From the curious seeing Jesus as a commodity, to the committed seeing Jesus as Lord, we move to those who understand Jesus identity, those who comprehend his mission, but are unwilling to go along…the Condemned Followers (Mark 3:11-12) 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.
Three times to this point in Mark—the demons know Jesus identity calling him the “Holy One of God” the “Son of God” and finally without confusion, “You are the Son of God!” Yet instead of a following of commitment or even curios, we see a following of fear and opposition. A group in outright rebellion against God and yet in a foretaste of what is to come: we see Christ presence commands power over His enemy! The demons understood intellectually, had a great grasp of Jesus spiritually, but failed to commit tangibly—their very purpose was to destroy Jesus—and yet despite their effort, they were condemned…
Maybe we could call this a Myspace follower—people who stand against the gospel, they are still working, but have been made obsolete by a power and presence far greater than their own. Now that may sound debatable when you look at the world or read the latest headline, but it looked debatable when Jesus was arrested, beaten, crowns of thorns thrust upon his head, when he was so weak that he was unable to even carry his cross to Calvary, when he had his hands and feet nailed to the cross, certainly when it took every ounce of strength just to lift his body up enough to get the next breath, and certainly when Jesus took his last breath—but in giving up his body—he had a means of giving us new life. While the demons celebrated their victory, it was on the 3rd day where condemnation became resurrection…Where the sacrifice had been accepted.
While demons are condemned to defeat, what we find is Jesus doesn’t want anyone of His creations to be condemned or caught up in the same defeat. It was Jesus who came to the world, in order to fulfill God’s plan—that through belief (Christ like character and Christ-like service) would embrace an eternal victory! The battle lines have been drawn–I saw a church sign a few months back which captured the scene for many: “Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change themselves.”
Sometimes people are so close and yet so far away! Several years ago a man and his wife were found in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains frozen to death in their car. The blizzard had unexpectedly in March dumped a ton of snow in the area, burying their vehicle. As they sat trapped in their car, buried under the weight of snow and of what was coming the women scribbled a note on a piece of paper and stuffed it into the glove compartment. The note read: “I don’t want to die this way.” What she had no way of knowing inside the snow pile, was that less than six feet from what would be their icy grave was a stranded bus, whose festive passengers remained warm throughout the night. Today in the Word, October, 1990, p. 28.
Both the disciples and the demons wanted to change the world, but only one would commit to the King of all creation—both wanted victory, but only one went to the author of life. Remember, sin equals death by distancing us from the source of LIFE. So many people around us are trapped under the weight of their sin and regret, the pressure of trying to be good enough for long enough, many looking back on life and saying, “I don’t want to die this way!” when all along Jesus came saying “FOLLOW ME!”—-Today, are you willing to be led? Maybe the Spirit of God is leading you from just curious to a DTR moment—If you believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God—will you COMMIT to His Church—so You can Impact His World—Christ like character and Christ-like service— all in hopes of reaching those who are Condemned, not by God, but by those who were never willing to Follow Christ to the Cross! Instead of being defined by tweets and tumblers, pins and posts—lets be defined by prayer—let’s be defined by confession of sin—let’s be defined by Christ-like character and service! Jesus said it best: “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”