Faithlife Sermons

2nd Lent Yr B 2018 - My advice

Lent 2 How to follow and the cost.  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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How often we think we knowwhat is best and want to interject. How hard it is to follow when we want our ideas to lead.

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Key Advisers: In our lives there are times when we are facing a situation or making a decision that we know is going to happen and we share it with someone close to us. The decisions may be small or large but no matter what they are they will have an impact on those around us.
One of the shows I enjoy watching in House Hunter’s International. The show is about someone whether single or with a family that is moving to another country. Many times the show begins with a scene showing the person or family meeting with others in their community or family telling them where they are moving. At times there is sadness because part of the family is moving away, other times there wonderment because the decision to move, and other times there is advise. The scenario of the show is always the same - though probably staged to some degree - the person or couple looks at three properties and at the end of show make a decision which one they want to move into. Most of the time there is a reality check in the midst of the decision and often times there is a compromise. In all the scenarios there is plenty of advise that is given about the certain circumstances of the property.
Ultimately in the end it is there decision which one they will choose and why. What I find interesting is how the friend or family member reacts to the decision they make even when it is not what they would have advised.
To be converted to faith in Jesus Christ is to return to the worship of the true God, and to dethrone all rivals to his authority. --Graham Kendrick
Many Christians have what we might call a "cultural holiness". They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God. --Jerry Bridges
Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. --Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Many Christians have what we might call a "cultural holiness". They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God. --Jerry Bridges
Today, even amongst Christians, there can be found much of that spirit that wants to give as little as possible to the Lord, and yet to get as much as possible from Him. The prevailing thought today is of being used, as though that were the one thing that mattered. That my little rubber band should be stretched to the very limit seems all important. But this is not the Lord's mind. The Lord wants us to be used, yes; but what He is after is that we pour all we have, ourselves, to Him, and if that be all, that is enough. --Watchman Nee
Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self... –C.S. Lewis
Mark 8:31 ESV
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.
The Greek states that Jesus said “It was necessary” that the Son of Man must suffer - not just a little but much..It is not an option- it is inevitable that this must happen…The reason was that He was going to be rejected. There is no way around this happening. the reason is they were not going to approve or receive or acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah.
Jesus did not hide what was going to happen - He told them plainly. It wasn’t hidden in a parable or a story. This was going to be straight forward talk with them. It was being told to them so that they would not have any misconceptions about the events that were going to take place.
The message includes Peter's pulling Jesus aside, Jesus' rebuke of Peter, the focus on spiritual rather than temporal, our worship, and Jesus' faithfulness to stand for us.
The message includes Peter's pulling Jesus aside, Jesus' rebuke of Peter, the focus on spiritual rather than temporal, our worship, and Jesus' faithfulness to stand for us.
In some ways Peter in today’s text in Mark’s gospel is like that. He appears to be a chief adviser to Jesus in this situation prescribing what he thinks is the best for Jesus and the what Jesus is doing.
In some ways Peter in today’s text in Mark’s gospel is like that. But before we can immerse ourselves in the text we first need to look at what has just happened. So paraphrasing one of my current favorite programs which at the beginning of each show states “Previously on 24” and then gives you a recap… I have to say “Previously in Mark’s Gospel.”
After this bold confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed one - of which Peter received divine revelation how could Jesus even begin to tell them what was going to happen. This was contrary to what was expected. At least in terms of what humanity thought would happen. As we look back we see the game plan changed.
I remember playing football in the street with friends and also playing flag intramural when I first attended college. There we no specific games plans like the professional have or even the Pop Warner football player. All we did was make up plays we hoped would work…run to the sprinkler, veer right at an angle and I will try to hit you with a long pass. It was pretty simple plan. Once you were back in the huddle the person who was the quarterback said the plan however anyone could suggest the paly or modify the play as it went along. That is what happened here with Peter.
The plan was Jesus you are the Messiah, you need to go to Jerusalem and establish your authority and lead Israel out to the dominance of Roman rule.
And here it is that we find an amazing discovery. Peter and the disciples who has been Jesus for three years are asked by Jesus – Who do people say that I am. To which there are many answers – Some you may remember – Some say you are John the Baptist, other say you are Elijah. Then He asks them the question again “But who do you (plural) say that I am?” To which Peter answers for all the disciples “You are the Christ.” Christ means the anointed one, the messiah. And this is where our Gospel text picks up.
No More Hidden messages:
Our scripture opens with Jesus beginning to teach His disciples what was going to happen. It was not a hidden message. They did not need to seek out or ponder the question or parable that Jesus spoke – This time Mark tells us “He began to teach them … and tells us how “And he said this plainly…” There was no doubt. Jesus was not implying something but He was explicitly telling them what is about to happen.
Peter's Rebuke Peter pulls Jesus aside to talk with him about what he has just said. Peter upon hearing that he has rightly discerned that Jesus is the Christ is now concerned about this new teaching. It is a confusing time for Peter. The promise of the Messiah to his people meant the kingdom would be reestablished. So what Jesus is saying appears to be contradictory to what Peter and the others had in envisioned. Peter becomes the spokesman. He approaches Jesus and let's him know that it does not have to be this way. In Matthew's gospel narrative Peter tells Jesus that "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you."
Peter's reason The word rebuke in the Greek means to express a strong disapproval about an action that is about to occur. In other words Peter is expressing in concern and strongly advising Jesus not to let course of action take place. What Peter sees is that if Jesus is handed over to the elders, the priests, and the scribes, then the hope the Messiah was to bring to all of Israel is now dashed. It would mean an end - as he knew it - to the restoration of the Israel's kingdom. Jesus the Messiah for a moment and Israel's hope gone in a flash. It just did not make sense to Peter
Wilderness What Peter saw was Jesus giving up what God had promised. What Jesus knew was God's plan. What Peter saw was establishment of Israel being restored to kingdom power, What Jesus knew was God redemptive plan and restoration of the relationship of God's people with Him. The motive for Peter's was not new to Jesus. In fact he perfectly understood where it came from. Peter wants Jesus to change his course of action - He wants his to maintain his authorities power. Peter's logic and reason would be a great temptation for anyone - Power and authority - Peter and the disciples had witnessed the healing and the casting out of demons. They witnessed healing that was attributed to sin. Healing that only could only be healed by the forgiveness of sin. These had witnessed the authority Jesus had over the demons. Jesus had the power and authority that only God could give. Jesus was the Messiah - Why not stay in power? And what better support system for him than those who knew him best and knew He was the Messiah. And while all this made perfect logic when looked at from a human perspective Jesus could have acted upon it three years earlier in the wilderness when Satan offered him authority over all the earth. Peter rebuke of Jesus for not was the same temptation Satan had offered Jesus when he was in the wilderness - Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
Jesus' Rebuke Jesus corrects Peter by rebuking him. He strongly warns him that he should not take this course that God has planned. What Peter knew was only a part of God's redemption plan. He knew that Jesus was the Messiah - what he did not know was what the rest of the plan was. Jesus knew that at that moment Peter did not understand or comprehend what Jesus meant when He said that "after three days he would rise again."
More than Peter's Rebuke When we look closely at the scripture it appears to me that Jesus' rebuke is not just to Peter but to all the disciples. Peter was the "go to guy" for the disciples. He was the one who they probably thought had the inside track with Jesus because he is the one who confess that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Messiah and had received his bless. To the disciples Peter was a leader - He was the natural one out of the group to go to Jesus - they probably looked to Peter for leadership - Just like we would a big brother or big sister. Jesus saw the disciples looking at Peter and Jesus - Jesus turns and rebukes Peter. And I think the rebuke the rebuke - the warning not to follow this line of thinking. - this course of action was also directed to the disciples.
No one like Rebukes I do not know of many people who like rebukes. I do not know of many who like to receive stern warnings. For Peter it must have been somewhat deflating. One moment is the pinnacle leader of the group of disciples and the shortly there after he is sternly warned. For Peter it must have been somewhat deflating.
Not without reason - But Jesus’ warning is not without love or compassion for Peter. He knows what lies ahead for the disciples. It will not be easy and they need to stay attune to what God is doing not what they think He should be doing. We cannot rely on emotions to understand God. We must rely and trust in Him to be able to follow Him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Wrote in “Life Together” “By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. He does not abandon us to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods that come over us like a dream. God is not a God of emotions but the God of truth. Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment,. With all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it.”
Jesus rebuked Peter for a reason - It was not because Peter was not a leader - It was because he did not understand all that was about to happen. He only had a piece of the information. At this time Peter did not fully understand what God was doing. He did not fully understand Jesus’ mission. What Peter saw was what immediately surrounded him. They had just fed the five thousand. Jesus was healing the sick and casting out demons. His teaching astounded the best of the scholars. His wisdom was so great… He had to be the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ, and now Jesus was beginning to teach them that He suffer and be killed.
That does not seem to be the marks of a successful Messiah but rather one that loses and fails.
The Servant Song – . 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Teaching opportunity What I notice in this passage is that Jesus did not just leave Peter and the disciples out in the dark. What I see is Jesus' love for Peter and his disciple. What I see is Jesus' love for the disciples and the crowd around him. He wants everyone to understand why he rebuked Peter. He wanted them understand there was more to the plan than what they perceived. And Jesus does not diminish either Peter or the Disciples position - he maintains their leadership role.
Abraham – God proves He is the provider… trust in Him. Our Old Testament reading this morning was about Abraham taking Isaac to Mt. Moriah. It was here that Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham was obedient took Isaac. Abraham had faith and confidence that God would provide a ram to take the place of his son but the question one might ask is why did he do it in the first place. To understand one has to understand Abraham's relationship with God. God had intervened with Abraham. He had made a covenant with him. He had promised him the land and descendant as numerous as the stars it the sky, and God had given he and Sarah a son. Isaac was a gift from God. Both were well beyond their years of child-bearing and through a miracle of God Sarah became pregnant and had Isaac. Both Sara and Abraham knew that Isaac belonged to God. So when God asked Abraham take Isaac to the mountain and sacrifice he did so because as much as Abraham loved Isaac he was God's and he was returning him to God.
Looking at our lives When we look at our lives in the light of Peter, the disciples and Abraham it makes it easier to ask ourselves what is it that I hold onto that is greater than the Lord. It becomes easier to ask ourselves - what are the things in my life that value more than my relationship with God. How easy it is fall into the trap of compliancy? Look at all the things we have - why wouldn't we want to sit on our laurels be happy with what we have. That was Peter's message to Jesus - Look at what you have and you are going let what happen to you. You are going to do what! Then look at Jesus' answer to Peter and the rest - Yes I am. I came here to do the will of Father - and I will do it.
Lenten Reflection Like Peter what are the things As we continue our journey in this Lenten season has God revealed to you things on which you are maintaining a tight grasp. Jesus' taught those around him the most important thing is our relationship with God. It is easy to hang on to our old habits and attitudes. It is easy to become complacent. To do this does not require any action. It is easy to maintain a status quo. What is hard to do is to take action. What is hard to do is to act upon those areas that God is calling us be a part. To be a follower of Jesus requires us to take action. Peter took action. – he kept learning - even in his failures. I am not going challenge you about what changes you might make in your life that would draw you in to a deeper relationship with Christ I am not going to challenge you this morning with things that might make you uncomfortable or challenge you to stretch yourself in the work of God's kingdom. Those challenges has already been presented to you - Challenges like leading a disciple class, helping with youth, going on mission, and many others.
Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; 11 he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
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