Pastors Chris and Lauren continue to walk us through the book of Mark. This part covers Mark 3:7-4:34. There is a lot going on in this section of scripture. Word continues to spread of what Jesus is doing: healings, miracles, forgiving of sins, and teaching. People are coming from all over the area to see him and even just to get as close as they can. And did you catch that in verse 11? When people who are possessed with evil spirits can’t help but cry out in Jesus’ presence. Even the demons know who Jesus is and proclaim who He is. But its interesting that Jesus tells them not to tell others about Him.
Jesus knew that it was not yet time for the big announcement to the world. Christ wanted to be the one to proclaim who He was, not others who might distort, twist or change His message. He wanted it to come directly from Him. Then Jesus calls his disciples the 12 and takes them up on the mountain to get away from the crowds. He then officially gives them the title of disciple and another translation said that Jesus called them apostles as well. The 12 disciples are: Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thad-de-us, Simon, and Judas.
Then Jesus is back in the town. He and the Disciples are just trying to eat some food and have a meal together. Word gets out that Jesus is back and the crowd gathers again, to the point that they aren’t even able to eat their food. Then Jesus’ family start hearing all of the crazy surrounding Jesus and they decide that have to go and talk some sense into Him. Then the Pharisees show up again. They are saying that Jesus is processed. So Jesus takes them straight on. You think that I am posses? Lets talk about that for a second… Jesus talks about a house cannot be divided against it self or it will not stand.
Then Jesus mom (Mary) and His brothers show up. They have come to try and talk some sense into Jesus. Someone goes into the house and says, “Hey Jesus your Mom and brothers are here outside.” What does Jesus say? Who are my mother and my brothers? But those who are right here. WHAT? That does not make any sense? What is Jesus saying? He is saying that when you come into relationship with God, we are adopted into a spiritual family (what we now know as the big Church). This is a crucial component in our walk with God. And is so important to care for those in the family of God. Yes, physical family is important (and we see Jesus taking care of his earthly family), but don’t neglect the spiritual family.
But Jesus keeps teaching. This time outside but the Sea of Galilee. And the crowd gets so but that He has to get into a boat right off shore to that everyone can see and hear Him. He starts talking about a Farmer who is planting seeds. Some fall on path, birds ate it up. Some on rocky ground, where there was not much soil, sprouted but quickly died without good roots. Then some in thorns, it sprouted but the weeds choked it out. Other seeds fell on good soil, sprouted, grew strong roots, and produced a crop. Jesus continues to teach in these stories called parables. Some more about seeds and farming, some about light, some about the Kingdom of God.
Interesting how Jesus is going about His ministry, His teaching and His continued focus on just the 12 disciples. Watch the video and work through the discussion questions either by yourself through journaling or grab a friend and watch together!
- What sets the disciples apart from the crowds following Jesus?
- If you were to look at your life honestly, which group would you belong to?
- In your own words, describe the dangers of each of the problematic soils.
- Choose one of the soils in the parable and apply it to your life.
- During what times in your life did your faithful following of Jesus struggle to take root?
- Has there been a particular struggle or temptation that has threatened to entangle your discipleship?
- Would you describe your life as world-changing? Why or why not?
- What would disciple-faithfulness look like for you in your context?
- What’s one thing this week you can begin to surrender to Jesus in order to better embrace the call of discipleship?