Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

A Second Look at the Birth of Christ

December 27, 2021 Mark Roberts Season 1 Episode 31
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
A Second Look at the Birth of Christ
Show Notes Transcript

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 December 27th. I am Mark. I'm holding a nice warm cup of coffee, which is , is making me feel good all over. And I am ready for this, between Christmas and new year's podcast. As we talk a little bit about three days of daily Bible reading, we're finishing the gospel of Matthew this week, and a few notes about yesterday's sermon from Galatians chapter four, which gives us a great chance to talk about the announcement the elders made for 2022 daily Bible reading lots going on in this podcast. Let's get some coffee, let's get our Bibles open. Let's get to it. Let me grab a few notes for you from yesterday's sermon from Galatians chapter four yesterday, I preached on the birth of Christ. Everyone is thinking about that. Of course, this time of year, it just seems appropriate. We have folks who visit with us and who are concerned about and are interested in the birth of Jesus. And then they come to church on Sunday and I'm preaching on Abraham. It's confusing and weird. So several years ago, I just decided, Hey, this is a time to address what's on everybody's mind. Let's think about it from the Bible. And this year I did that from Galatians chapter four versus four in five, when the fullness of time had come, Paul Wrights, God sent forth his son born a woman under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons. And I worked through that text to talk a little bit about how the birth of Jesus comes at the right time and that this passage talks about how God took on flesh. So God comes here in the right way. And then all of that revolves around the idea of so that we could be redeemed and receive the adoption, his son, so that God came to make us right . And I do think that the observations that I drew from the text yesterday are helpful and important, and that that works. Or obviously I would've preached it very, very differently, but it's a great illustration of how sometimes we just kind of Bunge jump into the middle of a text and we grab a couple of verses and we work those verses and we get some application out of that. And we go on without really considering what's going on in the verses around it. Why did Paul write this? What did the original audience need? What is this addressing in their circumstance? And that is precisely and exactly what the 2022 daily Bible reading plan for Westside will do for us. We are going to read the writings of the apostle Paul, but we're going to read them in a very special way that will enable us to have a better appreciation for its original context, its original setting and the original meaning that comes behind Paul's writings. It's just so common for us to grab Ephesians or grab Romans. And, and we just start, we just go and maybe there's a wor brief word of introduction or something, but pretty quickly, we're just into the text and we're working the text without really setting that in its place in Paul's life's story. So we'll begin week reading the life story of Paul that will start of course, in the book of acts. And then as we're reading through the book of acts, we will strategically read the epistles that Paul wrote at those various places that ax is telling us about. And again, the idea will be for us to think about what was Paul thinking when he wrote this, what was the situation for that congregation that he was writing to? Why is Paul writing this? What kind of stress and adversity is he under? Is he in prison? Is he far away from this congregation? And he needs to say something to them and he can't get to them. So he says, somebody hand me a piece of Papyrus and he dashes off a few lines to them to try to help them out. The more we know about Paul and the more we can blend acts and its account of Paul's life with Paul's writing and letters, the better understanding we're going to have of those letters and the better appreciation that we will have for what Paul is doing and what Paul is writing. So for example, in Galatians, as we read that in 2022, what we're going to see very quickly is that Paul would go places and preach. And pretty soon behind him would come some false teachers and they would say, yes, this Christianity thing is very cool and Jesus decide that's really great, but you know what? You, bunch of Gentiles, Paul, didn't tell you the whole story. If going to follow the Messiah and be part of Christianity, you need to become a Jew. Christianity is for Jews, and that means you need to keep the old law. And that means that you need to be circumcised. And there's just lots of tension and lots of discussion and lots of controversy about all of that. And so Paul writes the epistle to the Galatian Galatia is a province. Uh , he writes the epistle to the Galatian brethren that to say to them, don't let anybody add something on to your Christianity. Don't become captive to Judaism. We are free in Christ. And that is the context of what's going on in the text that I preached from yesterday at the end of chapter three, of course, Paul's not writing with chapter in verse divisions. Faith has come. So now we're no longer under a guardian. Paul portrays the law as a guardian. The slave that walked the young, asked her to school to make sure that he actually got there and didn't run off. So now verse 26 in Christ, Jesus, you are all, all sons of God through faith. As many of you are baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There's neither Jew nor Greek slave free male or female. You are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ and you are , Abraham's a heirs. According to the promise, this idea then of heirs leads Paul, then to say, verse one of chapter four. I mean, then that is an he, as long as he's the child, he's no different than a slave. He owns everything, but he's still under verse two guardians and managers until the date set by his father. Listen to that date language, see then in the same way, Galatians four , three, when we were children, we were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. So as, as Jews, we were like a slave. We stood to inherit everything and be in charge of everything. And it would be wonderful, but we are not yet. We were under guardians cuz we were just children. But when the fullness of time had come Galatians four , four , see that echo of the date set by the father at the right time, God sent forth his son, born of woman, born under the law to redeem those under the law. So we might receive the adoption of his sons. We become full sons and because we are sons verse six, God has sent forth the spirit of his son into our hearts, crying Abba father. So that you're no longer a slave set heaven , but a son. And if a son then in air through God. So we are free of Judaism and the law and all of those kinds of things. And now we have the spirit of God in our hearts and we are full sons. And so now he moves on to talk. Then even maybe to Gentiles you verse a who didn't know God. And when you slave to that, which by nature is not God, but now you have come to know God. So how can you go back to the weak and elementary, don't go back to Judaism, be free in Christ. So that little thumbnail sketch right there just sets that Gian text in its proper context, we underst how that's working and why Paul is writing that and how concerned he is for these churches that he has founded and established. And now they are being carried away into false doctrine. And , and then of course that frees us to think a little bit about, well, what kind of things are being added on to Christianity today? I don't know of anybody who's teaching a , I have to be circumcised in order to be a , a Christian and keep the 10 commandments. But most certainly most certainly there are things grafted onto Christianity stuffed onto Christianity. Hey, if you wanna be a real Christian, then you have to do this. Hey, if you wanna be a real Christian, this is what it means. And just as Paul is warning those Galatian brethren to be on guard against people, taking them captive with these false doctrines, with these ideas that make Christianity better. Oh, you , you , you didn't get the whole story. You need this more stuff. There's lots of people today who are very entrenched with the idea of more simple, new Testament. Christianity's just not enough. So you , you need more, you need this esoteric doctrine, you need this special view of the end times and eschatology and you need great. And Hebrew study. I've seen that grafted on. You're not a real Christian. If you don't understand the original languages of the Bible, there's lots of attempts to add something to Christianity. And as we think about Galatians and the warnings there about doing that, that then helps us think about a proper application of that to day in time. You can never understand what the Bible means. Now, if you don't understand what the Bible means then, and in 2022, we're gonna do a really good job. I hope. And my plan , uh , uh , for us is to do a really good job of better understanding the original message of the new Testament of epistles that Paul wrote, cuz we'll have a better understanding of Paul and who he is and was, and where he was and what was going on, where he was when he wrote those epistles, you will find the readings to be rather short. Paul didn't write lots and lots in terms of volume. We're gonna average about 10 versus a day. So you're really not looking at a monster amount of reading this, not trying to read a chapter in Luke each today , for example, it's about 10 versus that's not very much the key to all of us getting something out of this is the questions that you find on the back of your reading schedule. You'll need a notebook, you'll need a pen and you'll need a commitment that you're gonna read your 10 or 15 verses or so. And then if you're in acts , you're gonna answer the ask questions. And if you're in the epistles , you're going to answer the epistles questions on paper. It just, it changes everything. When we just kind of do it in our head, it's just not the same. We don't have the retention. It , it just is not as purposeful. We're going to write down and work through these questions, always, particularly in the epistles , always asking, where is Paul sitting when he's writing this epistle? What is Paul thinking about? What is Paul concerned about? What is got Paul upset? What has got Paul happy? What is Paul doing when he's writing this epistle? And then those questions are designed to flesh those ideas out so that we will have a better appreciation of Paul's writings. Because like I said, we're gonna have a better appreciation of Paul. We're gonna spend a year with him. And I think that it's going to be an incredible reading program. I'm really excited about the choice the elders have made with that. And I think it's really going to be transforming for all of us to read acts and the epistles together and, and to bring all that together in a way that will help us better know the apostle Paul. Well, let's think a little bit then about this last week of daily Bible reading, as we conclude our year spent with Jesus. This is the last week in our special year with Jesus reading plan. I continue to be so grateful to Jacob Hudgins for developing this plan. And I just am delighted that we have read this plan through this year. It really helped me in so many, many ways. And one of the breakthroughs here that enabled the 2022 reading plan is that we learned, we don't have to read a chapter day. That's been a great pace. And in many , any parts of the Bible that really, really works well for us, but we read a whole lot less than a chapter a day this year, if you read a chapter day, you're gonna buzz through the gospels and no time at all. So it was broken up into much smaller units, but by doing that, that gave us time to reflect and to think more thoroughly through smaller sections of scripture. And that's just been a breakthrough, just been huge. We've used these questions to have the opportunity, to really engage with the text in a really, really good way. And so we have three final sections here, Matthew chapter 27, 57 to 66 is what we are reading for Monday. And this is the emphasis of course, on the burial of Jesus. And as we are reading that today, just notice how much detail there is about where Jesus is buried. And those details tell us that the tomb of Jesus was known. It wasn't lost an , an unknown quantity or anything you could, you could find it. It was, it was a well known fact. People understood where this was that becomes very important as Matthew begins to deal with conspiracy theories and the authorities try to deal with the resurrection accounts by saying, no, no, no, no , no. The body's been stolen and Matthew will deal with that ridiculous and completely implausible theory. But of course, somebody might just say, he's not resurrected at all. And then since the tomb is known, you could go and say, here is the tomb, and It is empty. As we think about the tomb, you should know that new Testament times featured a little bit different burial customs than what we use today. The body would be put inside the tomb on a shelf or a ledge inside this cave like tomb. And then when the body had completely decomposed friends or relatives would come back to the tomb and would collect those bones and fold them up very neatly and put them in a bone box, which is called an Ausuary. And then those boxes would be set on the ledges in the tomb that saves space and is just the way that it was treated in new Testament. Times, several of those Aries have been found by archeologists and occasionally that'll make a big splash in the news. That's a bone box. That's what that is. Matthew concludes our section today. I noting that the women verse 61, Mary Magdalene, the other Mary were there, know where the tomb is. Again, the tomb is a known location and then the tomb is secured by guards. There is an irony here that while the disciples fail to understand Christ predictions regarding his resurrection, the enemies of Jesus certainly understand what he said and they wanna make sure nothing like that happens. I do think in the burial, in the account of the bearing in a Rich man's tomb, there is an echo here of Isaiah 53. And I think Matthew wants us to get that old Testament connection there. As you're working through your questions, you can certainly, you use Isaiah 53 as something that's being referred to here in a not very subtle sort of way. So then on Tuesday, we're gonna read Matthew chapter 28 versus one to 10. This is a short chapter, just 20 versus gonna cut it in half for Tuesday's reading. And then Wednesday's reading Tuesday, we're reading about the resurrection itself. And intrestingly there is no actual description of the resurrection. Has anybody ever noticed that the Bible does not describe precisely and exactly what that looked like? Jesus actually exiting the tomb. What we get is the aftermath of the resurrection, the results of that, but not a specific blow by blow description of this is what happened. And then this happened and this happened . That's not how that works at all. And if that's not surprising, how about this? The first people to see the resurrected, Jesus are a bunch of women. And that is very surprising because women had no status in first entry times, they were not even allowed to testify in court. So if you are faking the resurrection, if you're making all this Christianity business up, you certainly would not have Jesus appeared women that does you no good at all. That doesn't help that case in any way. But verse five, the angels said to the women, don't be afraid for . I know that you seek Jesus who's crucified. He is not here. He has risen. As he said again, the connection to Jesus' predict and to what Jesus had always told and had always said. And the emphasis in all of the accounts and particularly here in Matthew is always going to be that it's a real resurrection. It's not a hallucination. It's not a vision. It's not this business of, oh, Jesus arose in their hearts. That's not the case at all. Jesus verse nine met them and said greetings. And they came and they took hold of his feet and worshiped him. So it is a genuine bodily resurrection of Jesus. The Christ. It is absolutely unexpected. Probably Luke is the one that emphasizes that maybe a little bit more than Matthew's account. It is absolutely unexpected by these disciples. They are not planning for this. They were not thinking this is going to happen, but it happens. Jesus has triumphed over death . And this is just a good place. First to think a little bit about some of the implications of the resurrection. First, the resurrection of Jesus is the heart of the good news. There would be no good news of the gospel to proclaim. If Jesus had just been crucified and died and was still in the tomb, the gospel is about the resurrection of Jesus. And that is what certifies him as both Lord and Christ and as well guarantees our resurrection someday . So secondly, I would say the implication of the resurrection or the second implication of the resurrection would be that Jesus is the son of God. And Paul makes this clear in Romans. One was he talks about how Jesus is declared to be the son of God and power. According to spirit of holiness by his resurrection, from the dead Roman one verse four, thirdly, the resurrection of Jesus becomes the springboard for mission. And that's really in our reading today versus 18 to 20, the disciples can go and proclaim the good news only because of the resurrection. It is the motivating factor. We have seen the risen Lord. And then finally, the resurrection of Jesus means that his, our and his presence are still available. Jesus is not dead in the tomb, but he lives. And as a result can be our faithful high priest. He makes intercession for us on and on. It goes, Jesus can continue to do and be so much for us because he lives. We just need to think more about the resurrection that will help us to have more faith and more power in our Christianity. And that's why all four gospels spend so much time discussing it. So the year with Jesus concludes on Wednesday. When we read the end of Matthew chapter 28 versus 11 to 20 Matthew deals with and disposes a of this bogus conspiracy theory, what could people who are asleep testify to, can you imagine somebody in court being called up as on the witness stand and the prosecutor or the defense attorney says, what did you see? And he says, I saw nothing. I was asleep. So says, well , that settles it. He was no, that settles. Absolutely nothing. Maybe the thing to ask is how we can possibly imagine that you could pull off a resurrection hoax. There's just no way that you could fool people. And in fact, it has been observed that it's just nothing but chronological, snobbery to think that people in new Testament times were so gullible and so easily fooled. So naive that a giant tail like this, he foisted off on folks and everybody just nod along. Oh, well of course, without going to check, nobody went to the tomb. Nobody said, Hey, if the disciples stole the body, none of that kind of , oh, come on. There's no way that you could possibly pull this sort of thing off on anybody at any time. And the religious leadership is well aware that the tomb is empty and they can't account for it. So they are frantically trying to do something to try to account for it. But as far as, as businesses, the disciples stealing the body, we should just ask ourselves, what did anyone have to gain by lying about the resurrection? Why would the disciples do that? What did they get out of that? What they got out of that was a lifetime of persecution and death and poverty and being excommunicated from society and all kinds of terrible things. Why would you do that? There is just no good explanation for that. The only explanation for the empty tomb is that Jesus is risen. So then the final paragraph of Matthew's gospel contains the great commission, which really stresses the all-encompassing nature of the gospel, the universal nature gospel. And I, I must ha I'm have to say this pass through. Matthew has helped me see that while it is certainly a very Jewish gospel. It's very much connected to the old Testament, just over and over again, there are illusions and direct quotations and, and Matthew loves the expression. Um , this fulfills this. So it's definitely a very Jewish, Jewish gospel, but it's all also a gospel that really pushes that God wants everybody. And that Gentiles ought to be included in the kingdom of God. And so Jesus comes and says, all authority in heaven on earth has been given unto me. That's an illusion to Daniel seven in verse 14, go therefore and make disciples of all nations. There it is. All nations. Everybody is in. It's been observed that this is a commissioning and it sounds an awful lot, like some old Testament commissionings like the commissioning of Moses or Joshua or Samuel or Isaiah and Jeremiah, it just kind of sounds like those kinds of commissioning. And in those circumstances, those commissioning versus will occur at the beginning of a person's life, not at the end. And so here, the commission, the great commission occurs to start something, not necessarily so much to conclude something. I , I , I think that's worth thinking about a little bit further, so go therefore and make disciples of all nation , baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all that I've commanded you and I'm with you always to the end of the age, remember verse 19 is not a baptismal formula. Uh , what, by baptizing them in the name of the father, by the father of the son, the holy spirit, what that means is by the authority of, and it emphasizes relationship. It emphasizes belonging to that's what it's about. I always say it cause I don't want anybody to ever question their baptism. Oh, the preacher didn't encant the right words. When I was immersed in water, my baptism is invalid. I don't want anybody to ever doubt their baptism, but you can be baptized without somebody saying these words over you. That's not what this is designed for. Verse 19 is designed to say that this is to be done by the authority of God, by the authority of the Trinity. And in fact, the way that you make disciples you're to go and make disciples verse 19 is what you teach and baptize. That's how you make disciples. And this is a wonderful passage to establish the importance of baptism, because it most certainly does establish the essential nature of baptism in new Testament. Christianity. Then finally, Jesus says, I am with you always. And maybe the thing to see here is that the Bible , uh, the new Testament and the book of who begins with Manuel God with us, and it ends with, I am with you always God with us. So chapter one, verse 23 has Manuel and chapter 28 in verse 20, has I am with you always . And so Matthew's gospel concludes. And I, some of the big ideas that we want to get out of that is that Jesus is the Messiah and that he is the center of the work of God. Now he is king. He is the king of the kingdom of heaven. And particularly he is the fulfillment of the old Testament. The idea that somehow there is this, all this old Testament stuff, and God got tired of that and said, well, you know, that's not working. We need a no improved program. Let's send Jesus down there. The whole new deal is completely and totally wrong. And I think many, many, many, many people think of the Bible in those kinds of terms. And that is not right at all. What we have is one story, one narrative, it's all going in one direction. Uh, the entire Bible is about Jesus and about the coming of Jesus to fix the problem that is introduced in Genesis chapter three, he is the fulfillment, the culmination of the old Testament. He does everything. The old Testament said the Messiah would do. And now at the end of Matthews gospel, he turns to the disciples and says, it's time to go. It's time to go and tell others about what I have done. So they too can participate in the kingdom of heaven. They can be part of what I have done. They can be saved. They can have their sins forgiven. It is a powerful ending to a wonderful, wonderful gospel. Thank you for listening today. If you like the Monday morning coffee podcast, we'd love for you to subscribe, follow rate, or give a review on iTunes, whatever app that you are listening on. Maybe you could tell somebody else about the show that always helps us . Just nothing like word of mouth advertising. And we certainly do appreciate you listening to the show. I hope that it's been a help to you, both in connecting to the sermon, preached on Sunday and pulling some of that spiritual momentum into your work week . And I hope it's been a help to you in your daily Bible reading. And I want to say, if you're going to read the year with Paul plan in 2022, I think the podcast is gonna be a huge asset as we get in place . Some of the setting as we get in place , some of the themes, why is Paul writing Ephesians what's Paul trying to accomplish in Galatians kind of need to know that from the jump and the podcast will help you get ready as we read in those epistles, as we read in act so that we can take full advantage of the year with Paul looking forward to that very, very much so until next week, I'll say happy new year, and may your coffee be delightful. Your Monday be short and may the Lord be with you today all day . See you next week. We'll be reading about the apostle Paul.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday Morning Coffee with Mark, for more information about Westside. You can connect with us through our website, justchristians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from uppbeat.io. That's upbeat with two P's UPPBEAT 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.