Sermon Archive

Many people in our culture believe that the universe and all that is in it is the result of natural forces acting over billions of years to produce life as we experience it today. One of the implications of evolution is that we are simply physical beings and when we die physically, we cease to exist. There is no afterlife, no heaven, no hell, no God. These beliefs don't surprise us; they are logical conclusions of evolution.

What may be surprising are the people we're going to meet in our study this morning. They were theists, they believed in the existence of God. They served in God's Temple and spiritually led the nation of Israel in the days of Jesus. But they, like evolutionists today, believed that when a person died physically, they ceased to exist. They did not believe in an afterlife and they certainly didn't believe in that which we are celebrating today - the resurrection.

Before we meet these people, let's put our passage in its historical context. Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover 33A.D. (11:1-11). Three times Jesus foretold that this journey would result in His rejection, murder and resurrection (8:31, 9:30-32, 10:32-34). He specifically predicted that the chief priests, elders and scribes of Israel would reject Him and hand Him over to the gentiles (Romans) to be executed (8:31, 10:33). Mark records three occasions on which the chief priests, elders and scribes or their representatives attempted to trap Jesus (11:27-33; 12:13-27). In this third attempt, they sent a delegation from the party of the Sadducees.

Direct download: 2016-0327_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 8:30am PST

Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover 33A.D. (11:1-11). In fulfilment of His prediction, the chief priests, elders and scribes went on the attack to find cause to accuse and execute Jesus (8:31). They attacked Jesus directly after the cleansing of the Temple (11:27-33). Having failed themselves, the chief priests, scribes and elders sent others to trap Jesus on this issue of paying the poll tax. It was a "trap" in the sense that it seemed impossible for Jesus to answer without alienating one side or the other. If He said they should pay the poll tax He would alienate devout and patriotic Jews who would see it as a pro-Roman answer. If He said they should not pay the poll tax it would give His enemies opportunity to denounce Him to the Roman authorities as a rebel (cf. Luke 20:20).

How did Jesus handle this trap?

Direct download: 2016-0320_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 10:45am PST

I've heard that no matter how hard you try and vet prospective tenants, you may still end up having problems. Even God had tenant problems! He sent Jesus to deal with them.

Following the cleansing of the Temple (11:15-19), the chief priests, scribes and elders went on the attack against Jesus. Earlier, Jesus foretold that these three groups would reject Him (8:31). Mark recorded several of their attempts to trap and discredit Jesus (11:27-12:28) all of which failed.

In the midst, Mark recorded a parable Jesus told against His enemies. The setting of the parable was a vineyard; a well known Old Testament image for Israel and her relation to God (e.g. Psalm 80:8–18; Isa. 27:2–6; Jer. 2:21; 12:10; Ezek. 19:10–14; Hosea 10:1). Jesus may have had Isaiah 5:1-7 in mind when He composed His parable.

Direct download: 2016-0313_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 9:30am PST

Jesus has absolute authority, regardless of how we respond to it.

Direct download: 2016-0306_sent_to_serve_demartimprey.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 8:30am PST

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