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Stubborn Inflexibility (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2021 6:00 am

Stubborn Inflexibility (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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If you take a pastor who over many years has made marginal notes and his Bible and then you take those notes and you publish them into a book that would not be a bad thing, but he then took those notes and had those those notes be the centerpiece of your religion. Now you got up big problem. This is what was taking place rabbinical Judaism.

This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville.

Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the gospel of Mark. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the gospel of Mark chapter 2 as he begins a brand-new study called stubborn inflexibility. We are in Mark's gospel chapter 2.

If you have your Bibles please turn their will take verses 13 through 28 little long two minutes and 45 seconds to read out loud, but it's a difficult section to split belongs together so will try to get it all verses 13 through 28. Then he went out again by the sea, and all the multitude came to him and he taught them as he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alpheus sitting tax office said to him, follow me, so he arose and followed him out happened as he was dining and Levi's house that many tax collectors and sinners also sent together with Jesus and his disciples.

There were many, and they followed him. When the Pharisees and scribes and the Pharisees saw him eating with the tax collectors and sinners. They said to his disciples, how is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners. When Jesus heard it, he said to them, those who are well have no need of a physician. Those who are sick.

I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting then they came and said to him, why do the disciples of John and Pharisees fast but your disciples do not fast. Jesus said to them in the friend of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them as long as they have the bridegroom with them. They cannot fast the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast in those days no one sews a piece of unstrung cloth on an old garment or else new piece pulls away from the old and the tear is made worse.

No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine bursts the wineskins wine is spilled, wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins that would happen that he went to the grain fields on the Sabbath, and as they went, the disciples began to pluck the heads of grain, Pharisees said to him, look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath, but he said to them, have you never read what David did.

He was a neat and hungry he and those with him how he went into the house of God in the days of the bias, the high priest and ate the shewbread which is not lawful to eat except for those priest and also gave some to those who were with him and he said to them, Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Therefore the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.

It's difficult to split because of the confrontation. It flows one to the other of these religious leaders at the time they would not let up because they were inflexible in a very stubborn way.

They were wrong in each case and Jesus stood up to him he would not put up with it.

These religious leaders crushed their own faith, their own religion with their own brand of religion.

That's where the trouble was, they went outside of Scripture. They became the authorities. Scripture became subject to their interpretation. Someone needed to stand against them without apologizing. John the Baptist, he started and then of course, Lord Jesus, as were considering this if you take a pastor who over many years has made marginal notes in his Bible and then you take those notes and you publish them into a book that would not be a bad thing.

But if you then took those notes and had those those notes be the centerpiece of your religion.

Now you got a big problem. This is what was taking place rabbinical Judaism was sort of like hate speech to disagree with them. They were the authorities and of course it took a man like the apostle Paul, following the practice of Christ to lock horns with them and Paul did that wherever he went, and all the synagogues that he attended took a man with right theology with an iron will and the readiness to suffer as it was with the apostle Paul to disentangle the gospel from rabbinical Judaism and this is what the letter to the Galatians were one of the letters. For example, is all about. Paul is disentangling you say don't don't look tidies up together they're not reconcilable Christ and the gospel has come in the Old Testament ceremonies, not the moral law, not the laws concerning the person of God with the rites and rituals to now obsolete and it cost Paul a lot of pain because Christ is life so the point behind all of this is that suit. Religion is serious business and if we going to be involved with it. Let's be right. Let's be in line with what the Bible says with what the Scriptures and we can do that with a spirit of love and peace but it may, of course, because a lot of problems and I know a lot of you know that because you have people in your families who are who may be religious may even be a Christian's professed Christians and still very difficult. So let's look now at verse 13. Then he went out again by the sea, and all the multitude came to him and he taught them yet.

I taught them the word of God because man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. And he was very serious about this, of course, always the crowds came to him and hereby this Lakeside sermon there.

They're eager to listen but they also want to see miracles what you can't blame on a human level would not want to see Lord do miracles.

Christ was eager to impart some insight and lessons from the word of God.

For this reason he want he wanted the people to know more and more about their maker. Jeremiah put it this way is a verse that I read a few weeks back, but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me that I am Yahweh, exercising, lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth in these I delight since Yahweh it's interesting exercising, lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the Pharisees. Nothing about yet. They thought that they were the authority came to God they oppress the people with this verse 14, Mark continues.

He says as he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alpheus sitting at the tax office and he said to him, follow me, so he arose and followed him. The designation Levi could indicate that this man was from the tribe of Levi because we know his name is is also Matthew here he goes by Levi Mara Luke says the same thing but Matthew calls him. Matthew believe it to be Matthew who whose name is on the first of our Gospels, the book of Matthew or the gospel according to Matthew. But this tribe of Levi was set apart to minister the things of God on behalf of the people. And if he was a Levite, why is he collecting taxes from his people. I think a lot of those men that were Levites and in the line of Aron wanted nothing to do with the mainstream priesthood and Levitical system because it had become so corrupted. Jeremiah was a priest, but we never read of him serving as a priest.

John the Baptist was a priest. We never read of him serving as a priest and and in both cases, those were in the days when the priesthood was was corrupted wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. Interest of the people was not at heart when Jesus shows up at the temple he breaks a court of a weapon. He drives people out of the house of God for their behavior. It needed to happen. In fact it happened twice twice. Jesus drove people out of the church and obviously Matthew had been listening to Christ preach had witnessed the miracles, it would be outside of you know the laws of reality.

To think that he was just sitting there in Christ just walked by randomly as it followings okay I'll call you is more to the story than that. Perhaps listening to the seaside sermon and afterward as everybody went about their business there in Capernaum that he is sitting by the office in Christ may have made eye contact with them. I'm just going in some of the scenario walks by and he says come follow me and Matthews probably saying to himself I thought you'd never ask.

Christ always sees what's going on.

He sees those who were drawn to him and he does something about it and that's what gives us the ability to encourage others when they sensed the Lord working in their lives when they sense that it is the voice of God speaking to them through the Scripture or through events. Even Mark. As I mentioned, that he calls him Levi here, but in chapter 3 and verse 18. He'll call him Matthew so we know it's the same person.

Matthews gospel according from chapter 9. The parallel story behind this is the same story, but Matthew is telling it not marked as Jesus passed from there he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office and he said to him, follow me, so he arose and followed him.

Now it happened as Jesus said at the table in the house. Both many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. So you see it's a parallel story and we did the only thing is different is the name and is not uncommon was not uncommon in those days to carry two names are John Mark, for example, he had a Gentile name and yet a Hebrew name Matthew has to Hebrew names are Nathaniel and Bartholomew the same person. Joseph and Barnabas. By the time we get to the book of acts of the apostle Paul started out as Saul of Tarsus becomes the great and beloved apostle Paul Hebrew names when they were given to the children by the parents of the parents intended those names to be a prayer in a sermon that the name that you gave the child was to preach was to say something related to God Matthews case was to speak about the grace of God was a parental hope. I think that when we name children after characters in the Bible, we do so because we admire that character. We would like to see some of that rub off on our child. And that's just it's a good practice, the son of Alpheus.

He says here in verse 14. Interesting that out another of the disciples James the less his father was name Alpheus to where they brothers probably not because something like that gets pointed out in Scripture. You know you can you learn a lot by the omissions that are in the Bible.

For example, if Peter was 50 feet tall with the Bible point that out if anybody else was sinless with the Bible point that out. That's bigger than being 50 feet tall. The only person in Scripture sinless, Jesus Christ, everybody else's born under sin there born into sin when not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners born that way. Born in iniquity, says the Scripture that swept the we got out of Eden therefore we need a Savior.

So we see, for example, even Mary. In the book of acts, praying with the disciples not being pray to the important part. No want to miss these things is what the Bible teaches is not malicious in our stance on this with firm, though the fishermen had to have known that Matthew was a tax collector, working for Herod Antipas and that part of Israel collect the monies and then send off a great portion of that money off to Rome, which is what caused a tax collector amongst the Jews to be despised. He was working for the enemy. They would say, and he was an outcast from society.

Jesus makes him if I can make up a word and in cast brings him in. He says follow me again, not a random event because that would that would put it outside of the ways of Christ in human reality if things don't work that way and is not know there's no need to read a miracle into this is Jesus, when he called Nathaniel he saw him already an Israelite indeed is netted. Daniel approached him and home is no guile. Christ is already vetted that man as he did with this man but but the record just shows up. He shows up and he says follow me and he drops everything and he follows him just like that. We read it, especially when we knew to the Bible we read it we say that was quick. That was impressive, and then as we learn we say okay this there's more to it. There is the man. Matthew listening to the Son of Man preach is aware of him performing the miracles and inside of his heart already at work. Is this desire for more in Christ picks him out. Of all the people that were in Capernaum.

He singles out Matthew tells him to follow him and then he ends up at his house and all the friends of Matthew join in verse 15.

Now it happened, as he was dining and Levi's house. Many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him first. It was Peter's house. Now it's Matthews. These two men would never forget that. I think that you would never forget Christ is in your home. Also those of us were born again know that Christ is in our homes matter what goes on struggles that we may face doesn't mean he agrees with everything but we try to get it that way. This calling of Levi led to a trilogy of complaints against Christ and that's why this section investigates heart does divide the verses that we have from verses 13 through 28 because out of this calling of Matthew comes division comes conflict because these religious leaders were so stubborn and inflexible. They were looking at the miracles they were listening to the sermons and they refused to receive it because they were so stuck on trivial that truth and nothing, and that is loaded is fraught. We might say with instruction for us. Verse 16 when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eating with the tax collectors and sinners.

They said to his disciples, how is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners. First time when Christ forgave the sins of the paralytic manage chapter 1 concept to they were silent in their opposition did not verbalize Jesus read like a book called them out on here. They method off when the scribes and the Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and sinners. They said to his disciples. Now this point they're not coming to him face-to-face. They're going to the disciples. This is a different group of Pharisees and scribes in Jesus already dealt with in Jerusalem.

Mark again picks up the story almost a year into the ministry of Christ, and so will be to get to his ministry in Galilee.

John goes back further into the ministry in Jerusalem where it says Jesus knew it was an everyman because when they were all saying how they were all impressed by Jesus but but John says he ever Jesus knew what was in man he knew that many of them were not interested in his teaching. They just wanted a miracle still knows the difference well this time they verbalize their protests to his disciples see the scribes were the custodians of the Scriptures. They were the ones that kept them in print in circulation by writing pain. You know by hand written copies of God's word down through the ages the Pharisees. They were the custodians of the traditions, the oral traditions that had eclipsed the Scripture in time and in this time of Christ. Together, these two were the part of the leadership spiritual leadership. He had other groups like the Sadducees and the lawyers.

Of course, but but here it is, the scribes and the Pharisees that are singled out and they isolated themselves from such people like the tax collectors and sinners. The very people that needed to hear the word of God the most. They refused to be around you could say they bury their talent. This is a rookie mistake for us today to be isolated from those who need us, is a huge difference between outreach and fellowship. When you know sometimes you have to get close to people and to minister to them.

It doesn't mean you agree with them.

Maybe sit down and have a meal with them doesn't mean you agree with the theology.

Certainly there are boundaries to that you would not go with them to their church and pray with them to their gods and things like that is not what's happening here. Christ is called Levi to follow him. He sort of has this big a lot to celebrate his new no exit from tax collecting in his entrance in the public ministry. He calls all his friends to common dry, suggesting that with them all in the says they followed him, was a casting pro before swine. These people were not hostile to him. The Pharisees were hostile to these people were not inflexible because of stubbornness. Sometimes you have to be inflexible, but not because of stubbornness because of truth that is not the case with these scribes and Pharisees as custodians of the Scripture and traditions they were just stubborn. They wanted Christ to help Judaism, along and he had come to make it obsolete and they just weren't interested in this, and sometimes administering the gospel to the lost or not you find someone. Once you identify someone's not receiving it and not interested, you move on. Don't make them your pet project to overcome. God has somebody else for you don't want to be those who try to jam the gospel down somebody's throat we win souls because the Holy Spirit doing all the work which is showing up the closed and it's a good system so the gospel when you isolate yourself is actually buried. It is not out there for people to receive and the Pharisees and scribes were habitual in this they were not willing to understand what was going on. They never gave Christ the benefit of the doubt when we redid Nicodemus. He did Joseph of Arimathea and there are probably others unnamed with the bulk of them.

They never looked to say maybe maybe he is the Messiah.

Maybe this is the right way to do it the capacity for human beings to be stupid is big and you know whenever we say that of course we have to include ourselves in that humanity will not meet course, would this be a waste of time but overall the essence of this parasitical religion was self-righteousness without righteousness in Christ call them out. Matthew chapter 5 for I say to you, unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. That's pretty severe, stuffy singles guys are doing that going to hell if you want to behave like that matter what your position is, no matter what you call yourself what others call you. You want to be nasty customer then you will not go to the kingdom. They were meticulous in keeping countless man-made rules and regulations added to the 613 commandments of of the law of Moses was were this pile of rules and regulations at least 39 things you couldn't do on the Sabbath and they would just add to that they knew better. They couldn't attack Christ on his miracles. They couldn't side is not a miracle is a couldn't do that too many people were getting healed so they attacked as morality is with sinners.

How can he possibly be a Messiah. If this man knew what kind of woman that was that was touching him. He would end they would just deal the stubborn sales we consider these men in my this way, what happened when Jesus said to his apostles. Last supper. He says one of you will betray me and they all said is it I cared to be that guy goes meal or just let me know. I could see the change I had to tell me we are supposed to retain some of this come to the Scripture we read about these things visible to say before the Lord is and I and my doing this in my this narrowminded that I cannot receive the light from heaven, and I believe the great many Christians are not narrowminded that they do resent they listen to these lessons and they embrace them gross. Christianity will belong. Thanks for tuning in to cross reference radio for this study in the book of Mark cross reference radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia to learn more information about this ministry.

Visit our website cross reference radio.com once you're there you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe will be notified of each new edition of cross reference radio you could search for cross reference radio on your favorite podcast app that's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time.

As Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark Rocky on cross reference radio


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