Jesus the Rescuing Teacher

jesus-authority-questioned-1138449-wallpaperI had the privilege of teaching this lesson earlier this week to my preschool teachers. I usually write before I teach but, this week has been quite busy. We are going on our annual Father-Son camp out. I am so excited for it. Anyway, with the preschool teachers, we are walking through the Gospel of Mark, the  40 Minute Precept study Jesus: Experiencing His Life and Ministry. You can read the previous lesson here. In the previous lesson, we learned about the beginning of Christ’s public ministry, how He began and continued to preach the Gospel message:

  • the time is now
  • the kingdom of heaven is available
  • repent
  • believe
  • follow Jesus
  • learn to make disciples

This lesson continues examining Jesus’ ministry as He preaches the Rescuing power of the Gospel.

I. Jesus the Rescuer

We began the lesson by finishing up Mark chapter 1. Jesus finishes teaching in the synagogue and moves to one of His disciple’s house. While there, the disciple’s mother-in-law is sick and in need of being released. Jesus heals her with His Word. She is immediately restored to health and able to serve Him and the disciples. Of course, along with the healing came the message of the Gospel, the outline that we saw earlier in this article. Word of the power of Christ spread and people from all around came to the disciple’s house to see Jesus. He took advantage of all of the hearers and began to teach the above outline of the Gospel. A patter begins here. Jesus rescues a person from a physical ailment to open the door to the spiritual rescue so that people are released to follow Him. The main problem that people have is their spiritual ailment. Because of original sin, we are all born enslaved to our sin nature and we are not free to follow Christ until He rescues us from our sin nature. This pattern continues until the end of Mark 1 and keeps on going in Mark 2. Jesus heals the ill and those with diseases. He casts out the demons that have enslaved people, again, a picture of the spiritual enslavement to sin nature. He heals a leper and a paralytic man. After healing the paralytic man, Jesus adds a new dimension to the message of the Gospel, forgiveness. So our new outline is as follows:

 

  • the time is now
  • the kingdom of heaven is available
  • repent
  • believe
  • forgiveness/release
  • follow Jesus
  • learn to make disciples

Jesus has become so popular that He and His disciples cannot enter into cities and towns anymore. He hangs out on the outskirts and the people flock to Him. When people are present, He continues to proclaim and teach the message of the Gospel. Many people are touched and impacted by the message of the Gospel.

 

II. Jesus the Teacher

As I mentioned earlier in the article, the main focus of Jesus’ ministry was to preach and teach the spiritual message of the Gospel so that people could be released from their sin nature to follow Him and serve. Jesus did not allow the demons to share the Truth about Him because their current state contradicted the message. They were still entrapped and entrapping others so that they could not follow Jesus. Jesus is over worked with getting the message out yet, He would not allow those who did not accept and live the message that He preached. Another important Truth that we see about Jesus is that He worked with the crowds and at the same time, He cared about the individual. He was so interested in preaching and teaching the message that He would work with people whom society had shunned, like a leper. He even called tax collectors to follow Him. Matthew the tax collector answered the call and became a disciple.

There was another group of people present for Jesus’ ministry. They were the religious elite. They should have been excited about what Jesus was doing because their job was to teach people the message of the releasing power of the Gospel. They were not doing it and they were jealous of Jesus. They did not see their need to repent and they were upset that so many people were repenting and being set free. In fact, their teachings had added more to the slavery to sin nature that people had. The next section will explain why they were so upset. All people, religious or not, are enslaved to sin nature and need to be set free. The crowds understood this easily. The religious elite were blinded to reality. They needed their minds and hearts changed and the message of the Gospel does this. They did not want to listen. In fact, they began to criticize Jesus. In fact, by the reaction of the people present, we learn that there are 3 responses to the Gospel message, responses that we true then and are still true today. There are those who hear and do not accept. In other words, they reject the message of the Gospel. Then there are those who hear and accept the message of the Gospel. Then, there are those who do not accept the Gospel because they do not feel that they need it. They do not see reality as it is. Repentance is a change from your own reality to reality as it is. The religious elite were comfortable with their own reality and did not want to see reality as it is. Which category are you in? Do you see reality as it is, that you are enslaved to your sin nature and that you need to be rescued? Or, are you comfortable with your own reality?

III. The impact of the Gospel

Man’s own reality vs. reality as it really is can be seen in the examples that Jesus uses at the end of Mark 2. The two examples that Jesus uses are:

  • unshrunk piece of cloth to patch an old garment
  • new wine in old wine skins

The people of Jesus’ day understood what He meant right away. Jesus was teaching a new way (new to what the scribes and Pharisees were teaching). Jesus’ “new” way was the way of the Gospel from the very beginning in Genesis 3. God had always intended to rescue people from their sin nature with the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The scribes and Pharisees had begun to teach their own way. So Jesus’ message was old yet new to the hearers. The same is true today. Many have concocted their own way to try and be rescued. None of them work. They are like putting an unshrunk cloth on a garment. The unshrunk patch will shrink and the small hole that was there will be made worse. When new wine is put in old wine skins, as the wine continues to ferment, the old, inflexible wine skin will rip and be destroyed, also spilling the new wine and wasting it. Any teaching that tries to provide rescue from sin nature other than the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will only make things worse. The people were enslaved to their sin nature and the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees was making it worse. We see this clearly in the teaching on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was instituted by God for the good of the people. The religious teachers had turned things around and made the people enslaved to the Sabbath. This is just a glimpse of the over all teaching of the scribes and the Pharisees, any teaching that claims rescue any other way than through the freeing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every thing in the Law that the scribes and Pharisees claimed to keep and teach pointed to Jesus Christ. They had missed the main point and turned the Law into a burden for the people. Jesus was fulfilling the Law in their presence. The ordinary people accepted it. The religious leaders could not stand it. They rejected the freedom offered by Christ and, tried to get others to reject that freedom as well.

What about you my dear friend, are you ready to accept the message of the Gospel of freedom? Do you see your need for rescue? Have you tried to create your own path to rescue, in essence, creating your own reality, blinding yourself to actual reality? Will you let the message of the Gospel of freedom reveal reality to you, change your mind, forgive you, and set you free from your sin nature so that you can follow Christ? May the Lord help us have our minds opened up to reality as it is so that we can be rescued by the power of Jesus Christ!

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6 comments on “Jesus the Rescuing Teacher

  1. Pingback: The unpardonable sin | Erik and Elena Brewer's Weblog

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