You must deal with Christ for yourself. You must answer these questions for yourself and understand that no one is going to act as your substitute.
No human man is going to stand beside you and support you. It will be a holy triune God and you one day soon. Who is this man? Four simple words posing what seems to be a simple question and yet it's the most profound and important question any human being can or will ever answer. Who is Jesus Christ? Well, on this edition of the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, we'll begin getting answers from scripture, specifically the book of Mark. Don is teaching through a series in the four gospels called Portraits of Christ, each with a different emphasis.
Don, describe the emphasis Mark gives and what we can expect to learn over the next few programs. Friend, when you see the big picture of Mark's gospel, you find that he asks a series of questions as he presents his statement on the life of Christ and he calls you to answer personally, in your own heart, key questions like this. Who is this man, Jesus?
Why is he here and what does he want? And ultimately, Mark asks you to ask yourself, what is it that you say about Jesus? It's profound, it's personal, and it's very practical, and it's here today on the Truth Pulpit. Thanks, Don.
And now part one of Who is this man? on the Truth Pulpit. One of the great things about preaching the Bible and believing in the perfect authority and the perfect inerrancy of God's Word is that you do not have to manufacture emotion or manufacture a spectacle in order to celebrate the resurrection.
We go to the true Word of God, we see the true Lord Jesus Christ in all of his glory and splendor, and we have all of the reason that we need for meaningful, true worship without being stimulated by artificial means. And what we have in front of us today as we remember the resurrection is the Gospel of Mark, and I invite you to turn to the Gospel of Mark. We're going to cover all 16 chapters of Mark here in this one message as we continue a series, really, of looking at the life of the Lord Jesus from the four perspectives of the four Gospels.
Especially as I think about some of you younger people in the audience, those of you that are still in your teen and pre-teen years, although this message isn't exclusively for you, this is a message that is certainly accessible to you, because the questions that we're going to raise are clear and simple. They are questions that a child can understand and answer as we look at the clarity and the sufficiency of God's Word. And yet, for those of us that are adults, it should not be lost on us that we are about to look at the most profound aspects of the life of Christ and to see how Scripture challenges each one of our hearts very clearly and very directly to contemplate what is revealed before us. What you see as you read the Gospel of Mark is the Scriptures repeatedly, again and again, asking questions, challenging each one of us to ask this question for ourselves, to ask and answer the question for ourselves in the presence of God, to answer the question for ourselves with the knowledge that, beloved, with the knowledge that the answer that we give to this question has eternal consequences for our soul. You see, Scripture doesn't play games.
God doesn't play games. When Scripture speaks, it speaks the truth. I like to often say when Jesus teaches, He is teaching for keeps. We need to take the Word of God seriously. We need to take its testimony about Christ with profound sobriety.
This is not a superficial matter. What we have in front of us is eternity crystallized in time in this hour of the proclamation of God's Word. And so I invite you today to humble your heart, to receive the Word of God with earnestness, and to follow along as the inspired writer of Scripture leads you through the life and ministry of Christ and calls for a verdict from your heart on what you have heard. And as we do that, beloved, understand that the verdict which you give on what you hear is one day going to be subject to the verdict of God on you.
These are serious matters. These are matters of joy, but true joy comes from dealing earnestly with the Word of God, not superficially. And so that's what we're going to do here. If you're taking notes, if you want to write a title on your sermon notes this morning, we would title this message, Who Is This Man?
Who Is This Man? And as you read the Gospel of Mark, as you see it, and it's going to be so plain and evident, you're going to wonder how you missed it as you read through Mark in years gone by. Mark is bringing us to a point of decision of response about who Christ is.
That's what we're going to see. This is the question that we need to answer. Who is this man? Who is this man by which we mark time? Well, Mark gives kind of a title verse in chapter 1 verse 1. This is his introduction. This guides the way that we see. This is the lens that he gives us to put over our eyes to interpret everything that follows. In chapter 1 verse 1, if you'll look at it with me, he says, The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. So from the very beginning, what we have laid out for us is a clarion call, a trumpet blast that says, What you are about to read is about someone who is unlike any other.
This is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And then the rest of the Gospel goes through and brings you face to face with exactly what that means. And even as believers, beloved, even as believers that are familiar with the Word of God, as we come in in varying degrees of familiarity with the Word of God, I need what this message has. You need what this message has.
There are times where we need the fog blown away from our minds so that we see things with the crystal clarity of an early morning sunrise. That's what we're going to do today. I'm going to be prompting you through this message as we go through Mark with questions that you must answer for yourself. It doesn't matter, as we'll see later on, it doesn't really matter at all what people outside the walls of this room would say about Christ. I realize, and you do too, that if you want to reject the testimony of Scripture, you can easily find anyone, any place to support you in your rejection of truth. You can find men who will mock the Scriptures. You will find men who will spit on the face of Christ, if only they could. If he were physically present, they would repeat what those who crucified did to him.
But, beloved, that's not going to help you. I want to make something really clear to those of you who are not Christians and who gravitate toward that kind of thing. Well, experts say this about Christ, and you know that, well, there's so much confusion.
You know what? Listen, let's get something really clear that will help you, and also will help you as you talk with others as well in the days to come. Understand that those experts, those writers who mock the Scriptures, who undermine the truth of the Word of God, who try to exclude any mention of Christ in modern discourse, understand this one really basic thing, beloved, and you'll have the proper perspective from which to view them for the rest of your life. Those men, those women, those authors, those mockers, those doubters, not a one of them, are going to stand at your shoulder when you stand before God in judgment and give an account for your life. You must deal with Christ for yourself. You must look to Him alone. You must answer these questions for yourself and understand that no one is going to act as your substitute.
No human man is going to stand beside you and support you. It will be a holy triune God and you one day soon. And so it is utterly urgent for you to respond to what Scripture says. Mark asks us questions that we're supposed to answer, that we're responsible to answer, that we will be held accountable for how we answer and how we respond. Point number one, here's the question.
The points this morning are in the forms of questions. Point number one, who is this man? Who is this man of which the Gospel of Mark tells us? Well, whoever this man is, subpoint, there's four subpoints here. Who is this man?
Subpoints one, two, three, and four. Who is this man? First of all, as you answer that question, understand that he commands spirits. He commands spirits.
He teaches with authority and he casts out demons. Look at Mark chapter 1 verse 21 as finally we get into the text of Scripture, which is where we really want to be today, right? Mark chapter 1 verse 21. They went into Capernaum and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and began to teach. Verse 22. They were amazed at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one having authority and not as the scribes. Just then, there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit and he cried out saying, What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God. So here's this man being dominated by an unclean spirit, coming in and taking over the synagogue service, as it were, and crying out and with a demonic fury, asking questions of this one who was teaching with authority. And Jesus isn't going to have a demon give testimony to him. That pollutes the whole message. And so in verse 25, this man with an unclean spirit, remember, verse 25, Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be quiet and come out of him. They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, Now watch this. Here's the question.
What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him. Now listen, beloved, I want you to understand something about how God intends you to read the Gospel of Mark. How the human writer, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote this book so that you would understand how to relate to it and interact to it. Mark is doing more here than simply giving a quotation of what was said at the time.
This question that he asks, that he reports them saying, What is this? A new teaching with authority. The question that was on their mind in the first century as direct eyewitnesses to the ministry of Christ, as you read the Gospel, you are to be asking that same question of yourself. When you read this testimony about a teaching with authority, when you read this testimony about a man who has the authority to command a demon and compel immediate obedience, you are to be asking the question of yourself, Who is this? Who is this of whom I am reading? And so, when you contemplate this narrative about the Lord Jesus Christ, this man who's teaching amazed his audience, astonished them with its clarity and its force and its utter authority. Never a man spelt like this man, they said. They had had a lot of teachers. Jesus was in a class by himself as he taught.
He stood out from everyone else. So as he's teaching, and then this demon comes and confronts him, and Jesus says, That's enough out of you. Quiet!
Come out! And a demon submissively obeys. There is a holy hush that falls upon the audience. There is a holy hush that should fall upon our souls as we ask the question, Who is this? Who is this, clothed in human flesh, that has such authority with the way that he speaks?
Who is this that commands the demonic realm and gets immediate obedience? When you see the life of Christ laid out before you, you are meant to ask that question. Not as a skeptic, as we've all been conditioned to do by our training over years of education and skepticism in all of the environment. Beloved, mindful of the fact that as you walk on a bridge from time toward eternity, you're crossing from time to eternity, some of you sooner, some of you later, but we're all walking toward eternity. And as you walk that bridge, you are to ask the question, Who is this man of whom I read? You are to read the Scripture with a believing heart that what it says is true, and even now as I speak, the Spirit is affirming to you in your heart the truthfulness of what Scripture says. This is not to be taken lightly. We interact with this question, we interact with the text of the inspired Word of God, and we humbly, submissively say, What is this that I'm reading?
This is unlike anything else. I'm reading about a man who commands spirits with authority, and they obey. There's more to it than just that one passage. As you continue on in the Gospel of Mark, you see that Jesus not only commands spirits, He cancels sin. He cancels sin. He forgives sin against God. He exercises a prerogative that only God has as He interacts with men. Look at chapter 2, verse 1.
We'll read some extended passages here. God's Word says in chapter 2, verse 1, When Jesus had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door, and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men.
Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him, and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven. But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts. Now watch the literary technique here that Mark is using. It's another question. He's not just giving a quotation here. This is the question that his readers are supposed to ask throughout the history of the reading of the Gospel of Mark.
Here's the question. Why does this man speak that way? How is it that this man could speak like that? Now, the scribes drew the wrong conclusion. They asked the right question, but as you go into verse 7, they pivot to the wrong conclusion. He's blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God alone? They were wrong in saying that He was blaspheming. They were correct in saying that only God can forgive sin.
Notice the connection here. A paralyzed man comes down through a roof. This man who has human form, who had no appearance otherwise that we should be drawn to him, looks at this paralyzed man and says, My son, your sins are forgiven. Who can say that? Who has the privilege and the authority and the prerogative to speak to a man and say, Your sins against God, I forgive them. Who can say that?
I sure can't. No other man on earth can. Not your father, not your mother, not your children, not a priest. There is no one who has the authority but God alone to forgive sin. And yet, follow the train of the thought of the gospel here, and yet here is this man saying, Your sins are forgiven.
Who is this man that speaks like that? Go back to verse 8. Verse 8, Jesus went on and gave his stamp of authenticity. He proved by his control over that man's physical condition that he also had authority to speak to his spiritual condition. Look at verse 8. Immediately Jesus, aware in his spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Get up and pick up your pallet and walk?
Say, I can say those words with equal ease. Your sins are forgiven, get up and walk. But if you want to see that I've got the authority to speak with authority over the unseen realm, let me show you what I can do in the physical realm to verify this for you. Verse 10, But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, he said to the paralytic, I say to you, Get up, pick up your pallet, and go home.
And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone. So they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, We have never seen anything like this. It's not just that he made a verbal proclamation of the forgiveness of sins. Those of you that come from ritualistic backgrounds know that there are lots of people that will try to tell you that. Go to a confession booth and the priest will supposedly absolve you of your sins.
Well, they don't have the authority to do that. But when Christ forgave sins, he showed that by a miraculous exercise of power that no one else could do, he showed by an exercise of a power that there was a distinguishing force, a distinguishing authority to his words, and he proved that when he told a crippled man, Get up and walk, and the guy got up and walked. And so you just make the connection, wow, he can do this in the physical realm? That shows that he can do it in the spiritual realm as well. He has the authority to forgive sins.
What kind of man is that? But it goes on. It goes on. Turn over to chapter 4, verse 35. Chapter 4, verse 35. And what I want you to see, beloved, I understand, and I'm the product of Bible reading plans in some ways. As you go through a Bible reading plan and you read two or three chapters a day, it's really easy to miss these overarching themes in a larger body of literature. When you read the gospel as a unit, what you should understand is, is that this pattern is establishing an even greater point. These questions that are being asked are part of a greater whole that Mark is intending to communicate. It's unfortunate that we tend to read scripture in isolated little pockets and miss these bigger pictures. That's why from time to time we like to do messages like this, to help see the bigger picture, to pull these things together, to see the forest and not just the trees of individual words or individual grammar. Because, beloved, the cumulative impact of what we're seeing as we go through the gospel of Mark is enormous.
The force and the weight of these things on the human heart is meant to move us to a place. Who is this man? He commands spirits. He cancels sin.
You know what else he does? This man, whoever he may be, this man calms the sea. It's already clear that Jesus Christ is no ordinary man.
Who but God could command spirits, cancel sin, and calm seas? But we've only just begun to fully comprehend what Mark is saying in his gospel. Pastor Don Green will continue our lesson called, Who Is This Man? next time on The Truth Pulpit. So be sure to join us then. Well, Don, there's much to learn in these messages you deliver, but as with most human endeavors, it takes teamwork to make programs like this possible.
And you've got some capable people on your team, don't you? Yes, Bill, there are people behind the scenes, and one of those faithful people is a woman named Catherine Currie. Catherine's been my secretary and assistant for well over ten years. She is a faithful Christian who loves Christ and diligently serves our audience that does things behind the scenes that make this program possible for those who listen to us. And so Catherine, thank you. And if you're listening today, stop by our website and go to that Contact Us link. Send a little note to Catherine.
Thank her and encourage her for what she does in the Lord. Again, visit us at thetruthpulpit.com. There you'll also find a link to Don's Facebook page. You can also download Don's messages to hear again at your convenience. That's thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-25 21:34:18 / 2023-06-25 21:43:04 / 9