Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Our loyalty to Jesus surpasses even family loyalty.

1. Blood is Thicker than Water (Possible meanings)

This is one that's completely flipped its meaning over the centuries. In the beginning, it meant something to the effect of "a bond or covenant I've made with someone I've shed or shared blood with (sometimes literally) is stronger than one I have with someone I've shared the womb with." Obviously today it's interpreted the other way, that the bond between family members or blood relations is stronger than one between people only connected by water.

"Blood is thicker than water" is thought to have been popularized by U.S. Navy Captain Josiah Tattnall in 1859. Tattnall decided to aid the British in a naval battle with the Chinese in 1859. His widely publicized explanation for why he aided the British in this battle included the proverb "blood is thicker than water".

a. Expression of Loyalty -- Especially regarding family -- Mother's Day

b. An Option: They Say blood is thicker than water but, maple syrup is thicker than blood. Therefore my loyalties lie with pancakes.

2. Jesus Remembered/was loyal to his Mother -- at the cross and throughout his life

3. While "blood is thicker than water," Jesus throws us a curve and tells us of something even thicker than blood -- Mark 3.31-35 [Blood makes you related . . . but loyalty makes you family.

I. The Mission for God -- Pursuit of Man

A. Jesus' Mission is reflected in his Baptism -- Matthew 3.17

1. Prophetic declaration of God -- Psalm 2.7; Genesis 22.2; Isaiah 42.1

2. The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 -- to save the world -- John 3.16

B. Jesus was a Rabbi/Teacher in His Mission (Context of Mark 3)

1. Lord of Sabbath -- correct uses of Sabbath -- healing, etc.

2. Teaching multitudes

3. Selecting the 12 to extend his teaching ministry

4. Accused of blasphemy

5. Family scenario -- a mini-parable, teaching lesson

6. Parable of the Sower (Mark 4)

II. Resistance to His Mission

A. Religious Leaders Oppose Him with "Satan" -- Mark 3.22ff

B. Even His Family Confronts Him -- 3.20-21

1, His Brothers did not Understand Him -- John 7.2-4

2 Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world." 5 For not even his brothers believed in him.

2. Mary

a. Had insight

1) Gabriel -- Luke 1.26-56

30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

2) Simeon and Anna -- Luke 2.25-38; I have seen your Salvation ("yeshuati");

b. Was sometimes puzzled -- Luke 2.41-51

c. Had special trust on occasion -- John 2.5

3. Why could they think he was "crazy"?

a. Crowds were following -- dangerous

b. Lifetime of living out scripture -- Luke 2.50

4. All Became Believers -- Acts 1.14

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus No Turning Back

Many of us grew up singing a little chorus of commitment that said, "I have decided to follow Jesus." This hymn reportedly came from the nation of India and has its roots in an incident that occurred in the mid-1800s. A Welsh missionary had converted a man in the state of Assam. This man was saved along with his family. Persecution quickly ensued, and the village chief demanded the convert renounce his faith. But the man replied, "I have decided to follow Jesus." Amid continuing threats, he said, "Though no one joins me, still I will follow."

The man and his wife were executed, but their witness later led to the conversion of many in their town. Some years later, the Indian evangelist Sadhu Sundar Singh put the words to music.

As pressure mounts on Christians in the West and around the world, we need to remind ourselves of this simple song. We must continue to live in righteousness for God even if we're the only ones we know doing so. We must say: "The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back, no turning back."

III. Loyalty Creates Family -- Mark 3.31-35

A. Seems Disrespectful -- Luke 14.26; (Jacob with Rachel Genesis 29.20; Leah 29.31)

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