Emory Baptist Church
Descending Into Greatness…

Descending Into Greatness…

December 2, 2019

If you have your Bibles, please take them and turn to Mark 9:30.  I want to share a message with you entitled, “Descending Into Greatness…”

 

Beginning in Mark 9:30, Jesus and the Twelve left Caesarea Philippi and passed through Galilee.  The end of the verse says He didn’t want anyone to know it.  This is because His public ministry had now ended.  His remaining time on earth would be devoted to teaching and training the Twelve.

 

In verse 31, we see Jesus predicted His death and resurrection for the second time.  The first was in Mark 8:31.

 

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

The third time will be in Mark 10:33.

 

33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles.

 

Did you notice the slight difference in His first announcement and His second?  In Mark 9:31, He included the idea of betrayal.  The Son of Man was being betrayed into the hands of men. 

 

This word in the language of the NT literally means delivered over to and is both bad news and good news.  The bad news was that Judas was betraying the Lord.  If you have been betrayed by a good friend, a close acquaintance, you’re in good company.  Jesus was as well.

 

This was also good news in that it was God’s plan.  See Acts 2:22-23.

 

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.

 

Even in bad times, in difficult times, in times suffering and tragedy, God has a plan, and His plan is for your good and His glory.  Be encouraged. 

 

However, verse 32 says the Twelve didn’t understand what He meant in this death prediction, and they were scared to ask.  Maybe they were afraid to rebuked as Peter was.

 

Why didn’t they understand?  After all, they heard Him previously in Mark 8:31.  Had they forgotten?  I would say it maybe because we often forget the bad.  Yes, we remember when people do bad to us, but we often forget when we do bad ourselves.  Regardless, they didn’t understand.

 

Now, Jesus is about to teach again on the meaning of discipleship after this death prediction.  He did this back in Mark 8. 

 

After Mark 8:31, He then told the Twelve that His disciples, anyone who would follow Him, should be characterized by self-denial, submission, and showing off the Savior.  Remember, that is not about clothing or jewelry or bumper stickers but attitude, behavior, and thinking.

Jesus is going to tell the Twelve how to be great, but His recipe is not what you would think.  Listen to my sermon title again, “Descending Into Greatness.”  Does it strike you as odd? 

 

Descending means to go down.  Down is a word reserved for losers and cowards.  It is a part of words like downfall, downsize, downhill, and down and out. 

 

Furthermore, the opposite of down is up.  Up is associated with the up and coming, the upper class, the upper percentile, and upscale. 

 

Generally speaking, to go down is negative.  To go up is positive.  To go down is bad.  To go up is good. 

 

However, all of this logic and thinking is the way of the way of the world.  It is not the way of the Lord Jesus.  This morning, you will see that the Lord Jesus calls His disciples to go down, to descend, and as a result, they will descend into greatness.

 

 

  1. The Examination of Greatness, Mark 9:33-34

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest

 

9:33 tells us that Jesus and His disciples came to Capernaum and went into the house.  More than likely this was Peter’s house.  Evidently, Jesus knew they had been discussing something rather significant.  Maybe this was because of the volume of the discussion.  Perhaps voices were being raised so He asked, “What were you discussing on the way?”

 

They were silent.  Why?  They were probably embarrassed and ashamed of the shallowness of their debate.

 

They wanted to know who was the greatest among them.  This was a common question in the Jewish culture and maybe originated with Jesus taking only Peter, James, and John up to Mount Transfiguration.

 

 

  1. The Explanation of Greatness, Mark 9:35

35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”

 

As the rabbi/teacher, Jesus took His formal place for giving instruction and sat down and called the Twelve to Himself.  He said, “Gather around boys.” 

 

He said if you want to be first, you must be last of all.  Who doesn’t want to be first?  We want to get our food.  We want to be first to get our seats and first to get our tickets. 

 

However, if you’re going to be first in the Kingdom of Heaven and as a follow of Jesus, you must be last and last of all.  Ironically enough, this way of thinking was counter to everything the Twelve knew and counter to everything we know.

 

This mentality is counter-natural.  As I said previously, we like to be first because first often means best and or most important. 

 

This mentality is counter-cultural.  In our culture, being first doesn’t mean going down but up.  Go up in sales.  Go up in revenue.  Go up in points.  Go up in GPA.  To go down is to lose.

 

Thirdly and unfortunately, this mentality is too often counter-Christian.  Jesus’ way is not the way of Christians and the way of the Church, but it should be.   If you want to be first, we must become last.

 

 

  • Epitomization of Greatness, Mark 9:36-37

36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

 

Perhaps this was Peter’s child since they were more than likely in Peter’s house.  Jesus sat the child on His knee with His arm around him.  Literally, this was a toddler, an infant. 

 

Children were the lowest of stature and status in the Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures.  Jesus called His disciples to receive those like this child in His name. 

 

To receive means to welcome, to show kindness, to serve.  When we serve the least, we demonstrate our relationship with Jesus, and we also demonstrate our relationship with His Father. 

 

 

Conclusions/Invitation

First, we learn from this passage the value and significance of children and serving children.  A church full of children is a church full of life.  Please don’t be disturbed by children crying in church.  You don’t even have to be disturbed if children were to play in the pews.  Is that best?  No, it’s best, but it’s ok.

 

Also, if children are significant and serving children is good, why is it a struggle to get more nursery volunteers?  Church, we need you, and men, we need you.  You can demonstrate your relationship with the Father and salvation through Jesus by serving children at EBC.

 

Second, generally, we should be about serving others.  Jesus said that and demonstrated that best in John 13:1-17.

 

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.  2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”  7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”  8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”  Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”  9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”  10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”  12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

 

Finally, Jesus served all of humanity by dying on the cross for our sins. See Mark 10:45.

 

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

Greatness in the eyes of God is not measured in status but in service!

 

An Honest Confession of an Unbelieving Believer
Three Tabernacles or One?

Three Tabernacles or One?

November 18, 2019

In the recent Sundays, we have been learning a lot about discipleship from Mark’s Gospel. 

 

When Jesus healed a blind man, we learned that salvation and spiritual maturity and discipleship is a process, and we learned that obedience is the key to that process.

 

When Peter made his great confession that Jesus was the Christ, we learned that the first step in the discipleship process is being saved.  Disciples must declare that Jesus is the Christ.

Last week, we learned that disciples of Christ should not think like the devil.  Instead, they should deny self and demonstrate their submission to God and let Jesus be on display in their attitudes, thinking, and actions. 

 

Today, I want you to understand what you bring to the table in this discipleship process.  In other words, how can we help Jesus. 

 

 

Exposition

In verse 1, Jesus offered for His disciples a sneak peek into heaven.  He assured them that some of them would not taste death or physically die before they saw the kingdom of God present with power. 

 

What was Jesus talking about?  What was the kingdom of God present with power?  First, some have thought to be Jesus’ resurrection and ascension.  Second, others have said this is the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  Third, others have said this is the second coming of Christ. 

 

However, the immediate context tells us that this sneak peek would be accomplished in the Transfiguration and would be a foreshadowing of His future earthly and heavenly kingdoms. 

 

Beginning in verse 2, this Transfiguration event begins to unfold.  Now six days later, Jesus took His inner circle with Him up to a high mountain.  John was Jesus’ closest disciple, and Peter, James, and John were the inner circle. 

 

Some say this mountain was Mt. Tabor.  Others say it was Mt. Hermon.  Regardless, it was a place where they would receive special revelation from God.

 

The word “transfigured” literally means the figure is transformed.  Our English word is metamorphosis.  Jesus was changed from the inside out into a heavenly state.  It was such that He became shining and exceedingly white.  His clothes were so white that a launderer on earth couldn’t get them any whiter. 

 

With Jesus appeared Elijah and Moses.  By the way, God spoke to Elijah and Moses on Mt. Sinai in the OT just like we are going to with Jesus here. 

 

See Exodus 24:12-18 and 1 Kings 19:8-18.

 

 

We believe that Moses symbolized the OT Law and was the great lawgiver, and Elijah symbolized the OT prophets and was the restorer of Israel.  Luke 9:30-31 tells us that they were talking about to Jesus about His departure. 

 

Luke 9:30-31, 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

 

In 9:5, Peter offered to make three tabernacles or tents, one for each man: Elijah, Moses, and Jesus, but his plans were interrupted as 9:6 tells us that he and James and John were overcome with fear.

 

Verse 7 says a cloud from heaven came forth along with a heavenly voice making a bold declaration.  In the OT, clouds were a symbol of God’s presence.  In the NT, they are associated with Christ’s return. 

 

Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!”  Obviously, this was God the Father saying to obey Jesus, and then all of a sudden, the transfiguration was over, and the only one left was who?  Jesus!  The prophets weren’t left.  The law wasn’t left.  Only Jesus alone was left standing.

 

By the way, if the Transfiguration was a picture of Christ in heaven, could it also be a picture of who will be in heaven?  Some have thought that Moses represented the OT Saints or those who died before Christ.  Peter, James, and John would be representative of the NT Saints or those who die after Christ.  Then Elijah would represent those Saints who would never taste death but, like Elijah, will be raptured to heaven.  Perhaps. 

 

On their way down from the mountain in verse 9, Jesus gave Peter, James, and John strict orders.  His order was not to tell what they had seen until after the resurrection.  This is the first time that Jesus told the disciples to keep quiet for a specific period of time.  Why?

 

Peter, James, and John still didn’t fully understand all of what Jesus was about and was going to do.  We know that because Peter wanted to build three tabernacles instead of one, but they would all get it after He was crucified and resurrected, and they did.  Dense disciples became powerful and passionate preachers on the pages of the Acts of the Apostles because eventually, they got it.

 

We see again in 9:10 that they hadn’t yet got it as they were confused about Jesus’ comments regarding the resurrection because they still didn’t understand that their Messiah was going to have to suffer and die.

 

In 9:11, with Elijah fresh on their minds, the Big Three made reference to Malachi 4:4-6 which talks about Elijah coming before the Second Coming of Christ.  In 9:12, Jesus affirmed that truth.  Indeed, Elijah will come and restore all things. 

 

Furthermore, not only will Elijah come, but Elijah or a type of Elijah had already come.  Most certainly, the Lord Jesus had John the Baptist in mind. 

 

Now the question comes, “Was John the Baptist a type of Elijah coming in the spirit of Elijah or was he Elijah reincarnate?”  Regardless, at the very least, he was a type of Elijah, if not Elijah himself, and he did do some, but not all, of the work of Elijah.

 

 

Conclusion

So there is one big idea, one main point of this story about Jesus and its application to Christian discipleship.  How can we help Jesus?  In absolutely no way.

 

We are prone to think very highly of ourselves.  However, when it comes to the act of salvation and the process of salvation, Jesus stands alone by Himself. 

 

We think He needs our help.  We think we can add something to Him like works or baptism or performance.  Jesus doesn’t need one single thing from you to save you, and He doesn’t need one single thing from you to keep you saved. 

 

Therefore, just build one tabernacle because only one deserves it.  His name is Jesus.

 

Don’t Think Like the Devil!

Don’t Think Like the Devil!

November 12, 2019

Introduction

If you have your Bibles this morning, please take them and find Mark 8:31.  One of my goals this morning is for my sermon title to shock you to some degree, “Stop Thinking Like the Devil!”

 

Beginning with today’s text, Jesus is going to announce God’s plan for Him, specifically related to His ultimate mission.  This first of three announcements take place in 8:31.

 

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

It happens again in Mark 9:31 and for a third time in 10:33-34.

 

31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”

 

33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

 

Again, I said this was God’s plan.  That may sound weird to you, but it is undeniable in Acts 2:23 from the mouth of Peter.

 

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

 

Every time Jesus made this prophetic announcement regarding His death and resurrection, He followed it with a lesson on discipleship. 

 

Here’s today’s lesson on discipleship: the disciple of Christ should set his or her mind on the things of God rather than the things of men.  In other words, a disciple of Jesus should stop thinking like the devil, and start thinking like God.

 

 

Main Point

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 

 

Look again at verse 31.  That’s were see this first announcement from Jesus of His death and resurrection.  Specifically, He said He was going to experience persecution, execution, and resurrection.  All of this would be at the hands of the Jewish Religious Leaders: the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes.  Verse 32 is where we see this is the first time that He spoke openly, plainly, and clearly about His death.

 

Peter wasn’t thinking like God, and when Peter heard this announcement, verse 32 says he took Jesus aside and rebuked Him.  So Peter did understand that Jesus was the promised Messiah, but he didn’t understand fully yet.

After Peter rebuked Jesus, Jesus rebuked Peter, and notice verse 33 says all of the disciples too.  He said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan.”  Does that mean that Peter was filled with Satan?  No, but it does mean that Peter was listening to Satan allowing Satan to speak through him.

 

What was Peter’s problem?  He was not mindful of the things of God but the things of men.  In other words, Peter was thinking like the Devil instead of like God and Jesus. 

 

Peter’s mistake applied to his attitude, his desired actions, and the timing.  Peter’s attitude was one of wanting to be delivered from Roman oppression.  His actions including the promised Messiah doing just that through force, and he thought the timing should be sooner rather than later.

 

Beginning in verse 34, Jesus went on to further explain what thinking like God meant, and I want you to notice that was His expectation for all followers of Christ not just the Twelve.  Notice verse 34 says He called all the people to Himself, with His disciples also, and His invitation is “For whoever.”

 

Sometimes there is a false dichotomy in the minds of the Christians thinking that all followers of Christ are Christians, and those more mature followers of Christ are disciples.  Again, that is false dichotomy or division and cannot be justified biblically.  What Jesus is about to say applies to the Twelve and to everyone in this room who is a follower of Christ. 

 

 

  1. Thinking like Jesus means denying self.

 

This invitation to follow Jesus begins in verse 34 and relates back to not thinking like the Devil.  Followers of Jesus and thinking like Jesus means denying self. 

 

What does it mean to “deny himself?”  It does not mean to deny your personality.  It does mean that your world needs to stop revolving around you.  You need to stop thinking about you all the time.  It means to turn away from self-centeredness and egocentric living.

 

In Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life,” the very first sentence says, “It’s not about you.”  For the follower of Christ, you must deny self.   You must move from being self-centered to being Jesus-centered and others-centered. 

 

Think about what that would do for your marriage if spouses denied self.  Think about what that would do for finances if you denied self.  Think about what that would do for your health if we denied self.  Think about what that would do for our church if we denied self. 

 

If you denied self, you wouldn’t worry about what I’m wearing.  If you denied self, you wouldn’t worry about my facial hair.  If you denied self, you wouldn’t be worried about kind of songs were singing. 

 

 

  1. Thinking like Jesus means demonstrating submission.

 

What does it mean to “take up his cross?”  We often use the cliché “my cross to bear,” and we use it incorrectly.  A hard-nose boss is not your cross to bear.  An unfair teacher is not your cross to bear.  A certain illness or handicap or financial setback is not your cross to bear. 

 

The cross was a tool for execution.  It was a sign of death.  Paul understood that from Galatians 2:20. 

 

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

 

However, it was also an acknowledgment of submitting and being obedient to the authority over you.

 

When Jesus was required to carry His cross through Jerusalem, He was demonstrating His submission to the Romans. Today, followers of Christ must think like Christ which means demonstrating our submission as well.

 

First, we must submit to God.    See James 4:7.

 

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

 

God or Jesus has to be the single authority in your life.

 

Second, we must demonstrate our submission to one another.  Instead of being concerned with you and your preferences, it is imperative that as a follower of Christ, we need to be thinking about and submitting to our neighbor and what is best for them.  See Ephesians 5:21 and 1 Peter 5:5.

 

21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

 

5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

 

Third, we must submit to government.  Please understand that the Bible says this doesn’t apply when the government requires you to do anything contrary to this book, but generally speaking, followers of Christ should demonstrate their submission to the government.  See Romans 13:1 and 1 Peter 2:13.

 

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

 

13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

 

 

  1. Thinking like Jesus means displaying the Savior.

 

How do we display the Savior?  We display the Savior by losing our life and confessing Jesus in this world…at home, at the office, in the classroom, in the locker room, and at the restaurant. 

 

Please understand, I’m not talking about bumper stickers on your car or t-shirts or jewelry.  I’m talking about actions and lifestyle and responses and attitudes. 

 

I often hear folks say their faith is private.  That might sound good to some, but it is not biblical.  Your faith is always personal, but it is never private.  On the contrary, biblical faith is personal and public.  That is what it means to display the Savior.

 

If we choose not to display the Savior in this world because we are ashamed, Jesus is going to be ashamed of us in heaven. 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

So are you thinking like the devil, if you are, you need to make some changes if you’re going to live your life as a follower of Christ by denying self, demonstrating submission and displaying the Savior. 

 

For some of you in the room, you have never started following Jesus.  Would you do that this morning? 

 

For our guests, one way that you can display the Savior is by uniting with a local church, the bride of Christ.  If God is leading you to EBC, we’d be glad to welcome you.

 

 

What Will You Do with Jesus?

What Will You Do with Jesus?

November 4, 2019

I trust you have your Bibles this morning, and I want you to find Mark 8:27.  I want to share with a message entitled, “What Will You Do with Jesus?”  I would suggest this is the most important question that you will ever answer and perhaps the only question that every person who has ever lived will have to answer. 

 

Last Sunday, we saw that from Mark 8 and Jesus healing a blind man that salvation is a process.  Spiritual maturity is a process.  Jesus touched the blind man three times before he could see clearly, and remember that physical blindness in the Bible was often symbolic of spiritual blindness.  Jesus touching the man three times does not say that Jesus’ single touch was insufficient.  God had ordained not only the end but the means as well.

 

I also pointed out last Sunday that we see the salvation and spiritual maturity process in the life of the disciples.  In Mark 8:16, they had not understood what having just one loaf of bread meant.  They didn’t understand what Jesus could do with just their one loaf because of who He was.  Today, you will see in Mark 8:27-30 that they understand.  Salvation is a process.  Spiritual maturity is a process.

 

 

  1. A Question for the Public, Mark 8:27-28

27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”  28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 

 

Jesus and His disciples were now in a predominately Gentile area when Jesus asked His disciples about what others were saying about Him.  That question is found in verse 27, “Who do men say that I am?”  In other words, what is the word on the street? 

 

In verse 28, we find their answers.  In other words, in verse 28 we find the public consensus.  Some said that Jesus was John the Baptist.  Actually, there was one main person who said this, and then everyone else followed his lead.  See Mark 6:16.

 

“16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!”  

 

The Jews then followed Herod’s lead and thought that Jesus was John the Baptist reincarnated continuing his ministry of announcing the Messiah.

 

Others said that Jesus was Elijah reincarnated.  Elijah was considered by most Jews to be the supreme Old Testament prophet, and according to Malachi 4:5-6, Elijah was going to come again before the Day of the Lord.  See Malachi 4:5-6.

 

“5 Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.  6 He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”

 

Third, there were others who thought Jesus just to be one of the other prophets.

 

The answers of public consensus in the first century are not much different than the twenty-first century.  Today, many religious Jews and Muslims think that Jesus a major and very important prophet.

 

Even secular people believe that Jesus was a great moral teacher in the line of Socrates and Aristotle. However, all of those understandings are inadequate.

 

 

  1. A Confession from Peter, Mark 8:29

29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” 

 

In verse 29, Jesus looked directly at His disciples and asked them, “But who do you (plural) say that I am?”  That question is one that every person in the room will have to answer sooner or later.  That question is the most important question you will ever answer. 

 

It is fine to talk about who Jesus was to your mom and dad or who He was to your grandmother or grandfather or who He was to your aunt and uncle.  However, at some point, even today, you will have to answer for yourself, “Who do you say that Jesus is” or “What will you do with Jesus?”

 

Speaking on behalf of the entire twelve, Peter answered, and this is one of Peter’s shining moments.  “You are the Christ.” 

 

Notice that Peter answered differently than the crowds.  His answer was not one of public consensus but of personal conviction. 

 

Jesus wasn’t just a great prophet.  He wasn’t just a great moral teacher.  He was THE Christ.  He was the promised Messiah.  He was the Anointed One who was promised foreshadowed in Genesis 3:21 to save humanity from their sins.

 

21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

 

And He is only way to be at peace with God, to have forgiveness of sins, and to have a home in heaven for eternity. 

 

 

  1. A Concern about Publicity, Mark 8:30

30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.

 

Jews in the first century had an idea about a coming Messiah, but it was not Jesus.  They were expecting a military deliver.  Jesus came with Messianic directive, and that was to give His life as a ransom for many.

 

Therefore, in order not to preserve God’s timetable, He instructed the Twelve to tell no one yet. 

 

 

Conclusions/Invitation

I want to conclude today by reminding you of the consequences of your answer to this most important question.  If you answer today’s question, “What Will You Do with Jesus” like the public, your destination will be Hades or Hell. 

What is Hades?  It is a place of distress, of defeat, of death.  Ultimately, it is a place that is devoid of God in Christ for eternity. 

 

Luke 16:23, 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

 

1 Corinthians 15:55, 55 “O Death, where is your sting?  O Hades, where is your victory?”

 

Revelation 20:13-14, 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

 

However, if your answer is that of Peter that Jesus is the Christ and your Lord and Savior, your destination is Heaven.

 

This morning, you must answer that question.  What will you do with Jesus?

 

Will you be saved?  Will you share that message with your lost family and friends?  Will you join a church that believes and preaches that Jesus is the Christ? 

 

Are You Being Saved?

Are You Being Saved?

October 31, 2019

If you have your Bibles this morning, please take them and find Mark 8:22.  In today’s text, we want to ask and answer the question, “Are you being saved?”  That may sound odd or weird, but hopefully, by the end of my sermon, it will make more sense.

 

Remember what we have seen in the recent weeks.  Some Pharisees came to Jesus to argue with Him demanding another sign to prove His and authority and identity.  Jesus refused.

 

Last week, after leaving the Pharisees, Jesus and His disciples went across the Sea of Galilee, and on that trip, He warned them to watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. 

 

The leaven of the Pharisees was legalism and hypocrisy.  The leaven of Herod was immorality.  Ultimately, the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod was unbelief.  Jesus warned the disciples of unbelief because they were struggling to understand who He was.

 

This morning, we’re going to see Jesus heal a blind man.  However, it is unlike anything that Jesus had ever did or will do.  As a matter of fact, this miracle is only recorded in Mark’s gospel.   I want you to notice three touches from Jesus to the blind man.

 

 

  1. The First Touch, Mark 8:22-23a

22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town.

 

Jesus and His disciples are now Bethsaida, and they are not alone.  The crowds that normally followed the Lord Jesus had now joined Him in Bethsaida.

 

They brought to Him a man that was currently blind, and they begged for Jesus to touch and heal him.  They did this because they cared about the people around them specifically this man who was blind.

 

Notice what happened next.  Jesus touched the man by taking him by the hand and leading him out of town.   Why would He have done this?  I would suggest it was to establish a personal relationship with him.

 

I believe this is symbolic of the salvation process.  We can point our family and friends to Jesus and pray for Him to save them, but Jesus doesn’t save based on our desires.  He has to establish a personal relationship with individuals in order to save them.

 

 

  1. The Second Touch, Mark 8:23b-24

And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.  24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”

 

Jesus had already touched the man once to lead him out of town to begin that personal relationship.  Now, He touched him a second time with His hands.

 

The end of verse 23 says that Jesus spit on his eyes and put His hands on him.  We don’t know exactly why Jesus did what He did, but regardless, we can know it was what Jesus felt this man needed. 

 

After Jesus spit on his eyes and touched, He asked the man if he saw anything.  Jesus wasn’t checking to see if His touch worked.  Again, this part of the process. 

 

The man said could see men like trees, walking.  In other words, he couldn’t see clearly yet, but he could see more than he could previously.  By the way, because this man recognized trees, that is probably evidence that this man wasn’t born blind.  Something happened later in life that caused his blindness.

 

  1. The Third Touch, Mark 8:25-26

25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

 

In verse 25, now for a third time, Jesus touched this blind man, and for the second time, He specifically touched his eyes and made him look up.  Notice the result. The man was restored and saw everyone clearly.  He had been healed completely.  His vision was now perfect.

 

In verse 26, Jesus sent him home and told him not tell anyone.  Otherwise, Jesus would have been mobbed, and He had no interest in that.

 

 

Applications/Conclusions/Invitation

So what do we learn from this experience and these three touches from Jesus to this blind man?

 

First, we learn and can see that only Jesus can heal, and only Jesus can save.  In this instance, Jesus used saliva or spit maybe like we use medication today, but it wasn’t the medication that healed but Jesus. 

 

Of course, this man’s sight being restored is symbolic of our spiritual blindness needing a touch from Jesus.  Every man and woman or boy and girl is born spiritually blind and needs to be healed by Jesus through a personal and saving relationship, and a touch from Jesus is the only possibly way lost people can ever be saved.

 

Secondly, if you believe what I just said, what are you doing about it?  If you believe that only Jesus can heal and only Jesus can save, what are you doing about it? 

 

The people in verse 22 brought this blind man to Jesus and begged Him to heal him.  Are you begging or praying to Jesus to heal your physically sick family and friends?  Are you bringing your lost family and friends to Jesus and begging Him to save them?  If not, why not?  Do you not believe that only Jesus can heal and only Jesus can save?  Are you ok with their blindness or disease?  Are you ok with their lostness and going to hell when they die separated from Christ and literal torment for eternity? 

 

 

Finally, salvation and spiritual maturity is a process.  Jesus touched this man three times and his eyes twice before he was completely healed.  Is that because Jesus wasn’t powerful enough to heal him with one touch?  Of course, He could have.  We have seen Him do just that. 

 

However, salvation and spiritual maturity is a process.  Last week, the disciples didn’t get it about Jesus and leaven and bread, but eventually they did.  We are here today because eventually they got it. 

 

I was saved or justified on April 2, 1985, but I am also being saved or sanctified today.  I am being made more like Jesus every day through obedience, and so are you.  Listen to what Paul said to the Corinthian Christians and the Philippian Christians.

 

1 Corinthians 1:18, 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

 

2 Corinthians 2:15, 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

 

Philippians 2:12, 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

 

Philippians 1:6, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

 

This last verse actually points to a future salvation as well.  I was saved.  I am being saved, and I will be saved because salvation and spiritual maturity is a process, and they key to moving forward in the process is obedience. 

 

Are you being obedient in baptism and church membership?  Are you being obedient in daily Bible study, in prayer, in church attendance? Are you being obedient in tithing, in witnessing, in ministering?  Are you being obedient in your relationships at home, at work, at play? 

 

If there is no obedience, you aren’t being saved and it is a legitimate concern if you have ever been saved.  However, you can be obedient today to call on Jesus to save you or in repentance turning away from you will and way and turning to His.

Is One Loaf Enough?

Is One Loaf Enough?

October 21, 2019

If you have your Bibles this morning, please turn to Mark 8:13.  Today, I want to ask this question, “Is One Loaf Enough?” 

 

Last Sunday, we were in Mark 8 and look at just three verses…11-13.  In those verses, the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign to demonstrate His authority from God or His approval by God. 

 

That request seemed odd since we looked back in Mark’s gospel and saw at least 14 miracles that only God could have done.  Nonetheless, they asked, and Jesus answered.

 

He told them that He wasn’t going to give any more signs than the sign of Jonah.  We then understood that to be His resurrection.  The reality was that the Pharisees didn’t want to believe about Jesus what they already knew to be true.  He was God and expected their recognition of such.  They didn’t want to believe that, and so, they didn’t.  Because of their unbelief, in verse 13, Jesus left them.

 

Today, we pick up again in verse 13.

 

Exposition

In verse 13, Jesus left the Pharisees, and went by boat, with His disciples, to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

 

As a result of Jesus’ anger and indignation with the Pharisees, it seems as if He and His disciples left rather quickly or abruptly.  Consequently, for the next part of their day, they only had one loaf of bread with them.  Is one loaf enough?  That is the question of the day

 

In verse 15, we begin to see some action points from today’s text.

 

 

  1. Reject the ways of the world. Mark 8:15

15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 

 

Notice that Jesus charged them in verse 15 and kept charging them.  His warning was strong and repeated.  Take heed or watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.  What does that mean?

 

Most of the time, when the Bible speaks of leaven, it is in a negative context demonstrating how just a little evil can influence so many and is so powerful.  When making bread in the first century, only a small amount of leaven was needed to make the entire loaf rise.

 

Jesus said to take heed and beware.  Both of these directives are commands from Jesus.  Take heed is to notice or recognize.  Beware is to pay close attention and be on guard against. 

 

But what was the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod?  In this context, it was their perpetual unbelief.  They saw the works of Christ and heard the words of Christ.  However, they didn’t believe.

 

Let’s go to Matthew and Luke and see if we can’t find some answers.  See Matthew 16:12.

 

12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

 

What was the doctrine or teaching of Pharisees?  It was legalism.  It was adding to God’s word in what was necessary for salvation and sanctification.  It elevated traditions and preferences to same of authority as Scripture. 

 

Jesus said to beware of such.

 

Luke’s gospel also gives us a clue about the leaven of the Pharisees.  See Luke 12:1.

 

1 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

 

In this verse, the leaven of the Pharisees is identified as hypocrisy.  They said one thing and did another.  They were two faced.  They talked out of both sides of their mouths.  They were not in private who they wanted you to think they were in public. 

 

But there is still Herod.  What was the leaven of Herod?  Let’s go back earlier in Mark’s gospel to 6:14-18.

 

14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”  15 Others said, “It is Elijah.”  And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”  16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” 17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18 Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

 

In a word, the leaven of Herod was immorality.  Therefore, Jesus told His disciples to beware of legalism, hypocrisy, and immorality because a little of them influences a lot and considering the context of Mark 8, ultimately leads to unbelief, which is the way of the world.

 

That was Jesus’ beef with Pharisees and Herod.  Their legalism led to their unbelief. Their hypocrisy led to their unbelief, and Herod’s immorality led to his unbelief.  He even asked for a sign like the Pharisees in Luke 23:8.

 

8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.

Therefore, in in this instance, don’t be like the Twelve Disciples.  Reject the ways of the world: legalism or adding to God’s Word, hypocrisy or not letting your walk match your talk, and immorality or being faithful and pure in your relationships. 

 

If we don’t reject such, like leaven, a little will influence our entire lives negatively and ultimately turn us away from Jesus in unbelief.  Reject the ways of the world.

 

 

  1. Remember how God has worked previously. Mark 8:16-21

16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”  17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”  They said to Him, “Twelve.”  20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”  And they said, “Seven.”  21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

 

After Jesus’ warning, the minds of the disciples went straight to the secular or physical, but Jesus’ warning was spiritual.  They began to reason about their situation.  Remember, they had only brought one loaf of bread for their trip.

 

Because Jesus was fully man and fully God, He knew what they were thinking, and He chastised them.  He chastised them for not remembering what they had experienced, and ultimately He chastised them for their unbelief that was just like the Pharisees. 

 

His chastisement or rebuke came in the form nine questions beginning in verse 17.

 

  1. Why do you reason because you have no bread?
  2. Do you not yet perceive or understand?
  • Is your heart still hardened?
  1. Having eyes, do you not see?
  2. And having ears, do you not heart?
  3. And do you not remember?
  • When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?
  • Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?
  1. How is it that you do not understand?

 

How could they not remember what Jesus did in their very midst and through them?  How have those miracles not increased their faith rather than wondering whether one loaf was going to be enough for 13 people?

 

I am prone to remember the bad more than the good.  I think Satan plays a key role in that.  However, I have intentionally tried to remember God’s work in my life and key points in my walk with Lord.

 

I can remember when He saved me on April 2, 1985.  I can remember when I was baptized on Easter Sunday at FBC Venus.  I can remember when I answered the call to vocational ministry at FBC Alvarado in 1994.  I can remember who He led me to take the youth ministry position at FBC North Zulch in 1995.  I can remember how He led me to Hampton Road BC in November 1997.  I can remember how He led me to work with Baptist Student Ministry in 1999 and to FBC Forney in November 2000.  I can remember how made it abundantly clear on September 11, 2014 that my time at FBC Camden was finished, and I can remember how God made a way in November 2104 for my family and I to return to Texas.

 

Brothers and sisters, whether we can do it mentally or we must write it down, we must remember how God has worked previously.  Don’t just remember the bad.  Remember the good and remember God.

 

 

  1. Recognize that only Jesus saves and satisfies.

 

Even though the language somewhat nebulous, the disciples had one loaf of bread with them in verse 14.  However, even though they experienced Jesus doing more with less, they weren’t sure that one loaf was going to be enough.  They weren’t sure that one loaf would satisfy.

 

Brothers and sisters, make no mistake about it.  As long as your one loaf is the Bread of Life, you will always have more than enough.  Only Jesus and His will and His way will satisfy you and your life.

 

And for those that have never been saved or born-again, consider John 6:35.

 

35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

Therefore, for those who don’t have Christ this morning, I invite you to come Him in faith.

 

Hebrews 11:6, 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Look No Further…Here’s Your Sign!

Look No Further…Here’s Your Sign!

October 15, 2019

Introduction

Last Sunday morning, we saw Jesus, for the second time in Mark’s gospel, feed a large multitude of people using not very much food.  When I say a large multitude of people, I’m not talking about your family reunion.  I’m talking about 15,000 in Mark 6 and another 12,000 or so in Mark 8.

 

This morning in Mark 8:11, we pick up right after this happened, and Jesus and His disciples had gotten in a boat and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

 

 

Exposition

In verse 11, the Pharisees confront Jesus.  Remember these are the Jewish religious leaders of the first century, and the scribes, experts in the Jewish law, were probably with them.

 

Notice they argued with Jesus.  They asked of Jesus, and they analyzed Jesus.  When they first encountered Jesus, their immediate action was to argue or dispute with Him. 

 

Second, they asked of Him.  Specifically, they asked Him for a sign.  They wanted a sign that proved He was from God or that He was God’s Son, the promised Messiah.

 

Does seem strange to you?  Hadn’t Jesus performed signs that only God could do multiple times already?  Did they not know?  Did those signs not count or matter?

 

What am I talking about?  Let’s walk backward for just a minute.

 

  1. 8:1-10 Fed 4,000 plus with seven and a few
  2. 7:31-37 Healed a deaf and mute man
  3. 7:24-30 Healed a demon-possessed daughter
  4. 6:45-52 Walked on water and calmed a storm
  5. 6:30-44 Fed 5,000 plus with five and two
  6. 5:25-34 Healed a woman with twelve years of internal bleeding
  7. 5:21-43 Raised Jairus’ daughter back to life
  8. 5:1-20 Healed a demon-possessed man
  9. 4:35-41 Calmed a storm
  10. 3:1-6 Healed a man with a withered hand
  11. 2:1-12 Healed a paralytic man who couldn’t walk
  12. 1:40-45 Healed a leper
  13. 1:29-31 Healed Peter’s mother-in-law
  14. 1:21-28 Healed a demon-possessed man

 

So what is the deal?  Why did they ask for another sign?  They didn’t want to believe what they already knew to be true.

 

In verse 12, notice that Jesus was angered at them.  Jesus asked them, and Jesus assured them.

 

Verse 12 says sighed deeply in His spirit.  In other words, the Pharisees’ request really made Jesus mad.  It got His blood boiling.  He was angry.

 

Then, He asked why they needed another sign.  This generation is a reference to the Jewish religious leaders but also to most all first-century Jews.  The Old Testament promised a coming Messiah.  These signs we have already seen point to Jesus as Him.  What was there problem?

 

Third, Jesus assured them that they wouldn’t get another sign.  However, Matthew’s gospel says they would not get another sign other than the sign of Jonah.  That would be Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

 

Matthew 16:4, 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

 

 

Application/Conclusion/Invitation

So what does that mean for us today?  For the follower of Christ, you don’t need any more signs to obey Jesus than this book.

If you want God to give you a sign to be baptized, He has.  If you want God to give you a sign to join a local church, He has.  If you want God to give you a sign that you need to start tithing, He has.  If you want God to give you a sign to sacrificially and unconditionally love your spouse, He has.  If you want God to give you a sign that you need to keep your children in church, He has.  If you want God to give you a sign, children, to obey mom and dad, He has.

 

Quit asking for signs and starting doing what the Bible already has said.

 

If you are here this morning and you’ve never been saved and you’re asking God for a sign as to whether He loves you, look no further than the cross.

 

Romans 5:8, 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Look no further.  Wonder no more.  Ask for no more signs.  God loves you and wants a personal, relationship with you by you calling on His Son, Jesus, to save you from your sins.

 

At the end of our service this morning, when the cup passes by you, know that the cup is a picture of God’s love for you.  When the bread passes by you, know that the bread is a picture of God’s love for you.  Now the question is will you love in return.  Will you call on the name of the Lord to save you?  I’m inviting you to do that this morning.

 

 

 

Physical Needs All Around Us…

Physical Needs All Around Us…

October 7, 2019

If you have your Bibles this morning, please take them and turn to Mark 8:1.  I want to share a message with you this morning entitled, “Physical Needs All Around Us…” 

 

This morning, we are going to see Jesus again miraculously feed a large mass of people.  Some of you will ask, “Didn’t we see that a couple of weeks ago?”  Yes, Jesus did feed 5,000 plus men and women and boys and girls back in Mark 6:33-44. 

 

Some would even suggest that these two are actually the same story but for a different group of listeners.  I would disagree.

 

In Mark 6, Jesus used 5 loaves of bread, and in Mark 8, He used 7.  In Mark 6, Jesus used 2 fish, and in Mark 8, He used a “few” small fish.  In Mark 6, 12 baskets were left over, and in Mark 8, 7 baskets were left over.  In Mark 6, He fed 5,000 men, and in Mark 8, He fed 4,000 men.  Finally, Jesus Himself differentiates the two events in Mark 8:19-20.

 

Mark 8:19-21, 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”  They said to Him, “Twelve.”  20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”  And they said, “Seven.”  21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

 

As we look at this miracle today, I want you to notice three groups or three characters and their role as we look at “Physical Needs All Round Us.” 

 

 

  1. The Distraught Needed, 8:1-3.

1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.” 

 

After Jesus healed a woman’s daughter of demon possession in 7:24-30 and the deaf/mute man in 7:31-37, many were following Jesus to see what He would do next.  Verse calls them “the multitude.”

 

In verse 1, we also see why they were distraught.  They had nothing to eat.  We see that phrase again at the end of verse 2.  In verse 3, Jesus described them as hungry, and if this physical need went unmet, He feared they might faint on their long trip home.

 

 

  1. The Doubters Wondered, 8:4.

4 Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”

 

When it comes to meeting the physical needs of those in need, there will always be doubters.  The wondered how in the world they could help the multitude considering where they were, “here in the wilderness.” 

 

By the way, we are often so prone to forget the good and focus on the bad.  Had they forgotten what Jesus did through them in Mark 6?  Didn’t they pass out the bread and the fish?  They did, but they and we have short memories when it comes to remembering the good.

 

Today, we say, “Is that our job” or “Is that ministry safe” or “Do we have the money to do that” or “They won’t appreciate it.”  In this story, the multitude had been with Jesus for three days already feeding on the bread of life.  Now they needed bread in their stomachs.

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, always remember that we are saved to serve.  I was reminded of that this week in my own time with the Lord in Mark 1:30-31.

 

Mark 1:30-31, 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.

 

 

  1. The Divine Intervened, Mark 8:5-10.

5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”  And they said, “Seven.”  6 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 7 They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. 8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. 9 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

 

Now we turn our attention to Jesus, the Divine, and see that He intervened.  Notice first, that He recognized a need.  The multitude had nothing to eat.  They were hungry and had a long trip home.

 

Second, when He saw that need, how did He respond?  Did He turn a deaf ear or a blind eye?  Did He say, “Well you should have thought about that?”  Did He say, “That’s not my job?”  Did He say, “We can’t feed all so we can’t feed any?”

 

No, in verse 2, He said, “I have compassion on them.”  Again, they weren’t freeloaders looking for a handout.  They weren’t trying to scam the system.  The multitude had been with Him for three days, and Jesus knew that there need was real and genuine.

 

Third, He involved others.  He asked His disciples how much food they had.  He then used them to distribute that food.

 

Fourth, He gave thanks.  I believe He thank God for the food and the opportunity to meet the need.  Ministry is a privilege not a burden, and as we saw earlier, we are saved to serve.

 

Fifth, when the multitude ate, verse 8 says they were filled.  Jesus, the Divine, intervened and met their real, physical need of those in need.

 

 

Conclusion

As I wrap up this morning, I want to highlight three physical needs ministries that EBC offers and can always need more of your help.

 

First, on the first Monday of each month, from 1-4 PM, EBC volunteers at Good Samaritans.  Sharon Massingill is our volunteer coordinator there.  Good Samaritans meets physical needs of food and clothing for those who have physical needs in and around Rains County, and Sharon is always looking for more volunteers for this ministry.

 

Second, every Tuesday night from 6-8 PM in our Fellowship Hall, Dempsey Bullock and others host our Recovery Ministry for those with hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  Those that attend have real physical needs, and we could always use more folks simply to love and support those that attend.

 

Third, every other Wednesday from 1-2 or 3 PM in our Fellowship Hall, Bobby and Dena Westmoreland organize our Back Pack Buddies Ministry which provides food for RISD students who might go hungry over the weekend.  Again, we are trying to meet physical needs of those in need.

 

Finally, after we meet someone’s practical needs, it is imperative that we give that person an invitation to call on the name of Jesus to save him or her.

 

What I want you to see from this text is that includes folks like us and those that aren’t like us.  I believe the very reason for Mark included this story along with the other story of the feeding the 5,000 is to show that Jesus came to minister and save the entire world, not just the nation of Israel.

 

The location of this miracle was in a place primarily occupied by Gentiles.  He had just healed a Gentile daughter of demon possession, and if you believe that numbers have significance, consider the numbers in this story.

 

Some believe that 4,000 is symbolic of the “four corners” of the world, and Jesus came to minister the gospel and for us to take the good news to the “four corners” of the earth. 

 

Also, the number 7 is seen as the perfect number and the complete number.  Notice how many times the number 7 is mentioned in this story…3 or in the other words…777 to show us that Jesus’ perfect and complete plan is to empower His people to take the gospel to those who have spiritual needs after we meet their physical needs.

 

He Does All Things Well!