Sunday, March 15, 2015

SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS: SCS No. 41

Cumberland Mountains, Campbell County, Tennessee

Sunday, March 15, 2015, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 41

(This is a series of sermonettes on The Gospel According To Mark.  We will not be to the crucifixion and resurrection in the book of Mark by April 5, 2015 so we will not be doing the resurrection story when it is being celebrated this year.)

SCRIPTURE for Today:       Mark 8:27-30 King James Version (KJV)
27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
28 And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

SERMON for Today:

Last week we discussed Jesus feeding the crowd because of his compassion for them and about our becoming a part of the Kingdom of God now.  By which I meant getting involved in doing God’s work now.  In our scripture lesson today Jesus asks a simple question that most people today have an answer to, but don’t know what that answer really means.  Most of us would give the same answer as Peter did, but we would not all mean the same thing even though we would use the same words.

There have been more books written about Jesus than any other single person who ever walked on the face of this earth.  They range from Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus to N. T. Wright’s Simply Jesus to books denying that Jesus was a real figure of history.  Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) spent most of his life working as a doctor in a hospital he founded in west central Africa in what is now Gabon and his life’s work won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his “Reverence for Life.”  In his book about Jesus he concluded that critical 1st century theology had been ignored by the faithful. He said almost all early followers were known to have been illiterate and only few literate leaders then in power could have been aware of the critical unfulfilled First Century promise indivisible from the original theology of Jesus. Schweitzer observes that the early church leaders introduced a modified theology, once the prompt return of Jesus failed to occur. Obviously, the early leaders would surely lose power, and their employment, if they failed to modify the original theology.  We are still modifying it today.

Can you say you believe and act on the belief that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God?  Are you looking to follow Simply Jesus or do you follow some interpretation of what Jesus said and did that either the church you attend came up with or you came up with on your own?

Jesus is still asking.  “But whom say ye that I am?”  Your present joy and your future joy depends on how you answer this simple question.

Verse 30 no longer applies.  Jesus wants us to tell others.  Shout it from the highest mountain tops so all can hear.

PRAYER for Today: Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


© Ed Cooper, March 15, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
   All rights reserved

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