Sunday, May 17, 2015

“Followed Jesus in the Way”:SCS No. 48

Sunday, May 17, 2015, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 48

(This is a series of sermonettes on The Gospel According To Mark. )

(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s.  Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was there with his parents in the early 1960’s.)

SCRIPTURE for Today: Mark 10:35-52 King James Version (KJV)

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.
36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?
37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:
40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.
42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.
48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.
49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

SERMON for Today:
In today’s lesson we find the contrast of two of the disciples asking Jesus to make them special and a blind man asking Jesus for his sight.  There could not be two situations further from each other and the outcomes are equally far apart.

The other disciples were very upset with James and John for asking Jesus to ”do for us whatsoever we shall desire.”  Their desire was to have a special seat beside Jesus. One on the right and the other on the left.  Jesus explained the true meaning of being his disciple.  He said “But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.”  Being a disciple of Jesus meant being a servant and it still means the same thing today.

The blind man was healed because of his faith and it says he “followed Jesus in the way.”  Wondered what that meant?  Some would have you believe the five words simply mean he followed Jesus in the crowd that was always following Jesus, but I think it means that he followed Jesus in the ways of Jesus.  He had faith in Jesus and that is the reason Jesus gave for healing him.  He followed Jesus because of his faith in Jesus.  The man was not just walking with the crowd.  The blind man who could now see became a servant in the Kingdom of God and went to Jerusalem as a believer.

Today when we get a prayer answered do we stay a faithful servant or do we go about our normal business until we need another favor from God?  Our blindness to our servant role in the Kingdom of God is the single biggest impediment to our growing closer to our Father and being able to live a fulfilling and healing Christian life.  We need to be like the blind man who “followed Jesus in the way.”    

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, May 17, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
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