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4 Lessons

SUFFERING KING: THE BOOK OF MARK:
4 Lessons: Mark 8:11-13
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday July 26, 2020

We’ve been some places with Mark – following his lead through Jesus’ life and ministry. Those around him have the opportunity to say I don’t need to exhaustively know how Jesus works because I’m seeing Him working, on a daily basis. We can see them all recorded in scripture, against the entire timeline of God’s plan and our faith should be strong form that; if we’ll take the time to look in our distracted and distracting lives.

We’ll remember the theme of Mark today – that Jesus is our suffering King, and in someway be encouraged by that.

At the micro level we’re down in these stories seeing themes and glimpses into who Jesus was, and therefore who God is, what is character is like – what grace mercy and love look like against the backdrop of darkness and sin.

However, there is another picture at the macro level – a step back away from the individual stories and the sum of the stories themselves. Here is a picture at a macro level of where Mark has taken us so far:

  • Feeding a large group in 6:30 and 8:1-9

Mark 6:30 (ESV)
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.

Mark 8:1-9 (ESV)
Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
1 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them,
2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.
3 And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.”
4 And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?”
5 And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.”
6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd.
7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them.
8 And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
9 And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away.

  • Lessons from a boat 6:45-56 and 8:10

Mark 6:45-56 (ESV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.
46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land.
48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them,
49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,
50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,
52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret
53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore.
54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him
55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was.
56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

Mark 8:10 (ESV)
10 And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

  • Talk of “bread” 7:24-30 and 8:14 -21 (coming later)

Mark 7:24-30 (ESV)
The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith
24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.
25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet.
26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.”
30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

Mark 8:14-21 (ESV)
The Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod
14 Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
16 And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread.
17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
18 Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?
19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.”
20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.”
21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

  • Pharisees Confrontation 7:1-23 and 8:11-13 (where we are today)

Mark 7:1-23 (ESV)
Traditions and Commandments
1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem,
2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed.
3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders,
4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.)
5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”
6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;

7 in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!
10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’
11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)—
12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,
13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
What Defiles a Person
14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand:
15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”
17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.
18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,
19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.
21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Mark 8:11-13 (ESV)
The Pharisees Demand a Sign
11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
13 And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

Why these themes, why this repetition? What are we supposed to be seeing and therefore getting? Let’s jump into a story about both faith, and lack of faith, and come out encouraged:

Mark 8:11–12 (ESV)
The Pharisees Demand a Sign
11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

Why DO they need a sign? Feeding large groups, teaching from the boat, talking on read, healing the deaf, healing the blind, healing groups of people brought to him from town-to-town, people want him to be King, thousands follow Him into the wilderness to be taught from the scriptures.

Yet, they want a sign.

We go to school and they say; the universe is hundreds of millions of years old, and write it down – ok, hundred of millions of years old. Isaac Newton says two objects no matter their mass exert gravitation force; we say OK and learn the formula.

You get into your car, you turn the key – and off you go. How did the key, actuate a switch that fired a solenoid, that closed a circuit between the starter motor and battery which in turn, started turning the motor that fired spark plugs in sequence with a pistons and camshaft and injectors and fuel pump, and cooling systems… *shrug it works and I trust it.

Why is it that we see the working thing that we know is vastly complex and say, OK – I don’t need to exhaustively know how this works to trust that it does, I see it on a daily basis. But so frequently with people who don’t believe in the gospel message of God, it’s often about knowledge. It’s not about evidence, the same evidence is there for everyone – it’s often about people who don’t want to believe it saying – I’d need to know more about how God created all things.

And that is a simply laughable thing. How could finite creature of creation exhaustively know the infinite creator.

If I drew a circle and asked you to say this is all knowledge, and draw a pie chart of the volume of all knowledge you possess, then asked – is it possible that God is here and you’ll never fully exhaustively know and understand Him; is that OK.

We see that sentiment in the Pharisees today, we watch Jesus handle them, and learn some things that we can apply to our own lives:

In this brief few verses there are 4 lessons, and a bonus personal lesson:

  1. Some people cannot be won by argument.

You’ll think you’re having an open conversation with these folks, but it’s bait. They’ve had the conversation 10 other times with 9 other people. They just like to argue, they have their pet arguments and pet points, and your diving in to the same talk tracks with them.

Matthew 7:6 (ESV)
6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

2. We have to be willing to let some people go.

Remember this Christian – Jesus didn’t win over everyone he talked to, read John 6:66. Read Luke 9:50-62. Our general interest and inclination is to see people come to know God savingly. But we cannot author that – we present the facts as we know them, share of our personal experience, and trust God for the rest.

John 6:66 (ESV)
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

Luke 9:50-62 (ESV)
50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”
A Samaritan Village Rejects Jesus
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him.
53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
55 But he turned and rebuked them.
56 And they went on to another village.
The Cost of Following Jesus
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

John 6:44 (ESV)
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

Can is a word of ability; it doesn’t say no one *can come to me unless Phil, or John, or Bethany draws Him – it says unless “the Father who sent me draws him” so maybe your better to pray than to keep trying to argue someone in. Sometimes it’s our consistent witness through failure rather than argument that wins others in – but it’s always God.

3. In the Christian life there are people we cannot make happy

Something tells me you know this. But to you KNOW this. And though we feel like this is our job (we want to be pleasing) it isn’t.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 (ESV)
4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

While you were trying to please that person, answer their objections, show them God is real, etc – what was in your heart? Fear, lack of trust? We should have a willingness to come along side people; but our job is not to make people happy – our job is to share truth. I talk about it in terms of roller coasters. When people are experiencing the highs and lows of life, I can sit in the car with them going high and low, or stand outside – fully able to empathize seeing them going up and down all while taking to them. We cannot make everyone happy – but we can, with most people, share the source of our own joy.

4. Presenting the gospel on other’s acceptable terms is dangerous.

The Pharisees were’t blind they’re seeing what Jesus is doing they want “a sign from heaven” which means – …whatever they want it to mean. Jesus does his father’s will, not theirs (John 5:19). God’s gospel, relies on His terms – His terms are solid, after all He is the God of John 6:44 (no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws Him) and He does draw people; you’re here.

John 5:19 (ESV)
The Authority of the Son
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

Let God set the terms, not you.

….And the bonus personal lesson, this one is for you!

Jesus just fed a ton of people in the wilderness after offering days of scriptural teaching, Jesus stepped on to a boat crosses over to a new spot and he Pharisees are there to test him, verse 11 says.

Test here is perazo meaning tempt or to tempt, it a verb that can also be translated “to trap”. That is because these Pharisees weren’t people who were trying to divide the truth – in fact they’re out to trap Him to find something to hold Him guilty of so that they can bring Him to death. I was just reading John yesterday after Jesus is brought to Pilate he is interested in what they want; he says try “Him according to your own law” – do you remember what they say?

John 18:31 (ESV)
31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.”

[…] “it is not lawful for us to put anyone to death”

Does this sound like a people motivated by a curious quest for knowledge, or a people who have their minds made up, who are after what they want like a toddler ready to stop their feet for a popsicle?

Jesus sighs deeply.

Maybe drawing on patience and grace from God in the moment?

Have you ever felt frustrated in a moment, where you feel like “these people should be getting this”?

Imagine Jesus?

These people should be getting this – He has just been healing and teaching, and most recently here was the scene:

Mark 8:5-9 (ESV)
5And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.”
6And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd.
7And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them.
8And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
9And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away.

But yet, they want a sign…

How about us? We had 4 points about being patient with others who maybe are just being challenging to us, because they don’t want to see the truth from us, when they challenge us on what we believe.

At the same time this is true:

2 Timothy 4:1–3 (ESV)
Preach the Word
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

And so it’s easy to see the people who AREN’T you who need this – those who argue not to know but to be annoying. But, ask yourself these two questions and be open to the answer:

First: In what areas of your life have you let itching ears being on board teachers that suit your passions? Really challenge that, because I know your reaction is pfft – not me but I know someone who has. I want you to really look at what your taking on. It can be bad example, who is teaching you by bad example, and your thinking they get a way with that; maybe I can too…. Maybe it’s the example of what they believe, maybe your itching ear is an easy life – maybe you’re presenting yourself as believing something so that you don’t have to deal with people knowing what you DO believe – but ask yourself In what areas of your life have you let itching ears being on board teachers that suit your passions?

Second: In what areas of your life have you let people trounce your patience? Let’s again look to Jesus, God enfleshed walking among us:

Mark 8:12 (ESV)
12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

Was Jesus “taking a moment”, was He centering His thinking. Perhaps He was hungry here and His flesh was tired – you’ve been here right, “these people are really going to try me right now”.

Jesus will walk away with a strong witness. What do we walk away with? Maybe an opportunity to apologize when we fail? What will you do the next time you need patience because people are making you angry – maybe sigh deeply, remember Jesus was in this very moment with out sin. Here is a life skill:

I’m going to give you a three part “word based pattern for avoiding sin when people are “trying you right now”.

Psalm 119:11 (ESV)
11  I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.

Mark 8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

Romans 12:12 (ESV)
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Your joy will be so much greater when you avoid the opportunity to lash out, we just watched Jesus avoid the opportunity and we benefit when we emulate Him

John 13:15 (ESV)
15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

So find that opportunity to emulate Jesus this week – and appreciate the depth of His love for you. He left this bread trail of satisfied prophecy, against impossible odds He met everything the scriptures said that the messiah would do; in spades, and now He shows mercy and patience.

I don’t need to exhaustively know how this works to trust that it does, I see it on a daily basis.

I look up and see the stars in their seeming infinity, I see people born and die, I see injuries heal and I see God working in everything.

Here is what Jesus did –

Mark 8:13 (ESV)
13 And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

Jesus is our suffering King.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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