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All Flesh Is Like Grass

SUFFERING KING: THE BOOK OF MARK:
All Flesh Is Like Grass: Mark 8:22-26
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday August 9, 2020

By way of introduction to our study in Mark this morning we are on our 42nd consecutive Sunday through this book. My average sermon study is 2400 words or 4.75 pages, meaning between Pastor John and I we’ve typed more than 100,000 studied prayed over words as we work to pick apart Mark’s gospel and typed more than 189 pages.

If my average time studying for a message is 6-8 hours (its hard to measure the way I do it) on the low end I’ve studied for 36 hours. So if I was to go into my study to work and did nothing but study for 8 hours a day, starting Monday I’d re-surface mid-day Friday or 4.5 days later to get 8 chapters into Mark.

If you’re someone who keeps notes in a Bible study notebook, you’ve got now more than half of the Gospel of Mark thought through and considered in highlights and in your own words. With Pastor Rob (who you met in the video) and then after that with Pastor Paul I kept a notebook where I studied books – allowing me to read my notes that week and add more thoughts. It is pretty cool to see the books of the Bible you’ve studied over time on the shelf and even go back to reference sections of your own notes when a question arises. I recommend recording your notes in an ordered way – keep running notes, references, a date and conclude yourself weekly what was the main point.
The way that we’ve outlined this book we have 58 more weeks to go -keep going and keep growing.

It’s not a race, it’s a marathon through the very word of God. This is the word of God that transforms us through our mind’s renewal (Romans 12:2) – be ready to be challenged, and today we’ll see the disciples challenged to keep going and keep growing.

Romans 12:2 (ESV)
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

It’s not neat truth or another truth, it is the truth of God that plumbs the depths of who we are, and exposes us to God’s will and character Hebrews 4:12–13

Hebrews 4:12-13 (ESV)
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

It is revelation of the ultimate truth that Jesus the light of the world came into the world; but we resisted truth John 3:19. And so church I pray for you that the scripture impacts you Sunday-to-Sunday. That you’re life is different because of the Word of God studied, and not that you enjoy the music or like the people, or think it’s really neat in the room – but I pray you’re here for a Biblical community of believers all for sanctifying truth and celebrated worship of God in truth.

John 3:19 (ESV)
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

That said, in a world swarming with the answers to it’s own concerns and where no one agrees upon their the problem no the concern, I remind you of this from steady word as I ask you to calm your mind for Today’s study:

Psalm 103:15–17 (ESV)
15  As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17  But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,

1 Peter 1:24–25 (ESV)
24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25  but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you. We need this reminder in our world today – because everything around you is set up to make you feel like everything is dyer and you have to fix it, to make you feel militant, desperate and frantic – but to the Christian you need to step away from the hype-machine, into the word and remember that Philippians 4:7 said you have a peace from God that people cannot even understand and that peace will be what guards your heart and mind in Jesus Christ -do you have that, because you can.

Mark’s gospel is a utility gospel. It gives us what we need, no fills. Just the story of Jesus, it works with immediacy – in Mark uses the greek word translated most frequently “immediately” 59 times in his gospel. The word across all the gospels and acts is used only 42 times making it used 70% of the time by Mark adjusting the math for the book of Mark’s length (glad it’s short since we’ll be here for 100 weeks) you’re 15 times more likely to find Marks’ use of “immediately” in his gospel than any other place int he gospels or book of Acts.

It’s a utility gospel characteristic.

Mark does what’s needed to get to the point, and demonstrate Jesus’ mission immediacy.

Briana and I were walking our dog Georgie who is more of a ferrel teddy bear than a dog – he’s Yorkshire terrier and is great with kids and people generally he just needs to attack every other dog he sees; where that’s watching our front door all day long or from a car window or while walking the neighborhood he goes ballistic.

I’ve been noticing since December along our route the way people care for their grass. One point in our walk I’ve been noticing there is this guy we’ll call him Mr. K. Mr K doesn’t edge his grass but it looks amazing thick and green. The sidewalk leading up to his is well edged but brown and fried. You can see it coming down the walk and its interesting because the one that’s cut better and looks more cared for is actually doing less well. Mr K has a formula – they mow on Sundays and they mow high, and they water. That’s mostly it.

The brown lawn has a fancy truck drive up and spray liquid chemicals on it on a regular basis they cut it low and edge it – but Mr. K is killing it. He’s just one of those guys that finds systems and finds success in the system. Mark is like that too is gospel of immediacy keeps us following this path of Jesus’.

First the Arrival of Jesus, then where we’ve been for a while, part 2 – The “path” of Jesus here he demonstrates who is is as messiah through what he does and how he lives. And then into part 3 where we’ll be next week – “the ask”. Mark’s formula is working us up through Jesus life not necessarily to see the chronological order (that’s not important to him) what is important is that we know who Jesus is and what is live was lived like – and how that validates Him as messiah so that we’d known him, savingly.

Do you?

Stick with Mark, keep going and keep growing.

1 Peter 1:24–25 (ESV)
24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25  but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

Remember Christian step away from the hype-machine, into the Word, Philippians 4:7 said you have a peace from God that people cannot even understand and that peace will be what guards your heart and mind in Jesus Christ -do you have that, because you can.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV)
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Mark 8:22–26 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him.

If you looked at our chart you’ll see that Jesus’ ministry in Galilee is coming to a close. The public ministry of Jesus is ending – he even said a few weeks back no more sign for this generation. We pointed that the people who’d asked for one had seen sign after sign. I want to point out that we’re not in a time where medical healing was commonplace. Like today, we’re doing pretty good, our trained medical people can make some stuff happen not so in Biblical times – man you’re out working in the field and catch a rock to the eye it’s not like they’re putting a patch on it laying you in a dark room and giving you medicinal eye drops – you may go blind or die from a NASTY infection, how’d you like an infected eye and no antibiotics (or even soap)…

This is the second miracle Jesus performed like this. Healing of the blind. Familiar pattern from the last time we saw this. These two one from Chapter 7 and one now in chapter 8, one with the deaf mute and now here with the blind man; Jesus is restoring faculties that no one was able to even pretend to heal. If you were blind or unable to hear, you were just hosed in this world.

We have Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA) that says how even webpages will be accessed to make a level playing field of the world – that’s taken some time to get to this guy was just in trouble. But some people who cared for him, in fact who’d beg Jesus to even touch the man, bring him. These are good friends. Do we pray that way for our friends and acquaintances; begging Jesus for just a touch – just a glimpse…

The public ministry is/has winded down. But this is the place where Jesus fed many many people, perhaps they remember that “sign”. They ask Jesus to touch this man why? This was how they’d see Jesus healing people, the deaf mute he touched, the woman with the issue of blood touched him – we said this would be scandal for the watching Jews who maintained a distance from gentiles to avoid becoming “unclean” but with his touch Jesus made people clean.

Even John who sent his disciples to say Jesus – I’m in jail you’re being pursued, I’m just not sure this is how this goes… Jesus’ answer:

Luke 7:22 (ESV)
22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.

Are you the son of God are you the messiah – …John. Do you see anyone else any place restoring sight and ability to walk and cleansing lepers, restoring sight, bringing back the dead on on the backdrop of the good news of God? keep going and keep growing.

It’s patently miraculous and like nothing else happening. These things don’t and cannot happen.

23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”

Again Jesus is compassionate. We said that Jesus accommodation for the disabled man communicated to him. Jesus likely accommodated his ability to understand, feeling Jesus on his eyes, seeing a gradual restoration, connecting undeniably the power of sight to Jesus.

This is interesting. Whenever Jesus asks a question I always think, that is probably a question for the one being asked, not a data-call from Jesus. Lets stick with the story…

24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”

What does that mean – whelp, if I’m blind and I feel a person maybe they go up from the ground I feel a tree maybe it goes up from the ground – similar-ish. I know an awesome child that I taught in New Mexico children’s Sunday School named Rebecca, she could *see but really it was that she could identify color up close and could generally see shape from a distance – I think it’s similar.

Jesus took this man aside, out of the village, off to be alone – who are these men he’s seeing? Maybe Jesus disciples? Maybe this is more teaching for them. Jesus’ ministry will shift to this private teaching and moving on to the death and resurrection. Jesus is building now a church that will stand through persecution, march beyond the pressures of the world raging around them.

Jesus apparently with the disciples present heals this man, partially. I think the disciples would be like; what do you mean you don’t see all the way yet. We’ve seen Jesus restore sight with mud, blink again…

Maybe this was to help them see a trajectory – we’re moving from part 2 (the path) to part 3 “the ask” – Jesus will say “ who do men say that I am… who do you say that I am”.

They may feel like they’re a finished work, but they’re people in process. They need to keep going and keep growing.

25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

Jesus finishes up this work.

How about us, where are we in our journey? Are we a finished work? Do we live like we’re in people in process?

Jesus says “don’t even enter the village” why – because he’s not a spectacle, he’s not a healer, he’s a gospel preacher. He healed the man from compassion but is now shown the power of God in Him; he’ll now sanctify and grow the leaders of his church to give structure to save many and survive the world a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Remember Christian step away from the hype-machine, into the Word, Philippians 4:7 said you have a peace from God that people cannot even understand and that peace will be what guards your heart and mind in Jesus Christ -do you have that, because you can.

1 Peter 1:24–25 (ESV)
24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25  but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Philippians 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is why we study the scriptures so carefully.
42nd weeks, 48 to go Sunday, more than 100,000, more than 189 pages of notes all following Marks’ utility gospel aim, at God’s glory through Jesus life, ministry and gospel message. So church lets accept the challenge to keep going and keep growing.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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