Series: The Servant King
The Controversial King
February 09, 2020 | John Nix
Jesus began his ministry and experienced a meteoric rise in popularity that had gotten to the point that he could no longer openly enter a town (Mark 1:45). Capernaum was still experiencing the effect of the healings and exorcisms Jesus had performed days earlier, so when word spread that Jesus had returned home, people came from everywhere. The “whole city” had gathered at the door the last time Jesus was at the House of Simon and Andrew, so this time the crowd was over capacity. Mark tells us that a group of scribes has also joined the masses to see for themselves what all the fuss is about. When the crowds mentioned the scribes earlier (Mark 1:22), they were comparing the way Jesus taught with authority versus the way scribes would teach citing other sources and rabbis. Luke’s account of this event provides some additional details about the composition of the crowd. This throng included a group known as the Pharisees as well as teachers of the law in addition to the scribes. Presumably, these groups had come to investigate the news spreading like wildfire about this rabbi named Jesus and the phenomenal signs and wonders that were a part of his ministry–things never before seen. However, one should not be naive, this kind of popularity brings the masses, but it also brings the haters and the critics. If perception is reality, then The Servant King will soon be seen as a Controversial King at odds with the religious and political leaders of the day.
- What are the most important questions a thoughtful person should ask about life? Why?
- Is the gospel more valuable than health and wealth? Why or why not?
- How is faith in God’s ability to do something through us related to our persistence in getting it done? How do faith and works go together (James 2:14-20)?
- When you see someone who is crippled, starving, deformed, or poor, do you also think the person needs salvation? Why or why not?
- What does Jesus’ title “Son of Man,” say about His purpose? In Mark, he is the Son of Man who is serving (2:10; 2:28), is suffering (8:31; 9:9, 12; 10:33, 45; 14:21, 41), is coming in glory (8:38; 13:26; 14:62). In the Old Testament, the term is used in several different ways. In Psalm 144:3, it simply means “human being.” However, in Daniel 7:13-14, it refers to something very different.
- What is the difference between circumstances and needs? How can the church avoid getting caught up in addressing circumstances and focus on the true needs of people?
- Why did the people of Jesus’ day accept the healing of the paralytic as evidence that Jesus had forgiven his sins? Today, what serves as evidence of forgiveness?