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Exposing Religious Frauds — Mark 12:35-44

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Christian | 0 comments

Exposing Religious Frauds — Mark 12:35-44

In today’s Christian culture there seems to be a reluctance to speak against specific false teachers and to expose and condemn them as religious frauds.  It is part of our acquiescence to the political correctness of the ultimate virtue of Tolerance.  Jesus certainly had no qualms about calling out the scribes and other religious leaders of his day for their hypocrisy and pride and selfish ambition.  He labeled them as blind leaders of the blind – they not only are headed for eternal damnation themselves but they are trying to get everyone to accompany them to that ultimate lake of fire.

We have seen Jesus patiently responding in Wisdom and Authority to the attacks leveled against him by the various groups that came to him with tricky questions to try to trip him up and discredit him.  He turned around all of their arguments and made them all look silly in front of the general public – who were reveling in such exchanges.  Now having finally silenced them, Jesus turns on the offensive and levels some scathing critiques of these religious frauds.

Matt. 7:15  “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Still the third day of Passion Week.

FALSE TEACHERS MUST BE EXPOSED AS RELIGIOUS FRAUDS

3 FATAL FLAWS OF THE SCRIBES (OR ANY FALSE RELIGIOUS TEACHERS)

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So Close Yet So Far — Sincerity No Guarantee of Authenticity — Mark 12:28-34

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Christian | 0 comments

So Close Yet So Far — Sincerity No Guarantee of Authenticity — Mark 12:28-34

I am sure you have heard the expression: “Close never counts except in horseshoes.”  We have all played the game of horseshoes at one time or another.  We understand that the object is to throw a ringer around the pole.  But there are other ways to score points as well – such as a shoe that ends up leaning against the pole or throwing one closer than the other competitor.  But there are a wide range of situations where close just doesn’t cut it.  My wife teaches math.  I doubt if she gives much credit for an answer that is close to correct.  In math, 2 + 2 = 4 – you had better come up with that unique result.  When it comes to getting into the college of your choice or getting the promotion you want, being close is not very satisfying.  When you are in a horrific car accident and the surgeon at the emergency room comes out to bring the tragic news to your family – “We were so close to saving him, but he just didn’t make it” – being so close is actually so far away.

Jesus has been interrogated by a number of different groups of individuals representing various segments of the leadership of Judaism that would have been members in the elite Sanhedrin.  The questions brought to Jesus were designed to trip him up – to expose his inadequacies in the 2 realms of Authority and Wisdom.  They were attempts to discredit him before the people and before the Roman authorities.

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Jesus Has the Answer — Part 2 — Mark 12:18-27

Posted by on Sep 4, 2016 in Christian | 0 comments

Jesus Has the Answer — Part 2 — Mark 12:18-27

Section dealing with a series of attacks brought against Jesus by various religious leaders to try to discredit Him before the general public and try to get him in trouble with the religious and political authorities.

These first two attacks are grouped together because the motivation of the attackers is the same and therefore they track along the same outline.

Next week we will see a different approach by a scribe; all taking place on the third day of Passion Week.

HYPOCRITICAL ATTACKS CAN NEVER UNDERMINE THE WISDOM AND AUTHORITY OF GOD

TWO HYPOCRITICAL ATTACKS REBUFFED BY THE WISDOM AND AUTHORITY OF JESUS

Last week looked at an Attack directed against Consistency – How can you balance what God demands in terms of Civil Responsibilities with what God demands in terms of allegiance to Him?   — Issue of Taxation

Today – Attacked directed against Absurdity – Using Convoluted, Hypothetical example to try to mock biblical truth  — Issue of the Afterlife – specifically: what will marriage look like in the afterlife?

You can have confidence that the Wisdom of God will never be disproved by arguments of consistency or absurdity.

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Jesus Has the Answer — Part 1 — Issue of Taxation — Mark 12:13-17

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Christian | 0 comments

Jesus Has the Answer — Part 1 — Issue of Taxation — Mark 12:13-17

Christianity today faces all types of attacks from antagonistic hypocrites who seek to mock biblical principles.

– attacks on miracles by the scientific community

– attacks on Creationism by the evolutionists

– attacks on the sanctity of life by those advocating for abortion

– attacks on marriage and sexual identity

– attacks on sexual purity

– attacks on the Second Coming

– attacks on God’s program for the nation of Israel in the future

– attacks on the role of parents in educating their children vs the role of the state

– attacks on the rights of believers to pray or to evangelize or to express their convictions

There are no end to the attacks . . . and from a natural perspective in our country and in our culture it seems like the antagonists are continually gaining ground.  Christianity is very much on the defensive.  But ultimately there is no way that

HYPOCRITICAL ATTACKS CAN NEVER UNDERMINE THE WISDOM AND AUTHORITY OF GOD

TWO HYPOCRITICAL ATTACKS REBUFFED BY THE WISDOM AND AUTHORITY  OF JESUS

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Respect the Son — Mark 12:1-12

Posted by on Aug 21, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on Respect the Son — Mark 12:1-12

Respect the Son — Mark 12:1-12

Think of the simple command in the NT addressed to all children: their fundamental responsibility is to Honor, to Respect their parents.  How shocking and evil and wicked it is when we see a TV newscast give an account of a child turning against his parents and killing them – the ultimate expression of rejection; the ultimate violation of this simple command.

Our passage this morning looks at the parallel responsibility we all have to Honor, to Respect Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the authority over our lives.  We will see the ultimate violation of that command by the religious leaders who conspired to put Jesus to death at the hands of the Roman authorities.  But I want you to be thinking of your own response to this overarching responsibility.  How are we doing each day when it comes to showing Respect for the Lord Jesus?

REJECTION OF CHRIST MEANS LOSS OF KINGDOM INHERITANCE AND THE UNLEASHING OF THE WRATH OF GOD (FOR THE WICKED RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF ISRAEL)

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Lessons on Faith and Authority — Mark 11:20-33

Posted by on Aug 14, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on Lessons on Faith and Authority — Mark 11:20-33

Lessons on Faith and Authority — Mark 11:20-33

Religious Hypocrisy takes many forms.  But in all instances, Hypocrisy puts on an external mask to try to look like something it is not.  It dresses itself up in the activities of religion – lots of prayers; lots of donating money; lots of quoting of bible verses; lots of acts of worship – like baptisms and observance of the Lord’s Supper; singing and listening to sermons – but no heart reality of genuine faith and no submission to the authority of the Lord.  Instead, there is an exchanging of the commandments of God for the traditions of the hypocritical religious leaders.

Jesus takes the two object lessons of the Cursing of the Hypocritical Fig Tree and the Cleansing of the Corrupt Temple and revisits them with these TWO APPLICATION LESSONS.

WHAT GOOD IS RELIGION WITHOUT FRUIT OR WORSHIP WITHOUT REALITY?

JESUS CONDEMNS THE HYPOCRISY OF AN UNFRUITFUL NATION WITH ITS EMPTY RELIGIOUS SYSTEM (CENTERED AROUND THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM) AND OF ITS EXPLOITATIVE RELIGIOUS LEADERS (THE SANHEDRIN)

TWO OBJECT LESSONS (ACTS OF JUDGMENT — Last week) FOLLOWED BY TWO CORRESPONDING APPLICATION LESSONS

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Hypocrisy Fires Up Jesus — Part 1 — Mark 11:12-19

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on Hypocrisy Fires Up Jesus — Part 1 — Mark 11:12-19

Hypocrisy Fires Up Jesus — Part 1 — Mark 11:12-19

Our culture loves to portray Jesus as this mild mannered, gentle teacher who went about doing good and blessing all the little children and spouting off moral platitudes.  The two events we are going to study this morning present a far different picture of Jesus.  We are now into the second and third day of Passion Week and we are going to see a Jesus who is fired up; one who is truly ticked off; one who responds in anger and judgment.  What is it that caused Jesus to go off:

Hypocrisy!

WHAT GOOD IS RELIGION WITHOUT FRUIT OR WORSHIP WITHOUT REALITY?

JESUS CONDEMNS THE HYPOCRISY OF AN UNFRUITFUL NATION WITH ITS EMPTY RELIGIOUS SYSTEM (CENTERED AROUND THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM) AND OF ITS EXPLOITATIVE RELIGIOUS LEADERS (THE SANHEDRIN)

This is not a temper tantrum or uncontrolled rage on the part of Jesus

Controlled display of righteous indignation from the Judge of the universe who is the Truth

TWO OBJECT LESSONS (ACTS OF JUDGMENT) FOLLOWED BY TWO CORRESPONDING APPLICATION LESSONS

Acted out prophetic parables with the meaning attached

Want to treat this as one section – but will require 2 weeks to cover

  • Fig Tree: boasts of its leaves – but no fruit
  • Temple: showy and impressive – but no genuine worship

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The Reception That Wasn’t — Mark 11:1-11

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on The Reception That Wasn’t — Mark 11:1-11

The Reception That Wasn’t — Mark 11:1-11

Following the confession of Peter in chap. 8 that Jesus is truly the Messiah, we have seen a growing sense of anticipation and drama in the Gospel of Mark.  Jesus has set His face like flint to head to Jerusalem where He will fulfill His mission as the Suffering Servant.  He has been educating His closest disciples about what type of Messiah He is.  He has been explaining over and over that He is much more than just a political revolutionist who will bring about national restoration and throw off the bonds of Roman oppression.  He is headed for rejection and suffering and death at the hands of both the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman officials.  His hour has almost come to glorify the Father.   This is why He came into the world as God incarnate.  Today we see Jesus arrive in Jerusalem.  I cannot overstress the significance of this great event.

Look at what % of the gospel accounts deal with the final week of Jesus’ life on earth as He goes to the Cross – 1/3 of Mark’s Gospel and ½ of John’s Gospel cover the last seven days of Jesus’ life.  Significant to understanding the identity and mission of the Suffering Servant.

Various names for this event:

  • The Triumphal Entry – (maybe the Triumphal Procession would be better)
  • Palm Sunday – occurred on the first day of Passion week – either Sunday or Monday

Not some symbol of peace and pleasantness as in our Sunday School classes with young children but symbol of Maccabean revolt by political revolutionaries —

The Palm branches signify the expectation of a military victory of their king over the occupying Romans.  Look at Rev. 7:9  the martyrs coming out of the Great Trib.

  • What should we call it??? The Reception That Wasn’t – looking not so much at the procession but what took place upon His arrival

Where does all this excitement and anticipation lead??

EXCITEMENT OVER JESUS THAT STOPS SHORT OF WORSHIPING HIM AS KING OVER ALL QUICKLY FADES AWAY

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Beggars Can Be Choosers — Healing of Blind Bartimaeus — Mark 10:46-52

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on Beggars Can Be Choosers — Healing of Blind Bartimaeus — Mark 10:46-52

Beggars Can Be Choosers — Healing of Blind Bartimaeus — Mark 10:46-52

This story provides a stark contrast to how the rich young ruler approached Jesus in the previous encounter.

  • Man of privilege and distinction vs. the most pitiful creature imaginable = blind beggar
  • Man who claimed obedience vs. wretched sinner crying out for mercy
  • Man who could not lay aside his great wealth vs. man who had no problem casting aside his only possession, a threadbare coat
  • Man who went away sad vs. a man who followed Jesus on the pathway of discipleship with great joy and rejoicing – “Once I was blind, but now I can see .. the light of the world is Jesus”

This story also provides a stark contrast to the interaction with Jesus with James and John in the previous section.  Same question Jesus asked in vs. 36 – but different response

  • Disciples seeking places of prominence and distinction in the kingdom vs. a simple sinner who wants to be healed of his debilitating blindness
  • Disciples who lack the spiritual vision to get the lesson that Jesus has been teaching over and over regarding greatness in the kingdom vs. a humble, bankrupt.lowly sinner whom Jesus blesses with spiritual vision as well as physical vision

Jesus wants each of us to see our self in the story of Bartimaeus.  This is the model of how sinners should approach Jesus by faith and receive His power and blessing.

BLIND BEGGARS CAN ACCESS THE SAVING POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN THE MERCY OF JESUS

Let’s learn the 3 LESSONS ABOUT FAITH that Jesus teaches us here:

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The Way of the Cross Leads to Exaltation — Mark 10:32-45

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on The Way of the Cross Leads to Exaltation — Mark 10:32-45

The Way of the Cross Leads to Exaltation — Mark 10:32-45

Illustration: Brian Billick book — Competitive Leadership: Twelve Principles for Success:

  • Be Values Oriented
  • Be Prepared
  • Be Self Disciplined
  • Be Knowledgeable
  • Be Performance Oriented
  • Be a Communicator
  • Be a Motivator
  • Be a Problem Solver
  • Be a Team Builder
  • Be Opportunistic
  • Be Self Assured
  • Be Courageous

What is missing?  Be a SERVANT!

 

We are continuing in the same themes as we come to the third of these 3 passion prophecies in the central portion of Mark’s Gospel (8:31, 9:31); Always followed by a response of self-seeking and self-promotion on the part of the apostles; Teaching of Jesus centered around the contrast between the world’s concept of greatness and how to be great in the kingdom of God

MacArthur: The path to greatness is not the world’s way, it’s God’s way. The world’s way works in the world. God’s way works in the Kingdom.

SUFFERING AND SACRIFICIAL SERVICE IS THE PATH TO GREATNESS IN THE KINGDOM – NOT SELF-SEEKING AND SELF-PROMOTION

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