Summary: Faith or unbelief determines what we see when we look at Jesus. Jesus brings us to the valley of decision where we either become his followers or his enemies.
(Begin by reading chapter one as if you are a messenger from Mark. Better yet, memorize it and share it as if you are Mark himself).
In chapter two of Mark we have four more vignettes in Jesus’ life recorded for us. In each of these Jesus expresses his authority in both freeing and disturbing ways: freeing for those who have faith, disturbing for those do not believe.
Here are the four vignettes:
1. The Paralytic and Jesus authority to forgive sins
2. The call of Levi (Matthew) and Jesus association with tax collectors and sinners
3. Fasting and Jesus discussion about old and new matters
4. The Sabbath and Jesus, son of David and son of man as Lord of the Sabbath.
As we consider what Mark tells us here about Jesus, several aspects come into view.
So much could be discussed about each one of these vignettes in his life that several sermons could be written for each one of them. But instead of focusing on the details of any particular one, I’d like us to notice the overall import of these events in his life. We will also notice how they impact us and our relationships today.
Look at these two major viewpoints and we will cover them in order:
1. The attraction of Jesus… or Finding Freedom in faith
2. The objections to Jesus… or Finding Fault without faith
1. The attraction of freedom by faith
Mark records the amazing attraction Jesus has on many people. From the onset of his ministry he calls followers who leave behind jobs and security and attach themselves to him with bonds of loyalty. There is something fresh, free, powerful, caring, revolutionary and extraordinary about Jesus. Jesus opens our eyes to see the presence of God. In Jesus own presence the kingdom of God encroaches on Satan’s territory – Jesus casts out demons and heals diseases. He forgives sins. He eats with sinners. He doesn’t fast on schedule. Even the Sabbath law bows to him! Jesus answers his opponents with clear reason and authority. Who is this man!
Mark wants us to see Jesus. Do you see him? What do you see in Jesus? What did those see who followed him in Galilee? Look at him. Look at them! He comes on the scene saying and doing things that draw such crowds people are tearing up the roof to get access to him. They go where ever he goes. He’s like a magnet drawing people toward him. What is it about him?
The attraction of Jesus still exists. Think about us here today. Signal Mountain, Tennessee, January 15, 2006, here we are gathered together in this place on Sunday morning in the name of Jesus Christ. You’ve heard the call to follow this same Jesus that Mark is telling us about in this gospel. You’ve answered his call. That’s why you are here! At least that’s why a lot of us are here. Jesus is still drawing, attracting, and calling followers to come. He’s still doing this today! And now he uses me and you in the church to extend the call! Remember the end of the Bible: “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” and let everyone who hears say, “Come!”
Think about these words of Jesus. (Matthew 11) Jesus said, “28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.