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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 2:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, January the first, 2024 Happy New Year. Wow, we are beginning a new year. Let's all just be thankful for a moment to the Lord for granting us a new year, all the new opportunities and all that goes with that chance to reset, reevaluate, make some resolutions, move forward. We have a new Bible reading plan. All kinds of great things happen as we start 2024. And rather than say some snarky things about some of the teams that are playing in the college football games today, and I could most certainly do that instead, I just wanna give a shout out to my amazing wife, Dina , December 31st. Yesterday marks our 40th anniversary and I cannot believe how much God has blessed me through my beloved Dina . She is an incredible help to me, a wonderful companion and I love her so very much. Shout out to my great wife as we begin a new year and our 41st year together as we're starting all of that today. Dina , I love you so very, very much. Have a few notes about the sermon that was not a sermon yesterday. I'm drinking some amazing coffee, did a really neat pour over and it just tastes great this morning. And I'm gonna talk about our new Bible reading schedule as we start the new year in the gospels. What a tremendous beginning it is to 2024. Let's get started. Yesterday's sermon was not a sermon. Instead I got the privilege of having a conversation with Jonathan go lightly about Bible reading, about where we were last year and how that affected us and changed us and what we learned about that and how to do that better and what we should look forward to in the new year with this year with Peter and John reading schedule. Really a neat conversation. Jonathan is such a blessing to the West Side Church and to me personally with his friendship and it's just very cool to get to sit down and do that. We do kind of talk about that a little bit beforehand. We had some coffee last week and mapped out where we want the conversation to go. But so much of that is just coming. It is, it's just a conversation. It's coming straight out of our heart as we talk about some things that really matter to us. So I'm just gonna share one more idea with you since we're talking about Bible reading and how to stick with Bible reading. I know you're interested in that 'cause you're listening to this podcast. Let , let just share with you something called the A BC goal system. And I did not come up with this. This is not uh, this is not from me, it's from a guy named Sahil Bloom . He's written a number of business books. He's kind of a business productivity guru and I really like this 'cause he talked about when he's preparing to run his first marathon, he says, I spoke to a legendary marathoner who offered me this piece of advice. Make sure you have three goals, the A goal, the B goal, and the seagull. And soon after the race I realized that the core principles behind the system applied well beyond running for any area of life you have an A goal, a B goal and the seagull , um, I should add here, the seagull is the literacy not one of those white birds that flies all over the beach. Seagull, on days when you feel great, you hit your A goal on days when you feel okay, which is most days you hit your B goal and on days when you feel bad you still hit your seagull. And I like that very much. Let's create an A goal for our Bible reading this year. I'm gonna read it every day through three different translations. I'm going to answer all the questions and journal about that. That might be your, everything's going great kind of goal. Your B goal might be, I'm gonna get it read once and I'm gonna do the questions. And then a sea goal might be on some days when things are not going well, everything is falling apart and everything is going wrong and water's coming up through your bathroom floor while you have a ton of company staying with you for the Christmas holidays. Not that I'm talking about something that might have actually happened at the Robert's house. When you have a seagull kind of day, maybe it's all you can do to get it red . I'm, I'm just gonna get it red . I'm gonna have to pray about that right quick and, and I'm just gonna try to get it read. So think about that. I think too much Bible reading is done on a pass fail basis. I either did it or I didn't do it and um, maybe we just need to think a little bit more about A, B and C. And some days C will have to be enough. Some days we're gonna have to have that seagull flying around us. How about that? I like that idea a lot. I'm gonna try to develop that maybe a little bit more as the year goes along. Speaking then of Bible reading, let's get our Bibles open to the gospel to Mark and let's start the year with Peter and John. It is Monday and today our reading in the year with Peter and John seeing Jesus through eyewitnesses reading plan. Today's reading for Monday is Mark one verses one to 11 . I'm gonna spend a little bit of time here introducing the gospel of Mark because the reading plan will follow Mark's gospel mostly and considerably through at least as I'm looking at the schedule through the first week of April. There'll be some other readings salted in along the way, but this is gonna be an awful lot of Mark which is just wonderful because Mark's gospel is in fact wonderful. It may be the earliest gospel written. It is a dramatic gospel. It moves, it has lots of action. It's all about what's going on. And in fact the way it begins today is not with baby Jesus or some quiet teaching on a hillside. Things are happening and things are happening right away. Mark's favorite word is immediately if you underline the word immediately in your Bible as you're reading in the gospel of Mark, you'd better have a lot of ink in that pen because it's just all over everywhere. The mark that I'm speaking of of course is John Mark . The gospel is anonymous but there is a very long tradition that this is Mark's gospel. There's a second century mention of that and probably the most important piece of that is that Mark was the companion of Peter and Paul. He was a member of those early disciples. They met in the upper room of his mother's home. Acts chapter 12 verse 12 tells us that that may also be the location of the last Supper. So not only are we reading Mark's gospel, we are reading someone who is an eyewitness to much of the gospel story. He didn't make the title, it's not the year with Peter and John and Mark, but he is with Peter and John and he saw these things and in fact to top that off, he appears to have traveled with Peter. So this gospel may be the collection of the things that Peter told people when they said, tell us more about Jesus. Or when Peter was preaching about Jesus, what did the eye witness Peter say? This gospel seems to contain that material. And I think that's probably why he doesn't name himself because the gospel's not about him and it didn't come from him. It is what God promised through Isaiah that came in the person of Jesus Christ. And this is written in the early to mid sixties , like I said, probably the very first gospel And the purpose of this gospel is Mark one, one, what we're reading today, the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God. There it is. It's about Jesus, his power , uh, the conflicts that he gets involved in, who he is driving us all to make a decision is Jesus who he claims to be. And as I said, it is fast moving . It is full of doing. It is calm and concise and it is easy to read. The biggest challenge in the gospel of Mark is going to be stop reading. You're just gonna want to keep pushing on reading more . So today we read 11 verses mark 1, 1, 2 11. We get this opening statement here. It is a gospel that is a kind of literature. It is a kind of material, it is a word that meant joyful tidings to Romans. The gospel would be announced when there was a Caesar born good tidings. But really for us gospel means good tings about Jesus. That is what the gospel is all about. And Mark begins right away. He's not pulling any punches. Jesus is the son of God. Matthew starts with him being the son of Abraham and the son of David. John goes about proving that Mark just says it from the get-go. He is the son of God. And we get the testimony at the end of John the Baptist to back that up. And I love how this connects to our reading from last year because we were reading in Isaiah the prophets and we were reading all of those prophets who kept talking about the coming of the Messiah. And all of that is happening right now, right before our eyes. And John comes and he's baptizing. There is evidence by the way for ProSite baptism that that was something that you had to do to become a Jew. So this would be kinda radical for Jews to submit to ProSite baptism kind of things. Hey, I am a Jew, I don't need to do that. John the Baptist says, if we're gonna get ready for the Messiah, you need to do that. And in verses seven and eight, the stage is set. The one is coming who will bring the spirit. Think about how many times last year we read in the prophets about the coming of the Spirit and the spirit of God. That's a huge marker for the Messianic age. And John says this is gonna happen, it's going to happen right now. And then it does verses nine, 10 and 11. Jesus comes, he walked about 80 miles here to be baptized and he is baptized by John. And of course this is a very different kind of thing. Jesus has no sin. And we get really tied up in that. Make sure that there is a distinction between the baptism of John and the baptism of Acts 2 38. And that's important and that actually plays a role in Acts 19. We meet some people who don't understand about that and they need to get some clarification about all of that. But what we really need to do is focus on God is working and bringing the Messiah. Jesus came to be identified with that work and to be the center of that work. And the baptism marks that moment and singles him out. This is it. He is the messiah and the voice from heaven. Verse 11 is a combination of Psalm two, seven in Isaiah 42, 1, the king of Psalm two. And the suffering servant of Isaiah is fused into one person. That person is Jesus the Christ. Mark has put him center stage in 11 verses. It nearly takes your breath away. See you tomorrow as we'll. Continue in the gospel of Mark. It is Tuesday. And today we are reading Mark chapter one verses 12 to 20. That begins with the temptation of Jesus, which lasts for all of two verses. Jesus is so powerful, it doesn't take any time at all. Jesus just dispenses with the temptation moving on. That's an impressive way of dealing with that, isn't it? And then Jesus begins his ministry. But please pay attention to verse 14 after John was arrested. This is about a year and a half I think sometimes there's the impression that Jesus began on day one of his ministry and he was tempted 40 days in the wilderness. So on day 41 he called the 12 apostles and they were with him every minute, every second from that point on. And that is not exactly how it works as we try to put some timelines together through the gospels. That's not an easy thing to always do. But as you work with all that and you put all that together, this is about a year and a half later and the apostles, the men who will become the apostles, they have certainly been around Jesus, but they have not been full-time followers of Jesus. But Jesus says this is it. This is now verse 15. It's time. It is time. Mark's gospel is the now gospel. The kingdom of God is at hand. Please don't read that as the church is at hand. That isn't what Jesus said. He could have said, it could have said it. Jesus knows the word church. He said the kingdom that references reign and rule the reign and rule of God in men and women's hearts. It is time to submit to the Messiah. It's time to follow the Messiah. In Jesus calls four fishermen and they become fishers of men . Verse 17. Now I , I should give you as a note, being a fisher of men is kind of an ominous thing in the Old Testament. We read some passages, maybe you remember in Amos or in Habak about leading captives out with fish hooks. That really wasn't a good thing in the Old Testament, but it's a very good thing now. And the idea is following me, following me and being empowered to help other people come and follow Jesus to see the truth about who he is. So we get temptation, we get kingdom and we get followers. Big reading today, work those questions, read it in another translation and I'll see you tomorrow as we jump over for a moment in the book of Luke, it is Wednesday and today we're stepping out of the gospel of Mark over to Luke chapter five. We're reading in Luke five, one to 11. This is a wonderful story, but it's a great place for us to just stop and ask, why is this here? What is this doing in the text? So many things happened in the life of Jesus and I'm certain that there were lots of remarkable occurrences in the life of Jesus. Why did this merit Luke's attention? Why are we reading this? So as you look at the text today, you will see that Peter is pretty sure he doesn't know much about fishing and it's not gonna do any good to do much more fishing. Because if you fish in the sea of Galilee, which by the way the Sea of Galilee is not a sea, Dina and I got to be in the holy lands in June of last year. And the Sea of Galilee is a big lake. It's about 13 miles by about seven miles. It is about 700 feet below sea level surrounded. It's kind of in a bowl, a lot of mountains around it. The wind rushes over the top of those mountains and can make really big storms in a really big hurry. As we know about from reading in the gospels. And that even still goes on today. All that kind of thing can , can happen, but it's it's just a big lake. I don't know who decided. It's the Sea of Galilee. That's not a Bible thing. It's not the Bible that decided to call it that. So I , I'm not criticizing the Bible. It is, it's a big lake. And if you're gonna fish in this big lake, you need to do that at night. So Peter says, we've done that all night, it didn't do us any good. Remember these are commercial fishermen, big gnats. Put those big nets out and try to haul up a big school of fish kind of thing. And then Peter says, at your word, I will let down the gnat that follows the end of verse six and seven. You get Luke and overkill, great many , the nets break help us. Both boats are filled, boats are sinking. Uh, Luke's doing everything he can to say they caught a boatload of fish. You see what I did there? Uh, just so many, many, many fish. And they leave those fish and they follow Jesus. And so to answer the question, what, why is Luke putting this here? What? Why does this matter? I think it is showing us what it means to follow Jesus. You do what Jesus says, you do what Jesus says. That's what it means to follow Jesus. That's what it means to follow Jesus In Luke five, one to 11, you and I need to be asking ourselves, am I really following Jesus or do I just go to church? Am I really following Jesus or do I read my Bible and pat myself on the back because I do read my Bible? Am I doing what Jesus says at your word? I will let down the net. That is the essence here of following Jesus. That's what an eye witness tells us about that tomorrow. Back to the gospel of Mark . See you on Thursday. It is Thursday. And today we read Mark 1 21 to 28 . This is the casting out of an unclean spirit in the synagogue here in Capernaum. And this sets up immediately. I like using the word immediately 'cause Mark uses it so often. The conflict that Jesus is going to have with religious leadership as well as Jesus's incredible celebrity and popularity. Notice that Jesus doesn't teach like everyone else. Verse 22, what that really is talking about there is how Jesus doesn't teach in the way the rabbis taught what their conventional rabbi, so-and-so says. And then rabbi, so-and-so says they would quote something from the Old Testament and then they would give commentary on that. Rabbi Ben Hillel , his take on that verse was such and such and such and such . But Rabbi Eli says such and such and such and such . It was a lot of discussion of the, of the opinions of human beings, what they say about the text and the traditions that have been built upon this text because of this verse, we should do this . And so, and this . And so Jesus never does any of that. He's a breath of fresh air. Totally different teaches as one with authority. And one said , uh, one scholar noted that this could be translated to strike the authority to strike a blow or maybe the word thunderstruck. They were thunderstruck to hear Jesus. I like that idea very much. Jesus' words reveal who he is. One scholar said the scribes were in to quotation marks. I'm quoting this rabbi, I'm quoting that rabbi Jesus never uses quotation marks. And of course he quiets the man with the , with the demon in him. 'cause you don't want demon possessed people testifying to you if , if you have someone, a friend of yours who's involved in nefarious dealings, he's part of the mafiaa or something like that, you don't want that guy coming around telling everybody you're wonderful that that's not a character reference you need. Thank you very much. Can you just kind of keep it down on the down low ? That's what's going on with the demon thing. Jesus handles the demons. So you get message and miracles working together. And again, verse 28, his celebrity's just going bonkers. Jesus is going viral. We'll talk more about that as we conclude. Mark chapter one on Friday. It's Friday and we are through the first week of our special Bible reading plan for this year, a year with Peter and John seeing Jesus through the eyewitnesses. So what do we see here? Well, we see Jesus doing incredible miracles even after a day of teaching. He does not say, I'm just too tired. Don't bother me. He heals Peter's mother-in-law. And then the whole city gathers to him as soon as the , as soon as the sun goes down because that marks a new day. This is a Sabbath. Can't travel on the Sabbath, can't carry things on the Sabbath, shouldn't be doing those kind of things. So people wait until the new day, the sun goes down, that starts a new day and they can come and see Jesus. And we really get a sense then as his popularity is growing, that Jesus is not uncomfortable. I don't wanna say that because he does the miracles, but that's not his major point, is it? Verse 38, I need to preach. That's why I have come. Peter thinks Jesus should be with people healing. That's what the eyewitness is showing. But healing is secondary. Healing is second secondary. What matters is the gospel. What matters is preaching about the kingdom. And then we get this amazing story, verses 40 to 45 to close the chapter of a leper. Lepers lived such terribly difficult lives in the first century. Time. Lepers were not allowed to be part of the community. They couldn't be in town. They had to remain, at least according to rabbinical teaching a hundred cubits away. And they had to shout , uh, leper, leper and cover their mouth and all these kinds of things. Josephus summarized all of that regulations and rules by saying that lepers were treated, quote as if they were dead men. And here Jesus touches the leper, verse 41. It is so unexpected and you really see the heart of Jesus, his compassion, his care. Peter saw this, didn't he? John saw this and they never forget it. He touched the leper. And then he urges the man to obey the law of Jesus does not employ some new hermeneutic. He's not fast and loose with scripture. You do what the law says, but don't be telling everybody about me. 'cause if you do that, I'm not even gonna be able to go into the town. And so that, of course, the man then goes and he talks freely about it, verse 45. And so now Jesus just has trouble even moving about because crowds are just everywhere around him. He's so famous, he is such a celebrity. And we come to the end of the first chapter and you can't stop here. It's like, I wanna know more about this person. He is incredible. He's incredible in his teaching. He's incredible in his actions. I need to know more about Jesus because as Peter is telling us about Jesus through the pen of Mark, the Holy Spirit's using Mark's pen and the teaching and preaching of Peter to help us see Jesus, we are just awed . He is amazing. One week under our belt. And I'm already like seeing Jesus through the eyes of these eyewitnesses. Well, thank you for listening. If you like the Monday Morning Coffee podcast, we hope that you will subscribe or follow that you'll rate review, and especially that you'll tell others. This is a time of year where people are making those New Year's resolutions, all of which have to do with eating right and exercising more. And if people are spiritually minded, I'm gonna read my Bible more. You can really encourage somebody, Hey, read the Bible with me. Give 'em a reading schedule, tune 'em into the podcast. Let's all work together to better know, understand, and follow Jesus as we read the record of the eyewitnesses. So until next week, I hope your coffee's delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and the Lord will be with you today all day. I'm Mark Roberts and I want to go to heaven and I want you to come too . I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the West Side Church of Christ Podcast. Monday morning Coffee with Mark, far more information about Westside. You can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.io. That's upbeat with two PS U-P-P-B-E-A-T, where creators can get free music . Please share our podcast with others and we look forward to seeing you again with a cup of coffee. Of course , on next Monday .