Sermons on Christian Living

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The Sea Summoned to Obedience

For the ancient Hebrew, if you were to ask them about the sea, they would say that it was a place of great chaos, dread-waters, and danger. In this section of Mark, the disciples find themselves in the middle of all that water represents in the Old Testament. Christ takes on this source of evil and rebukes it. In confronting the sea, Christ is really confronting the enemies of God and his people. He says to that great enemy of our souls, “Be still, and be silent!”

Servant Songs of Isaiah

God’s Servant Equipped and Victorious

Jesus as the servant of God is described in Isaiah 42 as being upheld, and loved by the Father, and as having the Spirit poured out upon him to empower him for his work. Jesus was the better ensurer of victory than Moses, a more acceptable sacrifice than the types and shadows of the law, and equipped with the Spirit to proclaim God’s will. Thus equipped, the servant does actually accomplish all the Father gives him to do in patience and with gentleness.

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Restoration: The True Nature of the Sabbath

The Pharisees come to Jesus and ask, “Why is it your disciples are allowed to do that which is impermissible on the Sabbath?” You’d think Jesus would cite a text about the Sabbath and say, “Here’s why: it’s not really breaking the law of God. The law, in Deuteronomy actually gives us permission to glean. You guys are missing the point.” But Christ doesn’t do that. Instead, he goes to this seemingly random, interesting, odd text, about David on the run from Saul eating the bread of the Tabernacle. You have to ask yourself why he chose this particular text as a defense for his actions. In essence, his argument is this: “Long ago, David did this thing, in a particular circumstance. And this circumstance should remind you of what’s going on now.”

Next, Christ says they can do so, because he is the one who can authorize such a thing as Lord of the Sabbath. This pushes the offense over the top, into a whole other category for the Pharisees.

Lastly, Christ goes on to show the true intention of the day. How grateful can we be that Christ gives us not the explanation we would expect, but the revelation we need.

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Feasting or Fasting?

If the Kingdom of God is here now, what mood are we supposed to be in, festive or fasting? Is Christ removed for us now? So fasting does have a role now. But even for those of us that live apart from Christ physically, we see that a new age has dawned. The Day of Salvation has been granted by faith. While fasting has it’s place, it is not the tenor and tone of the Christian life.