Monthly Archives: November 2016

Isaiah 9:2-7

Title: The People who walked in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light!

Text: Isaiah 9.2-7

Introduction: Thank you Jason Hall for reading our text today; however, without context, it might not make a whole lot of sense. To be sure, you’ve probably heard this before.

Sing Handel’s Messiah.

You and I know this passage is of the Messiah. You and I know this is the passage about Jesus. But today, I’d like to give you the context for this passage. I’d like you to see and feel and hear what the people of Judah went through with Isaiah.

Our story takes place around 734 BC, when Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, cut off the Egyptians supply line to Israel and Syria (Israel, the Northern Kingdom and Syria, the country just to their north). In 734 BC, Israel is divided into two separate countries: the Southern kingdom of Judah and the Northern Kingdom called Israel. The Southern Kingdom consisted of two tribes: Judah and Benjamin. The Northern Kingdom was the other 10 tribes. By 733 BC Israel would lose much of her land (Megiddo, Galilee, the Transjordan). Their King would wise up and become a puppet king – but it only saved her for another decade. Syria would fall to Assyria the next year. For the next 10 years Israel (i.e.: northern kingdom) would go back and forth on their commitment to Assyria and in 722 BC – they would be annihilated. Assyria would send in people to settle the land and inter-marry with the Jews there. This land would be known as Samaria.

What you and I find truly sad, is that Isaiah gave them fair warning, but they wouldn’t listen. He will do the same for Judah, but they will not listen either. In another 100 years, Judah will begin its time in exile.

I wonder if people will look back at us in the decades to come and think similar thoughts that you’re having about the Northern and Southern Kingdoms? Why didn’t they listen? Why didn’t they listen?

Behold, Distress and Darkness

Ill.: At this time of year the sun goes down earlier and the night gets longer. When there is no moon out, it gets really dark. My brother-in-law was hunting out on the ranch this past week and shot a deer. It was wounded and so he had to track it. He called us up at the ranch house and asked for help. We went down to where he was to help track this wounded deer. I’m telling you, that when I pulled up and turned off the lights to the jeep – I was enveloped in a sea of darkness. My eyes adjusted to the stars, but all around me was pure darkness. And guess what? I didn’t bring a flashlight! I couldn’t even take a step without the light. It was just too dark. And with all the cacti and thorny mesquite, I didn’t want to take a step without some light.

This is where we find the people of Jerusalem and Judah in our text: 8.22 – 22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

How did they get here? We have to go back to chapter 7.1 and read through chapter 8 to get the context. Here’s how I’ve outlined it:

  1. A decision to be made.
  2. A sign to be offered.
  3. Ahaz rejects God. He chooses the King of Assyria over the King of Kings.
  4. God rejects Israel and Judah; but, a remnant will return
  5. The Promise of a Remnant

Transition: let’s begin with #1.

I.     A decision needs to be made as pressure mounts from outside forces (7.1-9)

exp.: rd 7.1-2; the story begins with these two countries to the north of Judah needing Judah to join forces with them to withstand Assyria’s aggression. They could all come together – but it would be of no use. Ahaz rejects Syria and Israel’s invitation and so they decided to attack him, defeat him and put another king on his throne – one who would be sympathetic to their cause.

exp.: in v3-9 Isaiah is sent to Ahaz to encourage him. God is on his side!

V7 says: These two kings’ plans will not stand!

8-9a say who these two kings are – they’re sons of kings. However, There is this idea that Ahaz is someone’s son, too. He’s the son of David – and as his heir, he’s been promised by God the protection he needs. Ahaz only needs to be faithful. He must believe God’s word and follow. That’s it – other wise; rd 9b. Their plans will not stand – but neither will you if you don’t stand in your faith.

t.s.: now, that is the 1st word of encouragement from Isaiah to Ahaz. But God is good. He’s really good. So, he sends Isaiah again with another word – a promise he wants to make. And that’s point #2

II.    A sign is offered to demonstrate God’s great mercy and to strengthen Ahaz’s faith (7.10-12)

exp.: rd v 10-11;

7.10-11: Ask for a sign – I’ll go to any lengths to help and encourage you. There is no valley to deep or no mountain to high that I won’t scale for you. So how does the king respond? Rd v 12; But, Ahaz rejects God’s offer;

III.   Ahaz Rejects God (7.13-8.7)

exp.: and so God himself will give them a sign. Rd v 13; and here’s the sign: rd v 14-17; that probably sounds familiar; if you have a footnote in your text, you can look up what Immanuel means: God with us.

App.: Ahaz’s rejection of God results in God’s rejection of him. His poor attempt to veil his lack of belief in his piety results in the very thing Ahaz wants to prevent: full collapse, being conquered and going into exile. God says: These two kings will amount to nothing and your land and people will be decimated – just like theirs.

And that’s point # 4

IV.  God will reject Ahaz, Israel and Judah (7.13-8.7)

exp.: In 7.13-17: God, through Isaiah informs Ahaz that Judah will fall and nearly be destroyed, but God offers Judah some hope in v 18-25.

To save some time, I’m going to just tell you about 7.18-25: In that day…; Judah – land, people, people, land. Then, in 8.1-7 God, through Isaiah, informs Israel that she will be utterly destroyed. No hope is offered for them; however, in v 8, God turns back to Judah and offers them hope. In v 5-8, God tells Israel that a flood called Assyria is going to annihilate them. rd v 8a; so this flood of annihilation is coming to Judah, too. Rd 8b; so it will almost drown Judah, but it will stop at the neck.

Now, at this point, we’ve identified a couple of Characteristics about this promised sign:

  1. He will be special and like no one else. He will be born of a virgin (conceived and born). He must be divine. Today’s technology makes this possible and I wouldn’t be surprised if the anti-christ makes such a claim.
  2. He must be king. This is ‘his land’ in v 8;

Note: some folks argue that this one, Immanuel, mention in 7.14 and again here is really the son born to Isaiah in 8.1-4; but, Isaiah’s wife isn’t a virgin – remember 7.3? She already has had children. Chapter 8.1-7 is for Israel – who will disappear from the face of the earth for her sins and rebellion. This sign is for Judah. Rd v 9-10; Isaiah is saying that even though the floods will rise up to the neck – Judah and Jerusalem will survive because…our God is with us. If you look at your Hebrew Bible, that is translated Immanuel. Here is our 3rd Characteristic:

  1. He will be the one who will protect them and bring them through.

So, even with disaster coming – God will still protect them.

t.s.: And this brings me to point #5…

   V. The Promise of a Remnant

exp.: Chapter 8.8-10 inform us that a remnant will survive; however, 11-22 tells Judah what is coming.  rd v 11-15; Here we learn about this remnant:

  1. The Remnant will experience God’s presence. (8-10; 14) Ahaz and the rest of the people will not know the presence of God. 2ndly,
  2. The Remnant will fear God and not any other king or ruler or country. (8.11-15); Ahaz and the rest of the people fear Tiglath-Pilesar.

Here we also learn our 4th Characteristic of Immanuel, God with us:

  1. The Messiah will cause many to stumble. (Cf.: Luke 20.9-18; Mt 21.44)
  2. The Remnant will experience true hope. (8.16-22); and though they are few, it will be what sustains them. As for the others, they will remain in the night – no dawn will come. They will be in utter darkness. But for those who hope in God – they will experience victory.
  3. The Remnant will experience a light at the end of the darkness. (9.1-7) Only utter darkness remains for Ahaz and the rest of the people. And that light – is the Messiah of God.

Rd 9.1-2; notice Isaiah is using past tense. It is as if he has been transported into the future and he can see back over time so very clearly. Rd v 3; their joy is intense and great! Rd v 4; he has broken their chains and set them free from their captors; rd v 5; the war is past – peace has come. Rd v 6-7; A messiah is coming! He is promised and the zeal of Yahweh will accomplish this!

app.: They will know and experience all of this because of Immanuel, God with us.

t.s.: well, ladies and gentlemen, we really are in the future. We can look back through time and see that Isaiah did see it right.

Conclusion: God did prove himself faithful to His Word.

  1. A Virgin did conceive and she did bear a son. And his name is called God with us.
  2. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
  3. He has continued to protect and care for his own.
  4. He is the rock that causes many to stumble and others to be crushed.

Oh yes, there is more to come. But let’s stop here. Let us, for this moment, celebrate the faithfulness of God. Let it wash over you and encourage you as you look to the future. In this moment, celebrate. Celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. May this holiday season be the most wonderful season ever!

  1. As you go out to buy gifts, be buoyed by the faithfulness of God.
  2. Sing the old carols with more gusto than you have as of late.
  3. Go to the office party or whatever Christmas party you go to with more cheer. You can be cheerful, because God is good. And God is faithful. He has given us the real reason for the season – he has given us Jesus – just as he promised he would!

Invitation.

 

 

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Mark 10:46-52

Title: The Son of David

Text: Mark 10.46-52

Introduction: We’ve reached the end of this section in Mark. We’ll hear a wonderful story this morning and that will bring the ministry movements of Jesus to an end. Chapter 11.1 and following will bring us to the Triumphal Entry and the passion week of Jesus.

Really the timing is perfect. I didn’t plan it this way. I’m grateful God interceded and worked it this way. Next week we’ll enter the Holiday season. So the break is perfect. With the New Year, we’ll pick up the passion week. Maybe. I’m leaning that way, but have some other ideas, too!

Today we’re in Mark 10.46-52. In 10 chapters, Mark has shared with us very little of the three years Christ has walked with his disciples. That’s right: 10 chapters, 3 years. Mark has been intentional. He has written with purpose and direction. Do you remember the melodic line of Mark? 1.1; 1.11; 3.11; 5.7; 8.31; 9.7; 10.45; 15.39

Jesus is the Son of God. He is the Messiah. He is the fulfillment of all OT prophecy. Mark will bring us back to this again in today’s story. I’ve outlined it this way for continuity and flow:

  1. The Setting
  2. The Conflict
  3. The Climax
  4. The Resolution

Transition: So, let’s open up the story in v 46 where Mark presents the Setting.

I.     The Setting: Who, What, When, Where (46)

exp.: rd 46a; 46 And they came to Jericho. Matthew and Luke tell us so much more that happened around here. What comes to mind for me is Zacchaeus – the wee, little man, who climbed up in a sycamore tree. Matthew also tells us that there were two blind men. Here, Mark only tells us of one; rd 46b; Why this little discrepancy? Well, I don’t think it’s a big deal. My guess is that Bartimaeus, or his father Timaeus, became prominent figures in the early church. Mark would have used his name because the early church would have identified them. He does so with Rufus and Alexander.

I think this is good for us. Usually, we just hear of a blind man, or a leper, or a demon possessed man; however, these are real people with real names. If we never saw Mark and only had read Matthew and Luke, we wouldn’t look at this blind man as closely as we do. But this is a reminder that these people are real people – real parents, with real struggles.

We don’t see the other blind man here, but we know of him from the other gospel. What was his name? Who were his parents? What is his story?

We need to remember that when we reach out to help people – they’re real people. Don’t dehumanize them. Don’t belittle them. God is choosing to use you and me to minister into their lives.

app.: As the setting here unfolds we learn the who, what, when, and where of the story.

  • Who: Jesus, his disciples, a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus.
  • What: Jesus is passing by with this large crowd and there is a blind beggar sitting just off the road.
  • When & Where: As Jesus is leaving Jericho. Only the cross is now before him. He’ll walk up that long hill – 15 miles or so – and face the cross.

t.s.: that is the setting. Mark will outline for us now the conflict of the story…

II.    The Conflict: Bartimaeus can’t reach Jesus (47-50)

exp.: rd v 47; What’s all this commotion? He wouldn’t know, he can’t see. Someone tells him it is Jesus, of Nazareth. Or, maybe he just hears it come from the mouth of someone near.

Freeze.

By his reaction, he knows this moment is fleeting. He knows what Jesus can do – but he hadn’t even imagined that he would be in Jesus’ presence. Or maybe he had dreamed, but never thought it possible. Fantasy, yes, but reality… no. He must have heard the stories – the ones we’ve covered in Mark 1-10. He must have heard the stories that fulfill Isaiah 35.5-6: Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

(Go through Mark mentioning the stories): He must have heard and He must have believed what he had heard.

Can you imagine the adrenalin rush – the panic not to let this moment pass! He’s been sitting by the road that leads in and out of town. He would hear someone coming by and ask… beg for some help. Suddenly, a large, energetic crowd passes outside the walls and spills into this area where he is sitting. The crowd is noisy. What’s going on? It’s Jesus…of Nazareth! He would have to scream it loud enough to be heard! Kyrie Eleison! A cry of the Psalms: Lord, have mercy on me! Here he cries out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

So, here’s the conflict:

  • The Crowd Separates – he can’t jump up and run over to Jesus – he doesn’t really know where Jesus is within the crowd. He can only cry out. Now, this isn’t on purpose. They’re not trying to be mean to him. These are just the circumstances in which he finds himself. He can’t jump up and walk along with the crowd. He’s blind. So, this 1st Conflict is the crowd separates him from Christ.

Let’s continue reading in v 48: and the crowd, moved with compassion helped the man up and brought him to Jesus. Is that what it says? No! What did they do? rd v 48: they rebuked him and told him to be silent! Here is the 2nd Conflict…

  • The Crowd Silences – This is on purpose. They rebuke him and tell him to be silent. Why? I don’t know.

I wonder if this is because there is this beggar on the side of the road. Passing on the road there is the coolest, most popular person in the entire Holy Land. A blind beggar on the side of the road…well, that’s a nuisance. An eyesore. An embarrassment. He’s just sitting there on the side of the road with his cloak across his lap and on the road, so people can put their money in it. I don’t know this, this is just how I’m picturing it.

And they want to silence him. But he isn’t deterred. rd v48b; “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus must hear him. rd v 49a; now why? What was it about the cry that got his attention? I think it was the phrase: Son of David. We’ve not seen this anywhere else in Mark – at least not to this point. We’ll see again in chapter 11.10 at the Triumphal Entry. And, Jesus will bring it up when he stumps the Religious Leaders in 12.35 – during the passion week leading up to the time they kill him. But up to this point – Mark hasn’t used this title.

It is a special title referring to the Messiah. That is the point Jesus makes in 12.35. The Messiah. The Messiah would come and do some very special things. Like what I referred to in Isaiah 35.5-6: Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. But most people are thinking of these statements – they’re thinking of the military ruler who will sit on a throne.

Ill.: I’ve just begun reading a book on prayer. It interested me because this book deals with prayer in the Bible. Right now I’m in the Pentateuch and prayer in the 1st 5 books isn’t praise or worship or really even intercession, but ‘calling upon the name of Yahweh’. Prayer changes in the NT to calling upon the name of Jesus. There is a connection here from Yahweh, the Father to Jesus, the Son. Different, Distinct and yet, the same.

From the beginning, Yahweh has promised to correct what was made wrong in the Fall. Creation – chapter 1; Man – chapter 2; the Fall Chapter 3 – and in the Fall, God promises restoration. As Scripture plays out, we begin to understand this One who will come and make things right will be the Messiah. He will be like his earthly father – that is from his line, his lineage – King David.

My guess is that as Jesus leaves Jericho and begins his first steps up that long incline, those who are thinking of what it will be like at the top of that hill, know nothing of what it will be like – what Jesus knows is going to happen.

Son of David! That’s different. Rd 49a again through 49b: 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”

I’m guessing the sound of the crowd died down a bit as they come to a stop and Jesus asks for Bartimaeus.

Look at his response: rd v 50

I don’t know if he used his cloak to collect money. I don’t know if there was even any money in the cloak. But whatever, it didn’t matter. He cast it aside! The only other time this word is used in the NT is in Hebrews 10.35: 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. You have a picture of someone discarding or casting aside something that is valuable.

app.: But not anymore! Now the only thing that matters is getting to Jesus. There are so many things we have in out lives – that we think we need – until we come to Jesus. And if you’re not a Christian, you won’t get this… But when Jesus calls us, those things lose their value – and they don’t really matter that much anymore.

t.s.: Well, that’s the Conflict – now let’s look at the Climax of the story…

III.   The Climax: Jesus heals Bart (51-52a)

exp.:  rd v 51a; interesting – this is exactly what he just asked the Sons of Thunder. Their problem was they were asking for prestige and power and position. He isn’t asking anything of the sort. Rd 51b; He just wants to see again. That’s the word used here, to inform us that he wasn’t born this way. Maybe he has cataracts…or, who knows. I only know from this word here that he lost his sight at one point and he wants Jesus to restore it. Rd 52a; And just like that…Jesus heals him. No spittle. No “wash in the pool”. Jesus didn’t put his thumbs over his eyes. He just spoke. And really, it appears that he healed him even before he spoke! Go your way; your faith has made you well.

t.s.: Well, the Resolution is short and sweet…

IV.  The Resolution: Bart is healed and follows Christ (51-52a)

exp.: rd 52b; immediately, his sight is recovered and he follows Christ.

ill.: isn’t that what real discipleship is?

For by grace you have been saved through faith

  • Grace – unmerited favor. A gift. Not achieved; Not earned; Not warranted. Just freely given.
  • Faith – that element of action on the part of the one who believes. With your mind and with your soul and with your whole heart you know… you just know… and so you act. That’s faith.

And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God; not by works, so that no man may boast.

t.s.: It is amazing to me how these two work together (Grace and Faith).

Application: So, what will we take home with us today? What have we learned from our lesson?

  1. God calls us to love real people with mercy and compassion. I love that Mark tells us his name, Bartimaeus. And, that he tells us his daddy’s name. This makes him real for us. He is someone; not to be cast aside or seen as an embarrassment. Remember that: people in need are just that – real people, with real needs. Maybe Christ is bringing that person into your life for a reason. Maybe Christ wants you to stop what your doing – even though it might be really important – and display some mercy and compassion toward that person. I think this takes insight and discernment. Pray for it.
  2. Jesus is the Messiah of God. I find it interesting that this Blind beggar could see who Jesus really was…Son of David. And yet, many others who had sight were blinded to who he really was. I’m thinking of the rich young ruler and even at how the disciples have been lately – dull. Maybe that is a goal of Mark’s here – to contrast these people and show us that Jesus is the promised Messiah – the Son of David.
  3. True discipleship is characterized by persistent faith.
    1. Think of the men who had to dig through a roof to get to Jesus;
    2. Think of the woman who fought through a crowd to touch the hem of his garment.
    3. Think of Jairus must continue to believe Christ, even after his friends have come and reported to him that she was gone – no need to trouble the master any longer;
    4. Think of the father concerned for his son who cries out – help me in my unbelief;
    5. Think of a blind man who cried out at the top of his lungs, even when he had been repeatedly rebuked and silenced by the crowd.

 

Invitation: to respond to this grace through your faith

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Mark 10:17-43

Title: Markers of the Followers

Text: Mark 10.17-43

Introduction: This week I’ve tried to be more conscientious about sharing my faith – at least opening the door to share my faith. You might think it would be easier for a pastor, a minister to do. But honestly, I think it is harder. I was a much better evangelist when I was a regular Joe. Once I became a minister, people would just shut me down.

With that being said, it didn’t slow Jesus down!

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13.5: Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.

Mark is doing that for us here – he’s outlining for us certain markers to identify – to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith. I think a lot of people assume they’re in the faith. Let’s look to see what markers he shares with us about Christ. Mark 10 is where we are, beginning in v 17; 17 And as he was setting out on his journey

It appears Jesus is just now turning toward Jerusalem. And, in fact, if you consider how he’s traveled around northern Israel as of late in these figure 8 outlines, you’d probably agree. I don’t, but I can see what some scholars do. I think he’s just packing up from where he is and headed toward where he’s been heading all along – to Jerusalem. Rd 17; a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

This is a good sign that someone is open to the Gospel. In Acts 2, they ask Peter a similar question as they are cut to the heart: Brothers, what must we do? As in, in light of what you’ve just told us, what must we do?

ill.: I’m teaching an evangelism class on Sunday nights. One of the lessons is on discernment. It is noted in this study, that just such a question is a clue that someone is open to the Gospel. However, just because someone is open, doesn’t mean they’re ready. We’ll see that in this passage, because v 22 tells us he departed dishearten.

But for now, as an evangelist – and that is what you are. Say it with me: I am an evangelist! Oh, some of you were already asleep. Say that with me: I am an evangelist!

I heard a preacher recently say: The lowest requirement of any disciple is to share his/her faith with others.

I don’t know if it is true or not, I’ve not seen some scale that marks that as the lowest. I think loving each other would rank up there with the minimum amount required. However, I think that preacher was on to something. Jesus commissioned us all to share the gospel. You don’t hire someone to do that for you. You can call a youth pastor or a worship pastor, and the list goes on. You can hire someone to mow your yard and clean the facilities. But you cannot hire someone to witness for you.

That makes you an evangelist.

So, mister and misses evangelist, what are these markers Mark is listing for us?

Markers:

  1. A life that is totally devoted to Christ. There is no one or no thing that rises above him. Period.
  2. A heart that recognizes: you still have a long way to go. This is piety. Comparing yourself to someone else may make you feel like you’ve arrived, but comparing yourself to Christ leaves you way short of the intended goal.
  3. A mind that has a clear understanding of the Gospel: the suffering death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
  4. A purpose that identifies your place in the economy of God: I am a slave.

Transition: we’ll look for these markers as we make our way through. They appear in this storyline of position and pride. Right? That is what all of these stories deal with: position and pride.

1st, we have a young man who thinks he’ll get into heaven because he has kept the law since he was young (20).

2nd, Peter thinks he has attained some level of recognition because, as he puts it: we have left everything and followed you (20). I suppose, he makes this statement in comparison to this rich, young man.

3rd, James and John begin bucking for position in the new Kingdom. Namely, these two wish to sit at Christ’s right and left – the two highest positions of recognition to Christ. It makes sense. I mean, other than Peter, who would you think belonged there? These three have been the closest to Jesus throughout this journey. And in case you don’t know it, it’s about to end. The triumphal entry is in Chapter 11.1.

Jesus and the disciples are coming near to the end. After the Triumphal entry, there is one week left. And, for Jesus, three of those days will be spent in the tomb!

So let’s look at these stories.

I.     A young man who thinks he’s kept the law.

exp.: rd v 18; I think the point Jesus is making here is for this man not to think more highly of himself than he ought. You can see this in the next couple of verses: rd v 19-21; this 1st part covers the last 6 commandments. He ends with the 1st command in the 2nd level – honor your father and mother; and, he changes do not covet with do not defraud. My guess is that because this guy is rich, he doesn’t necessarily covet what his neighbors have; all of these commandments are concrete except coveting. And defrauding someone is the concrete form Jesus uses with this man. Many of the rich got that way by defrauding others. That’s the 1st part of the commandments.

The 2nd part covers the 1st 4! i.e.: go, sell all you have, give it to the poor and follow me. And that is the problem this young man has. He thinks being good will get him into heaven.

ill.: If you’re sitting here this morning and you think you’re good enough to get into heaven – you’d better think again. You can obey the last 6 commandments perfectly and still wind up in hell. Do you hear me? Being good doesn’t get you into heaven!

app.: Jesus basically says here – you’ve obeyed the last 6 commandments pretty well. But, unless I’m 1st in your life, you’ll never have eternal life.

t.s.: Just like the young man here, you’ll depart disheartened. Storyline #2:

II.    A zealous disciple who thinks he’s sacrificed everything to follow Christ.

exp.: In our story, the young man departs with his head down. His money, his idols, his possession mean more to him than eternal life. The disciples are blown away when they watch this young man walk away. Rd v 23-27; Peter must be inspired with this speech of Jesus. Rd v 28; I think you just missed something. Go back. Do you see it? Man, this is great staging, great drama: Peter began…to say. The NIV misses this. Peter began to brag and Jesus speaks up over him: rd v 29ff; highlight with persecutions;

ill.: Then, Jesus illustrates this with a third reminder: the coming passion.

app.: 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” “Look at me, I’m the example,” Jesus says.

t.s.: Now, We’ve seen the 1st marker missed by the young man: Markers:

  1. A life that is totally devoted to Christ. And, we’ve seen that Peter is lacking humility and piety, which is marker #2.
  2. A heart that recognizes: you still have a long way to go. We’ve seen marker #3 in Christ, who will demonstrate perfect humility and piety in the gospel.
  3. A mind that has a clear understanding of the Gospel: the suffering death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

Transition: You’d think at this moment the disciples would be on it. Remember, this isn’t the 1st time he’s said this. We’re in the midst of the 3rd cycle where Jesus has told them plainly that he will go to Jerusalem and die. You would think that they’ve got this by now. But this leads us to the two brothers vying for position and power.

III.  Two zealous brothers who think they’re able to drink the cup of Christ and experience his baptism.

exp.: rd v 35-37; rd v 38a; That should be a real attention grabber for them. You do not know what you are asking. Rd 38b; and boldly they say, yes: rd v 39a; they don’t know that his cup is suffering and persecution; they don’t know that his baptism is by fire!

ill.: Do you ever figure when you’re praying that you have no idea what you’re asking? Do you ever wonder if when you ask God to do this or to do that – you have no idea what you are asking for?

This should get our attention. Jesus identifies this last marker for us:

  1. A purpose that identifies your place in the economy of God: I am a slave.

app.: your purpose is His glory! That might be through death. That’s exactly what happens here. James will be the 1st one of these disciples to die.

t.s.: Here’s the catch – here is what Mark is driving home story by story…

  1. Jesus lays out the Law for the young ruler: All these I have kept from my youth; Jesus basically says: no, you haven’t
  2. Peter says: We left everything – we’ve sacrificed everything to follow you. Jesus says: no, you haven’t
  3. The brothers ask: Let us sit on your right and on your left; Are you able to drink and be baptized … They say, “we are.” And Jesus says: No, No, No… you don’t even know what you’re asking for…

Conclusion: So, we have these Markers…markers that help us examine ourselves, to test ourselves to see if we are indeed in the faith.

So now, let us examine ourselves. Look for these markings in your life: Do you have…

  1. A life that is totally devoted to Christ? Or, could Jesus peg you and cause you to drop your head, turn away and leave disheartened?
  2. A heart that recognizes: you still have a long way to go? This is piety. Comparing yourself to someone else may make you feel like you’ve arrived, but comparing yourself to Christ leaves you way short of the intended goal.
  3. A mind that has a clear understanding of the Gospel: the suffering death, burial and resurrection of Christ?
  4. A purpose that identifies your place in the economy of God? That you are a slave.

 

Prayer; Invitation; Lord’s Supper

 

 

 

 

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