Good News: We have been given Jesus' power and authority
11th January 2015
Mark 6:1-13. Before Jesus sends the disciples out on their first mission trip, He warns them that some will misunderstand them and mock them, because they won't be able to see past their old lives as fisherman and tax collectors. We will face the same challenges when we follow Jesus, but we must remember who we are in Him.
Matthew 24. History is going somewhere! Jesus promised that one day He would return and that that day would be a great day of judgement, redemption and restoration. Matthew 24 gives us 10 things we should know while we wait.
Mark 4:35 - 5:43. Having used parables to reframe people's understanding and expectations of the Kingdom of God, Jesus now authenticates His identity as the Son of God in a series of events which illiustrate that while circumstances may sometimes appear to be beyond our control, when we bring them to Jesus He has authority to change them.
Mark 4:21-34. Continuing to explain the nature of the Kingdom of God through parables Jesus tells us that under the right circumstances the Kingdom will grow in a natual and organic way, and that while it may be tiny to begin with it will grow to encompass everything around it.
Good News: Despite appearances the Kingdom is coming
16th November 2014
Mark 4:1-20. The Kingdom of God deosn't seem to be coming in the way that people had anticipated - a sudden, obvious intervention by God to restore the nation of Israel and punish her enemies. So Jesus uses parables to explain that the Kingdom is coming, but in a different way. The parable of the sower explains that while many will not be interested and will fall away after hearing the Good News, some will receive it willingly and they will produce a wonderul harvest.
Mark 3:1-19. The Pharisees despair at Jesus' disregard for their Sabbath laws, but Jesus is restoring the Sabbath to what is was always meant to be - a day to be restored and recreated by God and a day to remember the freedom that He won for His people.
Mark 2:18-28 In answering criticism from the Pharisees about his breach of religious rules, Jesus gives clues about his identity that help explain why the old ways of doing things are no longer applicable.
Mark 1:29-45. The Jews realised that they lived in a broken world and that the signs of that brokenness - evil, sickness, guilt, division and separation - were all around. The heart of this brokenness is the broken relationship between God and humankind. When Jesus arrives to restore this broken relationship the 'symptoms' start to disappear as well.
Mark 1:14-28. Jesus announces that the Kingdom of God is coming and this is Good News because it is all about God coming to put right everything that has gone wrong with the world. He invites Simon to 'follow' and discover more about who Jesus is on the journey.
Some have argued that religion is the cause of conflict and that the world would be a more peaceful place without it. But while it is true that religion does create division that can lead to conflict, the message of Christianity is very different.
John 16. Jesus' teaching over the previous few chapters has been to keep them from 'going astray' when their world is rocked by his crucifixion. He gives them reference points with which they can make sense of what happens. The same referecne points can help us when our world is rocked by unexpected loss or tragedy.