Posts Tagged #telltheworld

Mark 16:1-8 Near Sunrise Easter 2021

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.  They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid. [NRSA: MK 16:1-8]

The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem, 2014

The oldest copies of Mark’s gospel end at this point in the story of Jesus. It is important that we have read all of Mark’s gospel to fully appreciate why the stories stops with fear, instead of joy and celebration. In quick summary, in Mark’s account, Jesus repeatedly tells the disciples to not tell anyone when they experience a divine revealing of God at work.

  • Mark 1:34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.
  • Mark 1:44 and He *said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
  • Mark 3:12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.
  • Mark 5:43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.
  • Mark 7:24 Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.
  • Mark 7:36 And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it.
  • Mark 8:26 And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
  • Mark 8:30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him.
  • Mark 9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus expressly order them not to tell anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
  • Mark 9:30 From there they went out and began to go through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know about it.
  • Mark 11:33 Answering Jesus, they *said, “We do not know.” And Jesus *said to them, “Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

11 times Jesus said:

  • Don’t speak,
  • say nothing,
  • do not tell,
  • no one is to know,
  • no escape,
  • do not tell anyone,
  • Do not enter,
  • tell no one,
  • do not tell anyone,  
  • he did not want anyone to know,
  • nor will I tell you.

Until the Resurrection:

Until Mark 16, Until Mary stands before him Risen from the Dead

NOW Go Tell! Go tell the Disciples. Go tell the world.

BUT

They said nothing.

The single most significant news to tell the world and once hearing it, they went home filled with terror and fear.

 And they said nothing.

Now we know from history and the fact that we have gathered yet again for as many years as we are old on the anniversary of this morning, but the question of the year is this:

  • Who have you specifically told about news of Jesus’s gift of salvation?
  • Who have told, that has not already heard, about the eternity part of our life that is not over at the point our heart stops beating, our spirit, our soul, the true person that we are will continue to live, just as Jesus is alive.
  • Who have your individually told about the news that even if we have sinned, messed up, screwed up all the plans, God so loves us that Jesus has died for those sins, and has over-come the barrier that seizes the world with fear and terror.

Death has gone out of business because of Easter and the Resurrection, for those who claim the life Christ has died to give us.

More important in 2021, is who will you tell?

  • Who will you tell today?
  • Who will you tell tomorrow,
  • who will you tell as long as you have breathe to tell?
  • This is reason we have gathered, to hear the story once again and to respond to today’s call to GO TELL,

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere, Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is Risen!

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Day 25 Say Shibboleth three times fast!

Watch the link and read both bible passages.

Read: Judges 12.5-6. (NRSV)

It can be fascinating to study the various dialects of different languages. With the influence of different cultures, regions, and social intention words are sounded with different styles and inflections. An example might be seen referring to ‘you’, ‘ya’ll’, or ‘yous guys’ – all regional examples of the familiar you. Sometimes the wrong word gets us in trouble. The character Peggy, in the television show, King of the Hill, is a substitute teacher with her very own elementary and southern-Texan version of Spanish lands her in a Mexican court until she tells her side of the story in her own words. She tells the judge, speaking in her version of ‘Espanola’, that he has a big cat in his pants. Then the judge realizes her misuse of the language caused the trouble in the first place.

In the text, the enemy troops had the right password, but the wrong pronunciation. Some of the names in scripture are difficult. The general rule for pronouncing names that are difficult is to speak them boldly and not to stop for comments. The power of scripture is not in how we pronounce it. It is not limited to one language or dialect. But our use of language may speak to knowing our audience when we share the gospel. Do not be bashful about share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Call to Action: Read Acts 2:1-13 aloud and know how you pronounce the names of the cities and regions is not as important as proclaiming the power of the Holy Spirit and power of the church.

Prayer: Thank you for speaking to each of us in our own hearts. Resonate with us through your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Matthew 16:13-20 Who Do You Say?

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea, Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. [NRSV]

Why Tell No One?

“Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.” v. 20

Banias03 Ceaserria Phillipi was a worship center for many different faiths and deities in the region at the time Jesus visited with his disciples. Now it is but a historical site where pilgrims and tourist come to visit the remnants of a shopping-mall of temples at the edge of one of Herod’s many palaces.  Jesus gathers with his core leadership and asks for a status report. “What are people saying?”

Opinion vs Completing the Circut

Somewhere in the past generation of 15-20 years, we have upgraded the value of opinions over the value of facts. One of the dangerous tools that we have come to accept is public opinion polls.

My undergrad major is in sociology. When I changed from Chemistry as a pre-pharmacy student, I jumped 180 degrees into contextual perspectives of the human experience. As a social science, this discipline tries to make observations and predictions about human behavior. A random selection of people targeted for their similarities or differences is given questions to ask about perceptions and opinions. The bottom line on all opinion polls is that the collected information gives feedback for strategic planning, marketing, and predictive observations. The dangerous part is when we use feedback to validate rather than inform.

Example: If sixty percent of you sitting here said the wall appeared to be painted beige and 40 percent say white, what color is the wall? We have shifted from caring that Sherman Williams calls it bisque 106 to say that the 60% have a better perspective in the context of this room.

Jesus is not concerned with opinions. Jesus asks the disciples about what the people are saying and what the disciples are saying not to be validated, but to read the measure of progress or failure in informing and preparing people for their Messiah.

Listening to Feeback

The word on the street was divided about Jesus’s role and identity. Most data suggested Jesus was a prophet. Someone who taught and spoke for God, but not in the Messiah category.

Jesus asks the same question and asks the disciples about themselves. Who do you say Jesus is? So as a congregation of disciples the question is posed to each of us. When you are asked about Jesus, how do you first describe Jesus?

  • As a historical figure?
  • As a teacher
  • as healer
  • as the son of God
  • as God in human form
  • As a friend
  • As Savior
  • As a liar, a lunatic, or as Lord? (CS Lewis, Rabbi  John Duncan, Bono, W)
  • I suggest that most of us have some answer in our head, but hope it doesn’t come up in conversation and if it does we just as likely to say nothing.

“A Reality Check with the Truth”

  • Jesus Want to know where things stand,
  • Jesus wants to hear what the world says
  • Jesus wants to hear what the disciples say

The World is most likely to have a general idea but lacks the relationship to know for sure

You and I have the advance of some form of relationship, but our answer might be either a desire to be correct and give the ‘right’ answer so as to be rewarded for our knowledge, OR we speak from the heart and declare who Jesus is in our heart and faith.

Ask you neighbor today: Who is Jesus to you?

I challenge every member to begin preparing an answer to the question. “Who do I say Jesus is?”

  1. This is not to be answered swiftly with the goal of having the accurate answer.
  2. This IS a question to help us gauge where we are in a relationship with Jesus and each other.
  3. This IS a question that we need to be ready to share with:
    1. Those who ask
    2. Those who need to know but don’t ask
    3. As an affirmation of our faith to Jesus himself.

The Need to Know, then Tell

  • Pre-resurrection the charge is to NOT tell.Post-resurrection until his return, we have to tell everyone.
  • Post-resurrection until his return, we have to tell everyone.
  • We are people of the resurrection and world needs to hear, we need to be ready to tell, share, shape, instruct, inform, encourage and enrich the spiritual life of others.

Our missions to feed, clothe and visit those in prison FALL short if we don’t use these opportunities to make disciples.

We need more than daily bread, we need the bread of eternal life, and so does our neighbor and our enemies.

The time to prepare ourselves to share the Good News is at hand.

A Four Month Goal

One of the 5 Practices of an effective church is based on our commitment to be spiritually informed, spiritually maturing, growing in understanding, Bible study to feed our spiritual self.

In the next four months, in preparation for Christmas, I expect every member to find themselves part of a Sunday school class, a small group or a Bible study.

That might mean you have to start one of these yourself.

The CASE: If we are to be prepared to answer who Jesus is in each day, it takes real effort and practice.

 

Making Disciples is an all member responsibility. Job number #1 is making disciples. Helping introduce, equip and support others to know who Jesus is in their life, in my life, in your life.

What does this mean? What does this look like to me?

Starting in September we will be learning the process of sharing our faith. Starting this fall are classes and small groups and studies that some of you will be leading and facilitating to encourage others.

Starting in October we will begin preparing our leaders for 2018. Every ministry and service area of the church will share the goal of making disciples. We will make sure every leader in the church is modeling our discipleship goals.

By November will begin asking every member to report how they are connecting for study and spiritual growth, for those who have not connected or begun we will help find at least one connecting point for each member.

In December we will celebrate the season of Advent with a church-wide emphasis on faith-sharing as a Christmas gift.

Rock Spring is our foundation in Christ. It is our nearest access to living water. We want to prepare for a near year of Sharing Jesus Christ as a congregation.

  • Are you ready?
  • Are you scared or doubtful?
  • Are you willing to invest your time?
  • Are you with me?

First commitment: I want to know from every member which is the very best way to personally contact you?  Contact me: Give me your Name and number or email or cell.

  1. a phone call         404-DAD-JOHN
  2. an email                john@brantley.net
  3. a text                      404-323-5646

This will be the best way for you to stay informed about what is going on and how we are doing.

 

 

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