Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message; Mark 1:29-39; Sunday, February 19, 2017

Scriptures for this Sunday: Mark 1:29-39

You can read these Scriptures here: {NIV2010 and ESV}

Next Week, February 26, 2017: The Salem County Brass Society comes to Kingswood UMC

The Salem County Brass Society is a non-profit organization that promotes brass music throughout Southern New Jersey and Delaware by awarding a music scholarship to a deserving senior student, in any music discipline, from Salem County, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, and New Castle County. The senior must plan on attending college in the fall as a major in some music discipline.

You will be Blessed by their Ministry and Presence!

Free Will Offering will be received.

clip_image001

image

Most of the time it is easy for us to think about what we will do next week.  It is a huge generalization, but with a few exceptions your life next week will feel a lot like your life this week.  The vast majority of us will have the same friends, the same job, the same routine, drive the same car, and live in the same home.

image

“Most of life is routine – dull and grubby, but routine is the momentum that keeps a man going. If you wait for inspiration, you’ll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street.” ~~ Ben Nicholas

image

Routine is what “polishes” our character, gives us time to think, allows us to strategize and gives us a chance to plan for the future.

image

As I said earlier, most of the time it is easy for us to think about what we will do next week.  Your distant future is a bit blurrier.  It is hard to picture where you’ll be living, what you’ll be doing, and who you will be spending time with in 10, 20, 30 or 50 years.

For all of us, our ability to envision and then visualize the future is influenced by our memories from the past.

image

I want to look at today’s Scripture from the point of view of the Disciples. The reading that we heard today took place fairly early in Jesus’ ministry. If we look at Mark 1 we learn that Jesus was baptized, spent time in the desert where he faced his own demons as well as the ultimate Evil – the Devil. When Jesus learned that John’s ministry was over (John the Baptist was imprisoned), his response was, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). Then Jesus called the first Disciples, and they went to Capernaum where Jesus healed a man of impure spirit, and as a result, “27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, ‘What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.’ 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee” (Mark 1).

I just gave a “Cliff Notes” version of events that probably took place over a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months. At the time of today’s reading, following Jesus was a fairly new experience for the Disciples. That is where today’s reading started:

image

29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.”

image

How do you think the Disciples felt? Jesus did all the work healing people and driving out demons, but I bet that the Disciples felt proud and encouraged. “Look, I am with Him…,” they would say. At least some of the admiration and respect directed towards Jesus was bouncing onto them and they loved it. The Disciples’ social standing and status was increased just by being associated with Jesus.

image

They were about to learn an important lesson: Jesus is NOT predictable. Mark tells us. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (verse 35).

The Disciples did not know what to do. Mark continues in verses 36 and 37, “Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’”

What I think they were saying was that they [the Disciples] were looking for Jesus because without Jesus they were just a bunch of dudes out of place, who did not know what to do next.

Their anxiety and confusion is understandable. Remember, today’s reading comes from Chapter 1 of the Gospel of Mark. We are still in the beginning for Jesus’ ministry on Earth. The Disciples had not spent much time with Jesus yet.

When they witnessed the healings, as they basked in the warmth of the admiration and respect flowing towards Jesus, more than likely the Disciples liked what they felt. I wonder if they were imagining starting a new synagogue and having a fruitful ministry in an area where everybody knew them.

That vision of the future would be so easy for the Disciples to imagine and adapt to. But it is not why Jesus came.

There is a saying that no one can cross the ocean until they have the courage to lose sight of the shore. The disciples were not ready to lose sight of everything that they knew and loved. They were not yet ready to “cross the ocean.”

{Illustration: This is Us, episode 1-3, Kate singing}

They wanted to stay close to their friends and families, close to their routine and fishing boats, close to their wives and homes, afraid to lose sight of everything they knew, loved, and were familiar with.

But Jesus had different ideas; Jesus was called to something different. “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come,” he said (Mark 1:38).

{Illustration}

image

When Jesus told the Disciples that he wanted to go out there, that was a first glimpse for them of the future where they are capable of letting go of their “shore.” Jesus wanted them to go out there so that they had a chance to sing a song, to expand their minds, to reach beyond themselves.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

~~ Helen Keller

{Illustration}

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: