Mark 9:33-37 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
1. In our world, what does it mean to be great?
2. What did Jesus compare greatness to?
3. How can we be great in heaven?
4. Who would be the servant of all?
Mark 9:30-32 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
- Did the disciples knew what Christ was actually talking about? Why or why not?
- What did Christ mean by “delivered into the hands of men”?
- Could Christ be randomly killed by anybody?
- What was the death of Christ going to do?
Mark 9:14–29 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
- What is prayer?
- How important is prayer according to Jesus?
- How many times did Jesus go away to be with the Father?
- How can I believe and needed help with my unbelief? Have you ever felt like that?
- What did Jesus have for the father that the scribes and maybe even the disciples did not have?
- Keeping that in mind, how should we pray? How should we go to God?
Mark 9:2-13 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
- What did the people do to Elijah?
- Why must prophets suffer and die?
- Why does Christ have to suffer and die?
Mark 8:34-9:1 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
Romans 6:1–14 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
- What do you think Christ meant when he said, “we must lose our life” in order to follow him?
- Often, the “whosoever is ashamed of me” is used as a hard and fast rule to never deny Christ in company. What if you do? Do you not think there is grace upon grace for your soul?
- Who alone can preserve our lives?
Mark 8:31-33 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
- Think about being with someone who performed healings and miracles and taught from Scriptures that you have never heard before and yet says something like this, wouldn’t this be strange?
- Do you think Peter clearly saw what was going on or do you think he still needed more time?
- Reread Mark 8:22-26. Do you think any of us could clearly see God and his works the moment we were save?
Mark 8:27–30 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
- In what ways does Jesus show us who God really is?
- What did Jesus come here to do?
- Can there be any other way to God?
- What happens when we get God?
Mark 8:22–26 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
- Is it even possible to see God without God?
- How do we get to see God and his goodness?
- If we cannot see it, how are we able to see God? What can we do?
- Is it possible to truly know God without the help of God? Could we study and go to a lot of church and go to Bible school and really know God?
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
Series: Once a month, I get to teach the Elementary kids during our main Worship Gatherings. My incredible Children’s Pastor, Kim, does the amazing work of feeding me that weekend’s lesson, much like a lectionary. There will be a power verse, the lesson (or the reading) and then the accompanied Bible passage. Quite often, God will linked everything together to His Son and to His gospel which I am to believe the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:12) is through the power of the Holy Spirit. Here is a series with my sermon notes for the kiddos.
This week’s lesson: Banners and the Victory of God.
Our power verse was one of Christus Victor found in Psalm 20:5
“May we shout for you over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!”
In this weekend’s reading, we spoke about the colors of the tabernacle and how that compares to what we know colors to be now. Things like white for purity or gold for holiness. Also, green for life but green for jealousy.
But red. That was the most important. You see, the red came from the blood being spilled on the altar. But it was also the blood of our Saviour on the cross being spilled for the sins of His people.
Here is that distinction: Christ removed your sins and mistakes by his blood on the cross. Do you believe and trust in Jesus? It is here on the cross and Jesus’ blood that God has truly championed over all evil, once and for all.
Let’s look at Exodus 17:8-17
Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD Is My Banner, saying, “A hand upon the throne of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
It is in this Old Testament passage about Moses, Joshua, and war that the Holy Spirit quietly reminded me how Christ did defeat sin, Satan, demons, hell, and death when He went to the cross and died.
Now, let me go off-topic just a tad and explain, “quietly reminded”? It is when His voice is so quiet that He is not even audible in your soul. If I didn’t know better, I would have confused it with my own mind, thoughts, feelings, judgments, or conscience. No. 1 Corinthians 3 declares that all truth is from God. If all of sciences belong to God and his revelations within the scientific realm, how much more when it pertains to His Word and theology and doctrine. Further more, 1 Corinthians 2 says this:
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:9-13 ESV
Never do I ever want to think of myself to be so brilliant, wise, and smart to where I think I can come up with this stuff on my own, even it is even worth mentioning. First, I am not that smart. Second, that’s not how it works.
As a teacher of the gospel, I am reminded of a quote: “We know our skills are insufficient for an activity with such vast consequences. We recognize that our hearts are too lacking in purity to lead others to holiness. Honest evaluation inevitably causes us to conclude that we do not have sufficient eloquence, wisdom, or character to be capable of turning others from spiritual death to eternal life. Such a realization can cause young preachers to run from their first preaching assignment and experienced pastors to despair in their pulpits.” 1
I am insufficient for this sort of activity. If not just intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually, but also morally and ethically. What I mean by that is that I would even sometimes sin against God and others like my wife and kids mere moments before teaching kids the gospel. I am woefully unqualified to teach. And so many times, I want to run away because of my failings. But much like Jonah, God brings me back, gives me His Spirit in order to be obedient and faithful to what He has asked me to do. Not only that, to return to those who I have hurt, and repent, and return to Him and ask forgiveness, repent of my sins and His grace and love and mercy is more than enough for me.
You see, all of that is the power of the cross of Christ from the sovereign grace of our Father by the Almighty power of the Holy Spirit.
I ask the kids to stand and stretch out our hands like Moses.
You do the same.
What does that remind you of?
Just like Moses, when Jesus held up his hands on the cross, He was winning over our true enemies of Satan and demons, sin, hell, and death. But unlike Moses, Jesus never let his hands down because they were nailed to the cross.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:13-15 ESV)
While Moses nor Joshua didn’t die in those battles, Exodus 17:17 states they had to fight their enemies “generation after generation”. However, Jesus died once and in his death he put Satan and demons to open shame. In his burial and resurrection, he championed over sin (Romans 6:10), hell, and death (Revelation 11:8) ad he did it once for all (Hebrews 9:23-28).
- Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, 2 edition (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2005). ↩