Parkland First Baptist Church
March 14, 2021
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        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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  • Three Reasons People Won’t Follow Jesus

    We’ve been a series going through the gosple of Mark.
    The goal is for us to see a glimpse of who Jesus is.
    The suffering servant, Messiah, Christ!
    We start our journey with the baptism of Jesus, today we have moved into the last week of His life.
    Jesus has entered Jerusalem triumphantly as the Messiah was prophesized to do riding on a donkey.
    The people were proclaiming Him to be the King of Israel, the Messiah.
    As He arrived in Jerusalem, He goes to the temple where He righteously angrily cleanses the temple.
    He curses a barren fig tree which represents the spiritually dead nation of Israel.
    It’s now Tuesday, and Jesus agains come to the temple and has His authority questioned.
    This sedtion continues and contributes to the larger theme of chapters 11-13 that is defined by Jesus’ oppostition to and rejection of the temple.
    These actions foreshadow the end of the temple system, which, in the person and work of Jesus was withering much like the cursed fig tree.
    After the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, we become the temple of God with God the Spirit living within us.
    Mark 11: 27– 12: 44 records five temple controversies in Jerusalem that parallel five earlier controversies in Galilee (cf. 2: 1– 3: 6).
    In both cases His opponents are the religious leaders.
    Now that He is in Jerusalem, the stakes are much higher and the intensity of the conflict much stronger.
    Things are moving to an inevitable climax: the cross.
    In this first of five temple controversies, we will see some common reasons people are not willing to come and follow Jesus.
    Not much has changed in two thousand years.
    The same kinds of reasons cause people to refuse Him today.
    Mark 11:27–33 CSB
    27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28 and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ ”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

    They Do Not Want to Submit to His Authority Verses 27-28

    As Jesus arrived at the Temple, he was was met a delegation from the Sanhedrin.
    The Sanhedrin was the influential judicatory of seventy-one leaders that dominated Jewish religious and even political life to some degree.
    They were the mediators between the Roman government and the Jews.
    It was composed of the high priest and the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes.
    Being in the temple was the most authoritative place and before the most authoritative body in Israel, Jesus opens a window of understanding into his own authority.
    They question Him regarding His authority, which clearly they reject.
    The immediate context of their interrogation is His actions during the previous day in the temple.
    In essence they are asking, “Who gave you the right to wreak havoc in our temple?”
    You find a similar confrontation as He taught with authority, healed the demon possessed, and to forgive sins.
    They are asking for Jesus to present His credentials so they can see who apporved Himd doing all that He does.
    They are not motivated by a willingness to know who He is, and they have no interest in bringing their lives under His authority.
    Their goal is to ensnare Him, embarrass Him, and discredit Him. If He admits He has no religious credentials and that He is acting on His own authority, He will probably lose the respect and following of the people, and they can be finished with this troublemaker.
    On the other hand, if He makes a claim to divine authority, then they could charge Him with blasphemy, arrest Him, and start the process for His destruction.
    Either way He was finished.
    The question of authority is important.
    We all have a source of authority in our lives, someone or something that guides us and drives us, something that rules.
    For most of us, like the Sanhedrin, it is ourselves.
    We are not really interested in surrendering that rule to anyone else.
    Daniel Akin in his commentary writes this about this desire to rule ourselves as it relates to the passage.
    Aldous Huxley noted that part of what drove him to atheism was a desire for emotional liberation in the area of his sex life: “We objected to the morality [imposed by God] because it interfered with our sexual freedom” (Huxley, Ends and Means, 273).
    Huxley died on the same day as both John F. Kennedy and C. S. Lewis.
    The latter’s perspective was radically different from Huxley’s.
    In Mere Christianity, Lewis wrote, The more we get what we now call “ourselves” out of the way and let [Christ] take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. . . . In that sense our real selves are all waiting for us in Him.
    It is no good trying to “be myself” without Him. The more I resist Him and try to live on my own, the more I become dominated by my own heredity and upbringing and surroundings and natural desires. . . . What I call “My wishes” become merely the desires thrown up by my physical organism or pumped into me by other men’s thoughts or even suggested to me by devils. . . . I am not, in my natural state, nearly so much of a person as I like to believe: most of what I call “me” can be very easily explained.
    It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own. . . . Sameness is to be found most among the most “natural” men, not among those who surrender to Christ.
    How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints. But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away “blindly” so to speak.
    Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all.
    The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. . . . Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.
    Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. (Lewis, Mere Christianity, 225– 27)
    Here is an authority worth submitting to. What a tragedy that so many say no.

    They Refuse to Examine Honestly the Evidence Verses 29-32

    Jesus brilliantly makes a counter move: “Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. Was John’s baptism from heaven or from men? Answer Me.’”
    Jesus’ counterquestion was a common debating technique among rabbis in that day, and it exposed their hearts and motives.
    Jesus basically says, “Let’s look at the evidence of the one who paved the way for My coming and with whom I closely aligned Myself: the ministry of John the Baptist.”
    Those who come to Jesus with hostile intentions never receive a direct answer.
    The response forces them to think.
    Jesus twice commands them, “Answer Me.”
    The implication is they lack the courage to give an honest answer.
    If John’s baptism were solely “from men,” that is, fully explainable by empirical science, then the Sanhedrin may be justified in its accusation of Jesus.
    But if John’s baptism was “from heaven,” that is, divinely inspired—as the crowds believed and as the Sanhedrin evidently feared—then Jesus’ authority exceeds mere human authority and must be explained by the authority of God.
    So they answer “We don’t know.”
    That of course is not entirely true.
    They certainly have some suspicions about who Jesus, and they might learn more if they enter into hnoest dialgue with Him.
    In reality, they are unwilling to know.
    They do not deny the evidence as they huddle up to draft their response.
    They struggle with how to set it aside.
    John was popular with the people, and his ministry was universally believed to have been given to him by God.
    So what if he had no human credentials, he had God’s!
    Yet in spite of the evidence, the religious leaders rejected him and did not lift a finger when he was unjustly murdered by Herod (6: 14-29).
    Jesus’ argument is basically this:
    My claim to authority is based on the possibility of a divine authoritative ministry given directly by God without human endorsement.
    John the Baptist is a perfect example universally affirmed by the people.
    Now, if you are unwilling to grant My premise and accept the evidence I have put before you, then we are at an impasse, and we have nothing further to talk about.
    If you cannot judge the ministry of John based on the evidence, then you are not qualified to judge Me either!
    Your willful blindness condemns you.
    So they answer, “ ‘We don’t know.’ ”
    That, of course, is not entirely true.
    They certainly have some suspicions about who Jesus is, and they might learn more if they enter into honest dialogue with him. In reality, they are unwilling to know.
    For so many people the real problem is not the evidence.
    The problem is internal: it is us and our sin.
    The idols of the heart are the real issue.
    If I accept that Jesus is the Son of God who died for my sins and was raised from the dead, then my life will never be the same.
    But I like my life.
    With eyes shut and ears plugged, I do not want to talk about this anymore.
    As Abraham says to the rich man in hell in Luke 16: 31, “If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.”

    They Fear Men More Than They Fear God Verses 32-33

    Few things in life are more paralyzing than fear.
    20 years ago, America’s biggest fear according to Gallup Poll was snakes.
    Today, snakes rank 66th according to a recent study.
    Number one - Corrupt government officials follwed by polution and the death of a loved one.
    This passage addresses a fear that is common to all people: the fear of man.
    Proverbs 29: 25 says, “The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected”
    In verse 32 Mark lays bare what is at the core of the religious authorities’ being: “They were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was a genuine prophet.”
    And so they beg off: “We don’t know.”
    Jesus shuts them down: “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things,” although the parable of the wicked tenant farmers that follows will give them a big hint (see 12: 1-12, esp. v. 12).
    It’s sad, isn’t it?
    What was expedient and safe was more important to them than what was true and right.
    “We don’t know” was a lie motivated by fear.
    They would rather keep their position and live a lie than submit to Christ and walk in the truth.
    They had neither sincere motives nor an open mind.
    Cowardice instead of courage now registers on their barometer.
    From this story we see the three reasons people are not willing to follow Jesus.
    They don’t want to submit to His authority.
    They refuse to examine the evidence honestly.
    They fear people more than they fear God.

    What’s Holding You Back?

    If you’ve never trusted in Christ and submitted your life to His authority, what’s holding you back?
    Is it your desire to be lord of your own life?
    Is it your refusal to honestly consider His claims and the evidence?
    Is it that you fear others more than you fear God?
    Are you paralyzed from moving forward for the same reasons as these into today’s passage?
    Are these the reasons for those of you who have given your life to Christ for not totally commiting your life fully?
    Did you get your fire insurance and feel like that’s enough?
    Are you afraid to submit to His authority because your afraid He may want you to do something uncomfortable?
    Maybe you fear your family and friends judgment of being a “fanatical Christian” if you serve the Lord.
    Be honest with yourself today.
    How much of your hesitation and alleged doubts and unanswered questions are really a mask to hide your fear of what faith in Christ might cost you socially, culturally, relationally, and financially?
    Look once more into the face of this Jesus.
    Listen once more to the words He speaks.
    Watch once again how He loves the unlovely.
    Ponder once more His claim to be God.
    Be willing to come to Jesus , to live according to His ways, and serve Him.
    The end result will not disappoint you.
    Prayer
    Akin, Daniel L.. Exalting Jesus in Mark (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary) (p. 264). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
      • Mark 11:27–33CSB

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        Church History Class

        January 24, 2021 - 9:00 AM - 9:00 AM
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        2 Timothy Bible Study

        January 27, 2021 - 6:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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        2 Timothy Bible Study

        January 27, 2021 - 6:00 PM - 6:00 PM

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