"Pro Jesus" (Mark 9:38-42)

Uploaded by nlmcdotcom on 02.10.2012

.. sermon series in Mark
today we'll be going over Mark chapter nine verses thirty eight
to forty two
Mark chapter nine
verses thirty eight to forty two
would you please stand as we read
God's holy and inspired word
John said to him
teacher we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to stop him because he was not following us
but Jesus said
don't stop him
for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to
speak evil of me
for the one who is not against us
is for us
for truly i say to you whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because
you belong to Christ will by no means
lose his reward
Amen. You may be seated
some people see life
as competition
the sort of soil in our culture today
is competition
some people see everything
as competition
but at the same time I think if we were all to be honest with ourselves
we all have an inner desire
to be great
no one sets out to be mediocre in life
no one sets out
to not be worthy
not to be appreciated. We all have a desire to be accepted
and loved
but what can sometimes happen is that a culture of competition
can then start to creep into our world view
what began as a good desire to be recognized and loved turns into a
possessive desire
where we then become competitive self
and even controlling
and oppressive
what we want collides
with what other people want
and we fight to get
our's first
you see in our passage today we see this exact same kind of thinking
taking place amongst Jesus's disciples in chapter nine verses thirty eight to forty
the disciples see a present casting out a demon
and they to try to stop him
this is actually kind of ironic considering that twenty verses earlier
in chapter nine vs fourteen to eighteen
the disciples were being ridiculed for not
themselves being able to cast out
a demon
you see
it's ironic
that the disciples are telling this man to stop doing
what they tried to do
but couldn't
it just goes to show that the disciples
don't really care about what's happening
that the kingdom of God is being proclaimed that Jesus
Christ has come into the world to bring peace hope joy and salvation that Jesus
is the light and life in darkness calling all people to turn to Him for
the forgiveness of sins
and freedom from any enslaving thing in this world
you see the disciples should have been enthusiastic
that God's word was going forth
in power and captives were being set free and sinners were being reconciled to God
but they weren't
at the end of the day
all they cared about was who gets the credit
who gets the glory
whose name gets recognized
and it seems like Jesus's church here
is no different
than any earthly corporation
but what Mark wants to teach us today in this passage is that the name
of Jesus
is above all other names
and inside the church
Jesus's name
is above all
we took a look at verse thirty eight and
what does it mean
to do something in Jesus's name
well what's in a name
a name is a word or term used for identification
we identify things by name
and identification carries with it a meaning
you see easy things are not identified neutrally
if i were to ask you whether or not
you like Kobe Bryant
a flurry of either positive or negative emotions are gonna run through your mind
and so whenever we mention someone's name it will either be for a good
or for bad
if I ask you if this or that restaurant is good or bad your experience with that
specific restaurant
will always be attached
to its name
a name never identifies something
there's always a strong association between the name
and the one
but names don't only carry strong meaning
they also have power
you see when we apply for jobs
we put down references
and these references are names of people that we believe had the most power
and capability
to help us
get that job
names have that kind of power
but names also can be abused
you know when I
i forget to do something
or when i forget that I have a meeting
at some time and place I go
wait no no no you
you told me it was Friday
no no no wait wait
right didn't you tell me to do that
I'm abusing that person's name
rather than just apologizing and admitting fault
i'm using that person's name to excuse my misbehavior
this happens all the time
one time a parent of a youth group student long time ago
came up to me
and said hey you know uh... why were you guys hang out so late yesterday night
and I was like what
I went home at ten thirty
and we looked at each other
and she had this sort of like oh my look
and we both understand that her child had used my name
and God's name
new life church name
to hang out with some friends late at night
the kid has it out for their sibling you know you always hear a kid say mom told you
do this mom said this
not true
mom never said that
that kid is just using her name
to manipulate
right her brother and sister
some of us can blame shift and use other peoples name to justify or excuse our
behavior and ultimately at the end of the day were living for our own glory
so when we think about names
what's your opinion
about Jesus's name
what does Jesus's name
mean to you
is it a joy
or is it a drag
does it have any power in your life
in how you act
think and live which name
is it Jesus's name and His glory
or is it your name
and your glory
you see sometimes our lives can be more consumed what we think about our name
more than what we think about Jesus's name
our thoughts are consumed more with how we can advance
our name right the meaning and power of our name more than the meaning and power
of Jesus's name
and i'm not just talking about sharing the gospel and
evangelizing though of course that is included
but i'm also talking about advancing jesus's name
as the very heartbeat
in everything that we do
from how we drive on the road
to how we talk to and about one another
how we talk about our co-workers
how we talk to our loved ones how we talk about each other at church how we
when temptations
and even a personal attack comes our way
you see every hour every minute and every second of our lives
there is a battle between
two kings in your life
satan and jesus
anyone against jesus
is for satan
even when you think you're ultimately for yourself
your actually in reality for satan as king that's why jesus calls peter satan
when peter tries to prevent jesus from living a sacrificial humble life
and so
Mark challenges us today
which king do you serve
whose name
is above all
or yours
in our passage we had the disciples of jesus more concerned with their name than jesus's
and jesus's disciple here are totally off-base
they're more concerned about their significance then jesus's significance
one theologian writes that this is yet another echo
of their inflated self
see before all this in chapter six jesus sent out his disciples
on a brief mission trip
and they cast out many demons and healed many who were sick
but this got to their head
anything great that was done by then they attributed to themselves their
self worth their inherent talent
and just before our passage today the disciples
indulge themselves
discussing out of all of them which one was the most talented
who was the greatest
I was thinking about this
how does a conversation like this even began
how does a group of people all of a sudden start talking about
who's the greatest
but after none of them being able to cast out the unclean spirit from the boy
in the beginning of chapter nine
the team demeanor probably went from
to downs
to criticism
and blame shifting mode
difference between winning and losing changes everything
fingers were pointed arguments were probably made
and the debate began who was the greatest
and who was to blame
this attitude of self exaltation or self worship
for the disciples took over worshipping and exalting jesus
but this is also us isn't it
we also uncritically leave ourselves open
to self satisfaction self-love self-gain and being self-absorbed
it's this perspective of
me me me
that leads us to stop thinking about jesus
and the details of our everyday life
we can be more influenced by the world's thinking of becoming
an american idol
than we might admit
and so when someone mentions jesus
or someone takes a stand for jesus
we feel
awkwardly strange
that we're thinking christianly all of a sudden
we've forgotten jesus in the details of our everyday lives
and even to think about it has become
foreign to us
and it's almost a bother
to act according to how jesus has acted towards us
you see it's a very dangerous thing when we spend more time in the world
then in god's word and his church
this is why christians who stop going to church begin to feel more and more
in the world
and less and less comfortable in the church
we become deceived into thinking what's really important is our name
above all other names even jesus's name
but in today's passage jesus is saying at the end of the day
his name
is the only name that matters why
it's because his name
is the only name that saves
you see nothing that any of us can ever do
is going to be better than what Jesus has already done
is they God-man
who came down to our world
from very heaven itself
as god he took on flash identifying with our name
our creaturely name
he saw the same evil and suffering of the world and he desired
to deliver us from it
all the sin and suffering that comes when we only care about our own name
ruptured relationships
broken families
and depression
even if you think you have it all
you can have all the riches of the world but the bible says what gain is that
when your happiness
and joy is dependent upon temporal things
bodies and looks that age
houses and cars that consume most of your life
spouses and children that will make mistakes
just like you and me
mere creatures that scripture says
you don't even know whether or not you will carry out your desired plans of the
there's more than this
jesus also saw the sin and suffering that leads to wars
and unjust acts against humanity
and it's from all of this that jesus
delivered us from
you know we may try to hide
the fallenness of this of this world
and our weary hearts buy nice clothes
and beautiful smiles but
tears still fall in private
hearts still ache
and as the u.k. pop star singer jesse j says
is deceiving
is bruising
even the greatest name in the world falls in comparison to the name of the
great king jesus
name of all the kings of the past
the greatest athletes
and the most prominent an influential men and women
though they are able to achieve great things on this earth
their weaknesses and faults are remembered and everyone finds
their name etched on a tombstone
next to countless of others
but the name of jesus
is a name like no other
the name of jesus literally means he who saves
and jesus' primary purpose in life was not to have monuments of himself like
you know some cities have monuments and skyscrapers to track their earthly glory
but jesus's primary purpose in life
was to bring truth to reality
and with it healing and salvation
this is the truth mankind has a special place
in god's heart
we were created in his image
and god made us to live
in a harmonious relationship with him a relationship guided by love
and justice
but like rebel forces
we defect
we reject god
make ourselves god
and make our own rules
we set up our own truth
declaring our own name
but Jesus comes into the world and calls us to repent
he says for those who returned to the king
for those who returned to me
there's forgiveness
and restoration paid by my blood
spilled for your sin
satan the prince of darkness demands blood for our crimes revelations chapter
twelve ten calls him
our accuser
who accuses us day and night before god
but jesus christ
clears our name by having his name
by dying on the cross
he clears
our name
and then gives us his name
this is the gospel this is
the good news
it's in the cross that the perfect son of god was put to death for our sins
this is the beauty glory and power of the name of jesus
only jesus gives this
unconditional love
acceptance and worth
for us
at least for me
to know a god that knows all my thoughts
slowness of heart
and knowing that he's still committed to me
that gives me the reason and power to glorify his name above all names
the lord's prayer is not without reason
no this is why we hallow his name
when we receive this truth we no longer care about our own agenda
but jesus agenda
because his agenda
has changed us
we don't put our hope in how great we are at certain things how much money we
where we live what we do and how we look but in what jesus has done
and what he's still doing in us
from this passage we learn that this teaching doesn't only apply in how we
view ourselves in the world but also how we view ourselves
along with others
and the local and universal church
in the church we don't care who gets the credit
were happy when churches grow even when ours may not
because jesus's name
is adopted by fellow brothers and sisters
and co-heirs of the kingdom
we don't take sides with pastors
and groups of people
it's not about who's following us
it's about who's following jesus
because at the end of the day it's not about us it's about as first forty one
to christ
in our passage today we have a man exercising faith in jesus as savior and god
he's acknowledging that no power other than the god-man jesus christ
can overcome and conquer the powers of darkness of this world and jesus says to
you want to stop him
because he's not one of us
what do you really think christianity is all about
do you think it's about popularity favoritism
and cliques
in a family
or do you know that christianity
is the only hope
and liight of the world
don't stop bless him
i don't think this is a proof text right to argue that anything goes as you do it
in the name of jesus
jesus's name must be used according to his word written in the holy scriptures
we're to be obedient and strive to what the apostle paul calls in Acts twenty
the whole counsel
of god
Matthew chapter seven
verse twenty one to twenty three reads 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
on that day many will say to me lord lord did we not prophesy in your name cast
out demons in your name and do many mighty works in your named and then I will
declare to them i never knew you
depart from me
you workers of lawlessness
Acts chapter nineteen reads
some of the itinerant jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the
lord jesus over those who had evil spirits saying adjure you by the name jesus
whom paul proclaims
but the evil spirit answered them jesus i know paul i recognized but who are you
this is a warning against false teachers who think they're doing the work of god
but not
god's work must genuinely be tied to faith in jesus
as taught according to the holy scriptures
and so we come to see that there is to be no compromise when it comes to the
person and work
of jesus but when it comes to us
we're to be tolerant of those who are different
we're to be sharp
clear and robust in our theology but in ethnicity nationality culture
associations networks upbringing age and personalities indifferent
we're to praise god's name when the gospel's proclaimed
broken people are healed guilty declared innocent
and went dead people
are brought to life
we're not to compete for one another with one another for glory
rather we're to work together
for god's glory
we cannot allow the culture of competition to creep into the church
in sports you can identify the success of the team by the strength
of its camaraderie
camaraderie is a spirit of trust
existing between friends
and trust is built when you can
trust that this
person has your interest in mind that this person
wishes good for you that's what trust is all about right
jesus has established this trust for us we can trust him
and he wishes good for us he's proven it in the cross and in the same way
christians are to wish good for one another for the overall success
of jesus's kingdom here on earth
we're all on the same team
if one part of the body hurts jesus hurts and we all hurt if one part of
the body succeeds jesus succeeds and we all succeed
we must do all that we can to help one another out ultimately serving god who is
king overall
and as new life
we must remember that this is not our church
and for other churches out there
it's not their church
it's god's church
we're all indebted to him
when we lose sight of this we become
no longer committed to jesus and his name rather we commit ourselves to our
own name and we have
fallen yet again
under the anesthesia of self worship
self idolatry
where we see all of life
as competition
for self significance
sometimes we can find our significance
in our church
a christian author and professor at westminster theological seminary
greg beale writes sometimes we need to be shocked out of this
by listening and paying attention to god's living word
we need to spend more time in god's word
and in the church
than outside in the world
the teaching is this
if anyone is working for the cause of jesus as taught according to his holy and
inspired word
he cannot work against jesus
and neither against us
and jesus even gives us an application
how we're to know that someone is for us
and not against us
he says in verse forty one i tell you the truth
anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to christ
will certainly not lose his reward
this teaching plays out in our lives by the test
of selfless humble giving
don't stop them
but bless them
this giving is not dependent upon how much this person is like us
or in the in crowd
this type of service in favor doesn't depend on superficial boundaries that
don't exist in god's kingdom
but it depends on the only fact
the only motivating factor
which is jesus
So as i conclude
i want to ask you guys a question
what are you competing for
are you competing for the best life
the best job the best family
honor glory and praise of your name
or for jesus's name
and in the church do you have local church pride that's more about what we've done
rather than what God's done
life is not always competition
yes you do compete for jobs and position god calls us
in ephesians four to do honest work in second thessalonians three to be busy at
work in colossians three to work heartily as for the lord
not for men
but at the end of the day however that may look for you
must come first
professor beale writes again we must question our claim
to be christian
when we continually do not put christ first
so I wanna encourage you
yes work hard
but do your best to fit into your schedule to attend church and not just
the building
but a body of believers that you can live with
encourage and love manage your time wake up early and read the word
make time for small groups and fellowship and
students I always encourage you not to be lazy
but trust in the lord
that though you don't get into m.i.t. harvard or berkeley
he's going to take care of you
remember that nothing that any of us can ever do
is better than
what jesus has already done
his name is above all names
and he's given his name to you
i mean just kinda think about that what if imagine about
if you all of a sudden became the adopted son of bill gates
right or the new president
the riches you would inherit
the glorious houses high end food any choice of car you want access to wherever
you want to go whenever you wanted to go
isaiah chapter sixty two says the nations
see your righteousness
the kings your glory
you are called by a new name
that the mouth of the lord will give
new life our inheritance is far greater than any eye can see here on earth
by placing our faith in jesus
we inherit the holy spirit as a down payment of the heavenly splendor that
awaits us
our hope peace and joyed can't be shaken as we place our salvation in the name
of jesus
and in god's church
it's not us against them
it's not about us or about them it's
it's just about
only jesus is our claim to fame he's only our boasting only jesus
brings us together and only jesus is our head
there's no greater thing that unites people in the world but jesus
he's the head of this club and he's chosen everyone to come
and be a part of his family
and jesus
wants us to work this out in real time
by serving with a humble heart
reflective of his
so when we're able to put everything else aside and serve even our enemy
like jesus has served us
that we can show others that jesus really is our all in all
we really do understand the gap
that jesus has closed
and that we really do understand
how much he means to us
his unconditional love for us while we were yet sinners
enemies of god has moved us so much
we follow suit
we follow jesus
in everything
every single detail of our life
and anyone not against jesus
so we are also not against them
but we are for them
because at the end of the day
we are pro jesus let us pray
dear heavenly father we thank you so much
that you are for us
you are for saving us
for sanctifying us
for forgiving us
for showing us our faults for restoring us for healing us from bringing us
strength to strength
from darkness to light
we're so thankful lord that you are for you're children
and we just pray oh god
that lord this would be
at the front of our minds
and not in the back
but that our thoughts our words
our actions and our lives will be governed
by your name
help us god
to hallow your name
help us lord
to love this world
i love one another
as you have loved us
we thank you so much for your grace that is not just a word
but a powerful one
one that comes in the power of the holy spirit that resurrected you from the grave
grant us this very grace and power lord to live for you
day after day
we pray all this in the name of jesus christ
our lord and savior Amen