Just a few short weeks ago we kicked off our new sermon series on the Gospel of Mark. As of this past Sunday we’ve been in Mark’s gospel account for 4 whole Sundays and we’ve made it almost to the half way point of chapter 1! (It looks like we may be here for a while.) But that’s okay, because Mark has been absolutely amazing.
Mark’s primary goal in what he is writing has been to introduce his readers, not just to information about Jesus, (as if we could reduce the Son of God to a simple data download). Rather Mark’s desire has been to introduce us to the real live flesh-and-blood person of Jesus.
As we continue to wade through chapter one, we also come to realize that Mark is pursuing this goal for a particular reason. In Mark’s mind, the entire concept of “discipleship” hinges on a person coming to know and submit to this person of Jesus Christ. In other words, Mark desires to introduce us to the person of Jesus because Mark believes that this is how you obey King Jesus’s command given to all believers to make disciples.
For Mark, you don’t make disciples by telling people to try harder. You don’t make disciples by giving people a code of conduct or a “checklist” to live up to. You don’t even make disciples by just gathering people into small groups to read books by Tim Keller or John Piper or “fill-in-the-blank-revered-spiritual-guru-person” and to “hold one other accountable”. For Mark, a disciple of Jesus makes other disciples of Jesus by continually pointing everyone we meet to the person of Jesus. This is the normal Christian life.
And yet for most of us, we already have a question that needs to be asked. Because even within solid, Bible-believing, Christ-exhalting Christian churches, we seem to live in a culture that no longer sees the call to “make disciples by introducing people to the person of Jesus” as normative. Instead, we view this as something that belongs to the realm of professional pastors, and missionaries. But it’s certainly not something that the normal church folk are expected to do.
Francis Chan with his trademark humor and laid back delivery is getting at something similar in this brief clip.
You know, I kind of wish I had found this clip a week ago. I would have totally
plagiarized, ripped off, borrowed, used with proper footnoting and complete works cited page in this past Sunday’s sermon. It’s pretty funny, or at least it would be…. if it weren’t so true.
So where do we go from here? How do we move from talking about the call to make disciples (in Greek no less) to actually doing it? And that is the question that we will pick up with our next entry.