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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 15th. And if you are freezing, I want you to know I am too. It is so very cold, but that's okay because I'm holding a wonderful hot cup of coffee. In fact, holding coffee is just part of the joy of coffee. This is in my Grand Canyon mug, which dean and I got when we were back at the Grand Canyon in November, and it is full of coffee from Sedona, Arizona. A wonderful couple brought me a bag of beans from a local coffee shop there in Sedona and it is just great stuff. So I'm feeling good and I hope that you are feeling good even with the cold, even with the week getting started. I hope you still are excited about Bible reading and maybe, maybe if you're married, you're thinking still about that sermon yesterday. Let's get a couple more thoughts about that. Let's, yeah, let's get started. Yesterday I preached on marriage value of marriage and what marriage is all about when it's great. That's really what the sermon is driving for. Let's go for great. And so the only thing that I'd want to add to that, I think those four passages really lift our marriages up, is to just say, you gotta want that. Don't settle for less than what God has placed in marriage. And that's the opportunity to have a great relationship. And remember, if you keep doing what you've always done, you're gonna keep getting what you've always got. So if your marriage isn't great, look around, ask yourself, what's the problem here? Is it because God's plan for marriage isn't good enough? It you do what God says that's not gonna take you to great? Or is it that we're not doing everything God's word is telling us to do to make this marriage relationship great? Remember, marriage reflects to the world, Christ's love for the church . So it's about more than you, it's about more than your spouse. It's about the opportunity to show people how good God's ways really are. Go for it. Read those verses together. Go for great. And speaking of Bible reading, how about the book of Mark? That's where we are. Get your Bible open to Mark chapter three as we continue to watch Jesus through the eyes of the eyewitnesses, Peter and John. So we start the week on Monday reading Mark chapter three verses 22 to 35 . Effectively we're reading the end of Mark, the third chapter worked in that last week and now we're completing Mark chapter three. Two parts to this first 22 to 30 is the discussion of the Blamy against the Holy Spirit. 31 to 35 then is a bit about Jesus's family. Let me deal with the first part of this, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. And I'll just take off the table what everybody worries about. People worry that they've committed the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and they're eternally doomed and nothing can be done about it. And I can say an awful lot about that. But the thing probably to know is if you're worried about committing the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, that is proof positive that you have not because the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit here is the San of the hardened heart that refuses to believe, refuses to do what's right, refuses to come to God despite all of the evidence. One writer said, only the man who sets himself against forgiveness will be excluded from it. And that's what we're dealing with here. So if we can get those concerns outta the way, then it's okay, that can be a legitimate concern. But what we can do now though, is focus on what's actually happening in this text . And if you look at verse 22, notice that Jesus has got an official delegation from Jerusalem coming to look into him. They have come to see what is this all about? Who is this Jesus guy and what is he doing? So Jesus is really garnering some major league attention here and then particularly notice verse 28 where Jesus says truly some, some translations will give that verily , verily or some form of that it is a word kind of like amen. But you don't start a prayer with the word amen. So what's it doing here at the beginning? Well, for Jesus, and this is a very characteristic thing of Jesus, it is used to intensify this saying, Jesus uses this to say this is super important, this is a solemn fact. In some ca in some cases, Jesus will say this because he's about to utter something that is in variance with popular opinion. And so one scholar said this could be translated. I solemnly declare, I solemnly declare. So Jesus is saying, this is super important, really pay attention to this. And as you watch what this official delegation from Jerusalem tries to bring up against Jesus, their reasoning is so lame and weak. It is clear that they are not interested in believing in Jesus no matter what Jesus does. Then Mark concludes his chapter here with family in a discussion of family. And Jesus says, my mother and my brothers, these are the people who do the will of God. So there's a deeper kinship than flesh and blood can ever have spiritual kinship in the family of God. And of course we just wanna know a lot more about Jesus' family. We wanna know about the mother and the brothers there in verse 31 and how many and where and all that stuff. And Mark doesn't talk anything about that. We know so little about Jesus' physical family because that is not significant and this is a time we've just gotta keep our eyes where Mark has our eyes to look and that is to focus on Jesus. Think about this. You can be in God's family. Do we think about that enough? We can be in God's family. You can call Jesus your elder brother. Boy, don't you love that? Think on that, pray on that. Continue to work with some of those questions on the back of your Bible reading schedule. I'll see you tomorrow as we begin March chapter four. It is Tuesday and today we're reading Mark chapter four, verses one to nine. This is the very famous parable, the parable of the sower. And all we're gonna do today is read the parable of the Soar. Talk more tomorrow about why Jesus teaches in parables and what's going on there, the purpose of parables. But for today, we just want to read the parable and do the best we can to take off our 21st century eyes and put on first century eyes. What does this look like to the eyewitnesses? What does this sound like? If you had been there at the Sea of Galilee and you had heard Jesus tell a farming story, think about that. Why is Jesus doing that? What would the crowds take away from that? What would Peter and John take away from this? Maybe the only textual note that I need to give you here is that in verse eight, this is a huge increase. This is a big crop. Whatever's going on here, something really good happens in verse eight. What's Jesus talking about? We'll think about that more tonight in our zoom meeting. If you're part of the West Side church family, we'll be on zoom tonight and we'll work through it and I'll see the rest of you see everybody tomorrow as we think about the purpose of parables beginning in Mark chapter four and verse 10. But for today, nine verses, read 'em out of a different translation. See what else strikes you as you try to stand by the sea and hear the parable of the sower. See you tomorrow. Welcome to Wednesday, and today we're reading Mark chapter four, verses 10 to 20 . Some overlap with our reading yesterday because this is where Jesus explains the parable of the sower. And even more importantly than that, whew , that's kind of hard to say. More importantly than the parable of the sower, that's one of Jesus' most famous parables. But more importantly than that, Jesus explains why he's teaching parables and we get the idea of Jesus being the secret keeper and the secret teller, verse 11 to you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything is in parable. So this really throws people. I thought Jesus came here to tell people about the gospel and he wanted followers and everybody to understand and now we get Jesus kind of this coded message and people don't understand what's going on here. And there's actually been some attempts to kind of retranslate some of this in Mark chapter four, so that it doesn't say what it says, but there's just no manuscript evidence for that at all. Jesus isn't kidding. It's a secret. The kingdom is a secret. It is a secret that he will tell you if you ask him to. If you want to know the secret, Jesus will tell you the secret. But if you don't care, if you're not interested in spiritual things, if you don't care about God, then he'll let you walk off and say, wow, I didn't understand any of that guy's talking about some kind of farming thing. I know what I don't know what that's all about . And parables do exactly what Jesus wants them to do. They find interested people, they flush out those who really care, who really want to know. Notice verse 10, those around him with the 12 asked him about the parables. When you ask Jesus about a parable, what happens? Jesus says, no, it's a secret. I'm not gonna tell you no. He tells him . He tells him . If you ask, Jesus will tell you. So what is this parable all about? It is about how people receive the word of God. One scholar summarized it in this way. The reactions of the seed represent different ways in which people receive God's word, like the seed on the path which the birds ate. Some people never respond to the word Satan turns them against it from the beginning. A second group is like the seed that fell on the rocky ground. They initially received the word. They don't have a lot of depth . First sign of trouble or persecution. They fall away like the seed sun . Then among the thorns, the third group receives the word, but spiritual thorn bushes, the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desire for other things choke it out. Only the fourth group, the good soil group, bears fruit so much to work with here, so much to think about, am I good soil? Am I bearing fruit? And that all goes back to the question, do I want Jesus? Do I want to know about the kingdom of God? Do I want to please Jesus? Mark chapter four tells us there's different reactions when Jesus preaches. What's your reaction to the parable of the sower? See you tomorrow as we continue in Mark chapter four. It is Thursday and today we're reading Mark chapter four, verses 21 to 34 . As this run of parables continues, that starts with the lamp under the basket. And there may be, well, there may just be a little bit of humor here. I think sometimes we have a hard time imagining Jesus telling jokes or being funny, but I think there are several places in his teaching where the audience probably chuckled a little bit and the very idea of lighting a lamp and then putting it under a basket that's just foolishness. In fact, it might set the basket on fire. And what Jesus is saying here is that he wants the truth to be made known. We talked yesterday about Jesus being the secret keeper and the secret teller, and here again you get this idea, the kingdom is a secret, but it's a secret that cannot be hidden. He didn't keep it a secret. He doesn't want it to be a secret. He wants it to be known. And that's why Jesus emphasizes in verse 24 and 25 how you listen and you and I need to be asking ourselves, how am I listening to Jesus? What kind of listener am I? Do I demand more? Am I asking questions? Am I seeking answers? Am I praying about this? Am I working those questions on the back of the Bible reading schedule? Am I going after Jesus? That's what this is about. Am I just going through the motions here or do I want Jesus? Then Jesus tells the parable of the seed verses 26 to 29, and this parable is only in Mark's gospel and this parable tells us that things can happen without us realizing it and things can happen in the kingdom of God without us understanding all the mechanics behind it. I don't know. And you do not know how the word grows in our hearts so that we become more like Christ, but that doesn't matter. We don't have to understand that the seed has great power. The farmer doesn't have to go out there and yell at it. Hey, come on, let's go. Let's go get to growing. Get to growing. But farmer doesn't have to go out. Lecture the seed. Now come on, you can do better. You know you can do better. No, the seed has the power within itself and it grows. It can accomplish, it can bring forth the harvest. Jesus is talking about the power of his word, and that's illustrated then by the last parable in our redeem today, the parable, the mustard seed versus 30 to 34 . The mustard seed is very, very small. You can Google that and see pictures of that on the internet. You know , all kinds of folk showing off mustard seeds. Sometimes ladies will have some kind of necklace that'll have a mustard seed there. It's very, very tiny about the size of the head of a pen. And yet despite its small size, it can accomplish great things. And I think again, the idea here is the power of the seed. The power of God's word to produce great, great things. This ought to build our faith. You . You don't have to have some amazing, humongous, giant program and all what you need is word of God. You put the word of God in your life and great things are going to happen. It can grow from the tiniest beginning to incredible things. Parable of the mustard seed gives us faith to continue to pursue Jesus through his word. We conclude then tomorrow we'll finish Mark chapter four, and we'll get a good look at the power of Jesus. We're seeing the power of his word, the power of Jesus as a teacher. Peter and John are gonna get a really good look at the power of Jesus, the miracle or wonder worker . See you tomorrow. See you on Friday. It is Friday and today we conclude Mark chapter four, by reading Jesus Calming the Storm. This really is a terrible chapter division because after a bunch of Jesus's teaching all these parables, then Mark gives us four stories that portray Jesus's authority as a miracle worker, authority over nature, over demons, over disease and over death. And those stories need to go together. And instead they're separated from that by this chapter of division. All of this pushes Jesus's sovereignty and power and we really need to sit beside Peter and John in the boat here and think about what they saw. This is incredible. The Sea of Galilee sits in a bowl. There are mountains that surround it and the wind comes pouring over top of those mountains and can whip that sea into a frenzy. When Dean and I were there last June, they put us up in a hotel that's literally right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. In fact, they have a big patio there that kind of extends out over the sea of Galilee, has some steps down to the Sea of Galilee if people want to go down into the water. It's a very, very nice hotel. Love staying there. But about two weeks before we were there, the main dining room had two feet of water in it because a storm came and blew water everywhere and the waves came up and broke windows and made a huge mess. So those storms are a reality. That is a genuine thing. And if you think about a storm raging and Jesus rebuking the storm, verse 39 and saying, stop it. Just stop it. Peace be still. Peter and John must have been on one of the keys here though, for us to get a couple of things. Jews are just terrified of the ocean. We talked about this a little bit in the coffee and conversations event with uh , teenagers a couple of weeks ago. In the Bible, generally speaking, the sea is bad. Bad things come out of the sea. The sea is uncontrollable. In the book of Revelation, for example, the beast comes up out of the sea. It's the place of storms and darkness and hostility and monsters. In fact, in the Psalms, there are a number of places where it talks about God ruling over the raging sea, telling it to quiet down. There's the real note there about God's power over something that for Israelites, for Jews, was very frightening and that they were very uncertain about. So this really steps it up. This really says something that would speak to Jewish people's fears. Jesus has this incredible power over even the weather, and there is a rebuke here. Verse 39, he rebuked the wind in the sea. The rebuke is like him rebuking the demon in chapter one and verse 25, and there will be more of these rebukes. Watch for that Chapter seven verse 18, chapter eight, verse 17, more of Jesus rebuking. And I think there is a note of rebuke when Jesus says, why are you afraid? Have you still no faith being around Jesus? Watching Jesus listening to Jesus should build in us faith so that we trust him more. And that's what Peter and John are being called to trust Jesus in the storms of life, Jesus has got it. Jesus has got it. Do you trust Jesus? That's what Peter and John need to answer. That's what you and I need to answer As we bring our readings in the gospel of Mark to a close for the week , do I trust Jesus? Do I see his sovereignty, his power, his majesty, his incredible way of teaching, and yes, his ability to control even the elements. Do I trust Jesus? That's where this needs to go. That's what we need to be talking about. That's what we need to be praying about. That's what we need to be thinking about because that's what the eyewitnesses Peter and John were thinking about. Thank you so much for listening to this week's podcast. I appreciate you very much. I hope that you are following the podcast or subscribe to it so it downloads automatically onto your device. We would always appreciate that you rate and review the show so that more people will find it, share it with somebody, tell somebody about the podcast. There's just nothing like a word of mouth recommendation to encourage somebody to give it a try for themselves. Appreciate you very much so until Monday. I hope your coffee is delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and I hope the Lord will be with you today all day. I'm Mark Roberts and I wanna 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 Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.is that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , 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 company coffee, of course, on next Monday.