Summary: In Mark 1:15, Jesus says the kingdom of God is near, meaning that in the person of Jesus God’s kingdom comes near. If the kingdom has come near, what in the world is God doing?
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOD DOING?
INTRO: In Mark 1:15, Jesus says the kingdom of God is near, meaning that in the person of Jesus God’s kingdom comes near. God has arrived on the scene, to establish his rule, take back what is his.
If that is so, then I have some questions:
1. Why are innocent children starving and homeless in Kosovo?
2. Why are Christians, been persecuted, displaced and killed in the Phillipines?
3. Why is hate lodged so deep in human hearts?
4. Why do our nation’s children kill one another?
5. Why do so many families break up, leaving children without parents, and so many parents on their own?
6. Why do believers suffer lingering illness or relentless tragedy?
7. Why do I suffer? Lose my job? Stay trapped by my addictions?
If the kingdom has come near, what in the world is God doing?
PREV: Do you ever ask these questions? Are there answers to these questions? I believe there are. Today I’d like us to discover the answers. The answers have to do with how God works, how God goes about accomplishing his plan. Today Jesus walks us through the answers in a series of short stories, called parables found in Mark 4. I believe the answers we uncover today will give you hope, faith, courage, and motivation.
The first parable is about a lamp. As I read Mark 4: 21-23, notice the purpose of a lamp.
A. God is revealing himself through Jesus Christ
Do you bring a lamp into a room to cover it up or hid it under the couch, or bed? Obviously not. A lamp is meant to shine, to be seen.
If a light is covered, it will eventually be brought out.
There is something hidden, concealed that will eventually be disclosed, brought out into the open.
Jesus is talking about himself – Cf. John 8:12.
Jesus and his mission were gradually coming to light, being revealed one step at a time.
This is the context of the book of Mark – the gradual revealing of Christ. There’s a climax in chapter 8 when Peter confesses, and in chapter 16 when Christ is risen.
This is Jesus’ answer to the question “what in the world is God doing?” If the kingdom is near, if you are the Son of God and all, why aren’t things going better, moving along more quickly? Why are so many rejecting you? This is the kingdom of God? One guy talking in stories? Seems a little obscure...
Jesus says, it may be hidden now, but eventually it will be revealed in all its brightness! The Parousia!
B. We must wait for God to fully reveal himself
This is the same thing Jesus says to us when we look around and say, “The kingdom hasn’t made much progress.”
• In our world
• In our community
• In our lives
The kingdom of God may seem small, or thwarted, or like it is losing ground, but not so. It just hasn’t been fully revealed yet.
One day the cover will come off, the veil will be removed. When Jesus returns, it won’t be in veiled fashion, but as the glorious Lord of the Harvest.
Next week Matthew Lee, George and Liz’s son, will get married. Like most weddings, everyone will gather, waiting for the ceremony to begin, for the bride and groom to appear. As the time people expect the bride to appear nears, there will be nervous anticipation. People will begin to inch forward to the edge of their seats, getting ready. That’s the same kind of ‘edge of the seat’ anticipation we should have as we wait for the Lord to fully reveal himself. But like most weddings, it probably won’t start exactly on time. But the fact that the Bride doesn’t appear when they expect it doesn’t mean she won’t appear...
This period of hiddeness is just a prelude to the period of manifestation. This apparent obscurity will be exchanged for Messianic glory and power.
We just have to wait for it, on the edge of our seat. . Jesus will burst forth! This should give us hope and faith!
I. WE ARE WAITING ON THE EDGE OF OUR SEATS FOR GOD TO FULLY REVEAL HIMSELF
We can be confident that God will fully reveal himself – otherwise it would be as pointless as keeping a light under the bed
There will be full disclosure, full revealing, we have to wait for it.
Transition: So this is a period of waiting for God to fully reveal himself. Why? What for? What do we do in the mean time? What happens now? Jesus shows us what an opportunity this time of waiting is in our next parable. Jump down to verse 26 with me. Jesus will tell us here what the Kingdom of God is like. Read Mark 4:26-29.