Summary: We trust a news source because we believe they have authority. In this sermon, we will look at the many areas in which Jesus has authority.
Good morning. Please open your Bibles to Mark 1.
We continue our series on “Good News.” You see the title of this morning’s sermon. For years, one Cable News Network has had this phrase as its tagline: The Most Trusted Name in News. The problem is… its not. In a recent poll, among all adults, only 55% said they found this particular network credible. That made it fifth on the list of news sources.
Another network made the claim in their advertising that “More Americans get their news from ________ . (I won’t tell you which one, but its an American Broadcasting Company). The problem is… they don’t. In September 2019, the Pew Research Center found that two thirds of Americans now get most of their news from social media. Nearly half from Facebook.
Still another network used to claim that their news was “fair and balanced.” The problem is… it wasn’t. In August of 2016, they began to phase out “fair and balanced” as a tagline. They replaced it with “Most Watched, Most Trusted.” But as we’ve already seen, not even this network is the most watched or the most trusted. So now, if you go to their app, the opening screen just says, “America’s Watching.”
But all three of these are appeals to authority. You should trust us because we’re the most credible. You should trust us because we’re the most popular. You should trust us because we’re the most accurate. But what happens when they get it wrong? What happens when they contradict one another? In the world of fake news, how do you decide who is going to be an authoritative voice in your life?
That’s where Jesus comes in. This morning, I want to continue to talk about the gospel as “Good News.” And why Jesus is THE most trusted name in “Good News.” If you are physically able, please stand to honor the reading of God’s Word. We are going to be looking at a lot of Scripture this morning, but for our reading we are just going to look at verses 16-20:
16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[f] 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God. Pray with me…
One of the things that has always fascinated me about Jesus is how He was able to get a bunch of big, burly, professional fishermen to drop everything and follow Him. I’m trying to imagine what kind of results I would get if I tried that. You know, just go down to the docks early in the morning, after these guys have been up all night. They’re tired. Maybe they’re in a bad mood (most of the time Jesus talks to fishermen in the gospels, they haven’t caught anything, so they are probably a little short tempered). And I just say, “Hey guys… follow me.” I don’t think it would work. But with Jesus, not only did it work, it worked “immediately.” (Remember, this is one of Mark’s favorite words)
• Verse 18: And immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
• Verse 20: And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. (Mark 1:20)
And maybe you’re thinking, well, Jesus must have been this big, burly, manly man himself, and that’s why they followed him. And you might be right. But notice that in the next chapter, Jesus goes to a guy who is probably as opposite from these fishermen as you can get. In Mark 2:14, we see that Jesus
• And as he passed by he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. (Mark 2:14)
So it wasn’t just that Jesus appealed to rough outdoorsy types. There was something about him that drew introverted accountant types also.
Why did they trust Jesus? Because Jesus had authority. The Hebrew word is s’mikhah. Which is just a fun word to say. But the word s’mikhah comes from the Hebrew word for laying your hand on someone. In Numbers 27, Moses smikhahd Joshua when he laid his hands on him. Now Joshua had Moses’ authority. Now, there were lots of teachers in Jesus day, but most of them simply passed on what they had been taught by others. In order to teach a new interpretation of the law, you had to have s’mikhah. Someone needed to have bestowed authority on you by the laying on of hands.