Mark 14:50-52 New King James Version (NKJV)
50 Then they all forsook Him and fled. 51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, 52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.
Let’s talk about this naked man.
This is the only gospel that records this man. This man followed Jesus, he was with Him when He was betrayed, but yet he fled away naked.
This is a third person narrative- as is a lot of scripture. John describes himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”
This naked man is only found here in the gospels. All Biblical scholars agree that this is John Mark, the writer of the book of Mark.
All fled from Jesus, as did Mark
Now I am not the smartest person in the world, but I am going to go out on a limb here and say he was afraid.
Fear is crippling. Fear will keep you from doing what you know you are called to do.
Fear is one of Satan’s biggest tools- if he can keep you fleeing from spiritual things, he has already won.
Fear is a spirit- the Bible says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear”
1 John 4:17-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
I will tell you I struggled with fear for a long time
I actually have a clinical diagnosis- I was diagnosed with a panic and anxiety disorder
Now, for something to be considered a disorder- it has to grossly affect your life.
Fear and panic GROSSLY affected my life. It kept me from people, from boldly speaking the Word and prophesying.
I had to come to terms with this- 1 John scripture and I had not been made perfect in God’s love- in short I said I trusted God, but I didn’t really trust Him.
“THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE”
These are strong words. IF you live in fear and allow it to dictate your life and motivate what you can/cannot do, if you allow fear to keep you from the spiritual things- church, the fellowship of the Body, Bible study, sorry folks FB is not life, it’s not real communication and fellowship
IF fear motivates you, YOU ARE NOT living in the love of God and faith in Him.
I had to look at myself clearly and truthfully-
I was not going to live with a label the rest of my life- I have been set free
When will you stop allowing what was done to YOU, to be bigger than what God can do for you and through you??
If you continue to operate in fear- it will hinder your walk with God and eventually put out your flame.
Revelation 21:7-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things,[a] and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,[b] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Skip ahead to the book of Acts- Paul, Barnabus and John Mark are a trio doing missionary work together as the Holy Spirit guides them into different cities.
BUT, John Mark left Paul and Barnabus to continue on their missionary journey without him and they encountered great opposition, Paul was viciously stoned and left for dead.
Mark escaped the troubles, but carried with him the shame of abandoning Paul and Barnabus.
Acts 15:36-40 New King James Version (NKJV)
36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” 37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.
Barnabus and Mark sail to Cyprus, the same route that they went before when Mark turned back. And the book of Acts goes silent about these two.
You are going to get a reputation for something- what is it?
EX: in HS, I was known as the party girl
reputation- a wide spread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic.
I am not talking about a rumor- a rumor is not founded in truth-
Do it once, it’s an accident, twice it’s starting a trend, three times is a habit
Mark’s reputation in Paul’s eyes was that he was a deserter. He operated in fear and was untrustworthy on the mission field.
YOU have a reputation among people- maybe even among different groups of people.
Paul told the Corinthian church, “it is reported commonly that there is fornication among you”
Are you a hot-head? People will know you by it. YOU are known by your actions.
Don’t judge- well the only people that say that aren’t living right. go head and judge me!
Proverbs 22:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
You will have a reputation among people- either for operating according to the Spirit or operating according to the flesh.
I will ask my kids what their view of someone is- kids are very honest.
1 Kings 22:1-28
King Ahab died in battle
Do you speak God’s word, or words people want to hear for fear of man?
Do you operate in love and kindness, or in a controlling and cruel manner?
Luke 6:43-44 New King James Version (NKJV)
43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.
Now, why would Barnabus want Mark, the deserter and Paul doesn’t?
Barnabus is Mark’s uncle. Mark is his sister’s son.
We often look past someone’s character because of our love for them.
Parents- we do this an awful lot with our own children.
1 Samuel 2 (do not need scripture- just talk about)
We see the best of them and look past some glaring faults.
There is a difference between judgment and discernment- we have to be able to discern people’s character. Barnabus saw his beloved nephew, instead of the weakness in Mark’s character.
It’s interesting that nothing else is recorded of them in Acts.
Don’t take someone who isn’t spiritually ready into battle.
See, Paul was radically saved. He was hard core for Jesus because he knew exactly what he had been saved from. I identify with Paul. I know what I have been saved from-
I was sexually immoral, a fornicator and an adulterer, I gave myself away to anyone and everyone. I manipulated and cheated, I was a drunkard and a druggie, I cursed God
BUT GOD saved me. HE delivered me. He redeemed me.
AND I take the things of God with the utmost seriousness.
I’m not taking you with me if you are not faithful to God.
If I see you operate in fear, if I see you rarely in the house of God, if you have a reputation for sinning and taking advantage of God’s people, causing division and creating chaos wherever you go-no matter how much I love you, I’m not trusting you to do ministry with me.
It is long years after that there is any mention of Mark.
Paul writes a letter to Timothy at the time of his second imprisonment, right at the end of his life
2 Timothy 4:7-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
9 Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
Redemption. Growth in Godly character. No fear, made perfect in love. USEFUL to the ministry. Author of the book of Mark.
How many lives have been changed by the Book of Mark?
There is one word that is used the most in the book of Mark, 42 times-
“Immediately” Straightway, at once. Mark went from fleeing away naked in fear INTO an attitude of “Immediately!” HE went from running from God, to a no-fear, “I must do it NOW!” for God
God is a NOW God- He doesn’t care about your past. He doesn’t care about your yesterday- He wants to make you USEFUL.
God is not done with you and He doesn’t want to leave you the way that you are!
God can change your reputation- if you let Him. He wants to make you useful to the ministry. He wants to use you. Will you get under the Potter’s hands?
Don’t count out people. Paul could have easily written Mark off forever- but he didn’t. He understood the power of the HS to change a life and so he watched and waited for Mark to be changed, and when he was spiritually prepared, Paul saw that Mark could be useful for the ministry.
Have you been a deserter? Do you operate in fear? Do you have a bad reputation?
YOU can still be useful for the Lord’s ministry!!
Are you available?
Isaiah 6:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Are you emptied?
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This weight includes fear!
Are you cleansed?
1 John 1:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2 Timothy 2:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
Are you willing??
1 Corinthians 9:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!