from the Pharisees, people were not supposed to intertwine their lives with them unless they were to be labeled as “unclean.”
A broken man not wanted by anyone… Was there any hope? Yes, yes there was.
Levi began to hear rumors about this Galilean who preached around the city. He attended a few of the meetings, and probably started to feel a tug at his heart. How do I come to this conclusion? Because Jesus calls him to “follow” Him.

…Which brings me to an Art Historical reference!
This sculpture depicted was created by Michelangelo, and is commonly known as one of his “unfinished” pieces. However, Michelangelo claimed it was meant to be that way in order to describe the transformation Levi went through: from being a sinner to being a disciple.
It encapsulates a frozen piece of time. A transition. A transfiguration. A testimony.

Layer 1
Now how can a non-believer, such as Michelangelo, create a beautiful representation as this? Well, that is another story, but I do believe God can bring goodness from many situations, including from a sinner Winking Which brings me to the second part of the passage, although we will have to side-step into the book of Luke 5:27-32. “And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” This transformation led Levi to hold a celebration for Jesus and invite his friends. What a great way to fellowship! There, Jesus was comfortable in the presence of Levi with his friends. He welcomed them and saw them as people. He gave them the opportunity to have their lives changed for the better! No longer outcasts.

Ultimately, there are many things to take from this passage, but the main CATCH is about sowing. Jesus planted seeds during His preaching. From there, He was able to help those seeds of knowledge sprout into a lifelong journey of discipleship, for that is a part of the Great Commission: make disciples.

What we do, what we say, who we portray can all influence the people around us. It only took Jesus to recognize a man as a person who could be loved, to change a life.
And they lived in joy ever after.
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