"How will you respond to Jesus?" This is the main question confronting anyone reading the book of Mark or hearing any presentation of the good news of Jesus Christ. It is also one of the key questions we must ask if we are going to tell others about Jesus. Too often we are afraid of the bluntness of this type of question, but the answer to this question makes the difference between life and death. We must not shrink back from asking the hard questions.
David Parker did such a great job posing this question to us this Sunday, and we must come to terms with it ourselves even as we pose it to others. He asked, from Mark 3:7-19, if you are responding like the crowds, like the demons, or like the twelve? While these groups all appear to have a correct understanding of Jesus on the surface, only one of them are truly the people of God.
As you seek to answer this question for yourself, and challenge others with the same realities, here are some key features of each group:
Excited about what they see Jesus doing
Expecting Jesus to fulfill their political hopes and dreams
Caught up in the hysteria of the moment
Looking to Jesus for what he can do for you, without love for him
Begrudgingly aware that Jesus is the Son of God and unhappily submitting to him
Waiting for Jesus to drop his punishment on you without hope of grace or redemption
Living under the delusion that you are in charge of your own destiny
The Twelve (The People of God)
Have a genuine with relationship with Jesus, living their lives "with" him (see Mark 3:14b)
Serve Christ and live as sent witness (see Mark 3:14c)
Remain faithful to Jesus (see Mark 3:19, cf. Acts 1:12-26)
How have you responded to Jesus? How will you respond to Jesus?
Let's not deceive ourselves or others. The only response of a true believer is the response of the twelve. Being a part of the crowd is not saving faith. Believing about Jesus like the demons is not saving faith (see James 2:19). Only truly following Christ as his people is saving faith.