"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 46

Why Do You Seek?

Read: Mark 12:13-34

Text: (Mark 12:28 KJV) And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

Theme: You need to examine your motives in seeking Christ, for only ONE motivation gains entrance to the kingdom.


    1. The Christian and government - cf. Romans 13:1f
    2. The reality of the resurrection
    3. The greatest commandment -

I. The Pharisees sought only to discredit Him.

A. They thought they had Him in a dilemma.

(Describe the Pharisees, Herodians, and the consequences of His answer.)

QUESTION - Are there Pharisees today? Examples?

B. Their MOTIVE in asking, was to discredit Him.

1. Many today strive to discredit Christ.

QUESTION - Examples?

2. Even some Christians!

QUESTION - Examples?

II. The Sadducees sought only to ridicule Him.

A. Describe Sadducees:

Intelligentsia, aristocrats, didn't believe in the supernatural, angels, or the resurrection. (That's why they were SAD U SEE!)

QUESTION - Are there Sadducees today? Examples?

B. Thought they had an unanswerable question.

ILLUS. Weird questions people ask which they think are unanswerable such as "If God can do anything, can He make a rock so big He cannot lift it?" or "Where did Cain get his wife?"

DESCRIBE their question - Levirate law.

DESCRIBE Jesus' answer regarding marriage in heaven.

DESCRIBE Jesus' answer regarding resurrection (tenses - Abraham and Isaac and Jacob were STILL ALIVE when God made this statement to Moses!)

C. Their MOTIVE in asking was to ridicule.

III. The Scribe sought only to understand Him.

A. Initially, he also sought to discredit.

(Mat 22:34-35 KJV) But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

B. There was also a genuine desire to understand, however. (vs. 34)

QUESTION - Something made his motive change. What might that have been?

ILLUS. Thief on the cross - one moment railing, next repenting.

C. Jesus said he was CLOSE, but no IN!

ILLUS. Rich young ruler - Mark 10:17-22

ILLUS. Felix - Acts 24:24-25

(Acts 24:24-25 KJV) And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 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. Agrippa - Acts 26:27-28

(Acts 26:228 KJV) King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

D. He needed to RECEIVE as well as BELIEVE.

(John 1:12 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

E. Many today seek ONLY to understand, but not receive.

1. True of the lost.

QUESTION - Examples?

2. Sometimes even true of the saved!

QUESTION - Examples?


ILLUS. Madelyn Murray O'Hare.

ILLUS. Ted Turner

ILLUS. Judas, the man who kissed the door to heaven and went to hell!

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1998 William E. Johnson.