Reaching out with power

Goldfish in Blender.jpg

A few years ago, the Trapholt Art Museum in Denmark drew notoriety when an artist displayed an exhibit of 10 blenders with goldfish in them sitting on an open display.  Visitors were invited to “interact” with the art.

As you can imagine, it didn’t take long before a couple of blenders became orange fish soup—someone had interacted.

Well animal rights groups sued the museum for animal cruelty. But the judge said the goldfish were killed instantly & humanely. So the exhibit was left up, but the blenders were unplugged.

In Mark’s Gospel, we see that life is a lot like those blenders—we can be going through life swimmingly, and all of sudden verse 26 says “the unclean spirit had torn him.” It ripped through the poor man.

And that’s often the way life feels in this fallen world. Like you’re living in a blender.  Just when you think you’re doing fine, watch out— you’re about to be pureed.

But Mark also shows us that Jesus willingly enters—into this blender, this sin-cursed world of danger & demons & disease, of fever & leprosy, of paralysis & withered hands, of blasphemy & deadly storms, of demon-possessed men & bleeding women & dead daughters. 

And that’s just the first five chapters.

Mark shows us we need Someone with power to come into this blender of life, where we’re as vulnerable & helpless as a goldfish.

Someone with power—to cast out, to heal, to pick up the pieces of our lives, and make us whole again.

Because of Christ's power, you can go through life with vigilant confidence.

 

reaching out with authority

Christ's teaching is authoritative, amazing, and alive (Mark 1:21-26). When we teach manmade traditions like the scribes we lose any authority and power.

 

Reaching Out by Fishing

 

This morning we celebrated baptisms, the Lord's Supper, and saw how we should be reaching out through fishing.

Wanting Great Kids

In Mark 20, we see the story of a mother who is unnamed, but we know by comparing the parallel passage in Mark, that this her name is Salome or Salomé—not to be confused with what my mom used to put in my sack lunch. And not to be confused with the daughter of Herodias who danced for the head of John the Baptist.

This Salome is not the dancing daughter. She’s the devoted mother.

Salome loves her children. She wants the best for her boys.

She married a successful small business owner, a well-to-do fisherman named Zebedee. But Salome wants even more for her boys. She wants her boys to be great. We see that…

1.    Many mothers want their sons to be treated like a king. (Matt. 20:20-23a)

20 Then came to Him (Jesus) the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons , worshipping [she kneels before] him and desiring a certain thing of him.

21 And He said unto her, “What wilt thou?” She saith unto Him, “Grant that these, my two sons, may sit— the one on Thy right hand, and the other on the left, in Thy kingdom.”

This is a mother who wants her boys to be great—who wants them to literally be treated like kings.

The person on a king’s right hand was 2nd in command of the kingdom. The one to his left was 3rd in command. The top spots in the kingdom.

Apparently James & John had told their mother about Jesus’ promise in 19:28.

28 And Jesus said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration [the new world] when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.”

Salome knew Jesus had made this promise. And she knew that her boys were especially close to Jesus. Wouldn’t you be proud if your sons were 2/3rds of Christ’s inner circle? Wouldn’t you be proud if you son was best friends with Jesus, like her son, John?

So let’s not be too quick to judge Salome. She wasn’t a bad mother.

She must have been a godly mother who’d raised these godly sons—the men who were closest to Jesus in the whole world.