- All Praise To Him
- Before the Throne
- Christ The Sure And Steady Anchor
- IntroductionGood morning and welcome to Dishman Baptist Church. I am so thankful for each of you and for the continued privilege of serving you. Whether you are watching online or you are here in person I am grateful to God for you and for your faithfulness to the preaching of His Word. If you are joining us for the first time please take a moment to fill out one of the contact cards in the seat backs in front of you or if you are online please fill out the online contact card so that we can get to know you and have an idea of how we can serve you here at Dishman. Please take your copy of the Word of God and open them with me to Mark 9, Mark 9.We’re continuing on our journey with Christ this week. For the last two and half years (for us it has been the last 10 months) He has been ministering and teaching in and around the northern region of Galilee. Most recently He has spent a few weeks in the region of Caesarea Philippi where we were witnesses to Peter’s great confession, the admonition to take up our cross and follow Christ, the Transfiguration and most recently to the healing of a boy who had an unclean spirit. It is fittingly the high water mark of Mark’s Gospel - of his telling of Christ’s life and ministry. For the rest of the Gospel Christ will be inexorably walking toward Jerusalem. We will begin that journey with Him today as we look at this passage that has great promise but also great responsibility for each of us. Let’s read through the passage together and then we’ll explore what God’s Spirit has to say to us today. I’ll be reading from Mark 9:30-37.Then they left that place and made their way through Galilee, but he did not want anyone to know it. For he was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after he is killed, he will rise three days later.” But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask him. They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, because on the way they had been arguing with one another about who was the greatest. Sitting down, he called the Twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last and servant of all.” He took a child, had him stand among them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me does not welcome me, but him who sent me.”As we look through this passage this morning we’re going to see three fundamental truths that can bolster and grow us as Christians - developing within us the maturity that we all seek. And yet as fundamental as these truths are, they are often the first to be forgotten or attacked and the hardest to be maintained as we seek to live our lives for Christ. The first point that we’re going to be looking at is the Savior’s humiliation then we’ll examine the disciple’s hubris and finally we’re going to see the believer’s hospitality.The Savior’s HumiliationIt is not often in the course of Jesus’ ministry that He successfully travels in secret. Previously Jesus sought to take some rest in secret amongst the Gentiles in Tyre and yet was found out and as the word spread He had His encounter with a Syrophoenician woman. Here Mark tells us that Jesus desires to travel incognito, that He is traveling through Galilee and doesn’t want anyone to know it. There are several reasons for this - the first being His popularity and the desire of the people to make Him king by force. Although He has run afoul of the Jewish religious leaders, there was a grassroots movement of those who misinterpreted His mission to force their own plans, their own ideas and ideals of who and what the Messiah would be and Jesus doesn’t want any more distractions.He has also reached the end of His instruction to the people of Galilee - His time of public ministry has ended. He has been with them for as long as He was with the disciples and His teaching has mostly been in the open. The necessary instruction for them to understand who He is has been delivered and there is nothing left to be done but for Jesus to get to Jerusalem. Luke tells us that He determined to travel to Jerusalem. Other ways to understand this is that He was fixated on Jerusalem, He was resolute, He was resolved to get to Jerusalem and so there would be no more public ministry in Galilee that would distract from that.But for His disciples there was more teaching necessary if they were to be prepared for what would happen in Jerusalem and also for what they would be responsible for in the days and years following, and so as they went He taught them along the way. “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. The will kill Him and after He is killed, He will rise three days later.” This is now the second time that Jesus has predicted His death. And there are a couple key differences between this and the first prediction. This second prediction builds a bit on the first.Just following Peter’s great confession we see Christ’s first prediction of His death. Look back with me for a moment at Mark 8:31Then he began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days.Notice here that Jesus merely says that He will be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes. This second prediction introduces a grander scheme to the plot for Jesus death. You see it should have come as no surprise to the disciples that Christ would be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes - they had been front seat witnesses to the increasingly hostile interactions between Christ and the religious elite of Israel. Even if they were unaware of the plots that were taking place it wouldn’t have been that hard for them to grasp - that is one reason why we see Peter’s reaction is to take Christ aside and to rebuke Him for this saying.Here Christ reveals even more of the plan for His death to the disciples. Notice this first sentence - The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.” The Son of Man is the same moniker that He used for Himself in the previous prediction - drawn from the description in Daniel 7:13I continued watching in the night visions, and suddenly one like a son of man was coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before him.and Christ’s preferred descriptor when referring to Himself. Notice now the differences in this prediction versus the first one. “Is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.” This is an important distinction that we cannot pass by quickly. We need to settle here for a moment.The first thing we should fixate on is that He is going to be betrayed. Now I know what you’re thinking - of course He’s going to be betrayed, we’ve all been to a Good Friday service. We know all about Judas and the kiss in the Garden. And yet if that’s where this verse takes and leaves us we would be wrong. The Greek word here is paradidomi and it would be more correctly rendered as delivered. The New American Standard Bible does translate the word this way - that He would be delivered over. Another key note on this word is that it is in the passive tense. We have seen this word used before in the case of John the Baptist.After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God:The word for arrested here is paradidomi - again in the passive tense. Just as John was delivered up, so Jesus will be delivered up - by God. This is an instance of what is called a divine passive and it is significant. The delivering up of Jesus wasn’t just some going to be some happenstance event. Instead it was the fulfillment of the longstanding plan of God for the redemption of His people. The idea that Jesus was teaching this to His disciples as they walked implies more than that this was simply an announcement that Christ makes in passing. It implies that just as He does after His resurrection, Jesus is appealing to Scripture to establish the truth of this teaching.We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished him for the iniquity of us all.The Greek version of the Old Testament renders the phrase the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all as “the Lord has handed Him over for our sins” the word being paradidomi. Later in that same great chapter Isaiah 53:12Therefore I will give him the many as a portion, and he will receive the mighty as spoil, because he willingly submitted to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet he bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.again the Greek version of the Old Testament is a little different - “his soul was handed over to death and among the lawless He was reckoned…and on account of their sins He was handed over”. The suffering servant of Isaiah was handed over by God - and the personified servant of the New Testament Christ would be handed over by God for the fulfillment of His plans.On the day of Pentecost Peter informs the crowdThough he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him.This was the divine plan from the very beginning - it was the event that, whatever else He did, taught or accomplished, all of it was simply window dressing for the event that He was teaching His disciples about now. And it was important for His disciples, for Mark’s readers and for us today to understand that this was foreordained as we face the increasing challenges in our world.If Mark’s readers lived in a world where the cross was solely the Pharisees idea, was solely a Roman idea then they were still in their sins because what was supposed to happen on the cross couldn’t have happened.If we live in a world where the cross was solely the Pharisee’s idea, was solely a Roman idea then we are still in our sins because what was supposed to happen on the cross couldn’t have happened.Mark’s readers were either under the threat of persecution or actually experiencing persecution. Without the certainty that Christ’s death was foreordained by God and effectual for the forgiveness of sins they would have no assurance.In our day, in our context the threat of persecution may not be as prevalent but the attacks on the crucifixion of Christ are more insidious. There are many today who would challenge the belief or the necessity for Christ to have not only died on the cross but that the reason that death transpired was because God delivered Him up. About a decade ago a book ripped through the church. It was entitled The Shack and it was written by a man named William Paul Young. Listen to what Mr. Young had to say about the cross.“Explain to me how the cross could originate in God?” Then later in a book entitled “Lies We Believe About God” he had an entire chapter dedicated to the idea of Who originated the cross with this quote “If God did then we worship a cosmic abuser who in divine wisdom created a means to torture human beings in the most painful and abhorrent manner.” What a pitiful idea - listen instead to what Paul has to sayGod presented him as the mercy seat by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and justify the the one who has faith in Jesus.The great pre-Reformation saint John Huss said
To avert from men God’s wrath
Jesus suffered in our stead;
By an ignominious death
He a full atonement made.What a glorious truth to recognize that in accordance with the foreordained plan of God, Christ was delivered up as an atoning sacrifice for sins so that the wrath of God might pass over those who would put their faith in Him. And He lets us know right here that this is truth. This second prediction is a reassurance that this is not some random event or one that is being orchestrated by anyone other than God. And notice who it is that God is handing Jesus over to - unlike the previous prediction where the elders, chief priests and scribes are named, here Jesus merely says into the hands of men. That’s us. That’s the readers of Mark. That’s any person in the history of the world who ever sinned.This eternal God, this unchangeable, incomprehensible God is given over to His creation to be treated as they will. And they kill Him. This transcendent God confines Himself and joins His divine nature to the human nature, coexistent in one body and submits to the whims of His creatures who, in the darkness of their hearts can only devise His death.But there is the glorious hope that He leaves them with - that He will rise after three days.And yet men still miss these truths - but should we be all that surprised. The very men walking with Jesus that day missed it as well.The Disciple’s HubrisThere is probably no more destructive, blinding sin than pride. Really it is the foundation of almost every other sin. It was pride that drove the devil to think that he could rise to a place of equality with God. It was pride that made Eve susceptible to the serpent’s lies - she thought she was owed something better, that she deserved what God was “holding” back from her. Pride is a dangerous ideal.One Medieval saint, Hugh of St. Victor, said this of the sin of pride
Pride is the worst of all vices, because it attacks the soul through its virtues as well as through its evil habits. Pride is hateful to God and men.… It is the first prompting in the committing of sin; it remains the last in the struggle against sin. Indeed when the servant of God has overcome other vices and has reached the heights of virtue, she still has to face the battle against pride, and if she do not engage in the struggle her labor in other directions will be in vain.And yet no one is immune to it. We may beat back many vices when we come to Christianity - some give up drinking, swearing, lying, stealing, lust - but the one vice that consistently rears its ugly head in the lives of believers is pride. It is that vice which causes us to be offended when someone cuts us off, when someone gets the promotion we wanted, when someone leaves the cap off the toothpaste because that’s not how we like it. Pride is the most divisive of sins - it has divided churches for years. And as we see in this text it threatened to divide the disciples right from the very beginning.The 35 mile trip from Caesarea Philippi to Capernaum probably took at least two days to complete - but the disciples and Jesus arrive in Capernaum tired from their journey and enter into a home. It is most likely one of the disciple’s homes - maybe even Peter’s as they have stayed there before when Jesus healed his mother-in-law. Jesus asks the disciples a question - “What were you arguing about on the way?” The disciples look nervously from one to another as they shift their feet.I’ve enjoyed the musical Hamilton a few times lately and one of my favorite parts is when Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, serving on the cabinet together, are on opposite sides of an issue. In the musical they stand toe to toe in front of George Washington having a rap battle. I can just imagine if this journey from Caesarea Philippi to Capernaum were made into a modern musical that the scene between the disciples on the way would be much the same. They were arguing on the way about who was the greatest...This was a common concern in Jewish society at the time. The Pharisees would often assume the highest seats at whatever banquet they attended. Proverbs warnsDon’t boast about yourself before the king, and don’t stand in the place of the great; for it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here!” than to demote you in plain view of a noble.Jesus tells a parable about humility in Luke 14He told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they would choose the best places for themselves: “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, don’t sit in the place of honor, because a more distinguished person than you may have been invited by your host.The rest of the parable is about choosing a lower seat so that you wont be embarrassed when the host demotes you but instead honored when the host asks you to come to a higher seat. .”Jesus calls the disciples to Himself and addresses their arguments on the road. If anyone wants to be first. First carries with it the idea of rulers or other such persons of authority or influence. It was exactly what the disciples wanted to be. They were under the impression that this would be handed to them when they arrived in Jerusalem and Jesus revealed Himself to be the Messiah they expected Him to be. But the rest of Jesus comments are counter-cultural and counterintuitive to what the disciples were thinking. “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last and the servant of all.”Um that’s not really in the game plan. No one with half a mind for success actively seeks to be last or to be the servant. It is our pride that prevents us from thinking like this - you want me to serve? I deserve better than that. I should be leading - not serving. But yet that is the expectation of the Christian - Paul tells us in Philippians 2Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,The great Bible translator John Wycliffe said it this way
This then is the true form and institution of the apostles’ trade: lordship and rule is forbidden, ministration and service commanded.This is a lesson Peter learned well as he would write to elders in the church laterI exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory about to be revealed: Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but willingly, as God would have you; not out of greed for money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.How often do we in our pride think that we deserve better. To think that we should be running things rather than humbly listening. To think that our way is right and that everyone else’s ways are incorrect if they differ from our way. It destroys the unity that the church should be known for - and it doesn’t reflect the example of the One who purchased the church for Himself. Later on an evening when the disciples again refuse to defer to one another, each seeking to be the most important, Christ Himself doffs His tunic, dons a towel and assumes the simple posture of a servant in washing the disciples feet. Do we seek to serve or to be served? Do we think we should be first or seek instead obscurity?Listen to these words of Charles Spurgeon
I do believe that personal service for Christ, even when it is far from perfect, is generally much more efficient than that sort of substituted service that so many prefer. If we could only get all those who are members of our churches personally to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, what a powerful church we should have! But it is not so; many of you just talk about it, or propose to do something, or try to get other people to do something.What does that service look like you ask? Christ gives us an answer.The Believer’s HospitalityTaking a child from among their midst - a child, one who in Jewish society was more often not seen and not heard. Children were of little value to society. Many rabbis thought that training a child in the Torah before the age of twelve was a waste of time. Jesus takes this child in His arms and says that anyone who receives this child in my name receives Me. This is the very definition of those humble enough to serve - those who will take a moment to speak to or acknowledge a child in their midst. Oh how often we get busy and fail to take a moment to brighten a child’s day. Christ’s point is that the true test of servanthood is how we treat the marginalized, the overlooked in our midst. Are we too full of ourselves to talk with certain people? Are we to busy or too important or to whatever to offer a greeting or a kind word? To notice a drawn face and take time to pray?In so doing we are offering our service not only to Christ but to the Father who sent Him. This is really a foundation of the faith - and yet sometimes it seems the hardest hurdle for us to get over. We all want to be treated well - and yet we forget to treat others the way we would want them to treat us.We should instead look toward the One who gave up so much to come and be the servant of all - for the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve - so we should seek to serve. May we all say along with this puritan prayerI humble myself for faculties misused, opportunities neglected, words ill-advised, I repent of my folly and inconsiderate ways, my broken resolutions, untrue service, my backsliding steps, my vain thoughts. O bury my sins in the ocean of Jesus blood and let no evil result from my fretful temper, unseemly behaviour, provoking pettiness. If by unkindness I have wounded or hurt another, do thou pour in the balm of heavenly consolation; If I have turned coldly from need, misery, grief, do not in just anger forsake me: If I have withheld relief from penury and pain, do not withhold thy gracious bounty from me. If I have shunned those who have offended me, keep open the door of thy heart to my need. Fill me with an overflowing ocean of compassion, the reign of love my motive, the law of love my rule. O thou God of all grace, make me more thankful, more humble; Inspire me with a deep sense of my unworthiness arising from the depravity of my nature, my omitted duties, my unimproved advantages, thy commands violated by me. With all my calls to gratitude and joy may I remember that I have reason for sorrow and humiliation; O give me repentance unto life; Cement my oneness with my blessed Lord, that faith may adhere to Him more immovably, that love may entwine itself around Him more tightly, that His Spirit may pervade every fiber of my being then send me out to make Him known to my fellow men.ConclusionWhen we have a right recognition of the cross - when we realize that it was a foreordained event, orchestrated solely by God for His glory and the redemption of His people and the benefits that we recieved not due to our own worth or value but instead in spite of it - how could we ever carry ourselves with such pride that we would think ourselves better than anyone else? How could we look down on anyone but instead admit with Paul that we are “the chief of sinners” and but for the grace of God ere go I.
1 Peter 5:1–4CSB
- Crown Him With Many Crowns
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