The Priorities of Followers of Jesus
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I. Priority of: Spiritual healing via Teaching over Physical healing via Touching
7 But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. 9 So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. 10 For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.
II. Priority of: Personal acceptance over Popular acclaim (Psalm Sunday)
11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, "You are the Son of God."
12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.
III. Priority of: Disciples Preaching over exercising Power over demons
13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16 Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, "Sons of Thunder"; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.
Disciples need a Commitment to the: Person of Christ, People of Christ, Purpose of Christ, Plan of Christ, Power of Christ
IV. Priority of: Satisfying Spiritual Appetites over Physical Appetites
20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, "He is out of His mind."
IV. Priority of: Truth and Logic (overcoming jealousy, disunity, bad theology)
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebub," and, "By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons." 23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 "And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 "And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 "No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.
28 "Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 "but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation" 30 because they said, "He has an unclean spirit."
The Unpardonable sin: Attributing the message-authenticating work of the Holy Spirit to Satan (speaking against it) causes the hearer to reject the message of Truth, and leaves them standing outside the sphere of forgiveness.
V. Priority of: Doing the Will of God (pride - worth and value independent of God, from what others think of us)
(Mk 6:3Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? they were offended at Him)
31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You." 33 But He answered them, saying, "Who is My mother, or My brothers?" 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 "For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother."
Word (commands, principles, examples
Input (from authorities, experts, peers)
Logic (Life plan to glorify and love, Obey great commission, Grow in grace/reward, Increase usefulness and glory, Christlike)
Leading of HS (Not feeling, but conviction from prayerfully following the above first)
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Why did Jesus avoid the crowds seeking physical healing, and restrain the demons from “getting the message out”?
2. What are some of the dangers of following a “popular movement”? What are some safeguards to avoid displeasing God?
3. What expectations did Jesus have for His followers in NT times? How do those expectations differ for those who follow Him today?
4. How do other activities and relationships compete with having your relationship Christ as your top priority?
5. What are your priorities in doing God’s will this week? What will compete with what Christ would want you to do as you follow Him?