Summary: Explains why Jesus' initial ministry in Galilee as riddled with conflict & controversy. Explains the "Messianic Ministry"-&-Mission then (and NOW!).

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“Conflict in Galilee: A Controversial Christ”

Mark 2:1-3:6

OPENING VIDEO: “Jesus Intro”

The church of today has tried everything imaginable to try to portray Jesus in a positive light; to present her Lord as a gentle and nice-kind-of-guy, who is accessible and accepting of everything, the Good Shepherd who accepts everyone and who never rocks the boat… doesn’t stir the pot or upset the apple-cart… A gentle, meek Mr. Rogers-type Savior…

…I mean, don’t we want everyone to come here and have a positive, inspirational, uplifting experience?

…yet the Gospels actually portray Jesus in a more complex light. Jesus offends everyone! He is controversial and embroiled in conflict with a lot of people!

…because at some point—eventually—everyone realizes that it’s not about them. And when that happens—people get mad. I mean, that’s part of maturity: I am here, this church is here, and it’s neither for or about me, and at some point in my discipleship, in following Jesus, I need to see how I fit into this thing that’s happening that’s bigger than me, and that church is not for or about me, and I’m going to have to come to terms with the fact that Jesus is different than almost everybody believes…

VIDEO ILLUSTRATION (humor): “Jesus—Different”

I want us to see what Mark wants us to see in his Gospel; and the 1st thing we really discover about Jesus is that He brings conflict and controversy… Let’s deal with that now…

READ: Mark 3:1-6

Mark begins his Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God—right from the start—with that image of discipleship; he never even pretends that following Jesus will be a big blessing for me, personally, or that Jesus’ followers are going to have it easy, or that being a Christian is safe or even sane…

…after the introduction and showing the calling of the disciples—they leave their nets, jump out of the boat, walk-away from the old lives (from tax collecting booths and commercial ventures and sinning—and after showing that Messiah comes to baptize in the Holy Spirit, and giving us the “table of contents” (so to speak) in chapter 1, Mark’s Gospel of Jesus Christ actually begins with CONFLICT and shows that the Christ/Messiah / Son-of-God is a very CONTROVERSIAL person. The Son of God, the Messiah, is not here to smoothe things over or straighten our ways… but Messiah came to uncover, reveal, and to shine truth and light into dark places and that is not what anyone wanted… Not what they expected…

Jesus offended a lot of folks then… And Jesus offends a lot of people now…

Mark’s entire Gospel—this whole document, the 2nd “evangelist” Mark—hinges on this fact. Jesus is highly controversial; Jesus is going to bring conflict; this is what Jesus meant when He said, “I came not for peace but to bring a sword” that would cut the strings of sin and set you and me free from sin and death… but also divide-&-distinguish good & evil… Jesus’ sword exposes darkness; it reveals what so many of us wish we could hide…

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