Jesus' Strategy for Effective Ministry
Let’s turn our Bibles to the Gospel of Mark, the gospel of Mark were going to be in chapter 1 and we are in the third sermon of the series entitled Amazed: The Amazing beauty of King Jesus. If your new here this morning we are certainly glad to have you. Let’s pray:
“Heavenly Father, cause us to know that this is your Holy Word. Cause us to respect it, enable us to receive it, and help us as we seek to apply the truths we will learn today, we ask all these things in the precious name of our Savior and Lord Jesus the Christ. Amen”
(Let’s Read together)
Now we are dealing quickly with these accounts because Mark deals rather quicly with these stories. He tells us about the temptation of Jesus but he doesn’t tell us what the temptation was. In Matthew you get a very detailed view of the temptations that happened to Christ in the wilderness, and how He overcame them. You have the same thing in the gospel of Luke. Mark, you get a very rapid comment on the temptation. The temptation of Jesus is then followed by the ministry of Jesus starting in Galillee.
Now many events, and much time has past since the temptation of Jesus and the beginning of his ministry. Then Mark records Jesus’ calling of the first 4 disciples, who were also called apostles. The question is “WHY DOES MARK PULL THESE THINGS TOGETHER LIKE HE DOES?” “WHY DOES HE WRITE BRIEF LITTLE STORIES ALMOST?”
The answer is that Mark is trying to paint a picture for us. We now know that JEsus is the new King, but He is not only the new King, He is the anointed One, the chosen One, the Messiah, the Savior God’s Son. This is His story, and as the story begins all Mark wants to do is get the groundwork laid down. The first important thing that happens to Christ is His baptism. We learned last week that this is His Crowning ceremony.
From Heaven, the Father says from Heaven this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. The Holy Spirit lands on Him in the form of a dove and fufills prophecy while doing all of this. What comes out of that moment where Jesus is publically crowned by God the Father from Heaven, is that Jesus not only comes saying He is a King, but He is given Heavenly authority. That’s what Mark wants us to see right away, In the 3 paragraphs that we read He demonstrates that authority over 3 realms.
Over Satan and His realm (Temptation)
Over sin and its power
Its important for us to know that if this new King is going to reign, if he is going to rule, and if the King is going to conquer sin, and Satan, and Sinners He has to demonstrate that He has the power to do all of that and that is what we see here. First His authority over Satan is made clear, then in His preaching His authority over sin is made clear because He preaches that if people will repent and believe people will be saved. Thirdly He can and He will overpower the souls of sinners, and that is shown in the fact that out of nowhere Jesus walks up to complete strangers and drops a command on them and they immediately obey even though would lose a lot!
So this is what’s happening here, but more than that Jesus also gives us a model for how ministry is to be done.
This is where many will tune out, because deep down in our hearts we don’t realize that God has called with a vibrant command to Go and make disciples of all nations. We think a minister is someone we pay, and not a command we obey. Jesus doesn’t call us to sit and soak and sour, and He doesn’t call us to point to a someone who is our paid help to help us accomplish the task! No you and I are both held individually responsible for whether or not we have obeyed the command of the Lord to share our faith, to love on people. So don’t tune out Jesus is about to show you a model for what ministry should look like.
If you wanna do ministry effectively heres the pattern.
Victory over Satan, A clear Message, Teamwork.
While there is so many people trying to teach ministers and church members how to minister in the name of the Lord, Jesus has already shown us what is effective right here in His word. This is the Lord’s strategy for ministry and these principles are eternal they never change. They are brief, but mark lays them out for us. What makes a successful ministry or church?
Sanctity of Soul
Selection of Servants
Mark lays these out in order for us here in His gospel and teaches us how to have a Christlike ministry. Now this is immediately after the baptism, the long awaited moment, Christ had been waiting for 30 years to kick off His ministry and He recieves the go ahead from His father in Heaven at the moment of that divine crowning from HIs father at HIs Baptism. Which is followed immediately by our Lords temptation by Satan in the wilderness the first thing I want us to realize is this. The moment you decide that you are no longer going to sit on the sideline, but are actually going to plug into ministry be ready for the attack of the enemy. So the moment comes, you have recieved a command from the Lord and you determine: “I am going to obey the commands of the Lord I am not going to sit back and be passive but I am going to share my faith, I am going to serve Christ’s church, I am going to serve the Lord and walk with Him daily..... boom things begin to get harder.
Satan launches an all out assault on Jesus at a time when He was weak in the flesh, and if you walk with Christ you will discover that the first step of faith is harder than any other step of faith simply because if Satan can derail you, he seeks to do it at the beginning. A student is not above His teacher, meaning that if you desire to learn from Jesus, serve Jesus and walk with Jesus, then you must be prepared to face the same things Jesus faced. RIDCULE, MOCKING, SCORN, HATEFUL PEOPLE, AND ALSO VARIOUS TEMPTATIONS along the way.
So we must see the first component of a Christlike ministry:
Sanctity of Soul
Sanctity of Soul
Sanctity of Soul
The Bible tells us that Jesus is able to identify with us because He was fully God but He was also fully man in every way.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
You do not serve a Lord who was not tempted like you are, because Jesus wrapped Himself in flesh and come as a man, He understands the temptations and the trials of this life, and He is able to sympathize with you, He knows how hard it is to be Holy in an unholy world. So the question becomes can Jesus overpower His archnemesis Satan, while in the flesh?
Can the Son of God go through the most enticing assault that Satan can devise, He will never be able to establish His kingdom if He cannot overthrow the glory stealer himself, if he cant conquer Satan, He must be able to crush the serpents head. HE HAS TO BE ABLE TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL. If He is going to establish his kingdom for satan at that time currently reigns and rules in the world. Jesus now faces a vicious onslought when He is at HIs very weakest, in the most isolated circumstance imaginable. He overpowers Satan and gives us a great example of doing kingdom work with a pure heart.
So His crowning moment has just happened at His baptism and you might expect something more heavenly like angels singing or something or you might expect some kind of celebration. But no; you can’t even catch your breath you go from the coronation to the temptation with nothing in between. He is lead into conflict with Satan, no time to think about what has just happened, no time to enjoy the words of HIs Father. Jesus is thrown into battle with the devil. That’s how verse 12 begins
Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
The bible tells us the Spirit leads Him out into the wilderness, He is filled with the Holy Spirit and is lead by the Holy Spirit. This is one key component for us to acknowledge in the life of the Lord, everything He did He was lead by the Holy Spirit. We should never think we are going to serve the Lord in ministry if we do not devote ourselves to seeking the Lord and being lead by HIs Holy Spirit. there are always things worthy to be done in ministry, but where the power is found is when you begin to ask the Lord to lead you by His Spirit. If you try to serve the Lord without asking Him to make it apparent where you are to go what you are to do… Then you are not serving the Lord in ministry you are serving yourself, or someone else. You must devote yourself to being lead by the Spirit of God....
Mark doesn’t tell us why the Holy Spirit impelled Him into the wilderness, But does
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Very strong words “Led” the word in the Greek is “”ekbalo” it means to throw out. The Holy Spirit literally threw Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, this is the will of God. Jesus is not resistant, or reluctant but the Holy Spirit is in control, the Holy Spirit who controls His life to the fufillment of God’s plan. God will allow His own to be tempted in order that through the victory over that temptation they will come to know the power of God and His word. Why the wilderness? Why would Satan attack JEsus in the wilderness?
Because Jesus is ot here away from everyone, away from everything, He has gone from the exalted highest moment, among the crowds surrounding John the Baptist, to absolute isolation. Why was the wilderness chosen? because He is going to have to handle Satan on His own. There is a time where you feel empowered by the Holy SPirit, you feel close to the Lord and then all of a sudden it will stop and temptation will come and you have to battle Him. It has been said you are what you are when no one is looking, this is true. (Mike) “How come every time I feel the rush of God blessing my ministry, why does it seem as though I fail so miserably right after?”
Nobody around Jesus no support system, nobody to help Him, no one to encourage Him.
And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.
Mark is explaining the region to us, He was with the wild beasts, He was all alone because people don't live where the wild beasts do. This is intended to describe the danger, but more than that Mark wanted us to know how isolated he was. there were lions, jackals, panthers, wild boar, and who knows what else, but this is not a place where people lived. This is an uninhabitable place, Luke tells us that Jesus went without food for the entire 40 days. He didn’t eat for forty day fast. He did eat for almost 6 weeks! Can you imagine?
40 days of being tempted by Satan 40 days, of isolation, 40 days without food, 40 days in a very dangerous place. So you have no support, no one to help, and He is at His lowest possible physical condition. Most scholars agree that Jesus’ physical strength would have extremely diminished the 2nd week. But he stays for 6. But if He is the King he has to be able to alone, at His weakest, to conquer the enemy. So the Holy Spirit throws Him into that conflict.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in His physical body- (turn this rock into bread)
The Bible records that He was tempted in His spiritual body- (prophetic fulfillment)
the Bible tells us He was tempted in His authority (“i’ll give you the kingdoms of the world..”)
Jesus fought back with the word of God! (preach)
Those are just the 3 we are told about here Mark doesn’t tell us specifics but he says that He was tempted the whole time, the whole time, all 40 days He was tempted, I am sure there might have been some more tricks that Satan tried to pull, but we don't know about it. In the end it was an attack on His kingship but in the beginning it was to cause Jesus to abandoned His humiliation.
Jesus fought back with Satan using the word of God, and the Bible says Satan fled from Him and the angels ministered to Him.
So Jesus shows us that He has the power even at His weakest to defeat Satan at his strongest.
But now He shows us that He has authority over sinners, to turn them into disciples and it all starts with defeating Satan.
EFFECTIVE MINISTRY IS DONE BY THOSE WHO TRIUMPH OVER TEMPTATION
We can defeat Satan’s temptation by pouring ourselves into the study of the Bible, and the memorizing of scriptures. Ministry is also the most powerful when our message is the most simple
The Simple Message of Jesus Christ
The Simple Message of Jesus Christ
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
He is saying if you will repent I will give you an eternal home in my kingdom if you repent and believe the gospel! The gospel is the good news that God forgives sinners and when we repent of our sin God the Father will adopt you into His everlasting family forever and ever. He says “the time is fufilled” what does He mean by that? The word time used here by Mark is the word “Kairos” it means awaited time, it speaks of the time appointed by God. Jesus says the time appointed by God to fufill His promises is now being fufilled! He says you have studied, you have heard there was a Messiah coming, and now is that time. God has promised a coming King well now is that time “THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND:” This would have been a shocking but simple message that every Jew would have understood.
Jesus gave them the good news of the gospel of God. the King the one who has come to set you free from sin and death is here, I am establishing my kingdom! HE also gave them instructions as to how to take part in His kingdom. REPENT, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!!
Nothing elaborate, just straightforward truth!
This is after JTB had been arrested, it was after this that Jesus came into Galilee. Here is whats important to you and me. Jesus came into Galilee, the outskirts of the big city, He remained in the countryside, in an area much like the one we live in. There were many shepherds and farmers, the common man and woman, just like you and me. Aren’t you glad that the Lord you serve isn’t high and mighty He doesn’t go to the elite first but instead starts with us the common men? That is amazing to me, though he is a King, he stoops to love us.
But not only was this a sign of the heart of our Lord, it was also a sign of how corrupt the religious had become, Jesus didn’t start with the religious leaders because the core had become so corrupt that He would have no part with them.
“ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
I tell you today church, you have to be careful, we have to be very careful not to be a heartless church. When I say heartless i don’t mean helping others, I mean having a heart that loves and longs for the presence of Jesus leading guiding and directing us. Let it not be said of us, that we have come to a place where we honor Jesus with our lips but our hearts care nothing of Him. This is why churches today are struggling, because they have had a difficult time for one reason or another, remaining in love with Jesus during the whole of their lives. They honor Him on Sundays and Wednesdays but do not want Him to interfere with the rest of the week unless they need something. So they greive the Holy Spirit and they don’t experience power like they did when they were first saved.
REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!
If your in here this morning and do not know God! REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST!
If your in here this morning and your mouth honors Him but your love for Him is dwindling, REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!
The Kingdom is here because the King is here!
Effective ministry is then marked by a simple proclamation of the good news! There doesn’Nott need to be anything elaborate in our ministry, just the simple truth of the gospel is what God expects and what God blesses. Preach the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
Selection of Servants
Selection of Servants
And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
Jesus comes to Galilee preaching and teaching and He is one day walking by the Sea and he looks out and sees Simon Peter and Andrew. Jesus found these men doing what they were good at, they were fishing, their entire life was wrapped up in fishing, if you were to mention these men in the community those around the village would have known them as “the fishermen’.
the “seas of Galilee” would have been more accurate to have been translated lake of Galilee, because it was not as massive as the sea, but instead was smaller. Notice then the radical call of Jesus in the next verse.
Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
This is a very radical concept The words “follow Me” ring out because they have several meanings. It is not just an action, it is a continual response. Like responding to a summons, but also actively pursuing a goal.
Jesus is asking them to walk away from the very thing these men found their entire lives wrapped up in, in order to come and find their identitiy in Him and His purposes.
there is no prior record that prove that these fishermen had any clue who Jesus was at this point. They were simply our fishing trying to make a living, and then up walks this man, this stranger gives them a command.
Jesus not only calls them, he tells them He is calling them for a particular mission.
AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISHERS OF MEN
This is the call of the Christian you were not call to salvation to do nothing with it, you were call out of darkness into the light of Jesus Christ that you would be fishers of men and women!
Notice thier radical obedience!
AT ONCE (IMMEDIATELY)
They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
They didn’t look at one another to see what someone else thought, they didn’t wait to see what the other was doing AT ONCE, as soon as they heard the call from Jesus they left everything to go with Him. Can you imagine? Jesus walks into your place of employment and says stop everything and come do this with me. Would you go? Would you check with your boss?
Would you call and tell your wife where you are going?
Sure we would, but these men did nothing, there must be something altogether different about the proximity of Jesus with these men. Hearing his voice plainly, they left all. Here is my question, have you followed Jesus and are you following Him with the entirety of your life?
Are you daily surrendering to His lordship?
Are you seeking His will daily?