3/23/14: The Greatest Story Ever Told: THE GOSPEL OF MARK (3)
Our final teaching on the Gospel of Mark addressed three questions:
Why Did Jesus Come? As he told his disciples, his purpose in coming to the earth was “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). He forfeited his life in exchange for ours. By his death on the cross, he absorbed and averted the righteous wrath of God that we deserved. As Isaiah described it, “the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
What Did Jesus Command? The Son of God demands — and deserves — absolute loyalty from his disciples. He calls us to die to the world and live for him alone: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34-35). To follow Jesus means stepping out of the world’s boat and entrusting ourselves entirely to him and his plan. It’s the only way to live!
How Do Sinners Follow A Sinless Savior? As Peter demonstrated time and again, well-intentioned disciples still stumble. A lot. Peter had some of the most glorious moments of insight and faith as well as some of the most humiliating moments of weakness and sin. On the night when Jesus needed his friends most — as he sweated drops of blood in Gethsemane and then endured mockery and abuse at his trial — Peter let him down. He kept falling asleep when he should have been praying with and for his Master (Mark 14:37-41). And despite his boasts to the contrary, Peter denied he knew Jesus — three times.
But when he realized what he had done, Peter “broke down and wept” (Mark 14:72). He experienced the godly sorrow that brings repentance and characterizes true salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). And he modeled the kind of humble self-awareness that should mark every true follower of Jesus. To quote Mark Dever, “If you want to see Jesus for who he is, you must see yourself for who you are. And if you are seeing clearly, you will begin by weeping.” (Promises Kept: The Message of the New Testament)
This coming Sunday we will culminate our study of Mark with our second “Bible Bowl” of the year. Study hard!
FOR DISCUSSION WITH PARENTS:
- What happened in the story of the Dump Master?
- How does Jesus bring us peace? (Isaiah 53:5)
- What can we learn from Peter’s example of following Jesus?
- Mark Dever says that to see Jesus clearly we must first see ourselves clearly. What does he mean?