Making a Lasting Impact
Sermon summary by Sarah Martin
“Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.” Mark 3:7-12
The greatest story of all time is in motion throughout the world — the story of the kingdom of God. Whether or not unbelievers acknowledge it, Jesus has influenced every area of modern society; such as art, music, and education. Mark 3:7-12 paints a picture of a chaotic scene in which a frenzy of people with diseases crowd around Jesus in hope of receiving healing. This scene portrays how our churches should look today — rather than perfectly put together, they should be full of messy people who are in dire need of Jesus’ healing. Jesus is the remedy for every ailment of the human body and soul.
In verses 13-19 Jesus calls three types of people: The crowd, or listeners; The disciples, or learners; and The apostles, or sent ones. The members of the crowd who listened to the words of Jesus can be compared to church attendees who listen to the words of their Pastors about Jesus, but have not yet put them to action in their day to day lives. The disciples are those who have learned and applied Jesus’ words to their lives. The apostles are those who are sent by God on a mission, with a message. We are all called to get to this point in which we are sent by God to make a difference in our spheres of influence.
A way to test if we are making a lasting impact is through the influence we make in our communities. Influential leaders have a Paul, or a mentor who can disciple them in God’s word and show them how to apply it to their lives. Also, a Barnabas, or a peer to hold them accountable to God’s word. Lastly, they have a Timothy, or a spiritual son or daughter who they can disciple and lead by examples in their lives.
Whether or not we have all of these influential relationships in our communities, and whichever group we currently find ourselves in, it is the will of God that we progress from just listeners and learners to the ones sent on a mission with a message. That way we will all have a lasting impact on our communities and expand the kingdom of God on the earth.