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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 044 - Immediately

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.

Mark 4:10

Somethings in life don’t need to be watch carefully. While I like watching football and golf on television, I rarely pay close attention. I’m usually reading, cooking, or ironing. Yes, you heard me correctly, I like to iron cloths, it relaxes me. More about this another time.

The reason I can just casually watch is because nothing, and I mean nothing, is ever just shown once. It’s shown from different angles, slow motion, and with color commentary. There is no way that I’ll ever miss anything. If I happen to miss it live, there’s always the replay.

And then there are other things that you watch like a hawk. What are the things that make you move immediately? And what are the things that you just sort of let happen?

When I make spaghetti sauce, I don’t have to keep an eye on it, or stand over it, watching it every single minute. There are two reasons for that; first is that it’s spaghetti sauce, and it takes a long time. The second reason is that I cook my sauce in the oven. By cooking it this way, low and slow, I don’t have to worry about the sauce burning on the bottom.

And then there’s cooking meat. I’m almost fanatical about not overcooking beef, pork, fish, or chicken breast. You’ll notice that I said almost fanatical, not quite there, but close.

I’m always, always, always watching meat cook. I’m always hovering around it while it’s on the heat. Always checking to make sure it’s browning on the bottom, not burning. Checking the temperature with a thermometer, making sure that I catch it just as it’s done. And when it hits that magic number, just the right temperature, I immediately go into action, taking it off the heat.

You might think that I’m a bit obsessive about this. And you might be right. But then you’re probably wondering what’s the reason for this. Well, my mom, who I love, overcooked EVERYTHING. And when I say everything, I mean everything. If the recipe for a cake said to cook it for 60 minutes, she thought that cooking it for 90 minutes was all the better. All her meat dishes were a burnt offering without any moisture in them at all. So yes, I immediately spring into action when meat is just done.

And the disciples immediately spring into action as soon as they’re alone with Jesus. They were quiet while they were in front of other people. But when they walked away from the crowds, when no one else could hear, they immediately started asking Jesus about the parables. They lost no time in pumping him for information and an explanation.

I wonder why they waited. Why not ask their questions in front of the crowd? After all, if they had questions, it stands to reason that people in the crowd had questions too. Why not get them out on the table so everyone could get the answer straight from Jesus instead of trying to figure it out on their own.

I’ll tell you why – because they were scared. Scared that they might be seen exactly for who they were; no better, no smarter, or no more spiritual than everyone else. Scared that they’d be found out as the imposters they were just under their thin skin.

But not only scared, but also proud. Proud because they wanted to keep up the false front that because they were close to Jesus that they had their spiritual stuff together. After all, they were known as Jesus’ disciples, so they must be more spiritual than faces in the crowd.

Sound like anyone you know? Anyone you live with? Anyone you sit near? Anyone you Zoom with? Or, perhaps more personal, someone that’s inside of you?

We all want to be seen as someone that we’re not. Someone better. Someone smarter. Someone wiser. Someone who’s got it all together.

Can I let you in on a little secret? But only if you promise not to spread it around? Are you ready?

That’s me, and that’s you. We’re all like that. In the words of Lord Grantham from Downton Abbey, “My dear fellow, we all have chapters we would rather keep unpublished[1].” We all have failures, weaknesses, disappointments that we try to keep to ourselves.

But that’s why Jesus came. He takes us right where we are; past and all, failures and all, brokenness and all. He doesn’t come to improve us, make us better. He comes to make us new. To totally remake us into his image.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Romans 8:29

That’s his goal for you and me, to be conformed to the image of his son. Now, let’s get going and immediately start moving with him in that direction.


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