On Vacation

This week I am out on vacation so things will be dead around here this week.  You can be praying for us this week, on Friday we will be kicking off a College Ministry at our church.  This is a big step and we are really looking forward to it.  Anyway, I will be back next week.  

Quote:

…our own culture dictates what common sense for each one of us.

Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart
How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth
pg. 73

To a large degree this quote is accurate.  It is not practical (makes no common sense) to use chopstick when forks are available to me.  But, if I grew up in a culture that used chopsticks my view of common sense on this issue would be far different.  That being said, it is also important that we do not take this statement too far.  There are object standards of what is right and what is wrong that transcend all cultures.  But, as we read Scripture we must work hard to pull out those trans-cultural principles by understanding the “common sense” perspective of the biblical audience.   

AP: Daughter of Christian music star killed by car

Here is the story straight from the AP release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The 5-year-old daughter of Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

The girl, Maria Sue, was hit in the driveway of the family’s home Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The brother, whose name and exact age weren’t available, apparently did not see the girl, McPherson said. No charges are expected.

“It looks like a tragic accident,” she said.

Several family members witnessed the accident, which happened in Williamson County just south of Nashville. The girl died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said.

In a statement, Velvet Kelm, a publicist for Chapman, said Maria was the Chapmans’ youngest daughter.

The Authority of Jesus on Display – Mark 1:16-45 (pt. 4)

IV. The Authority of Jesus over the Priorities of Man (vv. 35-39)

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

After a long day of strenuous ministry Jesus needed a time of renewal and refreshment with His Father.  Jesus understood what we often forget: As humans we are completely dependent upon God.  So, Jesus went out early in the morning before the sun rose in order to spend time in prayer with His Father.  This was an important time for Jesus because, as we know from Scripture, prayer is an opportunity to align ourselves with God’s plan. 

Meanwhile, the disciples were ready to get back to work.  They had a good night sleep and they felt ready to continue the exciting work from the previous day.  As they began their day they had the large crowds all read for Jesus, but they could not find Him.  He had gone off alone to pray, and they didn’t know where He was.  You can imagine their confusion as the earnestly searched for Him.  Their priority was the large crowd that was looking for Jesus.  Going back and continuing the miraculous work form the previous day was the only thing that made sense to them.  However, after a time of prayer Jesus’ priority was fulfilling the plan of the Father rather than the plan of the disciples.  He knew that He could not stay there for several reasons.  First, the people were only interested in His healing power, and not His saving message (this will become clear as we progress in Mark).  Second, He had to continue preaching the Gospel so that the people would understand what was going on after He was crucified.  Third, He had to make the Gospel known in more places than just one.  Finally, He had a group of brand new disciples that He needed to work with.  These disciples would be the future leaders of the church, and He had to invest Himself in them before it was too late.  For these reasons, and maybe more, Jesus did not do what the disciples wanted Him to do.  He had the authority over their priorities, and He has the authority over our priorities.  Sometimes we think that our priorities are the most important thing, and we forget that God is working out His plan.  We must trust in this plan, and recognize that Jesus has authority over our priorities.

The Authority of Jesus on Display – Mark 1:16-45 (pt. 3)

III. The Authority of Jesus to Heal (vv. 29-39)

And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

The most important aspect of Jesus’ authority is in the spiritual realm. However Jesus’ authority is not limited to the spiritual realm. Vv. 29-35 make it clear that Jesus has the authority to heal physical problems. After the encounter with the demon in the synagogue Jesus and His disciples went back to Simon’s house. There Simon’s mother was very ill. Dr. Luke described this fever she had as a “high fever.” (Luke 4:38). This would have been life threatening, and a great cause for concern. However, Jesus had the authority to heal her simply by the touch of His hand.

Word spread quickly about this Jesus, and as soon as the Sabbath was over the whole town came to Jesus to be healed. Jesus again silenced the demons because they were adding to the hysteria (Luke 4:41). It is important to note that none of these people seemed the least bit concerned with Jesus’ message. No one was showing up to “repent and believe” (1:15). They were only interested in what Jesus could do for their physical situation. Jesus of course healed many, and thus displayed that He has the authority to take care of our physical situation. But there is an important less here for us. We should not be like these people who were concerned only for their physical situation. Instead, we should trust in Jesus’ power to take care of us and concern ourselves with the spiritual truths of Jesus’ teaching.