A disciples downfall - notes
A disciples downfall
A Disciples Downfall
Eric A. Snyder, Minister
Farwell Church of Christ
September 22, 2001
One day God was looking over creation and He decided that He wasn’t really happy with the way things turned out. So He called the 3 most powerful men on earth, George Bush, Vladamir Putin and Bill Gates, to come and see Him. He told them that in 3 days He was going to end world. So basically they had 3 days to prepare their people.
So Putin convenes an emergency meeting of the Russian Parliament and says:
"I have bad news, and really bad news. First of all, there is a God. Secondly everything we have worked for since the revolution will be totally destroyed in 3 days."
George Bush makes a State of the Union address to the American people on TV and says:
"I have good news and bad news. First of all, there is a God. Secondly, everything we have worked for since the revolution will be destroyed in 3 days."
Bill Gates convenes a meeting of the board of directors and says:
"I have good news, and really good news. First of all, there is a God, and He spoke to me personally. Secondly, in 3 days, IBM will be destroyed."
Have you ever met someone who just Thought they were God’s Gift to the world. In Mark 9:25-35 That’s where the disciples were. They had let the concept of power wear on them. So they eventually began believing that they were something spectacular.
A Texas farmer was touring England. He happened to meet an English farmer and asked him, "What size farm do you have?"
The Englishman proudly announced, "Thirty-five acres!"
"Thirty-five acres?" the Texan scoffed. "Why, I can get in my truck at 8:00 AM and start driving and at noon, I am still on my farm. I can eat lunch and start driving again and at 5:00 PM I am still on my farm.
"Ah, yes," the Englishman nodded in understanding. "I had a truck like that once."
In Mark 9 Jesus’ disciples are boasting
Jesus keeps them in check
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He’s dead." 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn’t we drive it out?" 29 He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer." 30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. 33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."
Two geese were about to start on their annual migration when they met a frog who begged to be taken along. The geese said, "OK, if you can think of a way that we can manage it.
The frog produced a long stalk of grass and suggested that each goose hold it at opposite ends and that he could cling to it by his mouth, in the middle.
In this manner, the three were heading south when they were noticed by a man below. The observer expressed admiration for this clever maneuver and shouted, "Who thought of such an unusual mode of transportation?"
The frog was so puffed up over the compliment that he opened his mouth to say, "The idea was mine!" Of course he lost his hold, fell to the earth and was killed on impact.
The moral of the story is this: When you have a good thing going, don’t be so eager to take credit. It’s best to keep your mouth shut.
The disciples were
They were so full of themselves it must have been driving Jesus crazy.
He comes down from the mountain and finds them. They are fighting with the religious establishment. I can just see him smacking himself on the forehead and saying. “These are the guys that are going to change the world”
In fact that’s what is going on in verse 19
Jesus is talking to this man also but I want you to get the scene here Jesus has come down, from the mountain he sees his disciples arguing. Now he knows that the man is there but he is not talking to him at this point. He is talking strictly to the disciples.
When I was younger I was baby sitting my brother and sister. I was throwing a ball in the house and I broke an overhead lamp fixture. And I remember when my parents came home they said Eric, How did this get broke. And before I could respond my sister came right in. As if it was her cue, I mean she could have worked for the CIA, She said Eric broke it playing basketball in the house.
That’s what this man was doing. He wanted to be heard first.
So while the disciples were starring at the ground kicking the dirt because they knew they were entrusted to responsibility and they knew they had blew it this man says “Your disciples are full of empty promises”
They are all talk and no action He is saying these guys are charlatans.
Listen Jesus If this is how your people are, If this is what you teach then it’s worthless. In short , he is saying you sir are a fraud and a liar, You only offer empty hope you seek only your own interests, You only care about yourselves. You are always watching your bottom line. You are only concerned with your career. You only care about yourself
This gets Jesus upset, But I want you to note where his frustration is directed. Jesus has compassion on the man, He knows the man is of little faith. He knows this is a seeker.
Jesus also knows that His follower’s represented Him. He knows that His disciples are an extension of what He is really trying to accomplish. Jesus is upset because His disciples dropped the ball. They were goofing around when they were supposed to be watching the Kids.
We are the disciples of today, Which means this, When people want to find out what Jesus is all about they look to you, They look to you in many areas. Do you practice what you preach, are you a source of comfort and strength in tough times. People look to you. Jesus understands that.
So I want you to observe the remarks of Jesus in the direction of His disciples in verse 19.
He says “You faithless cowards”
He isn’t reprimanding the man so much for lack of faith as much as he is saying to his core group. This was an easy one. What have you guys been doing sleeping at your desk again? You guys could have cost us a soul. And if you are under the impression that this is about anything other than seeking and saving the lost then this guy is right. Your are full of empty promises. How long do I have to do this before you get it?
His disciples Lead the man to believe that they could handle the issue. “Oh sure we can take care of that” You know we can fix almost anything.
Later on they are walking down the road and discussing who is the greatest.
What a bunch of self indulged, arrogant, egotists. It’s surprising that with heads that big they didn’t have a higher rollover percentage.
Have you ever thought “man I am all that”? Have you ever said to God “You can’t touch me”? Have you ever thought that you could make it on your own. Have you ever said like the Babylonians Come let us build a tower that will reach to the heavens? Have you ever said “who needs God with modern medicine”? Have you ever said we are going to build this church not thinking about How God wants to grow this church.
It’s real easy to write a mission statement and follow appropriate steps and attempt to build. But The bible says that “unless the Lord builds the house the labor is in vain”
His disciples were two steps ahead and they forgot what they were fighting for
But they also game to Jesus with
We do not like to fail.
A new business was opening and a long-time friend of the owner decided to send flowers for the occasion. He arrived at the "grand opening," accepted a glass of champagne and a warm handshake from his host, then browsed about the room examining the many floral arrangements and potted plants.
Finally, he found his own offering, only to find an attached card bearing this sentiment: rest in peace
Somewhere a funeral is taking place today and they have a lovely floral spray, with an attached note saying: Congratulations on your new location
We do not like failure because it’s embarrassing
We do not like failure because we take it personally
They thought that they were achiever’s now they were just average
They viewed failure as fatal, I’m sure they thought: If I fail does that make me a failure? Is failure fatal? If I’m a failure now will I be a failure in 10 years.
Look at what they say to Jesus sure it was egotistical
But they were also embarrassed.
There is little worse than a arrogant person who can’t deliver
If they were cocky, so what, as long as the job gets done,
but you don’t say it if you can’t back it up.
What they are saying to Jesus is “why did you pick a bunch of losers”?
They could not drive the demon out, Failure #1
They fought with the leaders Failure #2
We have a tendency to apply the rules of baseball to life.
Strike one, strike two, you’re out
That’s not the Case, If you are struggling with failure pick up John Maxwell’s book Failing Forward.
Failure is a part of life, it keeps us in check. It does not mean life is over it simply means we need to reevaluate our goals, grit and our God
Life is not a baseball game and Jesus used this moment to shape and build the Follower’s into what he wants, And friends Failure is not fatal when you fail it is an opportunity to learn, and listen to look back to Jesus.
When the came to Jesus they were
They were powerless
A. They could not help the man. Whatever they tried it just did not work
B. They did not handle the crowd well.
It had escalated in a screaming match
They had forgotten where their power came from
They had begun to build the kingdom without the Savior.
People this should be a lesson for us. People if Jesus is not in our efforts then our fate is marked out by the ages. If Jesus is not in our lives our results will be the same as they have always been. We will be good for a little while until our human efforts are destroyed.
I have been praying that God will bless this church.
That we will have over 100 in a worship service 4 times this year.
I am not saying this to any credit of myself . What I am saying is this
God wants to use you. He wants to move and work and grow in you and He has a great desire for this area. You all can feel the excitement, you are all waiting for His next move.
People I am Just one person But I wonder what would happen If you prayed that for this church as well?
I believe that God is saying “Oh church, Oh beautiful bride are you ready for what can happen if you trust me? Are you prepared to see what I will do If you will give me the glory and seek my goals and do my will”?
It has been said that Jesus picks ordinary people for extraordinary purposes.
That’s what Jesus did here, He didn’t get the smartest, tallest, most athletic, prettiest, most powerful, most influential people to build his kingdom.
He picked a bunch of bums. Some guys that were the town troublemakers.
Some fishermen, lousy fishermen.
Couldn’t afford a decent set of nets, They were always mending them.
But Corinthians 1:26 says Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.
When will we realize we are powerless before God.
That we can add a building, staff, or ministry but unless God is in It and continues to be in it. It will fail.
We get a program up it is running great and God is alive in it then we start doing it by ourselves.
People do you get it? That’s exactly what these Follower’s did.
So they came to Jesus with their Conceit, Arrogance, Spiritual Pride, Inflated ego. They came back embarrassed, humiliated, dejected and confused, But most importantly they came back to Jesus. Because above everything else they understood that eternal failure happens when we don’t come back to Jesus.
When they come to listen and learn Jesus gives them three basic reminders.
Reminders that served them well and reminders that will serve you and I just as appropriately.
1 Get over yourself.
Your arrogance is atrocious
Is it possible that you are thinking you are better than you really are?
John Maxwell writes “If you continually focus all of your energy and attention on yourself I have a message for you, get over yourself everyone else has”
Dr. Phil McGraw says “You wouldn’t care what other people thought about you if you knew how little they did”
Jesus says hey you think you’re all that well you really need a reality check.
Jesus says if you want to be great take some time for children, if you want to be great let’s see you go to the back of the line, If you want to be great let’s see just how well you serve. Guys don’t you get it Ministry means getting your hands dirty, doing without, It’s about others it’s not about you.
You want to know why It didn’t work for you?
A. First of all It was bigger than you can handle alone
B. Secondly you have to work for this one.
Did you pray? Did you fast? Did you tell god how much you wanted it?
Get over yourself
2 It’s not a show.
A. This should have been as private as possible and you made it a circus
For that family’s sake this should have been dealt with differently
you need to not look for your 15 minutes of fame from “survivor”
It’s not a juggling act, We are not drafting bearded women
Folks it’s not about a magic show it’s about healing hurting people and delivering destitute people
B. What did I teach you about prayer. It’s private and I’ll just bet you were praying so that the people could hear. You need to pray so that God will hear.
3. Power Belongs to God
A. You needed to acknowledge his power
B. That’s why you needed to pray and fast because Power comes from God
They are ways of utilizing His power