Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19960228.htm
MARK: GOSPEL OF THE SERVICE OF CHRIST, GOD'S SERVANT
Part IV: The Need For Presenting God's Truth To Others On DIVINE SCHEDULE
Lesson: Because the Gospel saves the soul eternally, because its effects are so marvelous and because the spiritual darkness is so steep against unsaved people ever accepting it, in witnessing, we must follow God's schedule of WHAT to say, HOW to say it and WHEN lest we make the evangelizing process more difficult. The stakes are just too high for us to be insensitive on this issue!
- When one comes to faith in Christ, almost immediately there is a desire to evangelize family members and close friends with an exuberance unmatched in that person's previous experiences .
- However, one's well-meaning exuberance can do much harm in the Gospel presentation process as communicating the Gospel to the unsaved takes spiritual working of the Spirit of God to communicate through lots of excess baggage of years of misunderstandings and misconceptions on the part of the lost.
- The importance of staying on divine schedule regarding what we witness is clear from Mark 1:40-45!
- The Need For Presenting God's Truth To Others On DIVINE SCHEDULE, Mark 1:40-45.
- A man with leprosy was wonderfully cured by Jesus in Mark 1:40-42:
- The disease of leprosy was so disfiguring, so isolated were lepers from their family and associates in Israel and so incurable was it considered to be as a disease that it was dreaded among diseases in Jesus' day, Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 111; Z.P.E.B., v. Two, p. 138.
- Without being presumptuous, a man with the dreaded disease of leprosy came to Jesus, saying to Him, "If you are willing, you can make me clean," Mark 1:40.
- Jesus was filled with compassion for the man with this disease, and, reaching out his hand and touching him completely against the custom of that day in relating to a leper, he said, "I am willing. Be clean!"
- The man was instantly cured from this dreaded disease, an amazing feat to say the least, Mark 1:42.
- The tendency for the cured leper was understandably to broadcast abroad the glorious event! Every nerve in his being wanted to proclaim the great things that Jesus had done for him in releasing him from such a terrible affliction as l eprosy. However, Jesus knew it was better to hold to a DIVINE SCHEDULE:
- Jesus knew that were the man to broadcast His fame as a healer from leprosy, people might flock to Him as a faith healer rather than flock to Him in an understanding of His mission as the Messiah. Were that to happen, they would not b elieve on Him as Messiah and thus miss out on eternal salvation.
- Second, Jesus preferred that the man go the route of the Mosaic Law and be officially declared cleansed from his leprosy as a testimony to THE PRIESTS, Mark 1:45b.
- Jesus wanted the priests to make an honest, unbiased appraisal of the man's healed condition without knowing HOW he had come to be without leprosy.
- Were they to announce him cleansed, the priests would be left having to confirm that Jesus had performed a miracle based on their own diagnosis, further cornering them into accepting Him as the Messiah, Ibid., B.K.C., N.T., Ibid.
- However, were they to find out that Jesus had healed the man before they made their diagnosis, they could have fudged on explaining the man's condition to avoid admitting Jesus was the Messiah, Ibid.
- Accordingly, Jesus asked the man not to tell ANYONE about his healing but to obey Leviticus 14:2-31 and be cleared by the temple priests as to his being healed , Mark 1:44.
- As it turned out, the healed man's cleansing was too thrilling for him to stay self-controlled and he blurted out his condition to all around, making it hard for Jesus ' ministry outreach, Mark 1:45.
- Instead of going to the priests first, the man broadcast abroad the healing event, Mk. 1:45a.
- As a result, the outreach ministry of Jesus developed some obstacles:
- The priests were undoubtedly put on advance warning of the healing event so they could prepare to explain away the healing so as not to have to confirm Jesus' Messianic claims.
- Also, the Lord could no longer actually publicly enter the cities, but stay outside as people came out to see Him. That might have left some of the infirmed in the cities unable to meet with Christ, 45b. It probably also made it more tiresome for Him to move around from town to town in His ministry.