Mark 3:7-12
Responses To Jesus

Based on Mark Copelandís sermon

Mark and Matthew seem to go hand-in-hand to give us a good
description of the earthly life of Jesus.  Often, we can find the
same account in both books, only through a slightly different
perspective.

Here, Mark is summarizing Jesusí Galilean ministry.  In these verses,
Mark tells us that great groups of people followed Jesus, a fact that
the other gospel writers also give; but in these few verses, Mark
also divides the larger group into three smaller groups.
    a. \\#7,9\\ He speaks of Jesusí disciples.
    b. \\#8,10\\ He speaks of the needy who came to be helped.
    c. \\#11-12\\ And He speaks of those possessed with demons.

I wonder if these three groups do no give to us the three of the four
groups of people on the earth.  Letís consider them for a moment and
see.

I will begin with the only group that Mark does not mention.

    I. THE IGNORANT
        A. It makes sense that neither Mark nor any of the gospel
            writers would spend any time mentioning the people that
            did not know about Jesus.
            1. As they walked around the nation of Israel with Jesus,
                they likely did not find any.
            2. From the first miracle that Jesus performed, the word
                about Jesus spread like a hot fire through dry weeds.
        B. Yet, we must remember, there are great multitudes who have
            never even heard the name of Jesus Christ.
            1. Facts are hard to come by but I have estimates from
                2009.
            2. At that time, the world was thought to host 6.8
                billion souls.
            3. Of that number, it is estimated that 2.74 billion
                have never even heard of Jesus.
            4. That is roughly 1 out of 3 have never heard.
            5. We know how difficult it is to get people who have
                heard the gospel to respond.
                a. How impossible is it for those who have never
                    heard to be saved?
                b. It is utterly impossible!

Ro 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom
they have not believed? and how shall they
believe in him of whom they have not heard? and
how shall they hear without a preacher?

            6. Interestingly, 4.65 billion people live in what is
                referred to as the 10/40 Window.
                a. That is a rectangular area lying 10 degrees
                    latitude north of the equator to 40 degrees
                    latitude north of the equator starts on the east
                    side of Africa and goes to the west side of
                    China.
                b. Some of the least evangelized countries of the
                    world lie within that window.
                c. Some of those in that window are Islamic, Hindu,
                    animalistic, and Buddhists.
                d. Most of the people have never heard the news that
                    Jesus is Godís Son, that He died on the cross
                    for their sins, rose on the third day, and will
                    forgive sin if asked.
                e. Most of the groups of people in that window do not
                    a Bible in their language.
        C. It is a mind blowing that in the 2,000 years since died on
            the cross, 1/3 of the world does not know anything about
            Him.
        D. It is also interesting that of all of the people groups I
            will mention in this message, this is the easiest group
            to help.
            1. To get out of this group does not require salvation.
            2. It only requires knowledge.
            3. With knowledge, we do not move them into any kind of
                Christian group but we do move them out of the
                ignorant group.
        E. To eliminate this group, ChristiansÖ
            1. should pray for them.
            2. should send missionaries to them.
            3. should go ourselves.
        F. Letís talk about a different group of people, one
            described in the text.  Letís talk about the condemned.

   II. THE HOSTILE
        A. The hostile are headed to the same hell as the ignorant
            but for a totally different reason.
            1. They are going to hell because they chose to do so.
            2. They are not ignorant but willful.
            3. We might add that this group as they are presented in
                this account are not just willful but somewhat
                hostile.
        B. The hostile in this passage are represented by those
            possessed with unclean spirits.
            1. Unclean spirits were demons, who are probably fallen
                angels.
                a. Their hostility is not seen in their actions but
                    more in their history.
                b. There was a time when they served GodóJesus, but
                    then rebelled against Him.
            2. \\#11\\ You can see their knowledge of who Jesus is.
        C. This people group is unusual in that they were actually
            demon possessed.
            1. There is such a thing as demon possession today.
            2. How much control the demons had over their hosts and
                how much control the hosts had to accept Jesus as
                their Savior, I do not know.
            3. Most of the Bible accounts indicates that Jesus
                cast out demons before ever dealing with the person
                who was possessed.
            4. My own conclusion is that a person possessed with a
                demon is unsaved and so condemned.
            5. If I had an occasion to help someone I thought was
                demon possessed, I believe I would follow Jesusí
                strategy - Cast out the demon first, then attempt to
                win the host.
        D. However, letís look at this through a different window,
            the hostile and condemned group.
            1. There seems to be an increasing number in this camp.
                a. I have already mentioned the 1 out of 3 who are
                    condemned because they have never heard.
                b. We have no statistical information on the number of
                    those who have heard who Jesus is and who, with
                    hostilities, have chosen to stay condemned.
            2. What do we do for the hostile and condemned group?
                a. We need to understand their problem.

Romans 1:28  And even as they did not like to
retain God in their knowledge, God gave them
over to a reprobate mind, to do those things
which are not convenient;

                    (1) This passage comes from Romans 1 which
                         describe man spiritual and moral spiral
                         downward.
                         (a) The two do not have to go together.
                         (b) One can be lost and be very moral and
                              upright in their behavior.
                    (2) However, this passage does describe the
                         reason a person is part of this group.
                         (a) They do not want to retain God in their
                               mind.
                         (b) They do not want to think about Him,
                              what pleases Him, or what offends Him.
                         (c) I will tell you want is not likely to
                              help this kind of person, arguing with
                              him.
                b. We need to pray for them that God would soften
                    their hearts.
                c. We need to love them, telling them the truth as
                    God gives opportunity.
        E. There is something I need to say.
            1. Any person who has knowledge of Jesus and rejects has
                some things in common with the demons.
                a. Both are already condemned.
                b. Both are just waiting on their ultimate judgment
                    to be carried out.

Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not
condemned: but he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not
believed in the name of the only begotten
Son of God.

Mt 8:29  And, behold, they cried out, saying,
What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son
of God? art thou come hither to torment us
before the time?

            2. It is a sad but true fact: As there is one Lord and
                one salvation so there is one condemnation and one
                hell.

   II. THE CURIOUS
        A. It appears that most who followed Jesus fell into this
            category.
            1. It included those looking to be healed or somehow
                helped (probably a great number).
            2. There would be some who perhaps themselves did not
                need a miracle but wanted to see one none-the-less.
            3. And it included those who wanted to hear what Jesus
                had to say.
        B. Overall, this group had no commitment to Jesus.
            1. They were just there for the "Ifs."
                a. If there is a miracle, I want to see it.
                b. If He teaches something, I want to hear it.
                c. If the Romans come get Him, I want to know.
            2. These were those that John meant when he wrote.

John 2:24  But Jesus did not commit himself unto
them, because he knew all men,
25  And needed not that any should testify of
man: for he knew what was in man.

            3. And there were those who gradually quit on Jesus over
                a great variety of reasons.

John 6:66  From that time many of his disciples
went back, and walked no more with him.

        C. Interestingly, it seems like the largest group to follow
            Jesus today are also the curious.
            1. That would be those who visit churches, maybe even
                regularly, but never get saved.
            2. But overall, they are "tire kickers"; they never
                commit themselves to Jesus.
        D. What is our goal for the curious?
            1. We are always glad to have the curious.
                a. Iíd rather have a sinner in church hearing the
                    gospel than a sinner outside not hearing it.
                b. Our prayer and desire is that they would turn from
                     being the curious to Jesus.
            2. So we are going to:
                a. Pray that God saves the curious.
                b. Demonstrate as much love and kindness as possible
                    toward them.
        E. However, everyone needs to know that unless the curious
            turn to Jesus, there is really little difference in
            them and the other two groups.
            1. All are under the same condemnation and all are headed
                for the same hell.
            2. That might strike you as unfair but we remember that
                the reason a soul is condemned and damned is not his
                attitude while he rejects Jesus but the fact that he
                rejected Jesus.
            3. The blessed side of this is that there are some
                Christians with lousy attitudes who still get to go
                to heaven because they accepted Jesus.
            4. If attitudes counted, some might not make it; but the
                issue is always what have you done with Jesus.

   IV. THE COMMITTED
        A. The committed are represented by the disciples.
            1. Understand that you can be a disciple and not be
                committed.
            2. \\#John 6:66\\ Many disciples turned back.
            3. A disciples is a student or learn.
            4. One who is committed while he will still be learning
                will have also determined that he is not going to be
                stopped.
        B. A committed disciple is one who:
            1. These answered the call to salvation.
            2. Then they went beyond to answer the call to follow/
                obey Jesus.
            3. Then they went beyond to answer the call to serve
                Jesus.
            4. Then they went beyond to answer the call to both live
                and to die for Jesus.
        C. Of the four groups present on the day of Markís account,
            the smallest group would be the committed group.  There
            were more demon-possessed there than committed.

Dear friend, in which group would you place yourself in your response
to Jesus?
   a. You can not be in the ignorant group.  I have given you too
       much gospel.
   b. Are you among the committed - a faithful disciple of Jesus
       Christ?
   c. Are you among the curious - interested, but have not yet made
       the decision?
   d. Are you among the condemned - determined to resist God and
       refuse to follow Jesus?
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