16 October 2018

Mark 14
Psalm 116

Mark 14. Remember, from yesterday, the three questions Mark always wants us to ask:

Who is Jesus? …He is the Son of God – verse 36

What did He do? … He came to do the will of His Father – verse 36

What does it mean to follow Him?  … For us to watch and pray – verse 38

In this world of selfishness, self-sufficiency, ‘me, myself & I’ attitudes, this passage should be a massive rebuke to us. If we are honest (and we’d do well to stop and think about this), giving up our wills for others is not the first thing we do. We are too self-absorbed more often than not.

But Christian, if the Son of God gave Himself up to do His Father’s will … we, who claim to be His followers must surely then follow His example of humility and service – even to the point of death! Yet, like the first disciples, we fall asleep when we should be awake.

They had one job: ‘stay here and keep watch’  (verse 32, 34 and 38). They failed. And they failed again. And again! Our response as gospel readers today must be: ‘don’t be like the first disciples!’ Jesus warned them about falling into temptation and it is something we should take to heart as we are often prone to do exactly the same thing.

As a local church we are about knowing Christ and making Him known. We are, this year, about growing deep and loving deep.

These are no small things. They require great discipline. They require a deep commitment to be other-centred. It means that we must be awake and stay awake. We should always looking out for opportunities to do God’s will and, in the light of our mission (to make Christ known), to understand that without Christ, those we love dearly will end up in hell one day.

In the paragraph before and after this one we read how easy it can be to turn away. With the prediction that Peter will deny Jesus; so Jesus’ warning about falling into temptation is a real warning to us too. A warning that we must listen to and heed!

Our Father in heaven, forgive us for being so selfish sometimes. Please help us to understand Your will for our lives especially Lord, in terms of reaching others with the powerful Gospel of salvation. May Your will, Your purposes be fulfilled in our lives today and always. Amen.