Jesus Calls All

Jesus Calls All

Mark 1:14-28: Jesus starts his public ministry with a call to all, nabs his 1st followers,  then preaches amazingly while casting out a demon from a heckler.

All the info, along with search words, are provided below.


The Call is to All
(Mark 1:14-28)

DISCLAIMER: No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, “I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter.” Please use these sermons as the Lord leads….

And now Jesus begins his public ministry. Notice the sequence of events. He gets baptized in obedience to God’s Word, he gets tested to prove he’s worthy.

Some of you may be wondering where you fit into this church? What plan has God for you in his kingdom expansion? “Will I be used?” you ask. Have you been baptized? It really starts there. That’s your first test of obedience.

Then, when you’ve done that, there will be a time of testing to prove that you can take the heat if you will. I tell those being baptized that after you’ve made your faith public, Satan is going to come in to try and compromise you. God will use it to test you.

After you pass the test, God will begin to use you in ways you will never expect. Now it’s time for Jesus to be used by God.

Mark 1:14 – After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.

In keeping with Mark’s newspaper account of Jesus’ life, he simply mentions that his ministry started after John the Baptizer was put in prison but gives no details about what happens.

Instead, we’ll have to wait until chapter 6 to get that story, but I’ll tell you this: John took a stand righteousness and paid a high price for it.

Mark also leaves out the entire first year of Jesus’ ministry, called The Year of Obscurity, to concentrate on the beginnings of Jesus’ ministry which happened about six months after his baptism. (But the Gospel of John fills those details in.)

Did you notice how Jesus waited until John the Baptizer was taken out of the picture? It may be that he didn’t want to compete with his friend. But, remember, John was the forerunner. He was the herald announcing that the King was coming.

When the King came, God took him out. That was John’s mission. After he completed it, his life was ended.

One of my heroes of the faith was a man of the 18th century named George Whitefield. He preached over 18,000 sermons in his lifetime, mostly in the open air, in the fields and primarily in America.

One time he came back to England from one of his American trips and was almost killed in his bed by some crooks when he was sleeping, but escaped in a nick of time. He said this— “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.”

John the Baptizer’s work was done. He completed the task. He finished his work. Jesus was now on the scene. And here was his message:

Mark 1:15 – “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

He preached this message inside and outside of Jewish synagogues, in the country on the outskirts of Galilee, far away from the religious center of Jerusalem.

This was the culmination of all the OT promises of the Messiah to come. This was the salvation people had looked forward to for thousands of years. Christ had come to destroy that serpent of old, Satan, and to conquer sin itself and the results of sin in peoples’ lives. The King had come to start his kingdom.

Is this message still relevant today? Is it too old-fashioned to say the words “Repent!” Or “Believe the Gospel”?

Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Have you declared with your mouth that Jesus is Lord? Do you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead?

Mark 1:16-18 – As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18At once they left their nets and followed him.

In reading Mark’s version you’d think that Jesus just wandered around and called Andrew and Peter randomly to follow him. But Jesus had known them for months before he called them. (Read about it in the first chapter of John. This is where Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter.)

Jesus’ call was a command, not a request. Rabbis would call their disciples to follow their rules and traditions, but Jesus called the disciples to follow him. Did they hesitate?

Charles Spurgeon: Should the reader be impressed with any duty while perusing these pages, let him be quick to fulfill it before the holy glow has departed from his soul, and let him leave his nets and all that he has rather than be found rebellious to the Master’s call. Act while opportunity and desire are working in happy partnership. Do not be caught in your own nets…go where glory calls you. His harvest will be a hundredfold, and his Master will have great honor.”

Their careers would change too, from catching fish to catching people. And so it goes on and on until today. All must fish. All must share Jesus. To answer Christ’s call is to not only follow him but to do the work of an evangelist. Why?

Romans 10:14-15 – How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

How active are you in sharing your faith? Do you know how to? The very simplest means to do so are with Gospel tracts.

Mark 1:19-20 – When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20Without delay, he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

James and John weren’t wimps. These were tough guys. Jesus later gave these guys the nickname “Sons of Thunder” because they wanted to call down fire from heaven in a village that didn’t welcome them. Tough guys follow Christ, too.

There’s a fascinating book called “Blood Covenant” by a former mafia member named Michael Francese. He was part of the Colombo crime family in New York until he gave his life to Christ. He thinks it’s a miracle that he’s still alive because when you become a “made man” you make a blood covenant that should you ever leave the Mafia, you get killed. This former tough guy is still alive and witnessing for Christ. Other books of his are “I’ll Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse.”

Has God called you to follow him? If you haven’t given your life to him yet, then he is indeed calling you now. What is holding you back? What are you afraid of losing?

When you do follow him you have to be willing to lose everything. Jesus himself said so.

Luke 9:24-25 – Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

World War 2 martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Maybe you’re already a Christian. Christ calls you to grow. Come close. Risk. What’s holding you back from growing? Can you hear his call? Don’t ignore it.

Oswald Chambers: “If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, “Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?” Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.”

Mark 1:21-23 – They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22The people were amazed at his teaching because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

Jesus and his newly called disciples then go to church. Well, not the church, the synagogue, a habit they would do every Sabbath Day, or Saturday.

Synagogue means “gathering” or “assembly” and was the center of Jewish life. It could be used as the local place of worship, or meeting hall or even a courtroom. Any place where there were at least 10 Jewish men, a synagogue could be formed. Inside, they would publicly read Scripture and explain it, and any qualified man could do so. A visiting Rabbi would also be offered this privilege and that’s why Jesus was able to teach there.

But Jesus’ teaching was different from the teachers of the Law who would endlessly recite the opinions of other teachers, talk about minutiae and who were very unclear and unfocused in their presentations. He taught the original material, his own. He didn’t offer interpretations of others, he spoke original truth with conviction and authority.

And the people were amazed. They were astonished. They were blown away. So, as they hung on every word from this very unique teacher what happened?

Mark 1:23-24 – Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

A demon gets exposed. Using a possessed man’s vocal cords, he cries out and disrupts the entire service.

In all the OT, there is only one instance of demon possession and that is in Genesis 6. In the Book of Acts, there are two accounts. But in the Gospels, there are many. Why?

When exposed to the Son of God in all his glory, they are revealed. Notice the demon asks, “Have you come to destroy us?” It’s as if he’s the spokesmen for demons everywhere.

And the demons recognize Jesus for who he is since they knew each person of the Trinity when they served in the presence of God before they rebelled and got thrown out of Heaven. (Isaiah 14-17; Ezek. 28:12-19)

Why was he afraid? He knew Jesus Christ’s purpose: 1 John 3:8 – The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

The demons knew that someday they would be thrown into the lake of fire, and thought that day had already come.

Mark 1:25-26 – “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

Jesus was not intimidated. He was calm in the presence of pure evil.

[Martin Luther story. Saw Satan and said, “Oh, it’s you.” And went back to bed.]

Jesus and his Apostles were the only ones who engaged in demonic exorcism. We are never called to do that. But how can we fight the devil in others? Through evangelism.

When we bring the Gospel to the unsaved and they repent and believe, they are washed clean, demons are evicted and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the new believer.

Here’s yet another reason to share our faith. How many do you know who are oppressed, possessed, or demonized? Who do you know who needs the Gospel? Now? What are you afraid of?

“…greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NASB)

Why’d he tell the demon to shut up? He didn’t want Satan’s minions to testify about him; that was reserved for the believers. That’s all those religious leaders would need to accuse Jesus again. “See? We told you Jesus was working with the power of Satan!”

And look how the demon still rebelled. Instead of coming right out, he protested by shaking the man violently and shrieking his objection. But there was no damage done to the man, Luke’s account says that: [“He] came out without injuring him.” (Luke 4:35)

What was the reaction of the synagogue-goers?

Mark 1:27-28  – The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

They may have been amazed by Jesus, but they certainly weren’t amazed enough to put their faith in him, despite the fact that the word spread about him. That city, Capernaum, ultimately rejected him, despite all the show of Jesus’ miracles, authoritative teaching, and his power.

Matthew 11:23 – And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.

We have a great responsibility: To preach the word. And there are only two times we should do it: in season and out of season. We know not what the outcome will be. We don’t need the ability to perform miracles, heal everyone, or cast out demons. We have everything we need already: The truth. We need to speak it out. We need to be bold. We need to be courageous.

The call is to all who are Christians, and to those who aren’t.

Only then, when we obey that call, will we see the Kingdom of God come in power when we preach with the authority that only comes from a strong walk with Christ. We can then be unashamed and unafraid to say, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

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Sermon Notes for reflection and discussion
Jesus Announces the Good News (Mark 14-15)

Mark 1:14 – After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.

  • What happened to John?
  • Why did Jesus wait until he was out of the picture?
  • Why did God take John out of the picture?

Mark 1:15 – “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

  • Why was this message of Jesus so important?
  • Is this message still relevant today?
  • Is it too old-fashioned to say words “Repent!” or “Believe the Gospel”?

Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

  • Have you declared with your mouth this truth?
  • Do you believe?

Jesus Calls His First Disciples (Mark 1:16-20)

Mark 1:16-18 – As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18At once they left their nets and followed him.

  • Were these men strangers to Jesus? How do you know? (See John 1:35-42)
  • What was the difference between Jesus’ call and the call the Rabbis made at the time?

Charles Spurgeon: “At once they left their nets and followed him.”
“Should the reader be impressed with any duty while perusing these pages, let him be quick to fulfill it before the holy glow has departed from his soul, and let him leave his nets and all that he has rather than be found rebellious to the Master’s call. Act while opportunity and desire are working in happy partnership. Do not be caught in your own nets…go where glory calls you. His harvest will be a hundredfold, and his Master will have great honor.”

  • What is God calling you to do?
  • Do you hear his call?
  • Is it too hard?

Romans 10:14-15 – How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

  • How active are you in sharing your faith?
  • Do you know how to share your faith?
  • What’s the simplest way to share your faith?

Mark 1:19-20 – When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20Without delay, he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

  • Has God called you to follow him? If you haven’t given your life to him yet, then he is indeed calling you now.
  • What is holding you back?
  • What are you afraid of losing?

When you do follow him you have to be willing to lose everything. Jesus himself said so.

Luke 9:24-25 – Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

  • What’s holding you back from growing?
  • Can you hear his call?

Oswald Chambers: “If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, “Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?” Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him.

Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit (Mark 1:21-28)

Mark 1:21-23—They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22The people were amazed at his teaching because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

  • What is a synagogue?
  • Why was Jesus allowed to speak?
  • What was so amazing about his speaking?

Mark 1:23-24 – Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

  • Why are there so many examples of demon possession in the Gospels?
  • Why was the demon afraid?
  • Are you afraid of Jesus? Why or why not?

Mark 1:25-26 – “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

Have you ever met someone who was demon possessed? What did you do?

  • Are we ever called to exorcise demons? Why or why not?
  • What is the best way to get a demon out of someone?
  • Have you felt the call to give the Gospel to someone? What happened?

When we bring the Gospel to the unsaved and they repent and believe, they are washed clean, demons are evicted and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the new believer.

  • What fears do you have about sharing Jesus with someone?

Mark 1:27-28 – The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

  • What is our greatest responsibility as believers in the world?
  • What will you do with this message?
  • Is it ever out of fashion to say/preach/proclaim these words? “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

MEMORY VERSE: Mark 1:15—“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

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