Mark 1:14 – 34
Introducing the King
One of the major themes in Jesus’ life was “the kingdom of God.” It was His first sermon and the basis of everything He did.
I. The Kings’ argues His case.
A. There is a King.
1. This is not a matter of self government. (Jude 4 speaks of people who “deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” The word Sovereign means “absolute ruler.”
2. Jesus’ further words and actions will demonstrate that He is the King in the kingdom of God.
B. Because Jesus is the King we need to repent.
1. Wesley’s ideas
a. “And until we do so (repent), we can go no further. For, till we are sensible of our disease, it admits of no cure.”
b. Repentance is “a conviction of our utter sinfulness and guiltiness and helplessness; and which precedes our receiving the kingdom of God.”
c. “Repentance disclaims the very possibility of any other help; faith accepts all the help we stand in need of.”
2. Repentance involves changing the mind and changing the behavior.
“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” [Matthew 3:8]
3. Repentance is not “being sorry” it is being “in sorrow.”
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” [2 Corinthians 7:10]
C. We need to believe Jesus is King.
1. That’s the choice we are left with.
2. That’s the choice Jesus’ words and actions seek to impress.
II. The Kings’ authority to command our lives.
A. The claim: “Follow me.”
1. Following Jesus is the only way to become what we think we are (in our idealization).
2. Following Jesus is “absolute” in that it requires all our time, all our stuff, all our energy... [Ill. You are standing on a road and a truck is speeding toward you. Why do you move out of its way? Answer: because you believe.]
B. “Fishermen” become “fishers of men.”
1. Fishing is a very dark image in Scripture... the image is of judgement.
“The nations heard about him, and he was trapped in their pit. They led him with hooks to the land of Egypt. ...  With hooks they pulled him into a cage and brought him to the king of Babylon. They put him in prison, so his roar was heard no longer on the mountains of Israel.” [Ezekiel 19:4, 9]
“But I will put hooks in your jaws and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales. I will pull you out from among your streams, with all the fish sticking to your scales.” [Ezekiel 29:4 A prophecy of judgement against Egypt]
“The word of the LORD came to me:  "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him  and say: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.  I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.” [Ezekiel 38:1 – 4 A prophecy concerning a world war against Israel.]
“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?  You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler.  The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad.” [Habakkuk 1:13 – 15]
“The Sovereign LORD has sworn by his holiness: "The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks.” [Amos 4:2]
“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.  When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.  This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous  and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [MT 13:47 – 50 an image of the final judgement]
2. Please note, fishing is never good for the fish.
a. If the image of fishing is dark and painful judgement and fishing is never good for the fish...
b. Why do we apply this verse/idea to evangelism?
III. The Kings’s ability to create understanding.
A. The people were amazed... they knew something was different.
1. Understanding does not mean agreement!
“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.  They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.” [Luke 4:28 – 29]
“Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” [John 19:19]
2. Sometimes understand brings a violent reaction... the reaction of the demon possessed man.
B. They recognized the authority in Jesus’ teaching.
1. Authority carries the sense of ability/power.
[Ill. The police have the authority to do their work and they have been trained and equipped to with the ability to do their work.]
2. The people saw this was not just another teacher. This was someone who had the ability to command through relationship.
IV. The Kings’ absolute power over spiritual forces.
A. In spiritual confrontation Jesus’ practice was “total resistance,” “no grace, no possibility of reconciliation” [Leighton Ford, Transforming Leadership, 258, 270]
1. In other words, when it involved “loyalties, values, and beliefs” [Ford, 255] Jesus fought.
2. The King does not compromise and goes to battle when necessary.
a. His words and actions could be “violent.” [e.g. driving out demons, making a whip and driving out the merchants and money changers from the temple, and calling leadership ugly names like “white washed tombs filled with dead man’s bones.”
b. The “real” Jesus is far from the peace loving one that is often thought of in American Christianity.
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.  The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” [Revelation 19:11 – 15]
B. Notice the King provided freedom and release from the one held captive by the demon!
V. The King admits the hurting and helpless.
A. Jesus heals Peter’s mother in-law and others who were sick and demon possessed.
1. Life can hurt and be miserable... some of that is self-inflicted, some of it is imposed on us.
2. Here is another demonstration of Jesus’ power, but physical healing was only temporary (the people still, eventually, died).
B. King Jesus’ goal was not simply the hear and now physical relief. King Jesus’ real purpose was eternal.
1. Repent and believe... this is the gateway to the kingdom of God.
2. Accepting Jesus’ rule as your King... this is the daily walk in the kingdom of God.
3. Allowing King Jesus to “destroy the devil’s work” [1 John 3:8] and “demolish strongholds” [2 Corinthians 10:4] in your life... this it the freedom of the kingdom of God.