October 14, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship
Jesus is continuing His ministry in Gentile territory and after teaching for three days feeds the crowd of 4,000 people in attendance. But instead of seeing the sufficiency of Christ in their midst, the disciples connect all the wrong dots and worry about what they are going to do for lunch with only one loaf of bread in the boat. Let’s see if we can make the connections and learn “The Lessons of Leftovers” in our study of the Gospel of Mark chapter 8 verses 1 to 26.
Word On Worship – October 14, 2012 Download / Print
“The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
“Seeing is believing” is more than a Madison Avenue marketing ploy. We want to test the merchandise ourselves to see if it lives up to the hype. Our generation is seen in the actions of the Pharisees. The Pharisees are looking to dictate to God the terms and conditions under which they will believe or not believe. They want unequivocal, irrefutable and visible evidence that removes any doubt from the decision of faith. In reality, they are really looking for something from Jesus to eliminate the need for faith. But is our generation any different?
Jesus has proved His authority throughout His ministry. He sent the healed leper to them as a testimony of His power to heal. He confirmed His authority to forgive sin by commanding the paralytic to walk. He taught with authority that the people had never seen from the religious leaders. He broke Sabbath commands with Old Testament precedent for His actions. He commands storms to be stilled and demons to be removed. But the Jewish leaders have rejected the evidence and moved forward to plot His death. The response of our Lord is to deny them any further evidence since they refuse to believe no matter what He says or does.
The Messiah they want will never come. They want a compliant superman who has the power of heaven to fulfill their own earthly program. They dream empty dreams of overthrowing tyrants so they may be installed as the new tyrants. They want Jesus to give them proof of what they want to be true, without having to believe in Jesus as their Messiah. Does this sound like the Jesus our generation wants? This was the very temptation Satan used in the Wilderness. For Jesus to resist such pressure and remain obedient to God required a clear vision of God’s will, unwavering dedication and continual prayer.
Today people still want convincing signs. If we were in the crowd when He was crucified, would we demand He come down in some dramatic show of force so we might believe He is the Christ? Each one of us must discern the truth of from the way He gave His life on the cross and the evidence of the resurrection. Scoffers will appear in every generation asking for signs only to ridicule faith in God against all evidence presented to it. Mark’s Gospel shows us the Creator does not bow to such demands from the created. We must follow the example of Jesus and demonstrate our faith by our commitment to obey God and giving ourselves as a sacrifice to others.