"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 12

Association and Multiplication

Read: Mark 3:13-19

Text: Mark 3:14 (KJV) And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach…

Theme: Jesus ordained apostles for two reasons - association and multiplication, then provided them with the things necessary to do those two things.


Introduction:

QUESTION (Ask before reading scripture) - If you wanted to market a product to a particular target, how would you do it? What method(s) would you use? (Example - I have a small company that is involved in Internet consulting and web site development. If I want to reach the small business man, what method(s) would you recommend?)

QUESTION - Jesus needed to reach the world with His message. What method did He use? (Note, after discussing this question, READ the scripture, and ask the question again.)

ANSWER - According to the great little book, The Master Plan of Evangelism, by Robert E. Coleman, Jesus made use of 8 steps in reaching the world with His message: Selection, Association, Consecration, Impartation, Demonstration, Delegation, Supervision, and Reproduction. I believe that in our scripture for today, we learn that two of the most important of those 8 steps are Association and Reproduction (or as we will call it today, Association and Multiplication).

(READ and explain the theme.)

Some introductory thoughts about this call of the disciples:


I. Association

"… that they should be with Him…"

A. It was vital for them.

1. This was their training period for an incredible task.

Mark 16:15 (KJV) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

2 Pet 1:20 (KJV) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Mat 28:18-20 (KJV) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

QUESTION - With these monumental tasks ahead of them, why would something as simple as "association," or "spending time with Jesus" provide the equipping they needed to succeed?

2. Everything they needed for the job they got from "being with Him!"

Acts 4:13 (KJV) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

B. It is vital for us.

1. We need to associate with Jesus

Psa 73:28 (KJV) But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

John 15:4 (KJV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

James 4:8 (KJV) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

QUESTION - How do we do this?

QUESTION - Was the "association" which Jesus instituted here something more than just "spending time with Jesus?" What else might have been His intent?

2. We need to associate with other believers.

ILLUS. Timothy associated with Paul.

ILLUS. John Mark associated with Peter.

ILLUS. Elisha associated with Elijah

QUESTION - How do we do this today? What are some specific programs that our church has put into place to provide a means for believers to spend time together. (Be specific, right down to the level of our class.)

C. It was precious to them.

1. Think of the things they saw.

2. Think of the experiences they would have missed.

ILLUS. Thomas

D. It is precious to us.

QUESTION - Anybody care to share a personal testimony of how your "association" with Jesus, in a real and personal relationship, has made a difference in your life?

II. Multiplication

"… that He might send them forth to preach…"

A. Most churches work under the principle of addition.

1. Win somebody.

2. Win somebody else.

B. Multiplication was their goal.

1. Win somebody.

2. Teach them to win somebody.

3. Win somebody else.

4. Teach them to win somebody.

Mat 28:20 (KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

2 Tim 2:2 (KJV) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

QUESTION - What were the tools that Jesus told them to use in achieving "multiplication?"

C. Preaching and teaching were their tools.

QUESTION - How does this apply to you? (Be extremely specific with this discussion, perhaps even calling out certain individuals (both male and female), to discover how we as individuals can do this.)

D. Multiplication is what built the early church.

1. The apostles weren't the only ones preaching!

2. Everybody was preaching and teaching!

Acts 8:4 (KJV) Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (Cf. What had happened earlier - Acts 8:1 (KJV) And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.)

QUESTION - Do you suppose all these people who were "scattered everywhere preaching" were preaching and teaching in the sense we usually give to the term? (i.e. Were they involved in organized, public preaching services, or was there a broader meaning to the term "preaching and teaching?")

E. Multiplication is what is needed in today's church.

ILLUS. Extreme example: How many people would I win to the Lord if I determined to win 1 person a year for 30 years, and accomplished that goal? (ANSWER - 30). How many people could I win to the Lord in the same period of time, if I determined to win 1 person a year to the Lord AND teach that person to win 1 person a year to the Lord? (ANSWER - 536,870,912 - assuming each person did win 1 person to the Lord each year.)

ILLUS. Would you take a job that paid 1 cent on day one and the pay doubled every day for 30 days? (Last day's paycheck would be $ 5,368,709.12. Total earnings would be $10,737,418.23.) The power of multiplication

1. You need to be learning from somebody.

2. You need to be working on winning somebody.

3. You need to be teaching somebody to win somebody else!

III. Provision

A. He gave them a message.

Mat 28:20 (KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

B. We have the same message.

C. He gave them power.

Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

D. We have the same power.

Rom 1:16 (KJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


Conclusion:

Mark 3:14 (KJV) And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach…

Jesus ordained apostles for two reasons - association and multiplication, then provided them with the things necessary to do those two things.

You need to be associating and multiplying. Jesus has given you what you need, and given you the job. Are you associating with Jesus? Do you spend time with Him? Are you associating with other believers? Do you spend time with someone from whom you are learning? Do you spend time with someone whom you are teaching?

A great preacher once said, "It has yet to be seen what the Lord could do with one man totally sold out for God." If one woman, or one man would so get hold of the truth of association and multiplication, and would so impart that truth to the ones they disciple that they, too, would impart it to their disciples… the entire world would be won to Christ in a very short time.

Think how quickly we could win our hometown!


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