In anticipation of better circumstances ahead, do you ever say, “One day I will….?” Do you long to travel a different path than you are currently on? Jesus calls us to invite His Spirit into our daily journey, just as did the good Samaritan on the road to Jericho. Authentic Biblical faith embraces the realities of the journey and infuses Christ into them. Through vignettes, personal accounts, and Scripture from Colossians 3:12-17, Bruce Main of Urban Promise, Camden, exhorts us to embrace the road Christ has called us to travel and to invite His presence with us on that road.
A large crowd of listeners. A pastoral picnic scene. 5,000 hungry people. Only 5 loaves and 2 fish. This is a day that would not be forgotten. Jesus does much more than feed the hungry. In this sermon, Pastor Mark unpacks Jesus’ mission as the liberation of men’s souls. Even as we watch Jesus speak to the hearts of his hungry people, we are stunned by His compassionate response which sees beyond the immediate need of bread to their deeper need. They are sheep without a Shepherd. Just like the disciples in Mark 6:30-44, we are asked to take Jesus on his own terms, to live a risky faith, to remember God’s past faithfulness, and to count on Him to meet today’s need. Jesus longs to reveal Himself, His might and liberating power, thereby feeding and freeing our hungry souls.
People who knew Jesus most intimately were offended by him. The men in his hometown of Nazareth were scandalized by his teaching. For them Jesus was too ordinary, too inclusive and too authoritative. Why? And why do we sometimes still feel offended by Jesus today? Using the passage from Mark 6:1-29, Pastor Mark reveals pride as the heart’s motive for our contempt. The Jews of Jesus’ day expected their Messiah to be a spectacular Savior, thereby making their own lives significant by association. Out of pride and desire for significance, we also hope to give Jesus our unique best, where in fact He longs to show us His grace and sufficiency in our brokenness and weakness.
Sometimes we do not share God’s timetable. We want instant gratification but God uses delays to both take us to deeper places in our relationships and to move us from fear to faith. In this sermon, Pastor Mark takes us to Mark 5:21-43, where Jesus is teaching two needy souls to wait on his timing. He suggests that when an un-named woman interrupts the procession with her own chronic need, it becomes the opportunity Jesus used to teach Jairus to “only believe.” Today this calling to truly trust God can be most poignantly experienced in God’s often bewildering delay.
“Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” Luke 7:36-38