Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Four Questions about Bible Authority

March 11, 2024 Mark Roberts Season 4 Episode 11
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Four Questions about Bible Authority
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Click here for the Sermon

Clicking here will take you to our webpage

Click here to contact us

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, March the 11th. I am Mark, and I'm rolling with some great coffee this morning. I've got my bible open, I've got notes from yesterday's sermon. We are putting it all together to get your week started in the very best way. All that energy from yesterday, all that spiritual momentum, we are rolling it forward starting right now. Let's get started. Yesterday I preached the last lesson in my seven lesson series where from time to time, about once a month or so, I was looking at the Will of God, a series about Bible authority. That's really what Bible authority is all about. What is God's will in our personal lives, in our marriage, in our relationship with our parents, and of course in our relationship with one another in a local church? What is God's will? What has he authorized us to do? And I really love that John Knick , one of our shepherds here at West Side taught on this last Sunday in the Bible class. And if you weren't there or you haven't watched that, that's on our Facebook page, that's on our just webpage. You should watch that. Listen to that. He really did a great job in laying out some fundamentals of Bible authority, particularly in regards to evangelism and benevolence that dovetailed so well with Warren Schultz being with us last weekend. And he's here telling us and talking about the benevolent work that we have done with those folks in Africa trying to help our brethren in Africa there. And it , it just all came together in a really great way. And I do wanna say, even though this series is drawn to a close, we still need to keep asking those questions. What about this? And why are we doing that? And where's the authority for this? We never stop asking those questions. You've got questions about Bible authority. You need to be asking and shepherd that you submit that for q and a need to talk to me about that. Let's talk about the will of God. Let's talk about what God authorizes. And in that connection, I just wanna say a word or two about false dichotomies or what's sometimes called the horns of a dilemma. That's big talk for the idea of presenting two choices to people as if those two choices contradict each other. And so you have to choose one or the other. These two ideas are in competition with one or the other and with each other. And you've got to pick a side. It's either A or it's B, and it cannot be both . So you know , are you team A, you over there on team B, you better make a decision. And there's lots of that going on in our world. What drives me really crazy is the science versus faith narrative that we hear all the time. You , you either or with evidence in science, or you can be a religious person with your Bible and with faith. And of course just presenting it in that way makes it sound like all the people who are standing over there on the Bible and faith are a bunch of nut jobs and and idiots. But of course, that's a completely false dichotomy. It's a false choice. There are lots of scientists who have very deep faith in God and in his word, and embrace science, true science as well. You can have both. You can be a person who stands on the evidence and accept science. And you can be a religious person who stands on the Bible and has faith in God. So in that connection, let me just give you the false dichotomy that seems to be running rampant these days, especially when you start talking about Bible authority. And that is you're either full of grace or you're some legalistic Bible authority shouting Pharisee. And of course that is completely wrong. Paul is not a legalistic Pharisee. And okay , maybe he was before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, but he certainly wasn't after that, after Acts nine, he's a Christian, he's full of grace, he loves the Lord. But that does not mean when worship was a zoo in Corinth , that Paul was all, oh, just do whatever you wanna do and everybody has to be their authentic self. And I'm not gonna worry, but no, no, he told them that what they were doing in their worship was not God's will. They needed to change that. They need to stop doing that. And what about the Apostle John? We're reading so much about John and Peter's viewpoint on Jesus. It's been so great this year. John absolutely was not a legalist, but he actively rebuked false teaching about Jesus. Second John, verse nine, grace doesn't exclude obedience, and obedience doesn't exclude grace. Can I say that again? Grace doesn't exclude obedience. Obedience doesn't exclude grace. Don't let somebody tell you are you team grace or team obedience? No, no, no. It's not either or, it's both. And we are delighted to receive the amazing grace of God. And the only proper way to respond to that is in careful obedience to God's will. People who get grace never say, Hey, we'll do whatever we wanna do in marriage, in our human relationships with one another, or especially in what the church is doing. Hey, we've just got grace and that'll just cover it and whatever, whatever. And we're doing what we want. That's an entirely wrong view of grace and a completely wrong response to grace. And in the same way, we never wanna say, Hey, look how faithful we are in our obedience. We're crossing every t and dot every hour . We're getting it all right. God's just gotta save people like us. Of course not. No, no, no. We need God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness. But the more we know about God's grace, the more it drives us to want to respect God's authority in every part of life. I hope that helps you not get hoisted up on the horns of a false dilemma. And we might get a little bit of that, at least an attempt to get some of that as we're reading in the gospel of Mark. Open your Bible. Mark chapter 12, let's do some daily Bible reading. It is Monday and today we read Mark chapter 12 verses 28 to 34. And I do think there's some of that horns of the dilemma stuff in maybe some of the earlier questions that have been asked, like the Caesar question in verses 13 to 17, the Sadducees try to trap Jesus in in our reading Friday 18 to 27. But this guy seems to be of a different bent. He seems to have a genuine honest heart and he asks a question and he has a different attitude and he receives a very different answer. Jesus tells us the most important commandment is that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength verse 30. And that is not, Jesus is not saying that. So that we would try to parse out what those different pieces are and make some kind of decision about heart versus soul versus mind, any of that kind of business. It just means that we are to love God with everything that we are and then we are to love our neighbor as ourself . And the scribe says, I think that's exactly right. I think you're right on the nose and says some things there outta Leviticus 1918 and Deuteronomy six. I think all of that would go together there. And I love Jesus's response here. You are not far from the kingdom of God. Let's think about that a little bit more. When we understand that all that we do in worship particularly is and must be driven by our love for God and that we're not just performing a ritual and filling a spot in a pew when we're doing it for the right reason. And then when we treat our neighbor, we treat others as we want to be treated, we love other people like they need to be loved. When we're operating outta that kind of motivation and doing those sorts of things because of love, then we are on target. That is the kind of attitude that puts you close to the kingdom of God. I'd argue that's the kind of attitude that keeps you in the kingdom of God, great text to consider and pray about so much that man grasp the implications of these commands. He understands ritual, all of that worship business sacrificing. That's not worth anything if you don't love the Lord and you don't treat your fellow man. Right? That's so good, so good and so important. Tomorrow we'll finish Mark chapter 12. I'll see you on Tuesday. It is Tuesday. And there are three parts to our reading today as we continue in Mark chapter 12 and finish the chapter. We begin in verse 35. We'll read all the way down to the end of the chapter, verse 44. And the three parts are first Jesus asking a question and then Jesus saying some things about the religious leadership of the day in verses 38, 39 and 40. And then the famous story about the widows might, let's work each of those individually. First and foremost, this business where Jesus asked a question, Hey, everybody's got a question for me. I got a question for you. How can the Christ be greater than David and also be David's son? That's the question that comes out of Psalm 110. If the Christ, if the Messiah is the son of David, well clearly David would be the greater because in Jesus's society, older is always better. I guess Jesus probably couldn't have worked that very well in our society today where we are in love with youth and we wanna shove old people outta the way and put them on the shelf. But in Jesus's world, if you are older, you're just better wiser everything that goes with that. So David would be the older how then how can the Messiah be greater than him? Because Psalm one 10 seems to be reversing that Psalm one 10 has David calling the Messiah his Lord. How does that work? And of course, the only way that can work is if the Messiah is deity, the son of God in the flesh, fleshly lineage to David, but the divine son of God would be greater than King David. And so Jesus is using Psalm one 10 to testify to who he is, and then he warns the audience about the scribes and the Pharisees. Notice this really majors in this desire to put on a show and get people's praise . Hard not to see some of that today on social media. Look at me. I'm reading my Bible with a cup of coffee. Yeah, said the guy who's always reading his Bible with a cup of coffee, look at me, look how many followers I have. Look how many places I'm preaching. Look at me. I'm so amazing. Look at me is a bad start to everything. And in verses 41 to 44, we get a woman who is not doing the look at me drill. In fact, that's probably the connection here in the temple. There were a series of collection boxes, 13 and all. And when you came to the temple to offer various sacrifices, you could just put the money for the sacrifice in the appropriate box. The money was counted out and the sacrifices were offered and that took care of that. The last box was a free will offering box. After you've paid all of your religious obligations, you could hit that last box just outta gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord. And you have to wonder if Jesus isn't sitting there and at the time of the Passover when there would be so many people in the temple, maybe there was a crowd watching that last box, look at Mr. Rich guy, man. He hit box two oh, he hit box 4, 5, 8, look at him pouring the money in. And then he comes to box 13 and he just dumps a huge bag of shekels into that last box. Wow, Mr. Super generous guy. Oh, you're so impressive. That's religion done for show. Then this widow comes up very quietly. Nobody notices her. Nobody thinks her contribution is amazing. She puts in two mites. And if she is hitting that last box and she's putting in two mites when she doesn't even have to put in two mights , no , don't know everything about that. I wanna be careful about speculating about that. But Jesus knows what she's doing. Jesus knows her heart. See the connection to yesterday's reading, and Jesus commends her because she loves the Lord. That's where this is going. There's none of that. Boy can somebody. Ah , nobody's topping my contribution. Look at me. There's no look at me here. Instead, there is God I love you and trust you the accolades of heaven greater than the praise of men. See you tomorrow. We'll begin Mark 13, one of the most difficult chapters in the gospel of Mark. It's Wednesday and today we're in Mark chapter 13. We're beginning this amazing and incredible chapter that is, okay, I'll go with you . It's kind of hard in places, some difficulties here in this particular text, but I don't think it is as hard as some people have made it out to be. Remember, Jesus is giving some very specific warnings to the disciples here and those warnings are designed to help them. If this is rocket science, then how is that gonna be helpful if nobody can understand what Jesus is saying ? Furthermore, this won't be written down for a long time. Mark's gospel's probably written in the early fifties, so that's about 20 years after when Jesus said this stuff. So nobody could parse the text and pour over the text endlessly. They had to remember this. And it can't be too complicated if all they have is what they remember Jesus saying, I would remind you as well, and this will give you a hint where I'm going with this text. The disciples don't understand Jesus's going, so why would they ask about Jesus's second coming? And of course that's where the problem lies. Lots of folks have tried to make this into a second coming passage and there's a place or two where I get it. I understand why folks go in that particular direction, but again, they didn't know that Jesus was leaving. So no one is going to be interested in Jesus's second coming . And I think the setting here in verses one and two really helps us see where we are in the ministry of Jesus and what Jesus is talking about. If that's not enough, just jump ahead and look at the end of the text where Jesus says in verse 30, this generation will not pass away into all these things take place. So there you go, there's the bookends to whatever's going on here. It's got to happen within the timeframe that Jesus specifies the generation that he's speaking to right there. So that means I'm going to interpret all of this in light of the destruction of the temple in AD 70 by the Roman armies. And as we open our reading in Mark chapter 13, today's we're reading Mark 13, one to eight . As he came out of the temple, one of the disciples said, look what wonderful stones and wonderful buildings. And the temple was absolutely amazing. Josephus tells us that the exterior of the building wanted for nothing that could astound either the mind or the eye. It was covered on all sides with massive plates of gold. The sun was no sooner up than it radiated so fiery a flash, that person straining to look at it were compelled to avert their eyes from the rays of the sun to approaching stranger Josephus says it appeared from the distance like a snow CLA mountain for all that was not overlaid with gold was of the purest white . So everybody is super impressed with the temple and it is very impressive. Some of the marble stones on the temple and that were associated with it weighed over a hundred tons. Part of the foundation stones for the temple weighed over 500 tons. In fact, the largest stone ever moved by human hands without the benefit of machinery and hydraulics is in the temple Foundation. It's a massive thing over 500 tons. Nobody's really exactly certain how they got it on top of the mountain to start with. So these guys are really impressed. And then Jesus says verse two, it's all gonna be demolished. And you can't say something like that without everybody saying, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, stop. What do you mean by that? Which is exactly what happens in three and verses three and four. And that's so important. What are they asking about? What do they want to know? They're not asking about the second coming. They're asking about the destruction of the temple. Now in Matthew's account, there's some phrasing there that causes people to go down the path of the second coming. I'm not in Matthew, you're not in Matthew, we're in Mark 13. We'll just stay there. But that's what they're asking about. In fact, the phrasing in Matthew means the same. They're asking about the destruction of the temple. And it is interesting to me that Jesus said a lot of stuff like I'm gonna die and then I'm gonna rise again. And nobody asked about that. But when Jesus said, Hey, the temple's gonna be destroyed, they said, we need to know a little bit more in that particular direction. So Jesus begins to talk about all of the terrible things that will lead up to the destruction of the temple. And the really dominant note here is don't be deceived. That's the theme of the whole chapter here. Note particularly verses 21 and 22 and verse 37. There's going to be deception in some of these events, in some of the terrible things that are happening. And part of that deception will be that people look verse six at false messiahs or get caught up in wars and rumors of wars, nations verses seven and eight. Don't let that stuff cause you to lose your place, lose your focus. Those things are not important. Now Jesus says, lemme tell you what really needs to be watched for what you need to be on focus, what you need to be on, watch for what you need to be on alert for. And that leads into our reading tomorrow. Kind of hard to stop . Stop reading right there, isn't it? Yeah. Pour yourself another cup of coffee. Just read the whole chapter. Just read the whole chapter in light of what we just talked about. A lot of it'll lay up and make really good sense, particularly as you just noticed Jesus' repeated emphasis on, I want you to understand this and you will see this. And then you need to take this action. He isn't talking about something that you and I are going to see. He isn't talking about the second return. He's not talking about judgment day. He's not talking about something that's gonna happen two or 3000 years after all these apostles are dead. He's telling them this will happen in your lifetime. Get ready. Here's what to watch for more on this tomorrow as we continue in. Mark chapter 13. Welcome to Thursday. Today we continue in Mark 13, we're reading Mark 13 verses nine to 23. And here's one of those verses maybe that pushes people over into, this has to be a second coming kind of passage because verse 10 says, the gospel must first be proclaim to all nations. And there's a lot of discussion about that. But remember Paul says the gospel has been preached to all nations. In Colossians one, in verse 23, and especially I would want to say here, I don't think Jesus is saying that if we simply could get the gospel wrapped around the entire globe, we could force the return of Jesus. And there are lots of people who have believed that if we could be more missionary minded, we could wrap this whole thing up, Jesus would have to return. That's not where Jesus is going with this. And so much of what he talks about is directly fulfilled in the Book of Acts, especially with the promise of the Holy Spirit to the apostles. Maybe it's important to notice verse 13, that the apostles thought they were gonna be big dogs. Who's gonna get to sit on your right and left hand side? Remember that conversation? Well, Jesus says it's all gonna be about persecution. Verse 13. And then Jesus uses a powerful expression from the book of Daniel in verse 14. When you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not be, let the reader understand mark ads , then let those who are in Judea lead to the mountains. What Jesus is describing is something that's just going to be so terribly awful that the disciples need to literally flee the city of Jerusalem. One writer said, this is not a prediction of the end of the world, though many in Jerusalem at the time must have wished that it was, was at the end of the world. What would've been the point of running away so frantically, what Jesus is dealing with here would've been just absolutely incredible to people the temple destroyed. Furthermore, if there is some kind of invasion, you go to a walled city, you don't flee the walled city. Bad things happen to the people who aren't inside the safety of a walled city. But Jesus talks about the abomination of desolation, and that's a reference out of Daniel. We used Daniel last year in our congregational reading plan and we read about that in Daniel. It is a reference to and a warning about Antiochus epiphanies a terrible, terrible king. During the time between Malachi and Matthew who profane the temple, he defiled it offering a pig on the altar. He marched right up into the holy of Holies and he erected an idol in the very temple itself. Just unthinkable, just ghastly. So awful. And of course, the Jews went to war over that. Jesus borrows that expression to say, you're going to see something similar to that, something terrible happening in the temple. And I would remind you, we use expressions like that all the time. When the Hamas invasion in the Gaza Strip occurred, lots and lots of news stories said for Israel, this is their nine 11. That didn't mean anybody flew a plane into skyscrapers, but it was a reference to a terrible surprise attack that nobody was expecting. Sometimes you'll hear somebody say, it's a Salem witch hunt. That doesn't even mean necessarily. They're dealing with the occult. We know about the Salem witch hunts and what that means. So Jesus uses this abomination of desolation reference to get the apostle's attention. Hey, this horrible thing that you can't even imagine happening, it's going to happen. You'll see this terrible thing. And if you compare Luke's account in Matthew's account, if you add those in, you'll quickly see that Jesus is talking about the Roman armies that laid seed to Jerusalem during the Jewish rebellion of 80, 67 to 70. And in fact, a very early church historian Eusebius writes that the Christians acted on what Jesus had told them and that they left Jerusalem and went down to Pella city on the other side of the mountains down by the Jordan River. They were not in Jerusalem when it ultimately fell. And up to 1 million Jews were slaughtered and massed. Jesus' warning took hold. They acted on that and they were spared that awful destruction. By the way, the Roman coliseum that you may be familiar with in Rome, some tests on the stones there indicate they may be stones from Jerusalem. And if you're thinking how did they possibly get big stones from Jerusalem all the way to Rome, there was no shortage of slavery after Jerusalem fell. Those who didn't die may have wished they did die. Many were sent to the copper mines. Many were put to work loading ships, slavery. Slavery. Josephus tells us that the slaves were so plentiful that you couldn't hardly even sell them for anything in the marketplace. It was a terrible time. And Jesus continues that idea in our reading on Friday. Here we go. It's Friday and we're completing Mark chapter 13. Want to read Mark 13 verse 24 to 37 , and here's the verses again that may cause someone to say, mark, this is the second coming. How could you possibly miss this? Got the sun darkened, moon, not giving its light , stars falling and the sun of man coming in the clouds. Verse 26. Probably the difficulty here is we just haven't spent enough time with the prophets. We're not familiar with this kind of language. And yesterday I referenced that we have expressions in our own everyday talk and our own language that we use to reference various kinds of events that are sort of like an event in history. He met his Waterloo. What does that mean? That doesn't mean that he fought a battle in Belgium. No. It means that he was finally and fully defeated like Napoleon was at Waterloo in that battle there on that Belgian battlefield. So we use expressions like that and the prophets use lots of these kinds of expressions about the stars being shaken outta their places and the sun being darkened to talk about the judgment of God. And that expression, the son of man coming, well, could be a second coming. Yeah. Yeah, could be. Or it could be a coming in judgment, not a literal coming. The second coming with those capital letters, capital T , capital S , capital C . It could be a coming in judgment. And if you have questions about that, just go read Isaiah 19 one. There's a ton of verses like this. Isaiah 19, one is one of the easiest to access and easiest to see because it talks about the Lord coming and he's coming in judgment on Egypt. It's certainly not the second coming. It's coming in judgment on the nation of Egypt. And I believe this is a coming in judgment on Jerusalem for their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. That's what this is about. And what drives that is what Jesus says in verse 30. This generation will not pass away until all these things take place. If this is the second coming, then I guess Jesus was wrong. Maybe Jesus was lying. Maybe Jesus was mistaken. Oh, come on. We know better than that. If we use the time element in verse 30, we can set clearly, particularly given what we talked about earlier in the week, go back and read verses one, two, and three. What are they asking about? They're asking about the destruction of the temple. They're asking about this judgment that falls upon Jerusalem. Jesus answers their questions. That's what Jesus is doing. And he's telling them, you need to watch and you need to be ready. You need to be ready. And our passage closes out with that particular idea. And I think this is a great place for us to make application to the second coming. Yes, I think we can make application to that. This isn't a second coming passage, but it is a reference to coming in judgment. And there is a coming in judgment still to come, a coming in judgment still to come, the final judgment. And we want to be aware of that. I wonder sometimes if we've just become very laid back and almost nonchalant about the second return of Jesus. I wonder sometimes, because I hear so much talk about if I die to go to be with the Lord and you could meet the Lord suddenly in death and and just not very much talk at all about the second coming, I wonder sometimes if we've decided there's just not gonna be a return. Maybe we've pushed back from the craziness with premillennial doctrine and the rapture. We've just decided we're not gonna talk about it at all. And if it's, if it's outta sight, it's outta mind. We're not thinking about the coming of Jesus. But what happened to Jerusalem in 80 70 was, but a mini judgment, a demonstration of what God will do fully. And finally on that last great day, I can't say enough. This is not Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21. They're not second coming text. But the principles in these verses fit us today. We need to be on guard. We need to be watchful. We need to make sure that we're not being tricked. We need to be watching for the return of Jesus. Reinforce your faith. Toughen up your discipleship. Get smarter in your faith. I love the idea of smart faith and let's be ready when the Lord returns, a day comes when the clouds will be rolled back like a scroll. Jesus is coming again. That could happen at any time. And just as Jesus wanted these disciples to be ready for that coming in judgment, we need to be ready for Jesus coming again in final judgment . There you go. That's the podcast for the week. Thank you so much for listening. If it's helping you, please tell someone else about the show. Leave us a rating and review so more people can be helped by it. So until Monday, when we'll open our Bibles together. Again, I'm Mark Roberts and I want 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 12:28-34
Tuesday Mark 12:35-44
Wednesday Mark 13:1-8
Thursday Mark 13:9-23
Friday Mark 13:24-37