A life fully according to and for God’s new testament economy. This matter of God’s new testament economy is somewhat unknown to many Christians. And then to look at the life that the Lord Jesus lived on this earth in the light of God’s economy is another kind of new consideration to most people…to most believers.
This matter of God’s economy is a very crucial matter. God’s economy is a very profound matter. According to the revelation of the Bible, God has an economy. He has a purpose…a plan…an administration in the universe to carry out something. And that something is to dispense Himself into all His chosen people. All those who believed into the Lord Jesus Christ.
God wants to dispense Himself into them. And even to constitute Himself into them the way our food is constituted into us and becomes a very part of our being…our physical being. God wants to dispense Himself into His people and to work Himself into them to become their very inward constitution.
God has only one desire and that is to dispense Himself into man so that He and man would become one in an organic way. The result of this dispensing is that all those who receive God’s dispensing become the members of the church. And the church is the Body of Christ. And the Body of Christ is the corporate expression of Christ.
So eventually, God’s economy is to produce an expression of Christ through the dispensing of Himself into His chosen people.
We need some sight…spiritual sight…to see what is here in Mark. Otherwise, what we can understand is that Mark is just a story book for the children before bed. We couldn’t see it is a book that gives us a biography of a life. A life that lives fully according to God’s new testament economy.
Actually, the life that is presented in Mark is the very substance…the pattern…of God’s new testament economy. The Lord has shown us that this very Jesus…He lived a life that is just the expression of God. In this book…Mark…you couldn’t see a person was keeping the law there. Neither Mark tells us that Jesus was doing good. No. What Jesus lived? He lived God! He expressed God. Whatever He did, that was God’s doing. That was God doing through Him. That was God doing from within Him.
Jesus didn’t keep the law; neither He broke the law. Jesus didn’t do anything good; nor He did something bad. He’s not in the kingdom of doing good or doing bad. Neither He is in the kingdom of keeping the law or breaking the law. He is in another kingdom. He is in the kingdom of God!
Perhaps we’ve all heard of the city Jerico. Actually, it was a city of curse in the time of the Lord Jesus. One of its inhabitants was a man of curse. His name was Zacchaeus, a tax collector. Actually, the chief tax collector and in reality an extortioner who had gotten rich by taking advantage of the inhabitants of the area.
One day as Jesus was passing through, Zacchaeus climbed into a tree hoping to get a look at the Savior. And as He came to the place, Jesus looking up He said to him, Zacchaeus hurry and come down for today I must stay in your house. And he hurried and came down and received Him…rejoicing. It was a marvelous day as salvation came to the house of Zacchaeus.
But the pharisees, the religious ones who watched it…who knew Zacchaeus and his past…did not share in the rejoicing. We’ll discover more about this marvelous story of salvation in the gospel of Luke in chapter 19.
Here is a mystery; Jesus as (1)The Sower. (2)The Seed. (3)And the Kingdom. All the three are just one wonderful all-inclusive Person. Mark chapter 4 is a definition of what He did in the preceding 3 chapters. After He live…moved…ministered…in the 3 chapters He jumped in the boat, and He gave them at least 2 or 3 parables. These parables indicate the very significance of what He did in the preceding 3 chapters.
Listen! Behold, the sower went out to sow. Whatever He did there, that was the sowing. A sowing of the seed. Apparently, He was a preacher because He preached the Gospel. Apparently, He was a teacher because He taught the Truth. Apparently, He was the one who cast out the demons and healed the sick…
But actually, whether the Preacher, the Teacher, the Caster, the Healer or the Cleanser…HE WAS THE SOWER! Consider a little bit. When the Lord Jesus touched Peter’s mother-in-law and healed her, do you think that’s all? I don’t believe so. That touching…that healing…was a sowing. Something of the Lord Himself was sown into that mother-in-law. There was the Reality.
When He touched the leper and cleansed him, don’t you believe something from the Cleanser has been sown into the cleansed one. And from the time they got healed, there was a change in their being. You see, Peter’s mother-in-law got healed…right away, she served. And the leper…right after being cleansed, he moved in a different way. And that indicated something got into them!
By the time Jesus was ready to begin His earthly ministry, a well established God-ordained religious system was firmly entrenched in the land of Palestine. But as the very God Himself who was the fulfillment and reality of all of the components of that established religion, you would think that He would have taken great care to approach the leaders of that religion and to bring them into His ministry. But the record of the New Testament reveals quite the opposite. The gospels, and particularly the gospel of Mark, reveal that Jesus showed no interest in maintaining the old religion with its traditions and rituals…even those that were among the ones that God had originally instituted such as the Sabbath.
Rather Jesus offended the religious community to the uttermost by breaking the Sabbath regulations repeatedly. It is apparent that the Lord cared more the relief of the suffering than He did the ritual of religion.
What a beautiful picture of the kind of salvation He is here to provide.