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Identity Fraud

Notes & Transcripts

lass=MsoNormal align=right style='text-align:right'>1) 8-23-09…AM…SBC     2)“Identity Fraud”

Mark 12:35-44

Introduction:

Ø      Imagine this phone call…Hello…Is this Mr. Stephens…Yes it is…Mr. Stephens, this is the first bank of Zurich, Switzerland and we think there has been some fraudulent activity on your account.

·         How many have dealt with this?       What a headache!

·         Doesn’t it anger you to think of the conscience that someone must dismiss to do something like this?

·         It is frustrating to think that someone would settle for something so shallow

Transition:  It was equally frustrating for Jesus when he encountered people who such low view of worship.  This

                            leads us to our text today where we are challenged with this…


Proposition:   Worship is authentic when it is real in the heart and rests on a true perception of who God is.


Prayer:  love for truth that leads to genuine worship—stir our emotions from proper thoughts of You—make strong affections for You that are rooted in truth be the bone and marrow of our worship—hypocrisy—heartless—emotionless worship—honor with lips but hearts are far from You—Recharge souls with true biblical worship-Amen

1)    Fraudulent Worship     v35-41                     

A-    The Scribes                As described in The New Bible Dictionary

-          Scribes were experts in the study of the law of Moses (Torah). [1]

-          They preserved in written form the oral law and faithfully handed down the Hebrew Scriptures. They expected of their pupils a reverence beyond that given to parents (Aboth 4. 12).

-          3-fold Function

1.      They preserved the law – exalted oral law and reduced religion to heartless formalism

2.      Lectured in the Temple to students of the law (Lk. 2:46; Jn. 18:20).

3.      They were entrusted with the administration of the law as judges in the Sanhedrin

-          They belonged mainly to the party of the Pharisees, but as a body were distinct from them. On the matter of the resurrection they sided with Paul against the Sadducees (Acts 23:9).

-          They clashed with Christ, for he taught with authority (Mt. 7:28-29), and he condemned external formalism which they fostered.

-          They persecuted Peter and John (Acts 4:5), and had a part in Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 6:12). However, although the majority opposed Christ (Mt. 21:15), some believed (Mt. 8:19).

             1- Origin of The Messiah                       v35-37                cf: Matthew 22:42

 

a-      Jesus’ question exposed the Jewish religious leaders’ ineptness as teachers and their ignorance of what the OT taught regarding the true nature of the Messiah.[2]

1.      Jesus question and quotation addresses the real nature of the Messiah - Scribes didn’t get it

2.      The discussion is centered on a common title for the Messiah – Son of David

a.       The question “Whose Son is He?” is a question of biological lineage

b.      Their response was only partly correct but mostly incomplete

c.       The Davidic sonship of the Messiah was a standard Jewish belief (John 7:41-42) firmly based on the Old Testament Scriptures – Jesus held to a higher view of the Messiah

d.      Israel expected a military conqueror from David’s line to restore an earthly kingdom

e.       Jesus comment and quotation here are meant to reveal the true identity of their expected Messiah and to correct their inadequate concept of the Messiah – Suffering Servant

 

b-      To prove that the Messiah is David’s Lord, Jesus quoted what David himself speaking by the Holy Spirit declared in Psalm 110:1.[3]

1.      Jesus brings out the fact that God the Father (YHWH/LORD) spoke to David’s Lord (Adonai/The Messiah) to sit at the Father’s right hand until the defeat of all his enemies.

a.       All Jesus’ audience would have agreed that Ps. 110 was written by David[4]

b.      they would also have agreed that ‘my Lord’ in the Psalm must refer to God’s anointed, the Messiah.[5]

c.       Jesus anticipates the questions that would have risen, “How can David call The Messiah Lord (Master) if he is a descendent coming after David?”

 

Ø      Jesus’ question implied that David recognized his descendant as being of greater significance than himself

Ø      Since David was speaking in the Spirit about a person not yet born and calling Him Lord then He must be talking about The Messiah (Jews didn’t see many as being greater than David)

Ø      It may not seem so obvious to us as it did to those there that day, but it was not normal patriarchal protocol to address a plain descendant in this way

Summary:  With all that has happened in the book of Mark, and Jesus demonstrations of being the Messiah, we

know that Jesus is directing this quotation to Himself to illustrate that he is greater than their father David.

·         This lesson by Jesus reveals the Scribes for what they really are – Fraudulent worshipers of the Messiah

·         They worshipped fraudulently for this did not know the truth

·         Christ revealed them for who they really were – worshippers of a false Messiah

2-    The Greater Condemnation             v38-40

a-      Now Jesus exposes w/ 6 illustrations the way in which the scribes displayed fraudulent worship

·         “Beware” - “to see” or “to watch.” – concept is of guarding against the evil influence of the scribes.[6]

1-      Long Robes – a long flowing robe that announced the wearer as a devout and noted scholar

2-      Greetings in the Marketplace – not just courtesy but demonstration of respect – recognition of position

3-      Best seats in the synagogues – bench facing congregation & in front of the chest w/ biblical scrolls

4-      Places of honor at feasts – being seated next to the host and receiving preferential treatment

5-      Devour widow’s houses – exploiting the generosity of people w/ limited means – estate planning power

6-      For a pretense make long prayers – flaunting of piety w/ long prayers – wrong motivation - pretending

Summary:        What was the Greater Condemnation (heavier sentence)?                 Notice the heart motivation

·         For those people, the very men described here in such detail—the students, interpreters, and teachers of the law, who therefore had every reason to know that God required humility, sincerity, and love—, for them the retribution is going to be all the more severe.[7]

B-   The Rich People           v41

Ø      Within the same Temple setting Jesus renounces another group of people for their heartless worship

1-      Treasury and Offering box – 13 trumpet shaped receptacles gift and dues

2-      Jesus sat somewhere in this area and watched the rich people place their offering – they gave large amounts

3-      those with large holdings should give large sums. There was nothing wrong with that.[8]

4-      Jesus taught that it was not the amount of the gift that mattered most but the heart of the giver.[9]

2)  Acceptable Worship        v42-44

A-    A widow came on the scene surrounded by these high rollers and their money and deposited 2 coins = penny

1-      smallest bronze Jewish coin in circulation-- Two lepta were worth 1/64 of a Roman denarius—a day’s wage

2-      she gave only a fraction of a penny as we would think about it today

B-    By human calculation what the widow gave was insignificant.… Measured by divine standard, however, her contribution was priceless, as is clear from verses 43,[10]

1-      Jesus used her example to teach His disciples the value God places on wholehearted commitment.[11] – faith

2-      A major element of Jesus’ teaching is that attitude is more important than action. The widow’s total giving demonstrates an attitude of absolute trust in God.[12]

Conclusion/Application:       Now let’s come back to our proposition from the beginning of the sermon

Proposition:   Worship is authentic when it is real in the heart and rests on a true perception of who God is.

1-      Jesus was in opposition to something in this text – truth less, heartless, emotionless, ritualistic worship

-          Jesus condemns Fraudulent Christianity – he exposed the scribes & the rich for their selfish “worship”

-          It was fraudulent because it wasn’t built on truth and it was motivated by personal gain and recognition – 10:45

-          A lack of affection for the truth and a motivation for recognition leads to churches full of artificial admirers (illustration:  writers of anniversary cards – they don’t mean it, its their job)

-          How many times do we worship with our lips & actions when our hearts are from God – we worship in vain

2-      Jesus was also gave approval for something in this text – he gave approval for worship that is based on the truth

-          Jesus taught that true biblical worship must have two components – truth and heart – w/out one – going in circles

-          Our giving is one way to measure our level of worship towards and trust in God

-          Are you satisfied to give out what you know is comfortable – just a tithe and no offering – study NT on giving

-           The enemy of worship isn’t that our affections are too strong but that they are too weak – we are too easily pleased

-          When was the last time that you meditated on why you are serving God and why you go to church?     Duty/delight

Let us seek God’s face that we will not people/church that seeks God out of pretense but out of truth and affection for His greatness


----

[1]Wood, D. R. W.: New Bible Dictionary. InterVarsity Press, 1996, c1982, c1962, S. 1068

[2]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:35

[3]Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:164

[4]Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, S. Mk 12:35

[5]Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, S. Mk 12:35

[6]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:38

[7]Hendriksen, William ; Kistemaker, Simon J.: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 10), S. 504

[8]Hendriksen, William ; Kistemaker, Simon J.: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 10), S. 506

[9]Hendriksen, William ; Kistemaker, Simon J.: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 10), S. 506

[10]Hendriksen, William ; Kistemaker, Simon J.: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 10), S. 507

[11]Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:166

[12]Brooks, James A.: Mark. electronic e. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 23), S. 203

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