Beware of the tendency to watch other people only to criticize them.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Thank God we can be in the world but not of it. “You who are kept”, says Simon Peter, “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation”. You can be kept clean and pure and shining today as you trust your blessed living Lord. Hallelujah for that.
I’m glad to be back with you. We’re looking at Mark chapter 2. Last time we got together, we remarked that God changes the inside before He works on my circumstances. ‘Son, thy sins be forgiven thee”, was a statement that had to precede the other one of healing, “Arise, take up the palette on which you’re lying, and go home”. And so, God reserves the right to do something with my inner life before changing my circumstances. Let’s remember that allow and allow Him to work on our inner needs, shall we? The important result of any interruption in your life is the opportunity for God to work and for people to glorify Him. Look at interruptions not as a source of frustration, but as an opportunity for God to work and for people to glorify Him.
And then we saw that God chooses unlikely people to do His will. Matthew was a tax collector working in Capernaum, which was a crossroads of commerce there. And where people from each direction, from the North and the South, would come and have to pay taxes in order to get through — and to sell their wares. And the tax collector, of course, routinely charged more than the Roman Empire demanded so that he could enrich himself. And such an unlikely person then was Matthew — Levi, he’s called here. Well, God knew what he could do, and Levi turned out to be the one who wrote that first book of the New Testament.
And then, of course, salvation leads to sharing your faith with those whom you know best. Your circle of friends. Matthew invited his friends to hear about Jesus. These are some of things that we talked about the last time we got together. I want to look with you today at questions that we’re asked about our Lord as recorded in this second chapter of Mark, and for my purposes and yours temporarily right now, the key to it all is the statement that concludes that second chapter. Our Lord Jesus said, “Therefore the Son of Man is Lord, also the Lord of the Sabbath”. When I looked at that Word, also, I knew that there had to be something beside the discussion of the Sabbath day that the preceded that 28th verse. And so, going back into the second chapter, I saw that there were questions asked concerning His Lordship.
I want to point that out to you before we go on in any detail. First of all, He’s Lord of forgiveness. Notice when the paralyzed man was lowered into His presence, Jesus looked at him, noting the intense faith that his buddies had. When He saw their faith, the sick man didn’t have any evidently, He said, “Son, thy sins are forgiven”. He’s Lord of forgiveness. Well, these people said, “Why doth this man speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?”. And in doing this, our Lord Jesus was reminding them that He’s altogether human but He’s altogether God. He’s the God Man there’s no hyphen in those six letters. He’s altogether God and He’s altogether man. Our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He’s the Lord of forgiveness. Yes, who can forgive sins but God only — and He is God in the flesh. “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. He ever liveth to make intersession for them that come of the God by Him”, says the writer to the Hebrews. He’s the Lord of forgiveness.
Does somebody listening to me need that today? Are you heartsick over some place in your life where you may have failed grievously and, oh, how you wish you could go back and relive some hours or days? We can’t go back and redo it, you can’t unscramble an egg. And so perhaps, even in this moment, your suffused with guilt and despair. And you think, “well, I’ve blown it and there’s no hope”. Yes, beloved there is. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just”. Faithful means He never fails. Just means He’s always do right. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. He’s the Lord of forgiveness and He can whisper to your heart, “I love you and it’s forgiven”. Do you know why He can do this? Because He already paid the penalty and took the punishment for your sin — that particular sin and all the rest of them. Jesus did it. “He was made to be sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”. He’s the Lord of forgiveness. If you’re heartsick, my dear friend, at this minute, over something that may have happened in your life — in which of us doesn’t have to look back with regret on mistakes we’ve made? We’re all human beings aren’t we? And if you’re heartsick over some mistake you may have made in the past, just bring it to Jesus this morning, will you, and turn your back upon the sin that caused it and trust Him for forgiveness. He’s the Lord of forgiveness, and just as He said to the paralyzed man, He’ll say to you, “Son, daughter thy sins are forgiven”. When He forgives, He forgets. “God has cast all our sins”, the Bible says, “into the depths of the sea”.
The old holiness preacher used to say, “He put them in the deepest part of the ocean and then He posted a no fishing sign”. Well, they’re gone. The old chorus we used to sing in the old days, “Gone, gone, gone, gone. Yes my sins are gone, buried in the deepest sea”.
Alright, He’s the Lord of forgiveness. And then there was another question that they asked and this had to do with the fact that he went to Matthew’s house, and Matthew invited his buddies, who also were tax collectors and sinners. Sinners has a moral implication to it. Ordinarily they reserved that term for someone like a prostitute who was immoral. So, this was a motley crowd. I’ll tell you they weren’t listed among the 400 in that day. They weren’t in the social register, they were outcasts so far as the social life of the Pharisees and the rest were concerned.
Well, small thought here. It says, “When the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with the publicans and sinners”, see they were there to watch. They were there to watch. “Jesus sat at meat in Matthew’s house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples, and when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with” — so they were looking maybe through the windows or at the door, whatever. Or maybe, Matthew, in his kindness, had invited some of them — I don’t know. But here’s the thing I want to bring out: Beware the tendency to watch other people, to see, so you can criticize. It does seem to me that there is a kind of a disease that gets hold of people’s hearts and they scarcely realize it. It’s a kind of religious voyeurism, spectatorism — well, let me just see what happens now. “Let’s go to the meeting and see whether He’s he’s as commercial as they say He. Let’s listen to His sermon and see whether it is doctrinally off. Let’s watch Him and see whether He’s faithful to the Lord now. He professed to be saved, now let’s see whether He acts like it.”” Does that have a familiar ring to you? Well, it happens every day doesn’t it? Let’s, you and I, guard against that shall we?
Pharisees were people who were intensely religious with whom while being religious, could have murder in their hearts. That’s a fact. I know this. I know this because later on in chapter 3, after our Lord Jesus had healed the man with the withered hand, it says, “They went away and took counsel with the Herodians, and that was their political enemy. You know, unbelief will link you even with your enemies to oppose God, and so is it says, “They went and took counsel with the Herodians”. That was the opposite political party. “how they might destroy” That’s our word — kill him. Can you believe it? These people were so intensely religious — they insisted on keeping the jot and title of every small regulation, religiously, and at the same time they could have murder in their hearts. Well, that’s entirely possible friends. Some of the greatest crimes in the history of the human race have been done in the name of religion. As you know, so it’s possible alright, and there it was depicted, acted out in real life.
So, here, well, that was a detour. Took a few minutes, but now go back in verse 16, when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the publicans and sinners. They said, “How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners”? Well, see He’s the Lord of the transformed life and He went on to tell them, He said, “No man sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment, because it’s going rip. Now, no man puts new wine into old wineskins, otherwise they’ll burst, but new wine goes into new wine skins”. This man’s got a new life. The new wine of God’s Holy Spirit is filling this man and He’s got a transformed life. And He’s sharing that with others.
So, He’s Lord of forgiveness, verse 5. He’s Lord of the transformed life, verse 14 to 17 in Mark chapter 2. Oh, I wonder if you know– am I talking to somebody that is never really accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and trusted Him as your Lord and Savior? If that be so, would you not stop right now, if you’re driving the car. Try to pull off to the side momentarily, bow your head and say, “Oh, Lord Jesus come into my heart today. Forgive my sins. I accept thee now by faith as my Lord and my Savior. Make me a child of God”. You pray that prayer and open your heart and life to Him, would you? That’s only we’re talking about when we say a new wine and new wineskins. God will give you a transformed life.
I had a letter years ago from a couple out in Pittsburgh and the man wrote me and told me how God had delivered Him from alcoholism as a result of trusting Christ as Lord and Savior. And the lady had in the postscript and said, “Dear Bob Cook”, she said, “This is a whole new ballgame. We’re on our second honeymoon and it’s wonderful to serve the Lord Jesus”. New wine in new wineskins, a transformed life filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
This could happen to you, dear friend, if you just open your life by faith. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door” — that’s the door of your life and knock, “Any man hear My voice and open the door I will come into him and sup with him and he with Me”. Jesus comes into be your guest in your life and then turns out to be your host, supplying everything that you need. Would you trust Him today? Dear Christian friend, if you are already a believer, open your life by faith to all the fullness of the blessed spirit of God who in dwells the believer and let Him be God’s new wine in your life.
Dear Father today, be Lord of our lives, through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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