Faithlife Sermons

2018-09-19 Mark 8

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Mark 8:11–21 CSB
The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him. Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Then he left them, got back into the boat, and went to the other side. The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread. Aware of this, he said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread? Don’t you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts? Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?” “Twelve,” they told him. “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you collect?” “Seven,” they said. And he said to them, “Don’t you understand yet?”

The pharisees’ unbelief.

Mark 8:11–13 CSB
The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him. Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Then he left them, got back into the boat, and went to the other side.

The pharisees were well intentioned and God fearing.

. (CSB) 11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat, and went to the other side.
THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND HEROD
11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat, and went to the other side.
Illus: I think many times when we look at the pharisees in the bible we want to make them something they were not. THe pharisees were some of the most well intentioned people in the bible.
1. They were nationalistic. They deeply loved their country, saw how sinfulness has brought God’s judgment over and over and wanted to take a stand.
2. They were moral. They were publicly moral because they wanted to show others what a God fearing life looked like. THey also created new laws and regulations to raise the standard and bring God’s blessing back to the people.
3. They were protective. The reason they wanted a sign was to protect Israel from false prophets.
4. They were self righteous. Where the pharisees missed the boat is that they went about serving God all the wrong ways. Where God wanted them to seek Him, find life in his provision, they sought it to power and self righteousness.
Philippians 3:2–6 CSB
Watch out for the dogs, watch out for the evil workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh— although I have reasons for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee; regarding zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.
Philippians 3:2–6 CSB
Watch out for the dogs, watch out for the evil workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh— although I have reasons for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee; regarding zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.

Jesus did not work to serve the pharisees agenda.

. (CSB) 11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat, and went to the other side.
Illus: This morning I got an email from a state politician. This is a politician who has great intentions, who will serve Louisiana well, and one I will probably vote on. That said, he said something that was completely wrong.
Talking about his work in campaigning he said, “I've traveled over 10,500 miles covering 55 parishes so far in the last 33 days.  I told my pastor at First Baptist Church in XXXXX that I was going on a 4-month mission trip all over the great state of Louisiana.”
Political work is not gospel work. Public service is good, but it is not the mission of God.
In the same way that the pharisees saw Jesus as a person who should be used for their agenda, we face the danger of using the church, and our voices to lose the gospel for political gain.
The gospel is not a political win. The gospel is not political power. The gospel IS the call of the church. When politics become more important than the gospel, we have become pharisees.
Philippians 3:7–9 CSB
But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith.

The disciples’ confusion.

. (CSB)
14 The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven, of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread. 17 Aware of this, he said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread? Don’t you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts? 18 Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear?, And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?”
“Twelve,” they told him.
20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you collect?”
“Seven,” they said.

The disciples could not see the eternal because they were so focused on the temporal.

. (CSB)
14 The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven, of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread. 17 Aware of this, he said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread? Don’t you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts? 18 Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear?, And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?”
“Twelve,” they told him.
20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you collect?”
“Seven,” they said.
Illus: No matter what controls our hearts we lose often lose perspective. We cease seeing God because we are to near sighted.
Perhaps it is financial and you cant see the eternal because you are worried about how you will pay your bills.
Perhaps it is politics, where you become so worried politically about our nation that you lose faith in God’s solution.
Perhaps you become so focused on pleasure that you lose sight of true joy.
Perhaps you are walking though pain where you can’t see God’s hope.
The devil will do all he can to get you so near sighted that you forget who you are in Christ, and forget about God’s gospel plan.
Colossians 3:1–4 CSB
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Jesus wanted the disciples to see God’s agenda, supported by God’s power, centered around God’s Son.

Mark 8:14–20 CSB
The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread. Aware of this, he said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread? Don’t you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts? Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?” “Twelve,” they told him. “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you collect?” “Seven,” they said.
. (CSB)
14 The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven, of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread. 17 Aware of this, he said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread? Don’t you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts? 18 Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear?, And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?”
“Twelve,” they told him.
20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you collect?”
“Seven,” they said.
Illus: Jesus warned the disciples not to allow the sins of the pharisees to contaminate their heart, instead he reminded them of the faithfulness of God.
I’m going to challenge you… Does God Fail? Is God powerless? Will he be defeated?Is God faithful?
If you know the answers to these questions, why on earth do we spend so much time worried and distracted on things which matter little eternally?
Matthew 6:30–34 CSB
If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The answer.

Mark 8:21 CSB
And he said to them, “Don’t you understand yet?”

Jesus is leading the disciples to a clear crisis of faith.

Illus: This is a moment where looking at the bible in small parts hurts our understanding of the text. This passage is leading up to a much bigger conclusion....
Mark 8:27–30 CSB
Jesus went out with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They answered him, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets.” “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he strictly warned them to tell no one about him.
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