"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 11

What Will You Do With Jesus?

Read: Mark 2:23-3:12

Text: Mark 2:28 (KJV) Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Theme: There is only one right response to Jesus - trust.


Introduction:

"Jesus is standing in Pilate's hall -
Friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all:
Hearken! What meaneth the sudden call!
What will you do with Jesus?

What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking,
'What will He do with me?'"

 

This passage speaks about the Sabbath.

QUESTION - What do we learn about the Sabbath from these verses?

QUOTE - (Ray Stedman) " The Sabbath originally was given to restore man, to give him rest and recreation. Properly observed, it would be a joy. But the Pharisees had so ringed it about with their thousands of interpretations of what it meant to cease work that they had made it a terrible burden to bear. For instance, they held that it was perfectly all right to spit on a rock on the Sabbath -- that presented no problem. But if you spit on the ground, that made mud; mud was mortar; therefore you were working on the Sabbath. So it was absolutely wrong to spit on the ground! That was the nature of the restrictions they devised. So it is not surprising that they considered it wrong to thresh a head of grain on the Sabbath day, even though you were hungry, because that was working on the Sabbath."

This passage also speaks of five people or groups of people. All demonstrate a possible response to the Savior.

QUESTION - What people (or groups of people) are represented here, and what is the response of each toward the Savior?


I. The Response of the Pharisees (Mark 3:2, 4-6)

QUESTION - Does it seem likely that the Pharisees knew of the plight of this man? As the religious leaders of the day, did they demonstrate any concern for his condition? Why or why not?

A. They did not care about the man.

1. How long had he been coming with this need?

2. They were upset to see his need met!

3. Had they cared, they would have brought him to Jesus, themselves!

(Contrast with the men in Mark 2:3)

4. Do you care?

QUESTION - What seems to have been the primary reason they were in the synagogue at this time?

B. They came to church (synagogue) to criticize.

1. Their whole purpose was to "watch" Him and "accuse" Him.

QUOTE (Ray Stedman) - " This evidently is a crucial moment in the ministry of Jesus, marking the climax of a growing hostility which you can trace through the questions asked by these Pharisees. The first one is rather mild: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" The second is a little more serious: "Why do John's disciples fast, and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" The third is even more crucial: "Why are you doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" The fourth brings before us the statement: "they watched him, ... so that they might accuse him." The hostility is sharpened, the synagogue door is closing to Jesus, and these men have now become his open and avowed enemies."

QUESTION - Is this attitude of "watching" and "accusing" present in our churches today? Examples?

2. Sadly, some are the same in our churches today, just looking for opportunities to criticize.

ILLUS. A minister was a candidate for the pulpit of a local church. When the votes were counted, it was almost unanimous, except for one vote. One gentleman stood to his feet as the results were read to proclaim the fact that he had cast the one dissenting vote, just because he wanted to make sure it wasn't unanimous.

QUESTION - What does the Bible teach us about criticism?

Eph 4:29 (KJV) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Eph 4:32 (KJV) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Gal 6:1 (KJV) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

QUESTION - What belief systems were in the hearts of these Pharisees that would have led to their critical attitude?

C. They were blinded by self-righteousness.

1. They believed they were good enough in themselves to please God.

Luke 18:11 (KJV) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

2. They were blinded to their (and our) true condition.

Isa 53:6 (KJV) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isa 64:6 (KJV) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Rom 3:10 (KJV) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Mat 5:20 (KJV) For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

QUESTION - Have you ever known someone like this?

D. They were maddened by hate.

QUESTION - Do some today respond to Christ with hatred? Examples?

ILLUS. Atheism - Madelyn Murray O'Hare

ILLUS. One who blames God for the difficulties and trials in his life.

E. Their response - GET RID OF HIM.

(Others have used this same response)

ILLUS. Felix - Acts 24:25 (KJV) And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

ILLUS. Young man who listened patiently to my presentation of the gospel in his home, was obviously and openly under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but decided to wait, saying, "I'll come and get saved in church this Sunday." He never showed, because in reality, he was just trying to get rid of the conviction he was feeling at that moment. He didn't really want to trust Christ.

II. The Response of the Crowds (Mark 3:7-10)

QUESTION - Why were the crowds there? What were they looking for?

A. They were impressed.

1. Lack of visible results is often discouraging to us.

2. People SEE the testimony of Christ, however, and cannot help but be impressed.

B. But, they were selfish.

C. They only saw the sensual.

D. Their response - USE HIM.

QUESTION - Do some today respond to Christ in the same way?

ILLUS. I once made a follow up call in the home of a family that had visited our church services the previous Sunday. They made it quite clear to me that the only way they would be interested in attending on a regular basis was if I never preached about what they should DO. They didn't like preaching that got at their lifestyle, only preaching that made them feel good. And they weren't afraid to say so, either.

III. The Response of the Demons (Mark 3:11-12)

QUESTION - What was the response of the demons, and what can we learn from it?

A. They fell down trembling before Him.

1. So should we.

2. So will everyone.

Phil 2:10-11 (KJV) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

B. They acknowledged Him, always.

"…when they saw Him…" (vs. 11) literally means "every time they saw Him…"

C. Their response - WORSHIP HIM.

1. We could learn a lot from demons!

2. How often do we truly WORSHIP Him?

IV. The Response of the Man in Need (Mark 3:1,3,5)

A. He had a need.

QUESTION - What was this man's primary need? (ANSWER - Jesus Christ)

QUESTION - Was his need different from the needs of people today? How?

QUESTION - What was the first step in having his need fulfilled? (ANSWER - Recognizing that he had the need.)

QUESTION - Where did he seek help? Is there an application to us in this?

1. So do many, today.

2. It is VITAL that a person recognize their need before they can be helped.

QUOTE - "You can't get a person saved until you get them lost."

B. He sought help for that need in the synagogue (church).

1. Some seek help in the wrong places.

2. Many turn away from the church when they have a need.

3. This man went to the right place.

C. He sought help for his need from Jesus Christ.

1. Some seek help from the pastor. (But he can't really help you.)

2. Some seek help from a friend. (But they can't really help you.)

3. This man sought help from the only one who could really help - Christ.

D. His response - TRUST HIM.

1. He stood when Jesus told him to.

2. He did what Jesus told him to do. (I.e. He presented his area of need.)

3. He believed Jesus.

Heb 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Acts 16:31 (KJV) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

4. He was healed.

(So, too, will all be healed who respond in trust.)

V. The Response of the Disciples (Mark 3:1,3,5)

QUESTION - The disciples saw all of this. They saw the rage and intent of the Pharisees, the adulation of the crowds, the worship of the demons and the healing of the man. What was their response?

QUESTION - Is there an application to us?

A. They stayed close to Jesus. (Mark 3:7)

(When others turned against Him, they stayed close.)

B. They served Jesus. (Mark 3:9)

(That, no doubt, included work.)


Conclusion:

How have you responded to Jesus? Which group are you like?

 

"Jesus is standing on trial still
You can be false to Him if you will,
You can be faithful thru good or ill:
What will you do with Jesus?

 

Will you evade Him as Pilate tried?
Or will you choose Him, whate'er betide?
Vainly you struggle from Him to hide:
What will you do with Jesus?

 

Will you, like Peter, your Lord deny?
Or will you scorn from His foes to fly,
Daring for Jesus to live or die?
What will you do with Jesus?

 

What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking,
What will He do with me?"


Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1997 William E. Johnson.