What do you need to know about the end times? The day before Jesus was arrested He sat down with his inner circle and told them what to watch for that would be a sign of things to come. The message he shared that day is still important for us today as we see what we need to do in response to the end.
In Mark 12, Jesus gives the Jewish religious leaders a clear warning about their plan to kill the Son of God. He speaks to them out of the very Psalm they use for the passover so they can't miss it. In this message the characteristics of true grace are also outlined to counter the worldly concept of cheap grace. Proving even at the end God is still extending grace to the hard hearted. We conclude this message with a check of our own hearts.
Immediately after Jesus tells them that he is going to die in Jerusalem a third time, James and John ask if they can sit on His right and left. Talk about oblivious to the needs of others... Which gives Jesus a great opportunity to teach about the difference between the path of this World and the path of the Kingdom of God. They aren't just different, they are opposite. This message clarifies the differences.
This week in Mark, Jesus encounters the rich young ruler. The text says that Jesus loved him. In our culture we seem to think that love equals acceptance of everything. He loved him so much that he addressed the misunderstandings that he had about the gospel. He offers him the solution and an invitation to follow Him, but the rich young man goes away.
The heading in the Bible says "Teaching About Divorce" for Mark 10:1-12. But actually it was the Pharisees trying to get Jesus in trouble, the people wanting to know the acceptable conditions for divorce, and Jesus' reply that they are asking the wrong questions. The real equation is what did God design marriage to be and why? This isn't a complete study of every situation, rather it is an encouragement to pursue Biblical marriage.
A lot of people in our culture want to make Jesus into a blob of love and forgiveness. Of course those are part of His attributes, but He is also dead serious about sin. In this message he uses graphic language to express how serious he is about sin. He also clarifies what it looks like to be a follower of Christ every day.
Nobody likes to fail, but a failed attempt at something can be a great teacher. The disciples fail to cast out an unclean Spirit and it becomes a teaching opportunity for Jesus. He teaches them that their faith isn't in their ability to use thought format, but is in Christ and that some are only affected by preparedness in prayer. This message lays a foundation for being confident even in spiritual attacks.