Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Does God Exist?

February 26, 2024 Mark Roberts Season 4 Episode 9
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Does God Exist?
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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, February the 26th. I'm Mark. I've got my Bible going. I've got my sermon outline notes, I've got some notes about Bible reading. And yes, I have a wonderful cup of coffee. This is some Mexican coffee that I roasted. I'm getting into coffee roasting again, enjoying the challenges and difficulties of that in this first match came out just pretty good if I say so myself and I'm enjoying that. A great deal this morning. Hope you're having a great start to the week. Hope that yesterday's lessons were helpful to you. And I hope you're ready to read more in the Gospel of Mark. It's time for the podcast. Let's get started. Yesterday in the 10 40 hour, I continued the preaching theme for the year talking about the challenges to Christianity and the place to begin that is to begin with the challenge to the existence of God. There are plenty of people today who are quite certain that there is no God. So it is important for us to think through the evidences for God and be able to answer as well as, yeah, answer our own doubts about that. Sometimes we hear so much in our media and from so many different channels and ideas, there's just all sorts of folks who are saying things about there is no God. How do we know God exists? You can't touch him, you can't feel him, you can't see him. Are you sure that God is there? I actually got to preach this lesson again yesterday evening in Graham, Texas. We support Paul Hammonds in the work there at the Hillside Church of Christ. They're doing an end of the month, Sunday night speaker series and I got invited to come and to speak on this subject there. So it was a double for me yesterday. Hope that it was helpful for you at West Side . Let me just add one additional thought here. Something, you can't say everything, but, but let's just think about this a little bit because I think many times now the reaction to trying to start a conversation about the the existence of God is for somebody to kind of shrug their shoulders and say, you believe what you wanna believe and I'm gonna believe what I wanna believe. You know , you know , you know whatever kind of a meh some people believe, some people are like , what difference does it really make? Well, let's think about this. What if we found a huge abandoned city on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, deep down thousands and thousands of feet. Down here is a city that one time flourished, a complete civilization, and the city is there. They had all kinds of technology to get oxygen out of the water and to do all the things that a city needs to be doing. And so we're looking at this amazing city, I'll call it Atlantis. How original is that? So we're looking at Atlantis here under the ocean. Immediately we would look for the cause to this amazing effect. And since we see the city being fine tuned for life, we would think of a designer we would think of, of a creator, and we would assume that the designer and creator is intelligent. It's carefully built so that life can be sustained there. It's not showing that this was a random accident. We would not expect that Atlantis would just kind of arrive on the bottom of the ocean all by itself, but, but would we be content to study the city and not quest for its creator? Especially if the creator shows great wisdom and might and power in designing and constructing this incredible underwater city. It would make no sense for us to study extensively the city and never want to go see, never think to investigate who built that city. And so it makes, in a similar way, no sense to accept that God is here. There's, there's really very little doubt about that. The evidence is just overwhelming and I think that's a very rational conclusion, but it makes no sense to accept that conclusion and not go looking for God to see who he is and if he expects anything of us who are down here living on his creation. In fact, Paul said in Acts 17, verses 26 and 27, that God has made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined the allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling places that they should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. He is actually not far from each one of us. We ought to be in the business of seeking God. We should not shrug our shoulders and say whatever we need to know who built not an amazing city under the ocean, who built the amazing universe that we live in, who built us, and we need to seek God. And I hope this lesson answers that challenge to Christianity and I think maybe even more so the challenge that comes from it is that we need to help others think through that challenge and see that God is real and they need to seek after him. Hope that helps you. Let's open our gospels. Let's open our Bibles to Mark chapter 10. As we continue to seek Jesus as the eyewitnesses saw him. It is Monday and today's Bible reading is Mark chapter 10, verses 23 to 31. When I preached through the gospel of Mark a couple years ago, wow , that's actually been way back when. But as I was preaching through the gospel of Mark, I mark this section, the unexpected Christ. And there's so much in this chapter that is unexpected. And we got a dose of that on Friday when the rich young ruler shows up and we would expect that this guy is desirable, he's connected, he is well healed. Jesus is gonna say, welcome aboard. We just need people like you. And of course it doesn't go like that at all. This chapter is just full of surprises and that emphasizes our need to watch Jesus closely, to see him through the eyes of the eyewitnesses so that we are following the true messiah, so that we are following Jesus as he really is. So today our reading in Mark chapter 10 verses 23 to 31 concludes the episode with the rich young ruler. And Jesus then says, it's just hard for people like that to get into the kingdom of God. And the result of that is the disciples are just amazed they're losing it. I I people like that aren't getting in who can get in? Don't forget, there's a very tight tie here between your physical circumstances and how people view your relationship with God. This is very much the job theology at work. If you do good, you get good. And if you are getting bad, then you must be bad. And so since this guy has a lot of good financially speaking, he must be, he must be extra good, he must be really blessed of God. So if somebody like that can't get in the kingdom, I mean what chance do I possibly have? And then Jesus says something very unexpected. Jesus says, children, for the first and only time in the gospel, he addresses the disciples here as children. And of course the tie is back to 10 13 when they were bringing children to him and the disciples said, eh , don't be doing that. Jesus doesn't have time for children. And Jesus says, you need to be calm . You need to receive the kingdom of God. You like a child, you need to become like a child. And so children who have very little concept of money, particularly very small children, you can easily, if a small child's holding a hundred dollars bill, you can easily get that a hundred dollars bill out of that child's hand by offering them a shiny dime. Children just don't get money at all. They're not concerned about that. They don't understand it. They're not worried about it. We need to become like children. We need to have that humble trust in God that this rich young ruler can't manage because he trusts in his riches. That's what this is all about. Verse 31, this guy is first. He's at the top of his class. He's got everything going on. He wears all the right clothes, he gets invited to all the right parties, but people like that aren't going to be the kind of people who humble themselves and come to God giving up anything and everything to get God. They are self-sufficient. I don't need God. I have my stuff. Jesus says we need to be like a child. We need to be humbled like children are, particularly when we think about wealth. And Peter is just certain that maybe we're gonna get shortchanged. And Jesus says, don't worry, I got you . It's gonna be fine. The Lord knows where everybody is and what's going on in their lives. Please underline in your Bible in verse 30, you'll receive a hundred fold houses and brothers and sisters and children and lands. Here's the underlined with persecution. Jesus tell you the truth, won't he? Yes he will. Tomorrow we continue in this unexpected chapter of Mark's gospel. I'll see you on Tuesday. It is Tuesday and today's reading is Mark chapter 10, verses 32 to 45. This is some of the richest and most important material in the gospel of Mark. And once again, there's some unexpected things about it. Maybe I would say that Jesus is unexpectedly announcing his death, but that is not, or at least should not be unexpected because this is the third time now that Jesus has told them about that. But the 12 are amazed, verse 32. And I wonder exactly what they are amazed about. And I wonder here if maybe we've underplayed the courage and bravery of Jesus. One writer has asked if maybe there was something in the bearing of Jesus, the look in his eyes and the manner of his walk that explains this amazement. I think that's worth our further consideration and for us to give more thought. Jesus is very courageous. There were not a few people saying, why don't we go back up north? There were not a few people who were saying, Jerusalem is not a great idea right now. Jesus, that is not gonna end well for you. Let's go anywhere else. And Jesus marches straight to Jerusalem bravely. You want to ask what Peter and John saw? They saw the courage of Christ. And as we try to find the courage to withstand temptation, the courage to face up to hostility, we need to think more of the courageous Christ. And this is a good place to find Jesus being brave. And then we get this terrible question. I did not expect this. We get this wretched question about, Hey, can we sit in the chief seats? We've already had conversation about who's the greatest in mark nine beginning in verse 33. And this is a thinly veiled stab at another round of we want to be the great ones. We want to sit in a worldly palace where all kinds of dignitaries are coming into the throne room and we'll be there in regal robes and we'll be right there beside Jesus and everyone will know how important we are. We wanna be great. And Jesus says, you don't know what you're asking because that's not how the kingdom works and that's not what the kingdom is all about. Can you drink the cup that I will drink? Verse 39. And you remember from the prophets last year so much discussion of cups that's just used again and again in the Old Testament to talk usually about the cup of God's wrath or a cup of suffering. Jeremiah 25 15, Lamentations four uses language about cups. Habakkuk uses that in Habakkuk chapter two, lots of cup here. And Jesus says, you don't even know what you're talking about. And maybe the thing to notice here is that Jesus never says as he calls out a rebuke for everyone, don't forget kind of down on the sons of Zebedee here, but in verse 41, everybody got involved. I wanna be the great Hell . Don't let him sit up there beside you . I wanna sit beside you . Well, Jesus calls them and says, that's not how things work in my kingdom. And maybe one of the things to notice here is that Jesus doesn't say there won't be great ones in the kingdom, but he says the great ones will be the servants. There are great disciples in the kingdom. They are servants who give of themselves freely and fully. This is also verse 45, the only place in Mark's gospel where Jesus tells his disciples why he must die. And this absolutely is teaching the substitutionary death of Jesus. He's giving his life as a ransom for many. He dies for us. He dies in our place. That's what Jesus is doing. He is the ultimate servant and he is calling us to be servants as well. What a tremendous text . Can't wait to talk about this further in our Zoom Bible study on Tuesday night. If you're listening to this and you're not part of the West Side family, we do a Tuesday night zoom and we get to pray together and study together. And that really is just for the West side folks. I know there's a lot of people listening to the podcast outside the West Side family. Uh , Dina met some folks like that last weekend at the women's conference here in Dallas and that's always exciting to know that people outside of West Side , we shout out to you. If you're not part of the West Side Church and you're listening to the podcast, you're doing Bible reading with us. We just love you and and appreciate you so very much. But Westsiders, I'll see you tonight at seven in Zoom and we will talk a little further about what this means and about how we can implement this in our lives. Welcome to Wednesday. It is hump day. Let's get on that camel and ride a little bit because we're reading in Mark chapter 10 and we're reading in Mark chapter 10, beginning in verse 46 through the end of the chapter, verse 52. This is Jesus coming to Jericho and as he's passing through Jericho a a beggar. Wow , I can't say that a blind beggar try saying that three times real fast. A blind beggar is calling out for Jesus. Please notice he calls Son of David verse 47, and Jesus makes no attempt to silence that. That is a messianic title that would identify Jesus is making a claim to being the Messiah. Jesus doesn't back away from that or tell him he needs to hush that up in any way at all. The days of secrecy, those days are over as Jesus is coming to Jerusalem and of course Jesus heals him. Go your way , verse 52, your faith has made you well. Immediately He recovered his sight . I'm very impressed with Bartimaeus . He is persistent. He knows something of who Jesus is and he believed Jesus could heal him. He shows a lot more faith than a lot of people around Jesus, maybe even more faith than the apostles will show from time to time. But what I really love is that a lot of people told him to hush verse 48, and he knew what he wanted and he went for it. He was determined. He was determined to receive a blessing from Jesus. That is a great idea. What are you determined to receive from Jesus? What are you persistently asking the Lord for? That is something we need to think a lot more about. Examine your prayer life. For example, examine your faith. What do you believe Jesus can give you and what are you seeking from him? Think on that as we consider this amazing healing of Bartimaeus, and now it's time for Jesus to arrive in Jerusalem. See you tomorrow. Today's reading is Mark chapter 11 verses one to 10, and it begins the last week of Jesus's life. All of the gospels major in this last week spend more time, more material here than in anywhere else in any other part of Jesus' life. And it begins for Jesus. This would be Sunday of the last week of Jesus' life with the triumphal entry. This is a huge sign on Jesus' part to his audience, the Jewish people who'd be familiar with Zechariah nine and Genesis 49, verse 10 and 11 , they would easily recognize that he is making a very messianic claim here. This is how the Messiah is to enter. This is how he should be treated, and it is not unintentional in any way. This is not a situation where Jesus was kind of tired and somebody said here, right on this. And someone else said, Hey, I'll put my coat down. No, no, no. It is all very carefully orchestrated by Jesus. He is doing this on purpose and the spreading of garments and palm frons out in front of Jesus. Verse eight announced clearly he is royalty. You don't do that for a friend, you do that for a king. Jesus is being treated as a king, but even here it's a little different. Jesus is not riding on the white charger, the warhorse as a commanding general in full armor, glistening holding his sword of victory aloft. It looks a little different. It looks exactly like Zacharia said it would appear. We read Zacharia last year as we were thinking through the prophets and we understand zechariah's messianic implications just as Jesus did as well. So this is Sunday of the last week of Jesus's life, and it begins with Jesus being acclaimed as the son of David, as being the one who's coming in the kingdom of our Father, David. The link to Second Samuel Seven's promises. This is Jesus. He is the Messiah. Tomorrow, Sunday comes to a close for Jesus and a busy Monday begins. I'll see you on Friday to talk about Jesus's Monday. Wow, I really need coffee after saying that. See you tomorrow. It is Friday. And today we read Mark chapter 11 verses 11 to 19, and that begins in kind of an unimpressive way . Verse 11 says, he came to Jerusalem and he went to the temple, and then he looked around at everything and then he went home. I thought something amazing was going to happen. I thought something incredible was going to happen. Jesus just looked around, but Jesus wasn't a tourist taking in the sights . He came to inspect the temple and the next day Jesus will take action, which begins in verse 12 on the following day. So this is Monday, and I should say here, all the usual disclaimers putting together the last week of Jesus' life, the chronology of that is complicated and difficult. This is one particular timeline and it's a timeline that has served me well and that I've taught for a long time. But there are certainly alternative views to this timeline, but this is what I'm going with. This is Monday on the following day, verse 12. When they came from Bethany, Jesus saw the fig tree and Jesus curses the fig tree. And a lot of people don't understand that. In fact, one scholar said, it is a tale of miraculous power wasted in the service of ill temper . Oh, so Jesus thrown a little fit here. Is that what we're looking at? William Barkley says, this story doesn't seem worthy of Jesus. There seems to be a petulance in it. Seriously, this is not Jesus throwing himself a little hissy fit the keys. Verse 13, he saw in the distance a fig tree, in leaf fig trees put leaves on first and then figs. It had leaves. It sounded, and it looked like it had figs on it, but it didn't. There was the promise of fruit, but it was fruitless. And then the tree is judged, which connects to what happens next. Jesus cleanses the temple. The temple is like the fig tree. It promises fruit, it looks good. There's the hustle and bustle of activity. Oh wait, what's going on here is animals are being sold and there's banking going on, and there's all the noise and the sounds and the smells that go with all of that. And Jesus says, get this out of the house of God. Even quotes out of Jeremiah chapter seven, which is a scathing indictment here. Dinner robbers comes from Jeremiah seven 11. Nobody would want that label affixed to them because Jeremiah is just pulling the hide off people for their absolute failure to be what God wants them to be. Jesus applies it to the temple in his day, this would be in the court of the Gentiles, the big plaza area where only Gentiles could be. They can't go further, can't get closer to the actual temple structure itself, and we've got this big bizarre going on all this transaction and commercial activity hindering their worship and Jesus pronounces a judgment on that. Look what we're gonna read on Monday. On Monday, as they pass by, they saw the fig tree withered. Hold onto that fig tree. Hold onto the idea of the promise of fruit and then being barren. Hold onto the idea of Jesus, bringing judgment. That's what this section of Mark is all about. With that rather dramatic note, we'll close the podcast for the week. Thanks so much for listening. I hope the podcast is helping you that you've subscribed or followed it so it downloads automatically onto your device. Please do leave us a rating or review. It will help others find this podcast. So until next week when we get to open our Bibles together again, I'm Mark Roberts and I want to go to heaven and I want you to come to 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 10:23-31
Tuesday Mark 10:32-45
Wednesday Mark 10:46-52
Thursday Mark 11:1-10
Friday Mark 11:11-19