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OceanSide church of Christ

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MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY TO THE SERVANT OF GOD

Mark 9

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   One of the missions of the Servant of God was to make man better.

1.     One word used to describe what one is to be in this world is “salt.”

2.     Mark 9 uses this word in the last verse of the chapter (v. 50).

 

Salt is good:  but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it?  Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

 

B.    Throughout chapter 9, we learn some of the things we must do in order to become the salt of the earth.  We have entitled this chapter:  “Man’s Responsibility to the Servant of God.”

 

I.           WE MUST HEAR THE CHRIST (Mark 9:1-10)

 

A.   This chapter begins with Jesus taking Peter, James, and John up into an high mountain apart by themselves (Mark 9:1).

 

B.    Three major things happened upon this high mountain place:

1.     Jesus was transfigured before the apostles (Mark 9:2-3).

2.     Elijah and Moses appeared and talked with Jesus (Mark 9:4).

3.     The voice of God spoke from heaven (Mark 9:7-8).

 

C.   The significance of this event.

1.     Moses represented the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible.  Elijah represented the prophets.  These men and their teachings were esteemed highly (Mark 9:8).

2.     It was made clear on the mountain, however, that Jesus is the one to whom we are to listen as our authority (Mark 9:7-8).

 

And there was a cloud that overshadowed them:  and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son:  hear him.  And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

 

D.   In these last days, God has spoken unto us by His Son (Heb. 1:2).  It is our responsibility to listen diligently with a desire to obey all that He commands.

1.     Hebrews 2:1

 

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

 

 

 

 

2.     James 1:18-19

 

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

 

II.         WE MUST POSSESS STRONG FAITH (Mark 9:14-30)

 

A.   Jesus encountered His disciples speaking with the multitudes and with the scribes (Mark 9:14).

1.     When the multitudes came to Jesus, He asked the scribes:  What questioned ye with them (Mark 9:15-16)

2.     One in the multitude spoke out, saying that he had brought his son who was possessed by a dumb spirit to His disciples.  …and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not (Mark 9:17-18).

 

B.    Jesus reaction was two-fold.

1.     A mild rebuke to His disciples (Mark 9:19a)

 

He answered him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I suffer you?  Bring him unto me.

 

2.     Jesus healed the man’s son (Mark 9:20-27).

 

C.   The disciples wondered why they were not able to cast the demon out (Mark 9:28).  Jesus answered (Mark 9:29).

 

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

 

1.     Jesus had first accused them of being a faithless generation (Mark 9:19).

2.     Now He reveals that one of the means of strengthening one’s faith is through the practice of spiritual disciplines such as prayer and fasting.

a.     Those who do little for the cause of Christ have a weak faith.  They may have a lot of knowledge of God’s Word, but their faith is little.

b.    Strong faith is developed by exercise.  Prayer, fasting, worship, and the performance of good works make the inner man strong in faith (James 2:20).

 

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.

 

III.       WE MUST SEEK THE POSITION OF A SERVANT (Mark 9:33-37)

 

A.   The disciples had been in several places in Galilee and finally arrived in Capernaum (Mark 9:33).

 

B.    Jesus then questioned them about a dispute they had had on the road (Mark 9:33).

 

1.     The subject (Mark 9:34)

 

But they held their peace:  for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

 

2.     The solution (Mark 9:35)

 

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be frist, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

 

C.   This controversy still rages within the ranks of man today.  Sometimes it is found in the church of our Lord.

 

The Greatest                                                A Servant

 

                     Power                                                              Assistance

                     Honor                                                              Humility

                     Popular                                                            Unknown

                     Lifted up                                                         Bows down

                     Human                                                             Divine

                     Praise of men                                                   Praise of heaven

                     Earthly reward                                                 Heavenly reward

 

D.   NOTE:  Every position in the church is supposed to involve servanthood.  Men often make their positions into something other than what they are.  This is done to the detriment of both self and the church.

 

IV.        DO GOOD AND NOT HARM (Mark 9:41-42)

 

A.   Doing good (Mark 9:41)

 

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

 

1.     Doing good involves giving.

2.     Doing good does not have to involve large acts.

3.     Doing good honors the Christ, not self.

 

B.    Do no harm (Mark 9:42)

 

And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

 

1.     The word “offend” does not mean to make angry or upset.

2.     The word in the Greek language is “skandalizo.”  It involves enticing one to sin and apostasy.

 

 

V.          WE ARE TO PRACTICE RADICAL REPENTANCE (Mark 9:43-48)

 

A.   Absolute purity is the longing of the Savior for His followers (See Eph. 5:3).  Anthing less is to be less like God (I John 1:5).

 

B.    This purifying is a difficult task for us as salt.  Jesus teaches us that is may involve radical surgery.

1.     And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off (Mark 9:43).

2.     And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off (Mark 9:45).

3.     And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out (Mark 9:47).

 

C.   The things which cause is to commit sin need to be removed from our lives.

 

D.   The alternative is to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:43-44).

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   Each of us should desire to be salt for the Servant of God.

1.     We must hear the Savior.

2.     We must possess a deep faith.

3.     We must seek the position of a servant.

4.     We must do good and not harm to others.

5.     We must practice radical repentance.

 

B.    If we don’t do these things, the salt loses it saltness.  If this happens, Jesus asks:  Wherewith will ye season it?

1.     Christians flavor the world.

2.     If our influence dies, the world will be an even more bitter and corrupt place.