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Topical - The Things Jesus Knew, pt4(Mark)

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The Things Jesus Knew, Part IV

Gospel of Mark

January 30, 2000

Introduction:

Verses on the omniscience of God:

"The Mighty One, God, the LORD! The Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows! And let Israel know! If this has been in rebellion or disobedience to the LORD, do not spare us this day. (Joshua 22:22 NIVUS)

"Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. (1 Samuel 2:3 NIVUS)

but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (Psalms 37:13 NIVUS)

would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? (Psalms 44:21 NIVUS)

The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile. (Psalms 94:11 NIVUS)

for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (Psalms 103:14 NIVUS)

Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. (Psalms 138:6 NIVUS)

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8 NIVUS)

He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight. (Luke 16:15 NIVUS)

God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. (Acts 15:8 NIVUS)

And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. (Romans 8:27 NIVUS)

and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." (1 Corinthians 3:20 NIVUS)

Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." (2 Timothy 2:19 NIVUS)

if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. (2 Peter 2:9 NIVUS)

whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:20 NIVUS)

Scripture: 2Chronicles 16

Characters:

Asa, king of Judah (southern kingdom)

Baasha, king of Israel (northern kingdom)

Ben Hadad, king of Aram (enemies of God)

Hanani, prophet of God

God, whose eyes range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

(1 Peter 5:8 ¶ Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.)

Situation:

          Twenty silent years --- of backsliding.

Body:

          Jesus did many miracles. Last week we learned about those he knew that he had already accomplished. This week we will learn about those he knew he was going to accomplish. We see miracles of restoration and creation, but also of destruction.

IV.       Knowledge of Miraculous Action About to be Taken

 

            A.        Restorative

1.         The Healing of a Boy with an Evil Spirit (9:17-29)

B.        Creative

1.         Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand (6:30-44)      

2.         Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand (8:2-5)

            C.        Destructive

1.         The Withered Fig Tree (11:12-14, 20-21)

IV.    Knowledge of Miraculous Action about to be Taken

 

          A.      Restorative

1.       The Healing of a Boy with an Evil Spirit (9:17-29)

          This instance of Jesus' advance knowledge of miraculous healing is not so obvious. But there is an example here of omniscience in Jesus' response to the man with the demonized son when he said, "But if you can do anything take pity on us and help us." Jesus questioned him on his statement. Jesus asked him, "If you can?" And then he said, "Everything is possible for him who believes." The man then said, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Jesus then casts the deaf and mute spirit out of the boy. Jesus knew what he was about to do in response to the man's request for faith. He also knows what he will do in response to ours.

          But note that Mk. 9:19 is not Jesus' anger at the disciples, but the people. They must all pray in concert with the disciples' efforts. Mk. 9:29 tells us the issue here is prayer – believing prayer. We must participate with Jesus if we want to see miracles. In this case the unbelief of the people was hindering the work of the disciples. But not that they themselves were guiltless in this case either. Note that the teachers of the law were arguing with them (9:14). "For the eyes of God range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." Here is a case where there was no strength because there was little commitment. See Mk. 6:5, "He could not do any miracles there."

 

B.      Creative

1.       Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand (6:30-44)  

          Here we have a miracle of a different type. Instead of healing or cleansing, it is creative. Jesus asks the disciples to respond to their own sense of responsibility to feed the crowd that had gathered for his teaching. They can't imagine purchasing that much bread. So Jesus tells them to go find what they have. They return with five loaves and two fish. Now Jesus could create something out of nothing, but he doesn't do that. He multiplies what they have, and that is still creative. But he knows he is going to do that. That is why he asks for what they had, and that is the lesson he intends to impart. He knows what we need in relation to what we have. And he asks for what we have. If we devote what we have to him, he will see that it is enough, even more than enough because they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers.

2.       Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand (8:2-13)

          Now this miracle is a replay of the previous except that the crowd is 4,000 and they have been with Jesus for three days. This time the incentive of compassion comes initially from Jesus and he poses the question to the disciples about how to handle their hunger. They are clueless so he asks them again how many loaves they can find. They come up with seven loaves and a few fish which he multiplies with seven baskets leftover. Again, he asks for what they have, knowing that he will recreate sufficiency from it. He also knows when to prompt a retake on a lesson he is trying to teach us – that he himself is all we need.

          The disciples were in faith process just like we are. Jesus was stretching them because he wanted to strengthen them. "For the eyes of God range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." Jesus was cultivating their commitment.

          C.      Destructive

1.       The Withered Fig Tree (11:12-14, 20-21)

          Not all miracles heal, cleanse or create. Just like providence can be either positive or negative to teach those who would see God according to their particular need, here we have a negative miracle to prove a particular point. Jesus notices a fig tree in leaf (alive) and went to it (as he was then going to Jerusalem) but did not find the fruit that one would expect (like he would experience in Jerusalem). He cursed the tree and his disciples heard it. The next day they found the tree withered from the roots (entirely dead). Jesus knew and intended this teaching effect of his curse for that generation and all those generations yet to come until he comes again.

In 13:28-29 he amplifies the lesson from the fig tree that when it again bears leaves (comes to life – Jerusalem re-inhabited by Jews), his return is imminent. His advance knowledge of its withering in one day is also advance knowledge of its restoration nearly 2,000 years later. We must bear the fruit of faith in him and his return lest we also wither and die from the curse of faithlessness. And he went on to explain that faith in God leads to forgiveness and answered prayer.

Conclusion: Isaiah 63:7-10

          God became their Savior, but they rebelled, so he became their enemy.

          You are familiar with Rom. 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

          But we might also state the truth of this verse this way, "If God is against us, who can be for us?"
          The arm of the Lord is longer than you think.

          Do we believe in one God or two?

          Many people believe the God of the OT changed in the NT.

          But Mal. 3:6 tells us that the Lord does not change.

          We cannot get away with trespass against the God of the New Covenant any more than they could get away with trespass against the God of the Old Covenant. He is the same God. The difference is that he has offered us the remedy of grace in his Son Jesus Christ. But trespassing against God by rejecting Christ carries the same penalty – rejection by God.

Heb. 10:26  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,

27  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

28  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

29  How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

30  For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."

31  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

          Rom. 5:1 offers us peace with God through Christ. But if we do not accept his terms of peace, we remain his enemy.

          And if we later prove by our life and actions that we have turned out to be no friend of God in spite of his terms of peace, we will find out that he is still our enemy.

          There are many people in American churches who reject Christ even in the midst of worshipping him. They may have started well. They may have had what appeared to be true faith at the time. But the culture has siphoned them off. They have been sucked down to the lower level. They now believe the lie that they can serve the culture and Christ too. HE IS A JEALOUS GOD!!! He must have your priority. He must have your allegiance. He must have your obedience. He must own your life. Have you sold out to God at some point in your life? Are you still bankrupt except by his grace? Or have you started to build up your own account of self-sufficiency again? Broken-ness may come at high personal cost. But unless we remain there we have wasted the most expensive gift we have, or will ever, receive. To be broken for Christ is to be filled by him.

          We have discussed his miracles of restoration and creation. This is what he does for those who are fully committed to him. He heals them and he provides for them. We might think, "If God is for us to heal and feed us, then who can be against us?" But we must bear the fruit of our healing and our care. He offered the nation permanent healing, but they failed to pray. He offered them permanent provision, but they failed to understand. So not all his miracles heal and create. Jesus can also destroy. He can be against us – like the fig tree illustrates Israel. His miracles can also be destructive. And he reserves those for all who remain his enemies – or return to the ranks of his enemies.

          Let us search our lives this day to see if we truly be in Christ. Let us search our lives this day to see if we will truly remain in Christ beyond any shadow of doubt. These are perilous times and they demand the question. Lest he say, "How long must I remain with you?" or we say, "Show us another sign and then we might truly believe who you are."

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