Mark 15: Jesus is Killed

God’s story revolves around the cross. Mark 15 gives us the account of Jesus’ trial, death and burial. Jesus’ death, as we learn in the New Testament letters (Romans-Revelation), is the sacrifice that paid the pride for our sins. Jesus died as a substitute for us, justified us (cleared the divine charges that were against us because of our sin), and reconciled us to God.

Mark 13: The Return of the King

Mark 13 gives us Jesus’ breakdown of the future.  It starts with a question from his disciples and ends with Jesus exhorting his followers to stand firm during persecution and to be alert and serving him and his mission.  How does this relate to us?  At the end of the chapter Jesus compares us to servants in a household–each with a task to be busy about until he returns.  This should be our pursuit and passion: to use what God has given us (talents, relationships, possessions, etc.) to grow his kingdom.

Mark 11: The King Arrives

Mark 11 shows us the official presentation of Jesus as Israel’s King.  Israel–primarily Israel’s religious establishment–rejects him as King, which leads to the cross and suffering.  Israel would be judged because of their unfruitfulness for God.  This should compel us to be fruitful, which might look like this:

Wonder: We seek God and are amazed at his glory and grace

Worship: We respond to his greatness with praise and a changed life

Witness: We tell others what God has done in our lives

Mark 9: Jesus Reveals His Glory

To follow up on chapter 8, where Jesus begins to make clear that he will suffer and die on the cross–which means a radical change in the disciples’ expectations–in chapter 9 Jesus reveals his glory to some of his followers.  They get to see “behind the scenes” at who Jesus really is: the Son of God in human flesh, no doubt to strengthen their faith as difficult times and persecution come along.

Jonah 2-4: Compassion for the Perishing

What can we learn from the story of the prophet Jonah who at first rejected God’s commission for him?  In this message, Joshua Smith unpacks this short, Old Testament book so we can see how merciful and patient God is (with Jonah; with the city of Ninevah).  God is a God of second chances, coming to Jonah after he fled from him, and restoring him to his mission, only to have to deal with Jonah’s sin and selfishness again at the end of the story.