Summary: Discover the counter-cultural ethic that Jesus utilized as he ministered and saved the human race.

Image is Everything!

Gospel of Mark 1:32-39

Sermon #2 of “Ten Cultural Myths that Drive America”

This is our second sermon in our sermon series, “Ten Cultural Myths that Drive America” from the first six chapters of Mark. Last week we looked at “Might Makes Right” from Mark 1:1-13. We discovered the counter-cultural ethic that Jesus utilized as he ministered and saved the human race.

In coming weeks we will look at other slogans that have become embedded into the American psyche, other idioms that define us and motivate us as a people. We will look at:

• Shop ‘til You Drop - Mark 2:13-17

• Rules are Made to be Broken - Mark 2:18 – 3:6

• Live and Let Live - Mark 3:1-6

• You are Only Young Once - Mark 1:14-20; 3:13-19

• If You Want Something Done Right, Do It Yourself - Mark 3:13-19; 31-35

• If it Feels Good, Do It - Mark 5:1-20

• God Helps Those Who Help Themselves - Mark 5:25-34

• Stand Up For Your Rights - Mark 5:17, 6:1-6

But this week we will stay in chapter one of Mark.

Mk 1:32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.

Mk 1:33 The whole town gathered at the door,

Mk 1:34 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.

Mk 1:35 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.

Mk 1:36 Simon and his companions went to look for him,

Mk 1:37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

Mk 1:38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

Mk 1:39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

It used to be just a marketing slogan. Ad agencies used it to motivate themselves and describe their industry’s objectives. And it worked. It worked so well that it became ingrained into all of us.

Andre Agassi brought it on the scene in 1991 with his Cannon commercial. The flashy young, big haired, brightly dressed rebel tennis player was more prevalent than the camera and the commercial ended with those now immortal words … “Image is Everything.”

The concept wasn’t new but it resonated with our culture like never before.

Image is everything.

It used to be that elective cosmetic surgery was deemed as vain and only for the Hollywood elites, but not anymore. People from all walks of life are getting nips and tucks. I know a 15 year old girl whose parents let her get a breast augmentation.

A Greenwich, Conn.-based market research firm (NFO World Group) conducted a nationally survey and discovered that a full 87%of adults say that if they could change some part of their body for cosmetic reasons.

One in three adults would make some adjustments from the neck up. Almost one-quarter (22 percent) are unhappy with their teeth, 15 percent with their hair and 5 percent with their nose.

Fewer than 1 in 7 Americans (18 percent of men and 10 percent of women) are happy enough with their bodies that they wouldn’t change a thing.

Image is everything.

Think of the pressure society places on your girls to look like magazine models and the eating disorders it has induced.

Image is everything.

Dare we even begin to open the “Pandora’s Box” that is modern politics? Talk about a malady where style overrides substance!

Image is everything.

Watch the pop styles as they change with the wind at a breathtaking pace, always pressuring the young to buy new stuff and keep up with the trends.

Image is everything.

Even the Church is accosted by this aphorism. For example, just this week I received this Ad targeted directly to churches:

“Image is Everything: Don’t shortcut the evaluation process when choosing a new video projector.”

Now more than ever, audiences are quick to judge the technical quality of projected images. In fact, our media-rich lifestyles create high visual expectations among nearly all members of our society. Poorly presented imagery during a worship service will be viewed as an intolerable distraction that greatly diminishes the credibility and impact of the message.

To assure high-quality imagery in a worship environment, the most important factor is the selection of the right projector. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Image is everything.


But someone forgot to tell Jesus.

You see, Jesus failed his marketing campaign. John the Baptist had the people of Israel in frenzy -- all Jesus had to do was ride the wave. Seriously, his “messiahship” was all but handed to him … but noooooo! Jesus blew it. Rather than cater to the masses and accomplish his mission by working with them (“you give the people what they want and they’ll give you what you want”). Jesus:

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