Monthly Archives: April 2014

John 20.11-18

Title: Mary Magdalene

Text: John 20.11-1

Introduction: In an article Mindy Belz @ World Magazine – Dr. Jerry Umanos moved his family to the war-torn province of Lawndale, a suburb of Chicago. Lawndale was devastated by the riots of 1968 and never really fully recovered economically. He wanted a ministry that mattered. So he and his wife and their three children lived in this low-income area of the city. For 25 years Dr. Umanos served the less fortunate.

Seven years ago, he felt a calling to serve those who needed desperate help – the people of Kabul, Afghanistan. Many times, after putting in a long week in Chicago, he would board a plane and fly the 20+ hours to Kabul, where he would serve the needy. He would become so frustrated at the loss of a baby being born full-term, but dying from some preventable cause; Or a baby being born with some deformity. If only these women could get the prenatal vitamins these babies needed! As a pediatrician, he would care for the children. He said he wanted to go to Afghanistan because, “it was the most dangerous place to be born.”

Dr. Umanos would travel to Afghanistan and stay in the hospital’s guest house for visiting Doctors. He kept a stationary bike there to get exercise, because exercise outside of the hospital’s compound was just too dangerous. Dr. Umanos was a part of the missions team that traveled up into the surrounding mountains to help those who couldn’t travel to the city. In 2010, he helped supervise a group of medical teams doing mission work in the mountains. You probably remember the last team in that group being gunned down by members of the Taliban. Dr. Umanos lost some good friends that day. Namely, Dr. Tom Little, a missionary Doctor for 40 to Afghanistan. And yet, he continued to go.

This past week, Dr. Umanos and two other doctors were working there at the hospital in Kabul, when a police man, serving as their security guard, opened fire on them, killing all three.

Transition: This begs the question: Why? Why does someone like Dr. Umanos continue to go when he knows how dangerous it is? When he has known others there with him have been killed?

We begin a new sermon series this morning:

The Lord’s Prayer (January)

The Lord’s Passion culminating in the Resurrection last week (February-April)

The Lord’s Purpose – We’ll see the reason he came and the great commission he’s given us.

Luke 19.10: For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

John 20.21: As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.

We begin our study of the Lord’s Purpose in John 20.11 with a look at Mary. I think we’ll find some of the answers we’re looking for in this story; rd v 11; Mary

  1. Her distraught at the loss of Christ. (11-15)
  2. Her joy at finding him. (16-17)
  3. Her obedience in his orders to go and tell. (18)

To begin with, I’d like to look at what we know about her.

–       Because of her name.

–       Because of her place in Scripture.

–       Some fallacies passed down through time.

Look 1st at Her Name, as a way of introduction to this passage: rd v 11a;

Defined – Mary – lit.: maria; a derivative of Miriam, the sister of Moses.

Shared – there are 7 different women who share the name Mary, unless two references are the same woman. Let me list them for you quickly. This list will be posted on the website in the morning. Just go to the tab “The Pastor’s Teaching” under “The Pastor’s Heart”

  1. Mary – the mother of Jesus
  2. Mary – the mother of James and Joseph, one of the group at the cross and amongst the women who followed Jesus
  3. Mary – the wife of Clopas. She is often understood to be the same Mary as the mother of James and Joseph. (Jn 19.25) I think it’s highly possible that #2 & #3 are the same Mary.
  4. Mary – the mother of John Mark, in whose home the church at Jerusalem met. Acts 12.12
  5. Mary – a woman mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Romans (16).
  6. Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus; Mary of Bethany. John 11; She is often confused with Mary Madalene. Who is actually the 7th
  7. Mary Magdalene; What do we know about her?
    1. Magdalene refers to the village she was from; the town of Magdala which, according to the Talmud, lay about a twenty minutes’ walk from Tiberias on the west side of the Lake of Gennesaret, which we know as the Sea of Galilee. The city of Tiberias is actually mentioned 3x’s in John (6.1, 6.23; 21.1).
    2. She is listed 1st in every listing of the women disciples who followed Jesus (Matt. 27:55–56, 61; 28:1; Mark 15:40–41, 47; 16:1; Luke 8:2–3; 24:10). This gives her prominence amongst these ladies.

i.     We mostly only here about these women at the resurrection, but Luke lets us know that these women were with Christ throughout his ministry. Luke 8.1-3;

ii.     Jesus cast out 7 demons from Mary. Hence, her devotion to him.

iii.     Mary is listed among the women who supported Christ’s ministry out of their abundant means. So, she must have been wealthy.

  1. Question: Why the confusion between the two (Mary from Bethany & Mary from Magdala)?

i.     The related stories are from Luke 7.36-50 & John 12.1-7.

ii.     I think they’re two different stories.

  1. One is earlier in Jesus’ ministry and the other is in his last week.
  2. The woman, however, mentioned in Luke 7.36-50 isn’t given a name; She is probably mentioned in the subsequent chapter; 8.1-3; Mary of Bethany, according to John 12, performs a similar act of worship and devotion.
  3. The woman in Lk 7 is most probably known as a harlot. She finds forgiveness in this episode. Mary, on the hand, is acting out in a different manner.
  4. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala, not from Bethany.
  5. Summary:
    1. Two similar, and yet very different stories. These are not two different versions of the same story.
    2. Two different women, from different towns.
    3. Different reasons for their actions.
    4. Different Locations, Different times (early ministry/late ministry).
    5. It’s possible that Luke 7 represents a 3rd, unnamed woman, but the context of Luke 8, makes me think that Mary Magdalene is that woman. John, very clearly identifies the woman of John 12 as Martha and Lazarus’ sister.

Just a couple of other notes concerning Mary Magdalene:

  1. Mary is curiously absent from the rest of the NT:

i.     Even in Acts 1.14;

ii.     Of those who witnessed the resurrection in 1 Cor 15.

  1. Contrary to popular myth today, Mary was not married to Jesus. The Da Vinci Code and a recent ‘discovery’ of another gospel fragment implies that Jesus had a wife and at least one child. Simply put: that is heresy.

Let’s look at our text today and see what John tells us.

  1. Mary is distraught at the loss of Christ.

exp.: Rd Jn 20.11-15; Stop for a moment. Do you realize the state Mary is in? So distraught is she, that she is missing the angels and Christ standing before her. Here is a woman, who is once again so focused on her Lord that she’s not really seeing those around her – as spectacular as all of that is!

This has bothered me this week – this little part of the story has bothered me this week. It’s made me ask this question:

  1. Fred, what would you be like if someone took your Jesus away from you? Would you care? Would it turn your world upside down? I’m afraid of the real answer! I fear that there would be no difference.
  2. Can I ask you that question? What would you be like if someone took your Jesus away from you? Would you care? Would it turn your world upside down?
  3. Let me ask us another question: When was the last time you or I didn’t care what others thought about our devotion to Christ? For You: That your passion and your worship and your devotion was so great, that you’d risk everything to be at his feet? She thinks he’s dead – and still, the only place she wants to be is where he is! And here she is again, ready to pour out what she has on his dead body?
  4. When was the last time I was willing to be considered a fool for Christ? What happens to us ladies and gentlemen? Where does the reckless abandon go? A sinner in this world, someone who has been a harlot – scorned and made fun of in public, but used and abused in private – finds the forgiveness she’s needed. She doesn’t feel dirty anymore, because he’s considered her clean and pure. He doesn’t want her for selfish motives; Christ truly values her as a person. There’s something about a person who is first cleansed and saved! What happens to us, that we lose that? We get church broke and realize that we’re not supposed to act that way anymore! When was the last time I didn’t care what someone else thought of my foolishness for Christ? And when was the last time you didn’t care what others thought of your foolishness.
  1. Mary is overjoyed at finding Christ

exp.: Read v 16a; v 1 & v 11 are Μαρία; But v 16 is Μαριάμ! Rd v 16b; There he is! No one has taken him! He’s Alive! Rd v 17; Do not cling to me; 39x’s in the NT – almost all is the word touch. Sometimes, it is translated light – as in light a fire or light a lamp. In 1 Cor 7.1 – Now concerning marriage, this word is translated sexual relations. Paul uses the word touch or light a fire, a euphemism for the relationship between a man and a woman. At this moment, I think Jesus is saying to Mary – and to us, the relationship you’ve had with me as Master, Teacher, Rabboni and Disciple, learner, one who sits at my feet is going to be different from now on. Don’t cling to me… The relationship dynamic is changing. Christ has put into play a plan that includes the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He’s taught her and all of the disciples about this. We read of it in Jn 14-16; John 16.13 – Guide you in all truth. And then he gives her, her marching orders.

  1. Mary is obedient to the commission of Christ.

exp.: According to this passage and the 1st three Synoptic gospels, Mary is now…

  • The 1st commissioned evangelist. We see this specifically in v 18;

o   She went – the past tense of go; obedience; Matthew 28.10 Jesus tells her to ‘go’; she’s commissioned with a task; Go and tell;

o   She announced – ἀγγέλλω; This word appears only here in the NT; In the other scores of times it appears, it is usually in compound form; The most popular is Eu-angello; Good Message; The word from which we evangelism; The noun form of this word means ‘angel’ or ‘messenger’; Hense, the 1st evangelist;

o   What was her message? Rd v 18; This is what happened! He’s alive!

Transition: Mary’s commission has been no different than ours; Here we see three parts to our Great Commission:

1.  Go: we’ve been commanded to go. Mt 28.10 – go, v 19, having gone; ‘as you go’; You will be my witnesses

2.  Proclaim: Simply tell others what has happened to you. Tell them you met a man who changed your life!

3.  Responses: not only was she the 1st commissioned to go and tell, but Luke tells us that they thought it an idle tale, and they didn’t believe! Lk 24.10: Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 But… these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

– Rejection: Some will think your story is an idle tale.

– Acceptance: We see these folks eventually understood and believed. These people eventually did – once they had an opportunity to evaluate everything.

– The results are not up to you – only the going and telling part; only the obedience part.

Transition: Mary’s story is an incredible one. If she is the woman of Luke 7.36-50, then her story is one of beauty and forgiveness. Thank you Luke for sharing that part of the story. If not, we still know that Christ chose her to be the first one to see him and the first one to go and tell. All 4 gospels make that clear.

Conclusion:

Why did Christ pick Mary to be the 1st to fulfill his purpose? I wonder if it had anything to do with her personality – the part about not caring what others thought of her foolishness! I wonder if it was simply her love and devotion to him was so great, she’d risk everything?

It makes me think about Dr. Umanos, who died this past week in Afghanistan; who was risking it all, not caring about what others thought even 25 years ago. His passion and devotion for Christ moved his life.

 

So, what are some Observations & Implications:

  1. Sharing the Gospel is risky business. Here or around the world.
  2. Sharing the Gospel is not an option. It’s a command, in spite of the risks.
  3. Your life experience gives you a unique opportunity with certain people. Your testimony will connect with them. Mine won’t. That’s why you’ve been sent! How are you doing with that?
  4. What’s holding you back from, 1st – going and 2nd, sharing? You need to nail that down and repent of it this morning.
  5. When was the last time you were considered a fool for Christ? That your public behavior caused others to be uncomfortable? Maybe, just maybe, Christ chose Mary Magdalene to be his 1st evangelist because she was the one who more than anyone else, would take the risk! What are you and I willing to risk – not for them, for Christ – to tell them what they need to know?
  6. What are you waiting for?
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John 20.1-10

Title: What do you see?

Text: John 20.1-10

CIT: Mary, Peter and John saw the resurrection at different levels.

CIS: What level of ‘seeing’ do you observe Easter?

Introduction:

Psalm 22.1-18; This is simply amazing when one considers that it was written 1000 years before Christ and 300 years before crucifixion would be invented. This Crucifixion was…

  • An event that shook the world – literally, the earth shook. The veil of the Temple was torn in two and graves were opened. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Mt 27.51–54).
  • An event that shook the disciples. The last three years or more – gone, wasted with nothing to show for it. They sat in an upper room shamed and afraid, with nothing to think about but their desertion and denial.

Transition: and here is where we find them as the tomb is sealed and guarded. Here is where we find them as the lifeless body of Jesus lays on a cold slab in cave carved out of the rock. They are defeated and hopeless.

In John 20.1, John picks up the story. Rd 20.1; Mary appears to be the leader of these women who are followers of Christ. This current sermon series has been all about the characters we’ve met on the way to the Cross. And, I’ll follow up on that next week and in the weeks to come in May. However, today, I’d like to not focus so much on her story, but rather on this particular story: the story of the risen Christ.

The other gospels tell us of the other women who’ve come with her. It appears that John omits them, but not really; rd v 2; note the we. Surely he knew about them because he was familiar with the other gospels; they (the gospels) had been around for years – decades even.  There is Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mark tells us that Salome was also present. According to Matthew, she is the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John. Luke also includes another woman named Joanna. She was the wife of Chuza (Xouzas), the manager of Herod’s household. We know this because Luke tells us in 8.1-3: Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

Read John 20.1 again, while it was still dark. Very early in the morning, getting there while it’s dawn. She sees that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. This is the 1st of 4 times this word ‘saw’ will appear in our passage (1,5,6,8). What is interesting to note, is that it is a different word in the Greek 3 our 4 times: One word in English, three different words in the Greek. Here in v 1, the Gk word is βλέπω: and it means simple observation – seeing something. I share more on that later in this passage. Our focus for the moment is what these women saw: that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. The Gk word is αἴρω. In English, we use 5 words to translate it: had been taken away from. The English doesn’t do this word justice. We see this word used other times like in Matthew 4, where Jesus said:  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” Or,  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Or, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Or, Mark tells us: And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. John uses this word in Chapter 11 when Jesus tells the people to ‘take’ away the stone. Verse 41 says: So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

αἴρω:Stone lifted up and away; This adds to the intrigue of the stone being ‘rolled away’! It was rolled up and away. It was lifted up! These women saw the stone lifted up and moved out of the way. Sure, it was early, but they could see there were no soldiers and the stone was rolled up and away from the entrance. So they take off in the direction of the where the disciples are hiding out. Rd v 2; same word here – αἴρω; you could translate it: they have carried away the Lord. Rd v 3-4; This makes sense because of their ages. Hughes says that Linebackers like Peter are only good for the first 50 yards! I think it might be something to do with their ages! Consider running from here to Fresh or Stuart’s. Tyler Sarna and I race. Who are you gonna put your money on? The young man! Rd v 5; He stops, He stoops, He sees something. This is the 2nd time we see the “Saw” in this passage. Mary saw the stone rolled up and away. John now sees the linen clothes lying there, but he doesn’t go in. Smart kid.

This word ‘saw’ is the same word used in v 2 to describe Mary’s action. βλέπω: saw – simple observation – simply seeing something.

Ill.: Let me demonstrate it this way: You ‘saw’ βλέπω, many sights on your way to church this morning: buildings, cars, signs. Let’s pick cars. My guess is you saw a lot of cars on your way in; However, you probably can’t list a single liscense plate on any of those cars, other than your own.

App.: Mary and John have made a simple observation with their eyes.

But now Peter shows up; rd v 6-7; this is the 3rd time we see this word ‘saw’; this word is different than the other two. It’s the word: θεωρέω: lit.: to be a spectator; This is the word from which we get theater. I’ll never forget our Youth intern for the Summer named Wayne. I asked him his major and he said: Theater. Not Thee-ahter. This word means a much closer observation – to be attentive to what your observing.

Ill.: if you were paying attention to some liscence plates on the way into worship this morning, you might have noticed a personalized plate. XLR8 or maybe DR. DAN.

App.: Mary saw the stone rolled away. No mention of missing soldiers or the evidence that they had been there for the last three days. John saw linen cloths, but no mention of the other details. Like with Peter. Look at some observations he makes: 1st, the linen clothes lying there; 2nd, he sees the head cloth folded neatly by itself; This probably needs a little explanation:

History has taught us that the Egyptians embalmed their dead. And the Greeks and Romans cremated their dead. Ever seen Troy? Or some other epic where the Greek or Roman tradition was to build a platform, place two coins over the eye sockets and set the platform on fire? Sometimes you’ll see them do all the same, but in a boat and send it out to sea… Anyway, the Jewish custom of burial was very different. The dead were wrapped with spices tightly around the body, with the head being exposed. A turban was then placed around the head. Rd 11.44; What’s interesting to me about the original language here is that in v 7, the word ‘folded up’ is a participle. A participle usually shows action. Run vs. Running. This is a perfect passive ptc. Meaning, it’s in a present state because of a past action. Rodger Fredrickson states it this way in the Preacher’s Commentary on John: “Still in the folds” is the Greek phrase. Even the head cloths are separated from the rest of the garments. It is as if the dead one had simply stepped out into life. So, the grave cloths just went flat, with their original folds all still in place. But for some reason, Jesus (or maybe an angel), folds the turban that had covered his head. I don’t know this, but I would wager a guess that there is something in the tradition being spoken to us by the folded head turban. I could be wrong, just guessing. There’s probably something in the traditions of men that we don’t know about.

Ill.: Like: I can’t remember where I was, but I was dining once. I’m pretty sure I was a guest. Whoever was with me told me to take my cloth napkin and place it in my lap. That was a signal for the server that I was ready for dinner to begin. When I was done, I was to place my napkin on the plate, indicating that I was done. That’s what this says to me.  You thought the grave was the end, but no, now that I’m risen, I’m officially done.

But wait, there is still another ‘saw’ I want you to see. Rd v 8;

  • Βλέπω – simply seeing something
  • Θεωρέω – observing something with more detail
  • εἶδον: to see and understand; To percieve something when seeing it; To see something and become aware of it. He εἶδον and he believed. He percieved the body was gone by sight and believed it was raised and alive. The only reason the stone was rolled away was so that they would know!

Hughes has a comical explanation of how he pretends this is played out between Peter and John. Peter observes the tomb and it’s state. John observes and comprehends what has taken place. “Peter, don’t you see it? No one has done anything with the body. It’s gone right through the grave clothes! Jesus is risen! He’s risen! He’s alive! The only reason the stone is gone is so we can see that Jesus is gone. Praise God! Let’s go! Last one home washes the feet!”

He then finishes this portion of his sermon with a wonderful illustration, that I’m going to steal, because it’s just so good: R. W. Dale’s biographer tells us that the great British Congregational minister had long been a distinguished leader in Christendom and was well on in life when one day, while writing an Easter sermon:

The thought of the risen Lord broke in upon him as it had never done before. “Christ is alive,” I said to myself; “alive!” and then I paused—“alive!” and then I paused again; “alive!” Can that really be true? Living as really as I myself am? I got up and walked about repeating “Christ is living!” “Christ is living!”… It was to me a new discovery. I thought that all along I had believed it; but not until that moment did I feel sure about it. I then said, “My people shall know it; I shall preach about it again and again until they believe it as I do now.”… Then began the custom of singing in Carr’s Lane on every Sunday morning an Easter hymn.

I wonder if that’s what hit John like a breeze unexpected, blowing his hair and thin beard back! Wham! He’s risen! He’s alive!

Transition: Ladies and Gentlemen, He is Alive! He’s not dead, He’s Alive! I know you’ve heard that before. I know you’ve sung that before. But I wonder if you’ve ever really comprehended it – ever wrapped your intellect around that truth.

Today, how do you ‘see’ the resurrection?

Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior, Waiting the coming day, Jesus, my Lord.

  1. Is your attendance here today just that – attendance? Do you see the resurrection through simple observation? Oh, wow, there’s an empty tomb.

Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior, vainly the seal the dead, Jesus My Lord.

  1. Or, Is your perception, what you’re seeing of the resurrection more like you’re watching a Broadway play? You’re a spectator, taking in what you’re seeing?

Death cannot keeps it’s prey, Jesus my Savior, He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord.

  1. Or, Do you see and truly understand that a man was killed upon a cross. His heart stopped beating. His lungs stopped breathing. His lifeless body stopped moving. He was hastily prepared for burial and placed in a tomb and sealed in there with a giant boulder. Then,

Up from the Grave he arose. With a mighty Triumph o’re his foes. He arose a victor from the Dark domain and he lives forever with his saints to reign. He arose! He Arose! Hallelujah Christ Arose!

Christ the Lord is Risen today.

Observations & Implications: It all has to do with perspective…

  1. In the light of our momentary problems, God is still on his throne.
  2. In one moment the disciples went from doom and gloom to a thrill of joy. And that moment came in what they saw and how they saw it. Perspective: It changes everything.

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Genesis 25.19-34

Title: Esau & Jacob: A Microcosm of their story.

Text: Genesis 25.19-34

 

Introduction: Rd v 1: These are the generations of; 10x’s – 2.4; 6.9; 10.1; 11.10, 27; 25.12, 19; 36.1, 9; 37.2; A couple of notes:

  1. So, this story is a microcosm of the overall story of Jacob and Esau. What we see here is what we’ll see throughout Genesis as pertaining to these two.
  2. This story is not conventional. It doesn’t go along with what you and I think should be right. God does what he wants and it doesn’t always make human sense. So, don’t get mad! Don’t get upset at what you cannot understand.

 

Transition: Read v 19-20; Two main characters here: Isaac & Rebecca: Based on all that you know about Isaac and Rebecca, tell me your understanding of their personalities. Isaac is probably more reserved and Rebecca is more outgoing. Introverted vs. Extroverted; just curious, what about the couple represented here?

 

     1.   A Familiar Problem (19-23)

exp.: v 21; Barren;

  • Isaac’s Intercession; rd v 21a; Twenty Years! Rd v 26; Q.: Didn’t God promise? Why pray? Wait for responses. Al Mohler: Prayer doesn’t change God – prayer changes us. It moves us onto his agenda. James 5.16c;
  • Rebecca’s Pregnancy; rd 21b; God is gracious and grants his request; Q.: What if God hadn’t answered? He had divinely brought them together. He had divinely promised a lineage. What did they need to do? Trust! Q.: How do you see their trust? They didn’t take things into their own hands: no maidservant to bear a child.
  • The Twins Turmoil: A struggle ensues, giving us some insight, a foreshadowing if you will, of the events of their lives. This caused Rebecca great stress, both physically and emotionally. So, she does what her husband did! She prays and inquires of the Lord. God reveals his great purpose.
    1. There are two inside of her – not just one.
    2. Before they’re born, God tells her exactly what he is doing. He’s creating two nations.
    3. Before they’re born, God tells her that he has chosen the younger over the older. And the older will serve the younger; 2 Sam 8.14; Obadiah 18-21;

 

ill.: This is a theme in Genesis; Cain & Abel; Abraham was not the 1st born; Isaac was not the 1st born; Jacob isn’t either; Judah will be picked to line the Messiah – 4th in line;

app.: A Familiar Problem, but these two don’t take things into their own hands. Instead, they trust God and take it to him in prayer!

Transition:

     2.   A Theological Conundrum: Election (24-28)

exp.: rd 24-; The time comes for her delivery – for them to be born;

  1. Esau: rd v 25; red; 1 Samuel 16.12; 17.42; hairy; Esau sounds like hairy; he would be this way as a man;
  2. Jacob: rd v 26; it’s kind of like a picture of one pursuing the other; maybe, you might say he’s trying to trip him up; Do you have a footnote?

Do you realize that God chooses? Romans 9.10-18; Malachi 1.2-3; Why? That God’s purpose of election might continue. Semitic Comparison; Gen 29.30-31; Luke 14.26; The love of one is so great, it looks like hate in comparison. We actually see this in the next two verses; rd v 27-28; A quiet man; lit.: sound or solid. Hughes quotes: which Derek Kidner calls “the level-headed quality that made Jacob, at his best, toughly dependable, and at his worst, a formidably cool opponent.” Jacob was self-contained, conventional, and controlled.

Really, what is attractive about either one? Esau is impetuous and hasty. Jacob is devious and conniving. From earthly standards, yes, Esau would be more attractive than Jacob. But seriously, from a godly standpoint, aren’t they both poor choices?

Transition: This becomes even more obvious when you see the next story.

3.   An Example of how they lived their lives (29-34)

exp.: read v 29-34; Esau – impetuous and hasty; Jacob – devious and conniving; A quick search of these names in the NT and Esau is seen three times; Romans 9.10-13 (quoting Malachi); Hebrews 11 (in reference to Isaac’s faith) and then in Hebrews 12.16-17; sexually immoral or unholy; I don’t know if these go together or if unholy sits alone with like Esau.

Hughes, in quoting Thomas Carlyle writes:

He is the kind of man of whom we are in the habit of charitably saying that he is nobody’s enemy but his own. But, in truth, he is God’s enemy, because he wastes the splendid manhood which God has given him. Passionate, impatient, impulsive, incapable of looking before him, refusing to estimate the worth of anything which does not immediately appeal to his sense, preferring the animal over the spiritual, he is rightly called a “profane person.”

app.: Both men hold the characteristics of shallowness and of being self-serving. Nothing really attractive about either of them. And yet, God had a plan.

Transition: So, what will you take home with you tonight?

Observations & Implications:

  1.  God is Sovereign – we can’t think of his ways like our ways.

 

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