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Topical - Christlikeness (Mark)

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Sunday Evening Service

Mayfair Bible Church

July 23, 1995 

Gospel of Mark

Study In Christlikeness

1.         Fisher of Men: Mk. 1:17

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."  Jesus said this as he called the brothers Simon and Andrew to become disciples.  He called them to come and learn and be like him, a fisher of men.  They were to become evangelists in the manner of his exemplary life.  Lord, help us to become fishers of men as your followers.  May our lives conform to yours in a way that will draw others to you.  May your attractiveness flow through us so that others will also become fishers of men as the Kingdom swells toward completion.  Christ is both the object and the pattern for being a fisher of men.

2.         Taught With Authority:  Mk. 1:22

The people were amazed at his teaching because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.  Since Jesus wrote the Word, he knew it, lived it and taught it with authority.  Anyone who teaches in his Name also has authority but with great responsibility as well.  Real teaching does not take place without humility, correct interpretation and application and from a standpoint of personal holiness.  It is only as we are in Christ that we may teach with authority, but it is his authority, and without authority nothing constructive will get taught.  Lord, we place ourselves under your authority so that your authority might be proclaimed.

 

3.         Filled With Compassion: Mk. 1:41

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.  "I am willing", he said.  "Be clean!"  The leper begged Jesus on his knees and asked for cleansing if Jesus was willing.  Jesus was willingly moved with compassion to heal the man.  We may not be able to heal someone from leprosy, but we pray that we will always be willing to be moved with compassion to meet another's needs in ministry as God enables us to meet them.  And how can we begin to meet the needs of another unless compassion stirs our hearts to understand and identify?  Christ's identification with us took him to the cross to meet our needs.  He was willing.


4.         Forgiving:  Mk. 2:5

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."  Jesus equated forgiveness with healing in this story about the paralytic who was lowered through the roof, claiming his authority to do so as the Son of Man.  Thank you Jesus that you are able and willing to forgive sins and heal such severe paralysis as spiritual sickness.  And we too are commanded to be forgiving, especially as you have said if we want our prayers to be answered.

 

5.         Renewed With Rest:  Mk. 6:31

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."  Jesus was aware of human need and limitation and took action to seek renewal so that both he and his disciples could continue to minister.  Ministry is hard work and spiritual effort consumes physical resources.  No one is served if the one who is called is unable.  Lord, give us good sense to know our limitations and to have the vision of revitalization.  You are the source of all our needs; the source of both our ministry and our rest.

 

6.         Burden for Teaching: Mk. 6:34

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  So he began teaching them many things.  The same compassion that stirred Jesus to heal also stirred him to teach.  So many people wander aimlessly without steadfast spiritual truth on which to cling.  Christ, the source of truth, knew he was the answer to their need and did not withhold himself from them.  In Christ they would know deliverance from sin unto salvation.  This shepherd was able to deliver them and he freely taught the way to all who would listen.  Lord, we pray we may be like Jesus willing to teach with a burden to show others the way to his sufficiency.

 

7.         A Man of Prayer:  Mk. 6:46

After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.  Jesus kept open communication with the Father.  He spent time alone in spiritual communion.  He sought obedience in prayer, became our example in prayer and was eminently effective in prayer.  We too must seek out the source of our spiritual (and physical) life in God in quietness to hear his heartbeat so that our hearts can beat in time to his.  Prayer is our link to life, and as he fills our lives we are able to overflow to the benefit of others.  A man of prayer is a man of God.  A man of God is a man of prayer.


8.         A Man of Courage:  Mk. 6:50b

Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage!  It is I.  Don't be afraid."  Having all power over creation, Jesus was even able to cause the wind to cease against the boat when he got in with the disciples in the middle of the lake.  Our Lord was not subject to anything he did not willingly subject himself to.  He feared no man, no demon, no force of nature.  His courage becomes ours as we willingly subject ourselves to him.  His kingdom shall prevail.  Ministry is a spiritual battle demanding spiritual courage.  If we stand on our own we are surrounded by nothing.  If we don't stand on our faith we won't stand at all.  We stand with Christ victorious.

 

9.         Willing to be Touched:  Mk. 6:56b

They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.  Jesus did not remain aloof and untouchable from the crowds, thinking himself too pure and holy to mingle with common humanity.  They are the reason he came.  His love took him to the streets where the need was greatest.  They touched his cloak and he also let them touch his heart.  We can't minister if we don't mingle.  May we always be willing to be touched to meet human need in the name of Christ.

 

10.       Unbound by Tradition:  Mk. 7:8

"You have let go of the Commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."  The Pharisees came under Christ's condemnation because they cared more for tradition than for God.  They did not understand or carry out the spirit of the law.  Christ embodied the spirit of the law.  He opposed their mindless tradition and they sought to kill him.  Lord, give us spiritual insight to know the difference between following men and following you.  May we live in obedience to the freedom of the law's intent and not in legalistic bondage.  Christ is our example of unhindered truth.

 

11.       A Man of Excellence:  Mk. 7:37

People were overwhelmed with amazement.  "He has done everything well," they said.  "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."  Obviously, since Jesus is God, he did everything well for God is perfect.  And his righteousness becomes our salvation.  But he is also our example in well-doing.  In his strength we shall strive for excellence in all that we do - in preaching, teaching, prayer, compassion, understanding and in motivation - bringing glory to him for he is our reason for excellence and our empowerment for ability.


12.       Thankful:  Mk. 8:6

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground.  When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so.  Jesus became our example of thankfulness in honoring the Father as the sustainer of life and as perfect provider.  We have nothing we have not received.  Showing gratitude in thankfulness is proper humility to an awesome and holy God who gives good gifts to his children.

 

13.       Not Wasteful:  Mk. 8:8

The people ate and were satisfied.  Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfulls of broken pieces that were left over.  Jesus was not only thankful, he honored the Father by not wasting his precious gifts.  It is not our place to squander God's resources.  As God works through others, these gifts often come through great sacrifice.  So waste not only dishonors God, it dishonors the sacrifices of the saints.  Lord, help us to be responsible recipients of your grace.

 

14.       A Man of Purpose and Calling:  Mk. 8:31

 

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.  Jesus had just confirmed in conversation to Peter that he was the Christ and now teaches the disciples his calling and purpose.  He knew who he was and what he came to do.  He was not confused nor did he waste time in a life search for significance.  He fulfilled the will of God with expediency.  May we do likewise by not being dissuaded in knowing the assurance of our calling to serve the son of Man who served us with salvation.

 

15.       A Man of Power:  Mk. 9:28-29.

After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"  He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."  The disciples just fell flat on their face by not being able to drive the demon out of the boy.  Jesus had rebuked their unbelief and did the job himself.  He has all power to do all things.  The disciples may have forgotten that any power they possessed over evil was from Christ alone on the basis of his righteousness and acted foolishly on their own.  May we never forget, Lord, that any spiritual power we appropriate is only on the basis of your perfection and power.


16.       Expedient:  Mk. 9:39-40

"Do not stop him," Jesus said.  "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us."  Christ did not feel the same sense of competition that the disciples may have felt against this man who ministered apart from them.  He wisely accepted all who would minister in his name.  This is a lesson for us not to be exclusive on non-foundational issues and to gather all appropriate forces together to fulfill the coming of his kingdom.

 

17.       Protective:  Mk. 9:42

"Any if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck."  Jesus promised judgment against those who would defraud the innocent.  In ministry and in our families, we too have the privilege and responsibility to protect those in our care.  Lord, give us diligence to sense danger and the courage to act in the behalf of others in accordance with your righteousness.

 

18.       Loving:  Mk. 10:16

And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.  Jesus said not to hinder the children because that is how you enter the kingdom.  In fact, it is to such children that the kingdom belongs.  The children freely received Christ's love and he freely gave it.  Lord, let your love shine through us in the unhindered manner of a child with no hidden agenda.  Purify our love with righteousness.  May your love be the heartbeat of our emotion.

 

19.       Discerning:  Mk. 10:23

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"  Jesus was able to look into the heart of the rich young ruler to see his real need.  Christ spoke to the need when he commanded the man to give up all his possessions before coming to follow him.  In ministry, it is good when the Holy Spirit allows us to see into the heart need of another so proper challenge, healing or direction can take place.  I pray we will be able to see others as Christ sees them to have a part in matching their need to his fulfillment.

 

20.       Humble:  Mk. 10:45

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."  Jesus Christ was unpretentious and humble in his example to us.  He was God and yet came to die.  No greater love has anyone than this.  We must be willing to serve others in this way also.  The student is not above his master.  Lord, give us a humble heart of selfless love.

 

21.       Merciful:  Mk. 10:48

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"  The blind man cried to Jesus for mercy and received healing by faith.  He did not get what he may have deserved which was continued blindness.  We are also recipients of Jesus's mercy, being privileged to see the truth of God in him.  May we have eyes of mercy like Jesus, to heal a brother through a heart of forgiveness.

 

22.       A Man of Faith:  Mk. 11:22-23

"Have faith in God", Jesus answered.  "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him."  Jesus just caused the fig tree to wither because it had no fruit.  He goes on to teach the lesson of faith and what it can accomplish.  Lord, we desire this kind of faith that can move mountains.

 

23.       Full of Wisdom:  Mk. 12:15b

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?"  he asked.  "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it."  The Pharisees were once again trying to place Jesus in a position of self-incrimination by their question of paying taxes.  In wisdom, Jesus reverses the power play on their own heads.  This also the world does with Christians, assuming we are naive and easily taken.  And that may be too true.  But we pray, Father, that you will give us wisdom to see it coming and enable us to employ righteous confidence in your power to deliver from entrapment.

 

24.       A Man of Sorrow:  Mk. 14:34

"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them.  "Stay here and keep watch."  Jesus was facing the hour of his betrayal.  He would soon face the cross where he would bear the sins of the world.  He was burdened in prayer for the soon fulfillment of his purpose.  The sorrow of sin was upon him.  Sin is a sorrowful thing not be taken lightly.  It is a right response to feel sorrow because of it, either in our own lives or in another's life.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.  Praise Jesus that there is victory over sin and joy beyond the cross in his resurrection!

25.       Non-Defensive:  Mk. 14:61

But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.  Again the high priest asked him, "are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?"  Jesus had no need to defend himself.  Righteousness has no need of a defense.  It speaks for itself in the sense that God is our testimony.  Defensiveness violates that purity.  In this sense, Jesus Christ is our defense because he is now our righteousness.

Summary

1.         Fisher of Men: Mk. 1:17

2.         Taught With Authority:  Mk. 1:22

 

3.         Filled With Compassion: Mk. 1:41

 

4.         Forgiving:  Mk. 2:5

 

5.         Renewed With Rest:  Mk. 6:31

 

6.         Burden for Teaching: Mk. 6:34

 

7.         A Man of Prayer:  Mk. 6:46

 

8.         A Man of Courage:  Mk. 6:50b

 

9.         Willing to be Touched:  Mk. 6:56b

 

10.       Unbound by Tradition:  Mk. 7:8

 

11.       A Man of Excellence:  Mk. 7:37

 

12.       Thankful:  Mk. 8:6

 

13.       Not Wasteful:  Mk. 8:8

 

14.       A Man of Purpose and Calling:  Mk. 8:31

 

15.       A Man of Power:  Mk. 9:28-29

 

16.       Expedient:  Mk. 9:39-40

 

17.       Protective:  Mk. 9:42

 

18.       Loving:  Mk. 10:16

 

19.       Discerning:  Mk. 10:23

 

20.       Humble:  Mk. 10:45

 

21.       Merciful:  Mk. 10:48

 

22.       A Man of Faith:  Mk. 11:22-23

 

23.       Full of Wisdom:  Mk. 12:15b

 

24.       A Man of Sorrow:  Mk. 14:34

 

25.       Non-Defensive:  Mk. 14:61

Benediction

 

            Philippians 1:9-11

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