Who Does He Say He Is?

Pastor Jay continues the series “The Question, Mark” with this week’s sermon “Who Does He Say He Is?” from Mark 12.

Mark 12 (ESV)

The Parable of the Tenants

And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

Paying Taxes to Caesar

And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

The Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”

Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

The Great Commandment

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Whose Son Is the Christ?

And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.

Beware of the Scribes

And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Offering

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

He really is that important

  • He is the beloved son.
  • He is the precious corner stone.
  • He is our wisdom.
  • He is our lord.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Name some people who are important to you.
  • Why is Jesus important to you?
  • How can you make Jesus the most important person in your life?
  • What does it mean to say and believe that Jesus is our Lord?

Welcome Authority-Or Not

Pastor Jay continues the series “The Question, Mark” with this week’s sermon “Welcome Authority-Or Not” from Mark 11:12-33.

Mark 11:12-33 (ESV)

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. And when evening came they went out of the city.

The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

We should be glad to accept Jesus’s authority, but…”

  • Jesus has authority to judge.
  • Jesus has authority to cleanse his Father’s house.
  • Jesus has authority to claim His father’s house.
  • Jesus has authority to teach.
  • Jesus has authority from God.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Who is in authority over you?
  • Who has the authority to judge? Why?
  • What does Jesus have the authority to do?
  • Where does His authority come from?

Rebuking Satan?

Q. “What are your thoughts on believers rebuking Satan in the name ofJesus?”  Anonymous

 

A. From what I understand of the scripture, my answer is that we should not take it upon ourselves to rebuke Satan directly.

Having said that, I’ve probably done it in my life a time or two in moments when I felt particularly under a spiritual attack of temptation or accusation. Both types of attack are connected with the devil in scripture.

Jesus gave the apostles authority over demons, and they were glad to report back to him that even the demons obeyed them. As an apostle, Paul also, had that authority as we see with girl who had a spirit of divination (Acts 16:18).

However, are we as believers expected to act with the same authority as the apostles? If so, for what purposes? When we look to the letters of Paul, Peter, James and John, we find no suggestion that we are to go about rebuking the devil.

James says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (Jam 4:7 ESV) That is not an instruction to speak to the devil.  In fact, in the context, it seems more of a call to resist temptation to sin.

Even in the model prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, dealing with Satan is left to God. “Deliver us from evil or, as some translations have it, “the evil one” is not a call to a “power encounter” but to reliance on God.

There is something subtly tempting in wanting power to combat the devil. Perhaps we want to think of ourselves as strong—superhero-like. But, overcoming the evil one is not to be a one-on-one affair. According to Revelation 12:11 we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. Again, it is not put forth as a battle in which we address Satan directly.

Add to all this the key passage in Jude 9. Though the passage is difficult in some respects, Jude is clearly teaching that the archangel Michael would not directly rebuke Satan himself. Rather, he said, “The Lord Rebuke you!” This would suggest that we are not meant to go about talking to Satan directly.

I was troubled by the recent movie, War Room. There was a lot of talking to Satan—talk of binding him and taking authority over him. I do not see this practice suggested in the scripture. Jesus bound the strong man, but it is not said that we are to do the same. How are we to deal with temptation? We are to pray. How are we to deal with accusations? We are to pray.

Bottom-line, though a believer can say with full assurance, “greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world” there is also no real reason to engage the devil in conversation. With the admonition of Jude 9 in our ears, it seems best to appeal to the Lord. If you feel you must speak out, it would be better to follow a biblical principle and say, “the Lord rebuke you, Satan” and leave it there.

 

 

 

Loving His Rule

Pastor Jay continues the series “The Question, Mark” with this week’s sermon “Loving His Rule” from Mark 10:46-11:11.

Mark 10:46-11:11 (ESV)

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.

The Triumphal Entry

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”

And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

We need to love Jesus as our great King who rules over us.   

  • A king who reigns in hope for the mercy-needing.
  • A king who reigns in healing.
  • A king who reigns over our stuff.
  • A king who reigns over our religion.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • What does it mean to be in charge of someone?
  • What things do you place your hope in?
  • Is Jesus or your stuff more important to you?
  • How can you love Jesus as your great King?

Want Greatness

Pastor Jay continues the series “The Question, Mark” with this week’s sermon “Want Greatness!” from Mark 10:32-45.

Mark 10:32-45 (ESV)

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

The Request of James and John

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We ought to want greatness!   

  • We ought to want the greatness of the gospel to connect with our lives.
  • We ought to want the greatness of being close to Christ.
  • We ought to want a greatness defined by faith.
  • We ought to want a greatness that comes from serving the gospel just like Jesus.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • What does it mean to you to be great?
  • What things can we do to grow closer to Christ?
  • What things can we do to trust God more and more?
  • Why should we serve others just as Jesus Christ Himself served others?