Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Christianity is Wonderful: Hope

January 29, 2024 Mark Roberts Season 4 Episode 5
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Christianity is Wonderful: Hope
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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.

Speaker 1:

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 29th. Can you believe we're at the end of January already? I hope you're having a great Monday. I have a great cup of coffee and I'm kind of proud here. This coffee was aging a little bit and it was starting to show some ugliness is getting a little better on me, but I made some adjustments, made some tweaks in it, and got a great cup of coffee out of it. That's one of the advantages of being able to adjust your coffee, not just dump it in something automatic that does it for you. I'm able to make it what I need it to be so that it is, oh boy, it's just, yeah , that's a great cup of coffee. We had a great day yesterday at West Side . I'm ready to talk for a moment. Just just a quick thought about yesterday's sermon and we're gonna dive right in to Bible reading. Are you ready? Let's get started. Just really pleased with the sermon yesterday as I began a special series, gonna try to preach this once a month on why Christianity is wonderful. I've thought a lot about that and yes, if you're wondering some of the inspiration for that comes from the movie, it's a wonderful Life. You know Dina and I love that film so very, very much and it just has made me think a lot about Christianity and that it is, it's a wonderful, wonderful life. That doesn't mean we never have adversity or trouble, like I said yesterday, but it means God gives us the strength to cope with it and we have the hope to get through it. And so lemme just share with you an additional idea, just one quick idea that I think goes really well with yesterday's thoughts on hope. Jim Tressel , uh, he was the coach at Ohio State for a long time, president of Youngstown State University. He's done a lot of great things and he tweeted out hope is the ability to hear the melody of the future. Faith is the courage to dance to it today. I love that, especially since faith is the next stop in February when I continue this series on Christianity being wonderful. But my goal in the sermon yesterday is for you to hear the melody of the future. And yes, that gives us the strength and ability to dance to it right now. Hope is transforming. It is a big reason that we are glad that we are Christians. It is a huge part of Christianity being wonderful. Christianity is wonderful because, because we have hope and that hope takes us to the word of God, which is the source of so much of our hope. And we open our Bibles to the gospel of Mark. Let's go see what Peter and John have been seeing. Get your Bible ready. Let's do some daily Bible reading. It is Monday and today we read Mark chapter six verses 14 to 29. And this is where Mark inserts the details of the death of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was very famous. I think sometimes we may overlook that fact, probably not as famous as Jesus, but he is super famous and people talk about him. We end up bumping into some people who know about him all the way in the book of Acts some years after even the beginning of the church. And so Jesus has become super famous. Verse 14 tells us that, and Mark of course writing to a Roman audience wants to say something about where Roman authorities would be regarding Jesus. And that becomes a good time for Mark to talk about the death of John the Baptist. This occurs at the hands of Herod Antipas . There are all those Herods in the Bible. This is the son of Herod, the great Josephus mentions this marriage. He had seduced the wife of his half. Brother Philip convinced church will run off with him and John the Baptist rebukes that marriage and that does not go well. Verse 19, Herods, she is one wicked woman. She is unhappy with John the Baptist preaching and she sees as an opportunity to see to it that John the Baptist is taken care of. She sees to it that he is murdered. And the way she does that is that when Herod makes a big promise, oh I'll just give you anything, verse 22, that's probably just exaggeration. Uh , a man may say to a girl , uh, you know, I'll, I'll do anything for you. Uh , you want the moon, I'll lasso you the moon. There's a great wonderful life reference for you right there. Doesn't mean he can literally lasso the moon and he, Herod probably didn't mean I give you anything but odious knew that in front of everybody he would certainly have to do in John the Baptist if she asked for that. And so she does have her daughter ask for that. And the next thing you know, she's got the bloody head of John the Baptist on a platter. It's just terrible. And maybe part of the point here is for Mark to set up the death of Jesus at the hands of Roman authorities and to see that Roman authorities are swayed by women. And of course later we'll see that pilot is swayed by the crowd. This does give us some timeframe here. Uh , here we get the idea that Jesus has about one year left because John tells us that this was occurring in the spring and the Passover was at hand. Mark does give us the details that no one else gives us. That odious , he's the real enemy of John the Baptist. He that Herod had kept him sometime from her vengeance, that Salomi consulted with her mother and that Herod had to send a special executioner to execute John the Baptist. It is a terrible event and it is very sad. It is often the case that those who preach the truth pay for it and pay for it dearly. As I said, I wonder if Mark isn't trying to set that up in the life of Jesus, Jesus will pay for preaching the truth and pay for it very dearly. Mark chapter six, 14 to 29, the death of John the Baptist. Then we get a wonderful miracle. See you tomorrow. We'll talk about that. It is Tuesday and today we read Mark chapter six verses 30 to 44. This is the feeding of the 5,000. And while it's difficult to identify this miracle or that healing as the most important sign or wonder that Jesus did in his ministry, in some ways you gotta vote for the feeding of the 5,000 because it is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels. We'll talk more about this when we get to John chapter six and we talk about John's handling of the feeding of the 5,000, but John seems to go almost go out of his way to not record stuff that Matthew, mark and Luke have. And that of course would be a very intentional choice on his part in the part of the Holy Spirit because you don't need to read more about those miracles. We have Matthew, mark , and Luke. So I'm gonna tell you something else. But John does say, this is so significant, I need to cover it as well. And it does in John's gospel become the occasion of a tremendous sermon. We'll talk more about that when we come to John six. We'll be reading over in John six this summer and we'll think about the bread of life sermon and all that goes with that. Maybe the thing to notice here is the heart of Jesus in verse 34, Jesus has compassion upon them. So Jesus brings all this power and we've been talking about Jesus' tremendous power. But that does not mean that he's unfeeling or that he looks at people and says, what is wrong with you folks? You don't have power. You're so weak and helpless. No, Jesus has compassion and this is a big miracle. 200 denars worth of bread. Verse 37 is what it would take to feed everybody. Well a denar is a day's wage. So 200 DEI is the better part of a year's salary. Think about feeding 5,000 people. If you had a potluck and you were gonna put out enough food for 5,000 people, how much money would that take? And I do think Christ here is manifesting himself as the great provider. Jesus can take care of our needs, but as much as John makes of that, I am the bread of life. That amazing sermon, mark doesn't record that. We gotta stay with Mark here. Don't let me drift off into John's gospel because Mark wants to talk about something else. So instead of recording that sermon, mark moves forward to an amazing event that happens next. And we get that tomorrow we'll start by reading Matthew's account of Jesus walking on the water. See you Wednesday. Welcome to Wednesday. And we're stepping out of Mark's gospel today to journey over to Matthew's account of Jesus walking on the water. This is Matthew chapter 14, verses 22 to 33 where we read today, Matthew's account is fuller than Mark's account and John's account, I'll note that as we work along through the text here. But the point of Matthew's account is clear. Verse 33, those in the boat worshiped him saying Truly you are the son of God. That's where Matthew is going. That's what Matthew is driving for. We've already seen Jesus stealing the storm and the new development here is that Jesus comes to them in what appears to be a storm. Notice that the wind is against them. Verse 24. So this is again about power. This is a power statement. Matthew's gospel has some different emphases than Mark's gospel. I think Mark is heavier on the power side of things, but you can't talk about Jesus whether you're in Matthew, mark, Luke, or John and not be talking about the power of Christ. And so Jesus walks on the water, he made them verse 22, get into the boat. That's very strong. The idea is he compelled them to do so and they go across the water and the next thing you know Jesus is walking on the water. They are terrified. Verse 26. And then verses 28 to 32 are only in Matthew's gospel. This is where Peter gets out of the boat. And maybe this is a fair place to say something about some of the ridiculous things that happened here with this story. There's always somebody who wants to allegorize it. This couldn't really happen. You can't really walk on water, don't you know? So the boat is the church and it represents, well hey, if the boat's the church, how come Peter got out? You don't want to be getting out . Oh what a bunch of foolishness. And there's always somebody who wants a naturalistic explanation. There are rocks just underneath the water or a hidden reef or a sand bank . What foolishness? What foolishness? These are fishermen. They would know all of that. None of them would be fooled by somebody walking on the sandbank. I've been to the sea of Galileo and there aren't sand banks like that. It's a deep lake. This would be incredible. And so they are crying out with fear and Peter decides, I'm gonna get out of the boat. Verse 25. This would be about three to six o'clock in the morning. So it's just dark as it can be. And Peter says, if it's really you, Jesus, I'm coming to you . Can I come to you ? And Jesus says, come on. And he tries to exercise some faith. He walks for a moment. Doubt overcomes him. Talked about faith and doubt a couple of weeks ago. And Jesus does have some things to say in rebuke of his lack of faith or his folding faith. Jesus wants us to draw conclusions and then live those conclusions out. That's what faith is all about. We are persuaded by the evidence to reach a conclusion. And Peter, like I said, that's only here in Matthew, reaches the conclusion. But then he trades the conclusion back in and decides I can't do that. Verse 33. Then when they get in the boat, they worshiped him saying, truly, you are the son of God. I don't think this is complete and full faith. And I say that for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, Matthew is driving towards Peter's full confession in Matthew chapter 16. And we'll see more of that as we work along and work the gospels together here in a synchronized kind of chronological sort of order. But what really drives that conclusion on my part is what Mark says in his gospel about the walking on water because they don't really have it all put together completely. Maybe there's an instinctive reaction here and there's some worship and so forth, but the disciples don't have it all down. And we'll see that tomorrow as we read Mark's account of Jesus walking on the water. See you on Thursday. Welcome to Thursday. And today we read Mark chapter six, verses 45 to 56. This is the account that Mark has of Jesus walking on the water. It does not contain the emphasis and the information about Peter climbing out of the boat, but it does say in verse 48, he meant to pass by them. That catches our eye. Jesus saw them struggling. They were having a hard time and he didn't intend to stop the boat. Didn't intend to get in the boat. Evidently not. I think Jesus knew they were gonna be okay and he intended to get onto the other side. Maybe that language passing by there is meant for us to to be driven to some Old Testament references. Think about the appearance of God to Moses in Exodus, the 33rd chapter or maybe to Elijah in one Kings 19. God passes by Moses and Elijah. And so here Jesus is passing by. There's some references in Job chapter nine , uh, chapter nine and verse eight, chapter nine and verse 11. That also might come to mind here. The idea of God passing by. And there there's some discussion of God treading on the waves. So maybe Mark is emphasizing the sovereignty of Jesus, that he is God, that he is deity, just with that little expression passing by. That's something that God has done before in the scriptures. And now Mark makes mention of that to help us see Jesus is God. He's going to pass by. But he does get into the boat with in verse 51. And I think this is what Mark is driving at because Mark characteristically makes mention of the disciples not having it all together, not fully understanding. Yes, there was some worship, we saw that yesterday, but they still don't understand everything about this. They , he gets into the boat, verse 51, they were utterly astounded for they did not understand about the loaves. Verse 52, their hearts were hardened. So that connects back to the feeding of the 5,000. The loaves is a connection to the feeding of the 5,000. And Mark's gonna bring that up again. There'll be another occasion where they talk about bread and Jesus has to say, boys, are you not getting it? Are you not getting it? And and all of that helps us see that sometimes people can have a flash of faith. Maybe we're thinking of the parable, the sower here. Or maybe people can start to put it together, but sometimes it doesn't stick. It doesn't hold together 'cause they don't quite know exactly how to deal with Jesus entirely. And I think that's what you're seeing in Mark chapter 6 51 and 52. Then of course we get the end of the reading 53 to 56. And this is how it really ought to be. When Jesus gets out of the boat, people throng to him and they come and people come for a healing. People have the kind of faith that it seems like the disciples are still struggling to put together at the end of the feeding of the 5,000 and even the walking on water. That carries us then into Friday's reading where we'll begin. Mark chapter seven, I'll see you tomorrow. It's Friday. We made it to the end of the week and we start a new chapter in Mark's gospel. This is Mark chapter seven, verses one to 13 that we read today. Mark really likes to show Jesus and the Pharisees crossing swords. And this is a big, big piece of that because important people from Jerusalem have come verse one, and they are unhappy that Jesus and his disciples don't wash their hands. And so then Mark stops to make sure that his Roman audience understands the customs and its significance because washing was a huge deal for the Pharisees. Now, originally that was for the priest, but about 200 years earlier in the beginnings of the pharisaical sack, the decision was made. You know, if that's good enough for the priest, that ought to be good enough for everybody. Everybody ought to be doing that. That's that's what they're doing. Then I'm gonna do that too . I wanna be as holy as those priests. And so there were all sorts of rules about how to wash your hands, how much water to use, literally how to hold your hands when you're washing them. Later Jewish writings would devote 35 pages to washing your hands and vessels. It was such a big deal that there is a report of a Jewish rabbi who nearly died when he was in prison because he used his daily water ration to wash rather than drink. So there's all these rules and regulations and the Pharisees in Christ, verse five say, Hey, how come you boys don't play by the rules? And Jesus doesn't answer that specific criticism, but instead launches into a scathing critique of their way of handling God's law. And he says that all your traditions, all these encumbering rules and regulations, how to wash your hands and how much water and all that, it's just getting in the way. It's getting in the way. And now you're making more of your rules than you are making of God's laws. Think about that. There's some great applications of that . We have various traditions. I've known churches that have changed up the order of services and the church ended up dividing because, well , you , we can't possibly move the Lord's supper from here to there. This is a great example of how we make up rules. We make up traditions and and tradition's. Not a bad thing. Tradition lots of times it , it's just what works and it's what we're comfortable with and it's what we, what we use. And so that's just how we do it. But if we enshrine tradition above God's word and above what God says, and when somebody doesn't do it the way we've always done it, we freak out and accuse them of being sinners, then we'll right smack in the middle of Mark chapter seven, and Jesus even cites an example of that. Verse 11, the Corbin tradition, you could say of your funds, this is Corbin . And that was kind of like willing it to the temple. I've, I've left that for the temple. So mom and dad, sorry, I don't have anything to help you with. Of course you have to give it to the temple, right? Then you just meant one day it's going to the temple, but since it's going to the temple, certainly couldn't use it to spend it on you. Mom and dad. And the rabbis had all kinds of rules about that and they made that okay. And as a result, the purpose of God's law care for mom and dad was suspended in favor of doing what I wanna do. And I've created a little low pole and I've got my little pharisaical rabbinical rules that say, I'm really okay doing that. How bogus is that? And Jesus calls him out on it. He won't stand for that. Now, I wanna say again, this is important as we come to the end of this reading, there is apostolic tradition and there's no change in that. No change in that. Talked about that in q and a about taking the Lord's supper every Sunday. We're not changing that. And Jesus isn't critiquing that. He's critiquing man, made rules and traditions. Like I said, gotta have the Lord supper in this place or have to have announcements at the beginning of services and oh, oh, I can't believe you heretic. You're instead of three songs in a prayer. We had two songs in a prayer stop with all of that. Don't let our traditions get in the way of doing what God told us to do. That's what Jesus is driving in our reading today. And that helps us, Peter and John watching that must have been thinking, whoa, I can't believe Jesus is getting into it with these important religious leaders. But Jesus won't stand for human tradition, taking precedent over the divine word of God that will draw the podcast to a close for the week. I appreciate you listening. Hope that you are rating and reviewing the Monday Morning Coffee podcast so more people can find it. And of course, follow or subscribe so it will appear automatically on your device, fresh every Monday morning. Tell somebody about the podcast that will help them stay with their daily Bible reading. So until next Monday, may your coffee be delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and the Lord is 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 and our Facebook page. Our music is from 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.

Sermon Notes
Monday Mark 6:14-29
Tuesday Mark 6:30-44
Wednesday Matthew 14:22-33
Thursday Mark 6:45-56
Friday 6 Mark 7:1-13