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Heavenly Leadership

Walking with Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  47:07
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“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” - Max Lucado
INTRO When it comes to recognizing the real leader, Mark highlights the theme of God’s power more than any other Gospel.
TRANS — Life has rules. Rules of the road, to play a game, and how to conduct yourself in public.
To be a member of this church even has rules. When we ask to join this church, we enter into an agreement with all the other members. A copy of that covenant is glued to the inside flap of the hymnbook in these pews. If we agree to that, and the church votes to have us join, we must follow those rules.
There are rule for being a Christian. In the OT Adonai is one of the names of God. It means God is our Master, Overseer, our Lord. In the Bible, Jesus tells us that the one you obey is your lord. So, if you don’t obey Jesus He is really not your Lord. You are a child of the Devil and a vessel of wrath.
Romans 2:8 ESV
but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
Ephesians 2:3 ESV
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Those are the rules.
With rules we have a maker of rules.
Christians have a rule maker, Jesus, and a rulebook, the Bible.
Today we are going to hear what Jesus says about true authority and what real leadership, or Lordship, looks like.
I’ll end this message telling you Jesus should be Lord over all of your life.
It’s up to you to ask, “Is every part of my life something I’d do if Jesus were standing right next to me at the time?”

What does it say?

Mark 11:27–33 ESV
And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

What does it mean?

Imposing Leader

Who are the three Jewish groups mentioned in Mark 11:27, and how do they factor into Jesus’ predictions of His death (see Mark 8:31; 10:33)?
The Sanhedrin consisted of the chief priests, scribes, and elders.
The high priest ruled over the 71 member Sanhedrin.
These men were the ruling body of the nation.
They had authority over all religious matters and political issues within the boundaries set by the Roman government.
Trace the significance of “authority” in Mark’s Gospel.
The Sanhedrin tried to force Jesus in to admitting that he did not have the authority to teach and act the way he did.
Remember, the Sanhedrin claimed they were the authority in religious matters.
Keep in mind the word “authority” is an important one in Mark’s Gospel.
Up to this point, the Greek text has already used the word we translate to authority six times.
So, what do we see?
Two types of imposing leadership
One imposing and seeking to empower others
One imposter and seeking to be powerful over others
We see Jesus using truth.
He is not using government power
He is not calling down fire from heaven
He simply uses words of truth
His leads with truth which has real power
we see the One all powerful rule of God
We see men who should know the same source of power as Jesus, but
they are consumed with what others think
are more focused on keeping their rank than obedience to God
seared by sin and no longer able to proclaim as God’s servants
we see leadership from greed, pride, and self interest
we see imposters, pretenders, and religion without God
Jesus’s authority is not something with which we should play around.
Accepting the Sanhedrin just because they acted religious was always a big mistake.
The modern church makes a similar mistake letting people volunteer with little more than a profession of faith.
We need to scrutinize leaders before they lead others astray.
Jesus is not begging these men to follow him, he is turning them away.
Jesus is demanding complete trust and allegiance from followers.
Remember, you are following the one who tells leprosy to go away, and it does.
He tells the paralytic to walk, and he does.
When Jesus command fever to go, it leaves.
He is the authority behind the Bible and what He says, He means.
He is all imposing and all the rest are imposters!

Empowered Leader

Why does Jesus frequently answer others’ questions with questions of His own?
BAK - Jesus is making use of a common rabbinic custom, especially one used in the context of a debate.
The interesting thing here is not the question, but how Jesus notes that their response about John will determine his answer.
Also, Jesus stakes his authority on John the Baptist; in a way Jesus is declaring his solidarity with John.
Do you recall that both Jesus and John are, also, joined by their common opposition to all who disregard the will of God?
Interestingly, Jesus forces them to conclude one of two things: from God or from men.
Clearly Jesus’ question implies his authority, as John’s, is from God.
What does “from heaven” mean?
By “John’s baptism” Jesus means John’s ministry is evidenced by its outward expression.
Here, “from heaven” means “from God,” since “heaven” was a common Jewish substitute for the divine name.
What would the Jewish leaders be forced to admit about Jesus if they acknowledged that John’s authority derived from God?
Now, Jesus put the Sanhedrin in a position where:
if they recognized John’s divine authority,
they’d recognize Jesus’ authority
and his cleansing as legitimate because of his authority.
This was just too much for them.
Either position was difficult.
Admitting John’s authority would compel them to believe in Jesus.
Denial put them in a position unfavorable with the people who considered John a true prophet.
So, they play the “I don’t know” card of ignorance.
Truth is, being ignorant is not a bad thing; everybody reaches a point where they just don’t now.
The issue here is that they lied.
They were not ignorant, they refused to answer Jesus’ question and issued a veiled answer to his counterquestion.
ILL - Working with bus kids I came to know one fellow who started down a dark path. He was a star high school football player. All the other kids looked up to him. However, he began hanging with some bad kids. First he got some tattoos. Then he started dressing differently. Thereafter we saw him less and less and when we did, he was really distant. From fired for Jesus to lost in sin he took the wrong path. He ended up running with a crowd that did some pretty evil stuff. One particular night the beat up a homeless man. They got caught and he went to prison.
He had everything going for him that marks a leader. Respect, good record, and God in his life. However, he choose a path of quick worldly rewards. His “friends” turned on him for reduced sentences. Because of his crime, he lost out on a football scholarship. He really had it made, but gave it up for sin and selfishness.
Jesus presented these leaders the chance to change, but they still wanted their faulty way.
They didn’t recognize their way out was standing in front of them.
You see, an empowering leader will not turn on you when you do the right thing.
An empowering leader will not help you do the wrong thing, but will confront you with truth.
An empowering leader will walk with you even in the valley of the shadow of death.

What is God asking me to do?

Trying to destroy or defend the Word of God is like having two men push with toothpicks on opposite sides of the Rock of Gibraltar. While one is trying to push it over with his toothpick, the other is trying to hold it up with his. The rock is going to stay firm regardless of what either man does!53

The authority of Scripture is so rooted in and closely linked to the authority of Jesus Christ that the two are indivisible. To attempt to distinguish them is like asking which blade of a pair of scissors is more important, or which leg of a pair of pants is more necessary. We know Christ through the Bible, and we understand the Bible through the knowledge of Christ and the Spirit he sent

In this gospel we’ve discussed Jesus’ authority in his teaching and many miracles.
Today we’ve noted that Jesus teaches His authority is from God.
In our church we recognize Jesus authority when we baptize new believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You and I should invite Jesus’ authority over every single area of our lives.
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