Old Testament Reading – Deuteronomy 5:1-22
New Testament Reading – Galatians 3:1-14, 19-25
The Suffering Savior
“From Compassion to Passion”
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
Jesus began His earthly ministry in an area of Israel known as Galilee. The first words Jesus preached are recorded in Mark 1:15, where He said, “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
- If Jesus said the Kingdom of God had come 2000 years ago, we are certainly much closer to that reality today than ever.
- However, according to a recent study, most Christians today have never heard of the rapture of the Church, the Tribulation, or the return of Jesus Christ, much less His reign upon this earth for 1,000 years as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
- If there ever was a time when believers needed to hear about our blessed hope, it is today, for the study of biblical prophecy puts today’s world events in the context of the historical timeline of God’s plan of redemption.
- The reason most Christians are fearful of the future is because their pastors have not adequately prepared them for it by the preaching of biblical prophecy.
Thousands of people followed Jesus every day – it was as though they had abandoned every other facet of their lives to be where Jesus was, to hear what Jesus said, and to see what Jesus was doing.
- However, when Jesus explained the demands of true discipleship, the crowds began to disperse.
- So, while the Galilean ministry revealed Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior sent from God, it also revealed the depth of sin in the hearts of men, for as it is today, the majority of those who heard the gospel walked away unchanged.
1. Jesus Revealed the Disciple’s Faith – Mark 6:30-44
When the disciples returned from their first evangelistic crusade, Jesus told them to go to a deserted place for rest.
- However, while Jesus and the disciples rowed the four miles across the Sea of Galilee, the mass of people walked the ten miles around the shore and greeted them on the other side.
- Mark said Jesus was “moved with compassion toward them,” but the disciples wanted to send them away to get something to eat.
- Jesus asked the crowd to sit in small groups. He then took a boy’s lunch of five pieces of bread and two small fish, prayed over it, and began handing it to the disciples to give to the people.
- Not only did the food multiply enough from Jesus’ hands to feed 5,000 men and their families, there was enough for the disciples to fill their own baskets.
2. Jesus Revealed the Disciple’s Fear – Mark 6:45-52
- After the feeding, Jesus made the disciples return to the boat and sail for Bethsaida while He went to the mountain to pray.
- During the 4th watch of the night (3:00 AM to 6:00 AM), a storm arose on the sea, and the disciples thought they would die.
- The “man” they saw walking on water was Jesus, and when He stepped into the boat, not only did the winds cease, but they were immediately at the shore of Bethsaida.
- Rowing against the wind was to illustrate the difficulties the disciples would face in the future, and their fear revealed the shallowness of their faith to face such resistance to their mission.
- Jesus knew the day was near when the disciples would have to carry out their mission without His physical presence, and He was preparing them for that day.
- In feeding the 5,000, the disciples saw the evidence of God’s provision and God’s power, and had their hearts not still been hardened, they could have seen the evidence of God’s presence in the 12 baskets of food they had taken with them.
- The prophetic picture is clear. The very moment when it seems the Church has lost its fight against the sinful world, Jesus will appear in the clouds, and in the twinkling of an eye, we will be transported to the very shores of heaven.
3. Jesus Revealed the Disciple’s Values – Mark 7:1-37
Jesus continued to show compassion to the people, but He also had to contend with the Jewish Religious Leaders. Mark said Jesus used three events to confront and correct their views regarding three areas.
- Jesus corrected their view of God’s religion.
- It’s not based upon man’s rules or traditions but rather upon a man’s obedience to God’s commandments.
- It’s not based upon man’s outward actions but rather upon his inward convictions.
- It is not based on man’s promises but rather upon his obedience to God’s plan.
- Jesus corrected their view of man’s problem with sin.
- It’s not the things of the world that defile a man; the evil originates in his own heart.
- Jesus corrected their view of God’s kingdom.
- It’s not limited by geography
- It’s not limited by theology
- It’s not limited by chronology
4. Jesus Revealed the Disciple’s Vision – Mark 8:1-26
Jesus used the Pharisee’s request for a sign to illustrate those who are spiritually blind.
- The Pharisees were blinded by envy, jealousy, pride, and tradition.
- Jesus told the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of King Herod.
- The disciple’s thought Jesus was angry with them because they only had one loaf of bread.
- Jesus was concerned about their lack of faith and understanding in His ability to provide all the bread they could ever need.
5. Jesus revealed the Disciple’s Decision – Mark 8:27-38
Back at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus called His disciples to reveal their personal understanding of Him and His mission, and Peter made the first confession of faith when he said, “Thou art the Christ!” – (The Messiah)
- Jesus told His disciples about His suffering, His death, and His resurrection, but Peter rejected the idea that Jesus had to die.
- Jesus rebuked Peter for his lack of understanding of God’s plan of redemption, and then He called each of them to: “Deny himself; take up his cross daily, and follow Me!”
- Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a high mountain, where He was transfigured before them, along with Moses and Elijah.
- “Transfigured” means to change from the inside out.
- Jesus was “glorified” in that He became, on the outside, what He already was on the inside.
- Peter misunderstood the meaning behind the miracle and had to be reminded a second time of the Lord’s destiny in Jerusalem.
6. Jesus revealed His Destination – Mark 10:1-52
Jesus used His final days of public ministry to reveal the purpose and intent of His coming to earth, for as He revealed Himself unto man, man’s heart was being revealed unto himself and to God.
- Jesus used the issue of divorce to reveal the hardness of man’s heart that leads to destruction.
- Jesus used the issue of riches and wealth to reveal the heaviness of man’s heart that leads to frustration.
- Jesus used the interruption of a little child to reveal the holiness of the man’s heart that would live in the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus used James and John’s request to show the selfishness of man’s heart, even about heaven!
- Jesus used the healing of a blind man to reveal the happiness of a man’s heart who recognizes Jesus as Messiah: The Savior sent from God.
- Those fascinated by the life-changing power of the gospel want to hear everything there is to know about the Lord.
- Those frightened by the power of the gospel to change a life turn their ears away from hearing it, lest they become convicted of their sins and are challenged to repent.