“More people, more like Jesus”

Our vision at Jubilee in its simplest form is represented by these five words! Last year we spent time on Sundays looking at God’s big picture and during advent we saw how that big Picture is most perfectly displayed in the incarnation. Jesus was born, the word became flesh, God fulfilled his prophetic promise to become Immanuel – God with us!

As we enter 2016 we are going to take time to look at what Jesus did when he grew up. We will be working through the first half of Mark’s gospel. The first (chronologically) and most succinct of the four gospels. Written by John Mark – a grace warrior by name and nature – but written from the authority and view point of that most impetuous of disciples – Simon Peter.

Marks style reflects Peter’s character. It is an adventure of grace with events condensed to bring the true dynamic of following Jesus in his earthly ministry. Everything seems to happen at once or immediately, with little time for pause or reflection. Yet in the midst of this roller coaster ride we find Jesus with time to spend time with his Father, time to be filled with the Spirit, and time to show compassion to those who are broken.

It is a gospel that is Christ centred, Kingdom focused and Community based. Jesus moves from one aspect of the kingdom to another and gathers disciples on the way. Jesus teaches the Kingdom, Jesus models the Kingdom and then Jesus sends his followers to see the Kingdom break out for themselves. There is nothing luke-warm about the faith of the Christ follower in this Gospel and it was written to encourage all communities of believers to pursue passion filled faith.

However, in the midst of the action we are reminded that God desires relationship above all else. Jesus call people to be with him before he asks them to do anything for him. The father reminds people of the identity of Christ – “this is my Son” – and defines his security  – “whom I love” – before sending him out to preach the Kingdom.

The prayer of Moses (Ex 33:15) is most perfectly fulfilled in the incarnation of Christ. It is the presence of God with his people which defines them. Everything they are called to do flows out of that presence in their midst. Hence, Mark encourages us to walk with Christ and as we spend time with him we will find that we become more like him.