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Sermons about Mark
In this sermon we look at how Jesus is more than just a new age healer, but the true healer of our souls.
The power of very small influences is staggering when you start to think about it. A microscopic germ can reduce a grown man to total weakness. A microscopic dust particle can render a computer chip worthless. A grain of sand in an eye or a pebble in a shoe can cause much pain. One small spark can set an entire forest ablaze. One small word can make our day or ruin our day. A little baby completely and forever changes a couple’s life. A little leaven can swell up a whole loaf of bread. And one small error in doctrine can eventually grow to destroy whole souls. Jesus saw in one small argument the seeds of spiritual destruction and warned His disciples about it, but the seeds were so small the disciples didn’t see them. Our text this morning is about the spiritual dangers of being deaf and blind. Two weeks ago we considered the miraculous healing of a deaf man and next week we will consider the miraculous healing of a blind man. But in between those two miracles is the story of two groups of deaf and blind men, the Pharisees and the disciples. And of the two kinds of infirmities, physical deafness and blindness or spiritual deafness and blindness, spiritual is far more tragic and deadly, and is cause for deep sorrow and sighs. We will look at this text in two parts, first deaf and blind Pharisees who demand signs from heaven and then deaf and blind disciples who misunderstand signs of leaven.
We are in a series of messages on the Power of Story—not just any story, but the story of God’s activity in our lives. We are examining New Testament stories of individuals sharing their story. We want to specifically see what God would teach us from these stories about sharing our own story. So far, we have considered the story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night, the example of John the Baptist, the example of the very first disciples of Jesus, the woman at the well, and last week the healing of a blind man. I’ve been telling you that you need to tell your story and others need to hear your story. Today, I want to talk to you about telling your story to perhaps the most difficult group—those closest to you—your family, your neighbors, those who know you best.
What do you think of crowds? What’s the biggest crowd you have ever been in? A sporting event, a concert, some rally or big conference? I was trying to think what my biggest crowd was, maybe downtown Milwaukee for a Fourth of July fireworks show, over 100K. Phama remembers it too well, we lost little three year old Marc in the crowd and it was a bit terrifying. How about the crowds on the Guide in Bellingham or at Costco or the mall? Do you try to avoid them, do you stay away or wish they would go away? Do you find yourself getting annoyed or frustrated or impatient? What do you see when you see a huge crowd? Whenever Jesus saw a great crowd or a great city His heart was stirred with a great compassion. He saw souls, eternal souls dying in their sin and unbelief. No one felt as much as Christ when He saw a great crowd, no one saw so deeply and so eternally. When you are on the Guide or at Costco or walking through the mall do you see souls, many facing a Christ-less eternity? Are you ever stirred to compassion, stirred to pray? Many of Jesus’ emotions are recorded in Scripture. His joy, sorrow, anger, amazement, gratitude. But no emotion is recorded as often as His compassion. While He walked among us here on this earth, what He felt most was compassion. Compassion for the hunger and thirst in our souls, for being lost sheep without a shepherd. The disciples were annoyed and frustrated and impatient with crowds, with people always scrambling for attention. They were always trying to shoo people way and keep everyone away from Jesus. They always wanted to dismiss the poor and needy, people with demands. There are three things I want us to see about Jesus from our text this morning.
Explore why Jesus delays physical healing for the paralytic man.
Remember last Sunday I said I believed Jesus walked all the way to Tyre just for the sake of one Syrophoenician woman, that He might test and strengthen her faith and make her faith public for all future generations. A reason why I think that is that right after that Jesus leaves that region and walks back to the area around Galilee. He goes there, lets one crumb fall from the masters table, and then leaves. Notice to where Jesus returns, the region of the Decapolis. Remember what happened in the Decapolis in Mark 5? That’s where Jesus healed the Gadarene demonic and sent the legion of demons into a herd of pigs. Remember how the people begged Jesus to leave and the healed man wanted to come with Jesus.