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Faithlife

Building the Kingdom

Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  40:41
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Jesus came to innaugurate His kingdom by proclaiming the gospel to faithful followers who would carry His message to the world.

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From the last time we saw Jesus, he has left John the Baptist and been tested in the wilderness. He resisted the temptations of the Devil and has been ministered to by angels.
Now he enters Galilee to begin his ministry. It is in these verses this morning that we see Jesus begin to build his Kingdom. In order for this Kingdom to be built there are three necessary components. As we study the text this morning we will learn what those components are and how they affect our lives today.
Mark 1:14–20 ESV
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
Mark 1:1
Mark 1:14–15 ESV
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Mark 1:14-15
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The first
It is important to note that the message that John the Baptist proclaimed is the same message we see Jesus proclaiming now.
The one that John said would come has come. The prophesies predicting this time have been fulfilled. The time had come for Jesus to begin his ministry and he did that in Galilee for a year and a half.
The Kingdom of God has been inaugurated!
There is a lot of confusion even today on what the kingdom of God is, and if it has already come or if it is something that will come one day in the future.
The best interpretation is that the kingdom has been inaugurated through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, but awaits consummation in the future. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom as both present and future, as already, but also not yet.
The person of Jesus Christ confronts us head on with the kingdom , the reign of God.
Everyone confronted with the Kingdom of God must repent. They must change their mind in such a way that it lead to changed behavior.
This call to repent is found in the preaching of John the Baptist , Jesus, and Peter just in the gospels and Acts.
Repentance notes that we turn from sin; belief highlights what we turn toward. Both repent and believe are present imperatives. We are commanded to live in a state of repentance and trust.
A king has arrived who rightly demands that we follow and radically obey Him.
This is the unchanging and uncompromising message and vision of the eternal kingdom of God.
Mark 1:16–20 ESV
Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
Mark 1:16–20 ESV
Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
Mark1:16-
The message is clear. “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
This is a call to discipleship.
In the Rabbinic tradition aspiring students would seek out a rabbi . Then the students allegiance was to the Law, not to the teacher.
Jesus form of discipleship was fundamentally different. Jesus seeks out his own disciples and their devotion was only to Jesus.
“There was no prerequisite to following Him. This is a grace call. he does not tell them to improve their moral character or their social acceptability. Jesus finds them where they are, and He simply calls. In effect, “Come!” Come as you are, but come, you must and come right now.” They are to follow immediately and in faith. This was a radical call for those fishermen, to be sure, and it is no less radical today!”
The OT roots of “fishers of men” are often overlooked. It is more than a play on words in light of the fact that they used to fish for people. In the old Testament God fishes for men too, and the texts are often foreboding in the context of divine judgement.
,
Jeremiah 16:16 ESV
“Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.
Jeremiah 16:18 ESV
But first I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”
Ezekiel 29:
Ezekiel 29:3–5 ESV
speak, and say, Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lies in the midst of his streams, that says, ‘My Nile is my own; I made it for myself.’ I will put hooks in your jaws, and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales; and I will draw you up out of the midst of your streams, with all the fish of your streams that stick to your scales. And I will cast you out into the wilderness, you and all the fish of your streams; you shall fall on the open field, and not be brought together or gathered. To the beasts of the earth and to the birds of the heavens I give you as food.
Amos 4:2 ESV
The Lord God has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks.
Dr. WIlliam Lane, “The summons to be fishers of men is a call to the eschatological task of gathering men in view of the forthcoming judgment of God. It extends the demands for repentance in jesus’ preaching. Precisely because Jesus has come fishing became necessary.”
Simon, Andrew, James, and John did not hesitate. James and John left their father and hired servants right there in the boat! This captures what it truly means to follow Jesus. To follow Jesus, we are called to forsake everyone and everything else. We must not rationalize or explain away Jesus’ call as hyperbole or metaphor.
Matthew 10:34–37 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mark 3:33–35 ESV
And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew
Luke 14:26 ESV
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
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The call to follow Jesus is clear and unconditional. When we follow Jesus we give him a blank check with our lives. He can write it for whatever he wants whenever he wants.
Mark 1:17–18 ESV
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Mark 1:20 ESV
And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
When we see the reaction of the disciples to the call and commission of Jesus we see the authority of the one who gives the call. There is only one Master to follow in life and into eternity. His name is Jesus. Mark gives us a pretty clear picture about who Jesus is even in just the first verses of the book.
The One we are called to follow is the Christ (1:1), the Son of God (1:1), The Lord (1:3), the mighty one (1:7), the worthy One (1:7), the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit (1:8), The Spirit-anointed One (1:10), the beloved Son (1:11), teh One who pleases God (1:11), and the one who brings the kingdom of God (1:15).
Just in chapter 1 we see Jesus is the astonishing Teacher (1:22), the One with authority (1:22), the Holy One of God (1:24), who is able to cast out demons (1:26,32-34,39), heal the sick (1:31-34), and even cleanse lepers (1:42).
This is a might master to follow.
Jesus calls us to believe the gospel. One way to do that is not only to preach it to others, but to preach it to ourselves. The result will be that you will see yourself as a much bigger sinner than you thought, but you will also then see Jesus as a much greater Savior than you ever imagined.
Examine yourself in the mirror of God’s word. Pray that God would bring to light your negative emotions and attitudes as well as blatant rebellion against God’s Holiness.
Guard yourself against the deceitfulness of sin. You will want to water down God’s standard, compare yourself to others, shift blame, or commit to trying harder. These reflect a worldly moralism, not the gospel.
Ask “Why?” until you find what desires are leading to your sin. What are you trusting in or looking to besides Jesus for meaning and value in life.
Idols always disappoint. They are weak, they cant forgive you when you fail, they only bring condemnation. Idols are harmful. THey hurt you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. They hurt others by undermining your ability to love.
They are grievous. By going after these other idols you are saying to God, “Jesus is not enough. I also need _______ in order to be happy.
When you confess your idols
As you expose these idols, confess, “I am a much bigger sinner than I thought. I am a worthy recipient of God’s judgement. Trying harder wont cut it. I am helpless and hopeless in myself. But there is One who can deliver and rescue, so I flee to Him and Him alone!”
Pray for the gift of repentance. To not try harder to simply stop sinning. Ask God to change your heart. You may change for a season on your own willpower, but eventually you will become resentful or fall back into worshiping your idols that distract you from Jesus.
Jesus lived for you; think about and give thanks for specific ways He has lived obediently where you have failed.
Jesus died for you: think about Jesus death on the cross for your specific sins and idolatry.
Thank God specifically for how he provides for you in Christ.
Embrace it and know that the gospel changes you, the gospel empowers you to serve, and through the gospel you meet God.
The King has come, and He calls all of us to repent and believe the gospel, to walk away from the idols of our life, or former allegiances, and to come follow Him. Leave your nets, leave your occupation, leave your friends, leave even your family, and come follow Him. The demands are great, but then Jesus is a great King, and the blessings of knowing Him are far greater!
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