There are two sermons on this age, the first on the gospel, the second including all 3 readings for today
Year B Lent 2 : 12/3/06 Mark 8:31-38
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
There is a Power Point presentation to use with this sermon/these headings. Mark 8:31-38
Charles Haddon Spurgeon. "There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross- bearers here below. "
3 headings, A True Messiah; A True Disciple; a True Reward.
A True Messiah.
H.G.Wells wrote, 'Christ is the most unique person in history. No man can write the history of the human race without giving first and foremost place to the penniless teacher of Nazareth.' I wonder what our picture is of Jesus today ? How would we describe Jesus ? Jesus has asked his disciples: "... who do you say I am? Peter answered him: "You are the Messiah." (v. 29). This is a turning point in Mark's gospel, from now on the focus is on the Cross. For the first time Jesus now predicts that the Messiah ("the Son of Man", v. 31) must suffer, be rejected, killed, and rise again. This is part of God's plan which is why Jesus uses the word "must".
This went against the contemporary Jewish expectations of the Messiah. The Messiah was not expected to suffer but to be a
strong, powerful ,earthly King who would defeat the Romans and establish a prosperous Israel. So Peter rejects Jesus' teaching. Peter's impetuous action is consistent with his character elsewhere in the gospels.
Verse 33: "Get behind me, Satan!": Jesus tells Peter that he is under the influence of the devil: he is relying on human values, not godly ones. Jesus sees in Peter's words a continuation of Satan's temptation, something we looked at last week. Last week we saw how Jesus overcame Satan's temptations in the desert. Satan would continue to tempt Jesus to deflect him from the way to the cross.
We can be thankful that Jesus overcame temptation and went to the cross for us. We remember this with thanksgiving in this service. On the cross Jesus was rejected by God as well as by man. He took upon himself the separation from God that we deserve for our sins so that we can be free. Free to know and love God. Free to follow his ways.
If Jesus was not the True Messiah he would not have been raised from the dead by God.
A True Disciple.
What is life about?" That is the question behind verses 34-37.
Is life about pleasure, prestige, power, possessions, playing it safe, money, fitness, good looks, and/or an idyllic existence?
Jesus points out that there is more to life that all of these things. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
Life is about living for God.
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
deny himself - we live in a world where pleasure is seen as the ultimate goal. Self-denial and sacrifice are at the opposite end of this scale.
take up his cross. You remember that our Lord was unable to do this because he was weakened by the scourging he received and Simon of Cyrene carried Jesus' cross. The condemned criminal was made to take his cross to the place of execution. This was a one way journey to death. Jesus was saying that we are to die to our old, sinful way of life where we put ourselves first.
follow me. Jesus calls people to follow his example and teaching. We do this by reading and knowing the Bible and by relying upon his Spirit.
What does this mean for us?
God first, others second, us last. It has to affect our whole life. Relationships; time; talents; possessions including money.
In some parts of world following Jesus guarantees persecution, loss of family, livelihood, even death.
Some people think that Christianity is a crutch for the weak. It is actually a cross for the weak. Jesus doesn't promise an easy life for those who follow him. Just as he was tempted, persecuted, despised and rejected so those who follow him will be treated in this way. But we can face these difficulties knowing that he has won the overall victory and that he will always be with us.
F.R.Maltby wrote, 'Jesus promised his disciples three things - that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy and in constant trouble.'
A True Reward.
There is resurrection after death.
"31 ...the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again."
When we put to death our human nature God gives us His nature, His Holy Spirit. He brings new life, a new reason to live, a new power to live. He is a guarantee of what is to come. One day Jesus will return.
38 b the Son of Man will (be ashamed of him when he) comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
Those who have died to their old way of life and received new life in Jesus will then be given new, perfect resurrection bodies. They will be with God forever to serve and praise Him forever.
We should not be ashamed to live for eternity. To follow God's ways and to confess that we are Christians. Someone once said 'No-one can go to heaven who has not already sent their heart there.'
Year B Lent 2 : 25/2/18 Mark 8:31-38
Mark 8.31-38 31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
Romans 4.13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed – the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.’ 23 The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Genesis 17.1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’ 3 Abram fell face down, and God said to him, 4 ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; (meaning exalted father) your name will be Abraham, (Father of many) for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 15 God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’
elderly lady was well-known for her faith and for her boldness in
talking about it. She would stand on her front porch and shout
"PRAISE THE LORD!"
Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout, "There ain't no Lord!!"
lady was going through difficult times,
and she prayed for GOD to send her some help.
She stood on her porch and shouted "PRAISE THE LORD. GOD I NEED
FOOD!! I AM HAVING A HARD TIME. PLEASE LORD, SEND ME SOME
The next morning the lady went out on her porch and noted a large bag of groceries and shouted, "PRAISE THE LORD."
The neighbour jumped from behind a bush and said, "Aha! I told you there was no Lord. I bought those groceries, God didn't." The lady started jumping up and down and clapping her hands and said, "PRAISE THE LORD. He not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them. Praise the Lord!"
Today we are thinking about faith. Whom or what we trust in.
The Oxford dictionary says, faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something or it is a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion. Everyone has a faith. People will trust in themselves, their money or possessions, in seeking pleasure, in power, in popularity, or in God.
The OT & Epistle readings feature one of the great heroes of faith in the OT Abram. Abram means “exalted father”. He was born about 2000BC & was married to Sarai meaning “my princess” who was his half-sister.
Abram was 75 years old when God told him to leave his homeland for Canaan. God said He would make him into a great nation (Genesis 12). Because of a famine Abram & Sarai had to go to Egypt to get food. Fearing that Sarai’s beauty may lead the Pharoah to want her and put himself at peril, Abram told her to say that she was his sister, which was a half-truth, because she was his half-sister. When Saria was taken into Pharoah’s palace God sent diseases on Pahroah and his household because of this. Pharoah rebuked Abram, gave Sarai back to him and sent them away. So think carefully next time you are tempted to tell a half-truth.
Ten years after he had left his homeland, God again appeared to Abram and confirmed His earlier promise that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars (Gen. 15.5 ). Gen 15.6 says, Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Sarai suggested that, as she was barren then Abram should conceive with her Egyptian slave, Hagar. This was a common practice at the time where a wife could not conceive. She gave birth to Ishmael, but this was not what God had wanted.
We then get to today’s OT reading, Genesis 17, Abram is 99 years old and he and Sarai, ten years younger, are without the child that would result in Abram having numerous descendants. This birth will come soon, it was 14 years since God had first made this promise. Abram’s name which was “exalted father” is changed to Abraham meaning “father of many”. Sarai, “my princess”, becomes Sarah, “princess”, inferring she is princess to many.
Abraham laughs at the idea, and when the son is born, he is called Isaac, meaning he laughs.
Later, God calls Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham obeys, trusting God, and is just about to kill Isaac when God stops him and provides a ram, trapped in a thicket, instead (Genesis 22). Not the first time a sheep is used a substitute.
Abraham’s life was one of great faith but one that was not perfect. He told Sarai to lie to Pharaoh. He conceived a child with Sarai’s slave rather than waiting.
But Abraham wasn’t put right with God because he was perfect the meaning of righteous. He was graciously given a righteous status because he trusted in God. Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Abraham was put right with God by his faith & through God’s grace. Not by law, because the law had not been given then and Abraham wasn’t perfect..
You could say Abraham is the father of faith and we are his children. Romans 4.17 As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed – the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
God gives life to the dead. The idea of Abraham & Sarah giving life by having children was unbelievable at their age. But Ephesians 3 tells us 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
God also gave life to Jesus and gives life to those who are spiritually dead. Romans 4.23 The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
In today’s gospel Jesus deals with the misunderstandings of the day about the Messiah that Peter voiced. The Jews believed that the Messiah would come and deliver them from Roman rule and establish a prosperous earthly kingdom like that of his ancestor King David. Jesus said “No. My way is one of sacrifice. One that would lead to death on a cross but also to resurrection from the dead.” His Kingdom is in people’s hearts and is waiting in heaven for those who pit their faith in Jesus.
Jesus also said that those who follow Him will have to follow His path. One of death, to a life of sin, faith in something other than God. A life that involves self-denial. But also a full life lived in a right relationship with God, that starts in this life and goes on forever. A life of love, joy, peace, & hope. During Lent we concentrate on denying ourselves and building up our life with God. How are you bearing your cross during Lent this year?
man who had recently come to faith was explaining to a friend what it
was like to be a Christian. He said, “It is as if there were
two dogs inside me and they are always fighting.”
“Which one wins?” asked the friend.
“It depends which one I feed,” he replied.
Feed your faith this Lent. Pray for others to come to faith and for the opportunity to show God’s love to them. God’s love to them.