Gospel of Mark:

Following Jesus Christ

If we are to follow Jesus and follow him effectively, then we are faced with two questions that are of utmost importance. Who is Jesus? and What is a disciple? We'll answer these questions as we go through the Gospel of Mark, so that we can be equipped to be true disciples. 

Following Jesus Christ

Mark 1:1-15

Abraham Cremens

September 1, 2019

 


Throughout history, anyone who has been exposed to Jesus has had to answer two questions: Who is he? And how should I respond to him? Mark knows this and aims to answer these questions head on. In our passagetoday we see Jesus as God, as the goal of God’s plan in this world, and as the victor in that plan. A disciple, then, is one who repents and believes in Jesus.

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Following Jesus Christ on Mission

Mark 1:16-20

Abraham Cremeens

September 8, 2019

 


Jesus’ ministry began with recruiting a few men to be with him indiscipleship. Jesus took the initiative and their response was total abandon and submission to him and his mission. Biblically, then, to follow Jesus is to also help others do the same as we fish for people. This reveals that to be a disciple is also to be a disciple-maker among the least and the lost in this world.

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Following Jesus Christ in Authority

Mark 1:21-39

Gami Ortiz

September 15, 2019

 

As Jesus begins his ministry, teaching in a synagogue, people recognize he teaches with authority. He does not reference others' authority or expertise, because Jesus himself is the authority! Disciples then are those who submit to the authority of Jesus in their lives. In turn, they are sent in his authority to continue his mission of making disciples.

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Following Jesus Christ through Suffering

Mark 1:40-2:12

Abraham Cremens

September 22, 2019

 

In our passage, we meet two men with real needs who approach Jesus for healing. Jesus’ response shows that he has all authority to meet those needs and the deeper needs behind them. Our response as disciples must always be to see our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as a pathway to experiencing Jesus as sufficient in every area of our life.

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Following Jesus Christ to Outsiders

Mark 2:13-17

Abraham Cremens

September 29, 2019

 

In our passage, we meet a tax collector named Levi. He represents all outsiders, those who don’t belong in society or with God. We also see Jesus arrive on the scene full of grace. Jesus loves to make outsiders into insiders as they find their belonging in him and the new redeemed community he is building. In response to the grace of Jesus, Levi connects his “outsider” friends to the great Physician Jesus who can heal their sin-sick heart and then be on the inside with him.

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Following Jesus Christ as the Greater Goal

Mark 2:18-3:6

Abraham Cremens

October 6, 2019

 

In our passage, Jesus faces three more controversies centered on the practices of fasting and Sabbath rest. Both practices are good gifts from God meant to help his people connect with him in the midst of life’s rhythms. However, people had turned these practices into the end goal rather than seeing Jesus as the greater goal of these rhythms. Jesus took the opportunity to reveal more truth about himself and encourage his disciples to follow him as the greater goal of their lives.

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Following Jesus Christ in Spiritual Investment

Mark 3:7-19

Abraham Cremens

October 27, 2019

 

In our passage, Jesus models fruitful ministry that focuses both generally to all and specifically to a few. In the former, his popularity grows as he gives of himself compassionately and sacrificially to the masses. In the latter, he forms the nucleus of his church as he trains a few men who will eventually reach those masses. A main takeaway for the church of every generation is that we, too, must multiply as we invest in the lives of others who go on to do the same.

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Wrong Conclusions: Tragic Consequences

Mark 3:20-35

Paul Briggs

November 3, 2019

 

What a person believes about Jesus Christ is centrally tied to how that person will choose to live life in the present and where that person will spend eternity in the future. To put it another way, drawing a wrong conclusion about who Jesus Christ is and what He came to do brings God’s righteous anger and eternal separation from Him.

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Following Jesus as Disciple-Makers

Mark 4:1-20

Gami Ortiz

November 10, 2019

 

Jesus provides a commentary by way of a parable on the varying responses to his message by those around him. Some follow him to accuse, some are caught up in the excitement of the supernatural, and others have left everything to follow him. Jesus makes clear that those that are true disciples are ones that receive his message and also preach it.

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Following Jesus in Kingdom Confidence

Mark 4:21-34

Abraham Cremeens

November 17, 2019

 

In this passage, Jesus expresses truths about his kingdom in four different parables. Altogether we see that the kingdom is visible in Jesus, accessible in Jesus, powerful under the authority of Jesus, and glorious through the work of Jesus. Disciples, then, enter the kingdom by faith in King Jesus and engage in kingdom living for the glory of his name.

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Following Jesus Christ in the Storm

Mark 4:35-41

Will Peycke

November 24, 2019

 

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From Madness to Mercy

Mark 5:1-20

Paul Briggs

January 5, 2020

 

What is impossible for a human being is possible with God. Both in the account of the calming of the storm (Mark 4:35-41) and the healing of the man with the demon (Mark 5:1-20), we see the glory of the deity of Jesus in how he handles both of these humanly impossible situations. The order and calm which result from Jesus taming the forces of nature in the storm and evil in the life of the demon-possessed man demonstrate His power, His greatness, and His worthiness is to be recognized and to be praised in our practice of truth.

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Jesus Loves with Selfless Openness

Mark 5:1-20

Will Peycke

January 12, 2020

 

Jesus is confronted with four different intrusions or hassles in this passage and turns each into an opportunity to love others and strengthen their faith. He speaks and acts with authority and tenderness, always attentive to the person’s needs. When things go wrong, it is easy for us to doubt whether God is trustworthy and kind. But Jesus uses sufferings, interruptions, and delays to strengthen our faith and teach us to love.

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Following Jesus Christ through Rejection

Mark 6:1-13

Gami Ortiz

January 19, 2020

 

Jesus has proven his divinity in teaching with authority, casting out demons, and healing the sick. Now Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth but is rejected. Jesus moves on from there, continuing his ministry and sending out the disciples to take up the mission. They are to remain dependent on God for all things, even in the face of rejection, as Jesus has already demonstrated.

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Following Jesus Christ to Our Finish Line

Mark 6:14-30

Abraham Cremeens

January 26, 2020

 

In our passage, two very different lifestyles are displayed. Herod Antipas chooses a life that values all that this world offers. John the Baptist, on the other hand, chooses to value Christ at all costs and gives his life for him. This reveals that if you want to follow Christ, you have to be willing to die for him. And if we want to be ready to die for him, then we have to live for him each and every day.

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Trusting Jesus with the Impossible

Mark 6:30-44

Will Peycke

February 2, 2020

 

This familiar story gives us an important glimpse into what following Jesus looks like. Truly living the life that Jesus calls us to live is impossible to do on our own. But we are not on our own. When we are faced with overwhelming needs, Jesus invites us to look past what we can do in our own power and to trust him for help—because with Jesus, nothing is impossible.

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Following Jesus Christ through Struggle

Mark 6:45-56

Abraham Cremeens

February 9, 2020

 

Struggles are hard, but God purposes them to serve as opportunities to know him more. The disciples saw Jesus in a new way when they saw their limits and saw Jesus for who he really is. It is in the boat of our own struggles that we experience the presence of Christ and see him more clearly.

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Following Jesus Christ With Our Hearts

Mark 7:1-23

Gami Ortiz

February 16, 2020

 

Jesus is asked why he and his disciples don’t (ceremonially) wash their hands before they eat, in accordance with Jewish tradition. Jesus responds with a teaching on traditions, law, and what it means to truly be clean. It’s not the outside that counts, but the condition of the heart.

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Following Jesus Christ in Belonging

Mark 7:24-37

Abraham Cremeens

February 23, 2020

 

We all have a deep longing to belong but how do we arrive at such a destination? While we can find belonging in certain relational circles, and even more so within the common faith community of the church, true belonging comes only in Christ. He made a way for outsiders like us to truly belong with him on the inside.

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Following Jesus Christ in Understanding

Mark 8:1-21

Abraham Cremeens

March 1, 2020

 

We can often settle for lesser things (the bread) rather than experience the sufficiency of Christ (the Bread of Life). It is only in the boat with Jesus that we can understand who he is and the lessons he wants us to learn. The invitation, then, is to submit to his agenda for our lives as we posture ourselves humbly before him and experience satisfaction in him.

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Following Jesus Christ on the Way

Mark 8:22-38

Abraham Cremeens

April 5, 2020 (Virtual Worship Gathering)

 

All disciples of Jesus are on a journey. This journey is full of dots on a map where we learn more about who Jesus is and what it looks like to truly follow him. In that sense, you are a disciple on the way with Jesus throughout life’s paths. As a disciple on the way, you must receive the touch of Jesus, embrace the person of Jesus, and choose daily to follow Jesus.

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Following Jesus Christ for His Glory

Mark 9:1-13
Abraham Cremeens

April 12, 2020 (Resurrection Sunday)

 

On the heels of a life-surrendering call to be a disciple, Jesus reinforced confidence in why anyone would respond: He is worth it. He is worth living for and he is worth dying for because all of creation, including you, exists for his glory. Our passage in Mark 9 reveals the glory of Christ inherent in who he is and what he does.

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Following Jesus Christ in Dependence

Mark 9:14-29
Abraham Cremeens

April 19, 2020

 

Following Jesus as a disciple-maker comes with its challenges. We can often be tempted to fall into faithlessness and self-reliance when those challenges come our way. Jesus shepherds us on a different path, though. He leads us toward prayerful dependence on him in which we exchange our weakness for his strength. That is the way toward a fruitful life.

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Following Jesus Christ in Humility

Mark 9:30-41
Abraham Cremeens

April 26, 2020

 

In God's Kingdom, true greatness shows itself in ways contrary to how the world operates. Even the disciples were confused as they argued over who would be the greatest. However, true greatness imitates the wonders of Christ who came not be served but to serve. He redefined greatness as that which takes the last seat and aims to serve all.

Following Jesus Christ in Holiness

Mark 9:42-50
Abraham Cremeens

May 3, 2020

 

Sin is a weighty matter. Apart from Christ, sin owns a person and drags him to hell. But that power is broken by Christ for anyoen who puts their faith in him. A disciple of Jesus, then, sees the seriousness of sin as he or she pursues a life of holiness as an expression of worship.

Following Jesus Christ Toward a Healthy Marriage

Mark 10:1-12
Abraham Cremeens & Bill Davis

May 17, 2020

 

God designed marriage to be a beautiful gift intended to reflect his covenant love for his people. However, marriage faces attack when selfishness takes over. Therefore, Jesus steers the focus away from selfishness and challenges his disciples to pursue marital oneness in every way and every circumstance.

Following Jesus Christ Like a Child

Mark 10:13-31
Will Peycke

May 24, 2020

 

Jesus reverses our ideas about how to come to God. There is only one way into God's kingdom, and it has nothing to do with how well life is going fo rus or how well we are doign life. In fact, the very things we see as spiritual assets are actually liabilities, while the things we view as weaknesses are what get us in the door. The only way to enter God's kingdom is receive it like a child.

Following Jesus Christ in Service

Mark 10:32-45
Abraham Cremeens

May 31, 2020

 

In this third occurrence, Jesus took another opportunity to clarify his mission to save sinners with his death and resurrection. There was confusion on the part of the disciples which caused James and John to aim for a prominent seat in the kingdom. Jesus, however, patiently redefined the terms and reshaped the conversation as he once again spoke of true greatness not as power and prestige, but as a posture of humility and service.

Following Jesus Christ by His Mercy

Mark 10:46-52
Abraham Cremeens

June 7, 2020

 

After three explanations of true discipleship, Jesus gave another call to dependence through a real-time parable in the life of Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus started beside the way (or road) in verse 46. He was considered in the way by the crowd in verse 48, and then finally was on the way with Jesus after receiving mercy (verse 52). It is a reminder that no disciple can follow Jesus on the way apart from his mercy.

Following Jesus Christ in Celebration

Mark 11:1-11
Abraham Cremeens

June 14, 2020

 

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, there were a variety of responses. The crowd, recognizing the Old Testament pointers, saw Jesus and celebrated him as the coming King. That was contrasted, though, wiht those in the temple who completely missed his arrival. Mark poses and indirect question to any of his raders: Which group are you a part of? Will you see Jesus or will you miss him? You life only matters inasmuch as you see and celebrate Christ.

Following Jesus Christ as a Faith Community

Mark 11:12-25
Abraham Cremeens

June 21, 2020

 

In this passage, Mark presented an essential lesson that a healthy church bears fruit through prayerful dependence. Between these vaerses related to the fig tree's death was a prophetic rebuke. Jesus confronted the religious leaders because they had hindered the Gentiles from enjoying God in prayer and worship. Jesus also took it further by making it clear to his disciples that he was creating a new faith community from all nations that would be joined together in prayerful dependence.

Following Jesus Christ as our Authority

Mark 11:27-12:12
Abraham Cremeens

June 28, 2020

 

Although the religious leaders attacked Jesus' authority he revealed his ultimate authority in his response. Their inability to answer his question yet again showed their failure in leadership. Further, his parable explained his ultimate authority as the Son. Although he would be rejected, he later was exalted as the Cornerstone. As his church, we can live in confidence no matter what happens because we follow the King who has all authority in heaven and on earth.