Sunday Recap Vol. 1.21

FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR

My Jesus Has Done All Things Well

Verse 1
O for a heart prepared to sing, 
To God, my Savior and my King; 
While with his saints I join to tell, 
My Jesus has done all things well.

Verse 2

How sovereign, wonderful, and free, 
Is all his love to sinful me! 
He plucked me as a brand from hell; 
My Jesus has done all things well.

Verse 3
And since my soul has known his love, 
What mercies has he made me prove; 
Mercies which all my praise excel; 
My Jesus has done all things well.

Welcome to the Red Mountain Sunday Recap! 

The Sunday Recap is a brief fly-by of what we did during Sunday worship. Did anything land with you from worship on Sunday? What did it make you think? How did it make you feel? What did you find especially sweet or challenging from God's word? What did we sing, read, or pray that left an impression on you?

Food For Thought!


Never compare your insides to everyone else's outsides. - Anne Lamott

Christ’s cross will finally triumph in believers’ hearts over the devil, the flesh, sin, death and all wickedness, if, at the same time, their eyes are also turned to behold the power of his resurrection. - John Calvin

Confession of Sin:

Exodus 20:1-2, 14
And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. . . .You shall not commit adultery.”

Prayer of Confession
Father in heaven, we confess that we are an adulterous people. We have sought out counterfeit lovers in the secrecy of our own hearts and in outward acts of betrayal. We confess our selfishness and manipulation in order to fulfill our own desires. We confess our unfaithfulness to you and all the ways we forsake you and your love for us. Please forgive us for our infidelity in thought, word, and deed. Please blot out our sins according to your abundant mercy and steadfast love. Create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. Restore to us the joy of your salvation through Jesus Christ our redeemer and husband for it’s in his strong name we pray. Amen.

Words of Grace
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:22-24

Confession of Faith: Westminster Shorter Catechism (1646)
 
Q. 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
 
A. Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.

Luke 1:26-33   
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son ofthe Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne ofhis father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacobforever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 

Hebrews 2:14-18
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those whothrough fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Listen To This Weeks Sermon: "He Has Done All Things Well"

Sermon Text: Mark 7:24-37
24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.
 
31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Sermon Outline

1. The Challenge of Jesus (vs. 27-29)
2. The Sympathy of Jesus (vs. 33-35)
3. The Burden of Jesus (vs. 34a, 24b, 36a; re: Isaiah 35:4-6)

Sermon Summary

After a six week break we resumed our sermon series looking at the life of Jesus through the Gospel of Mark.

In the two stories we find in Mark 7:24-37 we see a mother of a daughter with an unclean spirit (vs. 25-26) and friends of a deaf man coming to Jesus, begging him for help. In both cases the mother and the friends are Gentiles.

Their attitude toward Jesus is a stark contrast to that of the disciples and the religious leaders. In these two stories we see hints that Jesus has come not only for the Jews but for the whole world. Those you would least expect seem to grasp who Jesus really is while those you would expect to understand don't. 

These two stories teach us that to experience God's grace in Jesus Christ we need both his challenge and his sympathy.

The challenge of Jesus comes in his response to the humble, persistent request of the mother to heal her daughter. At first read, Jesus' response sounds like an insult. But remember to whom Jesus is talking? A gentile woman with a daughter with an unclean spirit (vs. 25-26). In other words, she is an outsider. And what do we know already about how Jesus speaks to outsiders? "For those outside everything is in parables" (4:11). Remember what a parable is? Parables function as a lens that allow us to see the truth and to correct distorted vision. They allow us to see and to hear what we would otherwise not see.

What did the Syrophoenician Woman know about Jesus? Perhaps she was in the crowd or knew someone who was that followed Jesus back in 3:8. Mark doesn't tell us how she heard about Jesus, just that she had. What did she want from him? Who did she think he was? Did she see him merely as a miracle worker?

Therefore, Jesus is not insulting this woman. He is telling her a parable, set in a home during dinner time. But why? In order to draw out the nature of her trust in him. How does he do that? Well consider your own response to the parable. How does it strike you?

On the one hand we might respond in outrage. "How dare Jesus speak this way to her. She doesn't deserve that. I don't deserve that." On the other hand we might respond in despair. "I knew there was a limit to God's grace. See here is proof that some people are too far gone. I am too far gone. I am damaged goods and therefore excluded."

Do you see what Jesus is doing? He is testing us through this encounter with this woman to see if we come to him with a superiority complex or an inferiority complex. A superiority complex means you are too proud because you don't believe you need what Jesus gives. An inferiority complex means you are too proud because you don't believe you deserve what Jesus gives.

But notice the woman's response. She reads herself into the parable! In fact, she is the first person in Mark's gospel to hear and understand a parable of Jesus. She is neither entitled or despairing. She comes as an unworthy but hopeful believer in Jesus. Have you come to Jesus like this?

Now if you are anything like me, even if you are tracking with the interpretation I've given so far, this encounter is a challenging one. It peels back the layers of our own hearts and attitude toward Jesus. How can you be sure, no matter what you discover, Jesus won't walk away from you? The answer is found in the sympathy he shows to the deaf man in the next episode.

Still in Gentile territory (v. 31) a group of people come to Jesus begging him to heal their friend who is deaf and can't speak well. However, what stands out in this story is the way he heals this man, especially in contrast to the simple word he spoke in the previous story. He takes the man away from the crowd in private, he puts his fingers in his ears, he touches his tongue, he looks up to heaven. Time and again we've seen Jesus heal people without all of these movements and gestures. So why does he do it here? He does it for the man! He is identifying with him and entering into his world in a way he can understand. Jesus is using sign language. "The fingers placed in his ears and then removed meant, 'I am going to remove the blockage in your hearing.' The spitting and touching of the man's tongue meant, 'I am going to remove the blockage in your mouth.' The glance up to heaven meant, 'It is God alone who is able to do this for you.'" (Ferguson, p. 114)

The key to coming to Jesus is to see your need for both his challenge and his sympathy. It isn't either/or with Jesus! It is always both/and! How do you know? Because their is a cost for Jesus' healing! Hints of the burden of Jesus' ministry come through clearly in this passage once we pause to notice. The crowds are relentless, the religious leaders are after him, his own disciples still don't understand. Therefore he craves solitude (v. 24) and charges people not to spread the word about him (v. 36). And in verse 34 the burden of his ministry reaches an audible sigh of anguish and pain. Mark uses a word in verse 35 in the phrase "deaf and had a speech impediment" that occurs only once elsewhere in the Bible. In Isaiah 35:5. In Isaiah 35:4-6 we read, 

“Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy."

This passage speaks of the coming of the Messiah and what he will do. He will open blind eyes, he will open deaf ears, he will loosen mute tongues, he will heal the lame. These are all things we see in Jesus' ministry! Jesus Christ is God come to save us!

But notice also this passage in Isaiah speaks of God's coming judgment. But where is the judgment in Jesus ministry? It is in his sigh, his groan of anguish, the burden he bears for us! Jesus doesn't come with a sword to bring judgment. He comes with a body to bear judgement.

Have you experienced his challenge and his sympathy? Will you let him challenge you this thoroughly? Will you let him get this close to you? Will you let him bear the burden of what you do deserve so that you might rejoice in his free gift of what you don't deserve?

Only those who come to Jesus like this discover that He Has Indeed Done All Things Well!

 

Reflection Questions

  1. What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from this passage?
  2. What questions does this passage raise for you?
  3. Was there anything that bothered you?
  4. What is your reaction to Jesus' response to the woman? How does it reveal your heart and attitude toward Jesus?
  5. What is your reaction to the sympathy Jesus shows the deaf man? How have you experienced Jesus' sympathy?
  6. What is it like for you to let others bear your burdens?

Suggested Resources & The Week Ahead

I have been reading a book recently called Shame Interrupted. Have you ever experienced shame, debilitating shame? Did you know that the Bible has a load to say about shame right from the very beginning. Genesis 2:25 "And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." Shame is deeper than guilt. You can know you're forgiven and yet live in the quicksand of shame. It is the experience of feeling, of being dirty, worthless, isolated, exposed. This book defines shame like this.

"Shame is the deep sense that you are unacceptable because of something you did, something done to you, or something associated with you."

It is far more trenchant and complicated and stubborn than I think we often admit. If you struggle with a sense of shame perhaps you might find this book helpful on the way to discovering in new, deeper, and richer ways what Paul means when he writes, "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (Col. 3:3-4)

Songs for this week:
Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand
Jesus Cast A Look On Me
The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
Fountain Of Grace

Until next time,

Will

My Jesus Has Done All Things Well

Verse 4

Soon shall I pass the vale of death, 
And in his arms shall lose my breath; 
Yet then my happy soul shall tell, 
My Jesus has done all things well.

Verse 5
And when to that bright world I rise, 
And join the anthems in the skies, 
Among the rest this note shall swell, 
My Jesus has done all things well.