Mark 7: Jesus Wants Your Heart

Jesus wants us to be real with him and with others.  He confronts the religious leaders of his day for being hypocrites–pretending to be one thing (true worshippers) while being another thing (fake worshippers).  In this chapter Mark shows us how Jesus does battle with the religious leaders’ views on ceremonial cleanness, then recounts how Jesus healed two “unclean” (Gentile) people in his mercy.

Mark 5: Jesus Shows Mercy

Mark chapter five highlights three hopeless people: a demon possessed man, a desperate woman and a dead girl.  The situation of the demon possessed man when Jesus meets him is may be the most heart-wrenching in all the Bible.

And then Jesus steps into his life.

This chapter shows the immense compassion and mercy of Jesus in his healing ministry.  It also gives us a glimpse of the future glories of his kingdom.

Mark 4: Jesus Reveals the Kingdom

In Mark 4 Jesus begins to teach the crowds in parables (stories, illustrations), partly to teach what the kingdom of God is like, and partly to conceal it.

Why??

Because some people will listen carefully to his words, and others won’t.  The parables are intended to show people what God is like, but the result will be that some people reject Christ.

This is why Jesus repeatedly exhorts the crowds to “listen” and “hear” what he has to say.  This challenge still reverberates today.  We need to listen to Jesus’ words and respond in faith.

Mark 3: Jesus Redefines Family

In Mark 3 the opposition continues to threaten Jesus’ ministry–and life.  The conservative Pharisees think he is demon-possessed.  Even his family starts to think he is crazy.  When they come to extract him from his followers and newfound fame, he rebuffs them, raising the rhetorical question: Who is my family?  How does he answer?  What impact should this have on us today?

Three Nails

Three nails fixed Jesus to the cross, two through his wrists, one through his feet.  On the cross Jesus suffered the wrath of God for us sinners.  God punished Christ in our place.  Jesus died, was buried and raised the third day.  And he appeared to hundreds of people after his resurrection.

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul the Apostle summarizes the most core elements of the gospel of Jesus Christ to remind the Corinthians (and us!) of the work of Christ that saves us.

Palm Sunday: The Rejected King

Palm Sunday marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a sign of his divine kingship.  The events that unfold during “Holy Week” in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John point to Jesus’ kingly–and indeed, divine–status.

The religious leadership of Israel rejects Jesus, but God doesn’t.  Through his suffering and sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus acquires  all the authority in heaven and on earth.  This messages explores the depths of Jesus’ kingship in light of the religious leaders’ rejection–and what it means for us today.

Spiritual Warfare

Does the Devil really exist?  Does he really tempt people to sin or disobey God?  How do we resist and combat him then?  This message looks at the most explicit “spiritual warfare” passage in the New Testament and gives some advice on what the schemes of Satan are and how to counter them.