Category Archives: Bible Study

New Covenant, a.k.a. The Way

pexels-photo-1578750John 14:3-7, 9 [NIV] “3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” … 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me [. . .] Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

The Way, the Truth, or the Life?

I have heard the verse “I am the way and the truth and the life…” many times in my life, and I often feel the context and application is lost. Usually, it shows up in some discussion on the nature of truth. “Jesus is ‘The Truth'” the retort usually says. This is correct, but this is not what this passage is about.

Early followers of Jesus were called the followers of “The Way.” This is apparent as early as the Acts of the Apostles. In John’s gospel above, we see why. Disciples are, by definition, followers, and disciples of Jesus are followers of The Way Himself.

The grammatical structure of this series “the way the truth and the life” is sometimes called “adjectival.” In other words, Jesus is primarily stating that he is “The Way,” then He goes on to describe what sort of “way” He is. He is the way that is true and alive! In other words, His path is the one based in truth that leads to true and everlasting life.

See the context: He is telling the disciples of their eventual reunion (and the implication is certainly marital) in His Father’s house. However, most brides know where their future father-in-law lives. In this case, the disciples haven’t the first clue. Jesus comforts them, “Don’t worry! I will show you the way there, and it is the way of truth that I have already been laying out.”

Later in the same conversation, Jesus says:

John 14:16-18 [NIV] “16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever– 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

He is leaving, coming back, and showing the way, but that’s not all. He’s giving us the guide to walk with us along the way. The (Holy) Spirit, who comes from this same truth, guides along the way to the Father’s house.

What does this Way look like?

The answer is the clear theme of Paul’s letters, but it is oddly easy to miss. The answer to this question is the main difference between Old Testament and New Testament–what moves us from one covenant to the next. It is Spirit versus Flesh, Grace versus Law, Holy of Holies versus outer courts kind of stuff.

The old covenant was driven by Law. Do this, don’t do that, and you will be blessed. Break these laws and you will be cut off. What is the new covenant? We are told what it will be during the old covenant.

Jeremiah 31:33 [NIV] ” ‘This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ “

Paul reminds us (in Romans 2) that this opens up the covenant to Gentiles who have this law written on their hearts rather than on pages.

The old covenant was a set of rules designed to keep us in line. The new covenant is emphatically not a new set of rules. It is Spirit, Life, and Truth.

You ask for a rule; you are given the Holy Spirit. You ask for guidance, you are given conscience. You ask for a babysitter, and you are given a Father!

This is all over the place in the New Testament, but one of my favorite places to watch this happen is in Galatians 5. How can you tell you are living by the Spirit? There will be fruit:

vv. 22-23 [NIV] “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control…”

How do you know you are living by flesh, violating the Law because you are acting under your own authority? There will be fruit:

vv. 13, 19-21 [NIV] 13 “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. … 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

What does your life look like? Are you on The Way? You can’t get there by yourself, because Jesus himself is the way, and it is by Jesus that we are given the Spirit to guide us in The Way.

2 Corinthians 5:17 [NIV] “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

How do you know that your actions are right?

Galatians 5:14 [NIV] “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “

When’s the wedding?

So, Jesus is The Way, and we must have Him to be on the right “Way.” This is why moral principles themselves do not save and that no amount of self-imposed righteousness can get us to the Father’s house.

Think of it this way, there are plenty of well behaved people in the world that I did not chose to marry. The one that I brought into my home is the one who wanted me, who would love me, and whom I could love for eternity. She is the one I have a covenant with, and it is not based on her good behavior, though there are some general expectations. She is mine because she will have me and I will have her.

You are Christ’s because He will have you and you will have Him. He is to be in your heart as you are to be in His. He has met the requirements of the law and it is now our job to trust him. To say, “nothing more, nothing less,” sounds off here, because trusting him is not a mere mental assent. It involves everything we have. My love for my wife is not an occasional thing, it must be all-defining. It must be moreso for our Saviour.

He is the Way to Life, after all!


Humble yourself

pexels-photo-963486Intro: Don’t pray for humility, or better yet, do.

Text:   [Luk 14:1-14 NIV] 1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way. 5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.

7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Thesis: Any place you go, pause to put yourself in the mindset of the Lord and of the people you are with. Do this not out of anxiety, but out of love.

Trans:  There is no parallel to this passage in the other gospels. These details from Journey to Jerusalem are unique to Luke.

Trust the Lord for discernment

  1. Trust the Lord when going into difficulty. This takes a humility of mind, a lack of presumptuousness.
    1. Jesus is being watched, and he knows it. Willfully chooses to go to the home of a leader of the Pharisees.
    2. The man with dropsy was probably brought in by the Pharisees in order to test Jesus.
  2. Discern the true need of the moment – healing was the need, not a tradition. Jesus discerned the intent of his hosts and addressed it.
    1. This takes the Holy Spirit. Are we in prayer and submission to Him?
  3. Discern between your own habits and the commands of God
    1. David Guzik: “When Jesus healed the man, His accusers believed that He workedon the Sabbath, and violated God’s command, but that wasn’t true. With this question, Jesus reminded them that there was no command against healing on the Sabbath. Jesus never broke the commandments of God, but He often offended man’s traditions that surrounded and extended the commandments of God. The commandments of God are enough, and we should never make the traditions of man – even good traditions – equal to the commandments of God (Mark 7:8-9).”

Trans:  Tell my own chair story

Don’t take the nice chair

  1. [Phl 2:5-11 NIV] 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death–even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  2. What is a mindset of humility?
    1. Others-focused
    2. Not false-humility (narcissism)
    3. Joy/gratitude-based

Trans:  When we are grateful, we are generous. When have we given to someone who could not repay us?

Invite the poor

  1. An evidence of humility in our lives is an eagerness to honor those of humble position
  2. [Pro 19:17 NIV] 17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.
    1. This is very much what v. 14 says, the Lord who sees what is done in secret will honor and repay us
  3. [Pro 16:19 NIV] 19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
    1. To act justly bears greater reward than to seek financial gain as the first order of our lives.
  4. [Rom 12:16 NIV] 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
    1. Why do we have conflict? Pride, ego, a need to defend our own rights.
    2. Defend the rights of others, not our own.

Trans:  Jesus was having a table set before him in the presence of his enemies. Despite this, he knew exactly what to say.

Conclusion: Jesus faces the deep challenge of those who hate him by listening to their hearts, caring for those in need, and teaching on the need for humility.


Fire and swords (Luke 12:49-53)

pexels-photo-2278646

Intro: I’m glad Jesus was self-employed, because he definitely would have been referred to HR.

Text:    [Luk 12:49-53 NIV] 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Thesis: Jesus was unafraid to face the challenges this world would present to him and his followers. He knows his actions and truth will bring division and hardship, and he dives in head-first with a full knowledge of the consequences.

Trans: F.F. Bruce’s The Hard Sayings of Jesus devotes three chapters to the first two verses of this passage. The beginning of this section is wrapped in a mystery we get to push through to find the application to our hearts.

Fire and baptism

  1. Context points to preparedness for his “coming” (1st and 2nd)
    1. [Luk 12:40, 56 NIV] 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” … 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
    2. If this is the interpretation of this passage, then Jesus is anticipating the moment of his glorification (Ascension? Second coming?)
    3. However, he admits that it is not yet to be (already…not yet)
  2. Wider biblical lens points to his crucifixion as a possibility
    1. The Jews acceptance or rejection of Jesus was an eternally divisive issue
    2. Jesus’ claim to be the messiah who would die was a bitter pill to swallow, and itself would set people apart, which also being his fiery baptism
  3. Ultimately, we know:
    1. Jesus was bringing salvation now in preparation for a promised judgement later
      1. a) [Jhn 3:17 NIV] 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
      2. b) [Jhn 5:22 NIV] 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,
    2. Jesus was inaugurating the fire of the Holy Spirit, which could only come once he left
    3. Jesus was already baptized in water, and is almost definitely prophesying his death here, and how that death would cause division among his people

Trans:  Jesus pulls no punches here. While he usually spoke in parables, and this section is no exception, the intensity of what he and he and his disciples would face was not for hiding.

Division? (In Matthew:) A sword?! – let me start by making it worse

  1. Consider the violent statements already in this chapter: [Luk 12:4-5, 10, 20, 47 NIV] 4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. … 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. … 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ … 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.
  2. Look at Jesus in Revelation: [Rev 19:11-16, 21 NIV] 11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. … 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
  3. We need to remember that our Lord is the king of heavens armies, the Lord of hosts. He has authority and the might to enforce it. Sometimes, we need a mighty conqueror to be on our side!
  4. That is why it is so much more amazing that he is the price of peace. Hear him:
    1. [Luk 10:5-6 NIV] 5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.
    2. [Luk 19:42 NIV] 42 “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.
    3. [Luk 24:36 NIV] 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
    4. [Jhn 14:27 NIV] 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid
    5. [Jhn 16:33 NIV] 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
    6. [Jhn 20:19, 21, 26 NIV] 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” … 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” … 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
  5. What is Jesus’ view when violence comes his way?
    1. [Heb 12:2 NIV] 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    2. The world seeks to put us to shame. Scorn this shame! You are hidden with Christ in God, seated in heavenly places!

Trans:  If this is who you are, children of the mighty king, how should we face the challenges of this life?

Where is our loyalty?

  1. Persecution is to be expected
    1. Matthew gives some of the answer: [Mat 10:38-39 NIV] 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
    2. [Jhn 16:2 NIV] 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.
  2. This is not about seeking out division and conflict
    1. [Mic 7:4, 6-7 NIV] 4 The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day God visits you has come, the day your watchmen sound the alarm. Now is the time of your confusion. … 6 For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies are the members of his own household. 7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
    2. Consider this direction: [1Co 7:13 NIV] 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him
    3. [Rom 12:18, 21 NIV] 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. … 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
  3. Are you prepared to be a fool for Christ?
    1. [1Co 4:10-13 NIV] 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world–right up to this moment.
    2. [1Co 3:18-19, 23 NIV] 18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; … 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
    3. [1Co 1:18-20, 25, 27 NIV] 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? … 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. … 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

Trans:  Are you already a fool for Christ? Are you ready to pursue this calling?

Conclusion:

  • Do you feel foolish for expressing your faith? Then you’re probably doing something right.
    • There is a difference between criticism from “outside” vs. “inside”
  • Do you feel the condemnation of Jesus’ fiery judgment? Then, remember that you are called to be “in” him.
  • Are you concerned with violence and intolerance? Remember that the truth is intolerant but leads to life.

 


Be Good Dirt (Luke 8:4-15)

20190710_163137.jpg

“And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:4-15 ESV)

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (Matthew 13:23 ESV)

“But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:20 ESV)

  1. Hear the word – Jesus himself is the word. His words reveal the Father.
    1. Be around it
    2. Be open to it
    3. Be attentive to it
  2. Accept, understand, and hold fast to it
    1. Accept – the appropriate response to “are these your kids?”, identify as your own
    2. Understand – put it together in your mind, common word of Jesus
    3. Hold fast – anchor on
  3. Prepare yourself with an honest and good heart
    1. (ESV) Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
    2. (ESV) Psalms 51:6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
    3. Honesty about transgression and a willingness to be benevolent
  4. Bear fruit with patience
    1. Fruit of godly character, fruit = works, “fruit of righteousness”, peacemaking, Jesus loves to talk about
    2. (ESV) Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
    3. (ESV) John 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
    4. Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (James 5:7, 8 ESV)
    5. He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
      Grace be with you all. (Titus 3:5, 8-15 ESV)
  5. The good soil is prepared by being open and available to receive the seed. It holds on tight to and claims the seed it is given. It has already been filled with nutrients and made prime for growth. It is willing to bear fruit despite the work and self sacrifice necessary.

Mary Magdalene – the bravest disciple (Luke 8:1-3)

0722marymagdaleneText: Luke 8:1-3 ESV

1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

Thesis: Jesus had many followers, some he selected, but MM stands out for her faithfulness and bravery.

  • The only other place Joanna is mentioned is with Mary M and Mary (mother of Jesus) as a witness to the resurrection. No other mention of Susanna.
  • “the good news of the kingdom of God”
  • There were 12, but there were more – circles of friends
  • Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager – this is probably the same Herod who imprisoned and would later execute John the Baptist

Trans: Who thought he was the king of the Jews? Mary knew better.

Mary Magdalene – past – demon possession

  1. Demons are real but really limited – demon possession was a real situation in the past and in the present
  2. Jesus taught us much about deliverance from demons in both his words and his actions
    1. Demons were cast out by Jesus and by his disciples – [Luk 9:1-2 ESV] 1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
    2. But Jesus’s followers and those who opposed him agreed that Jesus was performing exorcisms regularly – [Mat 9:33 ESV] 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”
    3. Jesus occasionally teaches about deliverance from demons including: A delivered soul needs to be immediately occupied by the presence of the Holy Spirit
  3. The point of saying seven as the number of demons, whether literal or not, was to emphasize that she was completely possessed
    1. There is one who is known as Legion because he has many demons
    2. It appears that most demon possessed people only were possessed by a single demon though often this is left unclearly explained
    3. S. Smalley “it is not possible, at least from the biblical evidence, to limit the illness from which Mary was healed to one sphere alone, the physical, the mental, or the moral.”

Trans: Have you ever been sure of the “next big thing?” Bitcoin? Apple?

Present – disciple – provider

  1. She was enticed by this kingdom of God that Jesus was proclaiming
    1. [Mat 3:2 ESV] 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
    2. [Mat 5:10 ESV] 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    3. [Mat 7:21 ESV] 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    4. [Luk 6:20 ESV] 20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
    5. [Luk 17:20-21 ESV] 20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
    6. [Luk 18:16-17 ESV] 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
    7. [Jhn 3:3 ESV] 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    8. [Rom 14:17 ESV] 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
    9. [1Co 4:20 ESV] 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
    10. [1Co 15:50 ESV] 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
  1. She was with him – she was not limited by feeling like an outsider
  2. Was not just part of the crowd. Is a disciple
  3. She provided out of her means

Finally, courageous witness

  1. Who is at the cross? [Jhn 19:25 ESV] 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
  2. Who is the first to the tomb? [Jhn 20:1-2 ESV] 1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
  3. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke 23:55-56 ESV
  4. But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. Luke 24:1-12 ESV
  5. The courage of MM is remarkable – she knows her death could result from association with Jesus, but she was not about to forsake him now.
  6. [Jhn 20:11, 14-18 ESV] 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. … 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”–and that he had said these things to her.
  7. Discuss the contrasting depths of her sorrow – the crying that happens after the funeral

Trans: Sometimes we need to proclaim the gospel to the disciples. Remember the kingdom of God? It has come!

Conclusion: Remember that Jesus has authority over all that is within you and around you. He is your deliverer. Be a follower, even when it makes you an outsider. Be courageous in following the Lord, no matter what. Be prepared to encourage his followers as well, even if they don’t hear you the first time.