Summary: For this culture there seems to be one thing missing (Kind of like one missing ingredient in a casserole).
A NEEDED INGREDIENT
Mark – God’s Message for Today - # 30 of
* I painfully remember the first time I prepared “hamburgers” on grill. My recollections of half-way watching dad do it and how good those grilled burgers were. I knew about the fire, the color of the meat, and the smell; and I was pumped the burgers got ready to eat. Man, this was going to be good! Then I took my first bite (it only takes one!) In one word I can describe this: “YUK!!” While everything looked & smelled good, I forgot the seasoning.
* That day I the Biblical principle of “a little leaven” was burned into my heart because a “little salt” was not cooked into my meat. By the way, no salt & pepper spoils the whole bunch.
* Our text tells us that, once again, Jesus crossed over. He was always doing this because there was (and is) so much work to be done for the Father.
* Jesus was sent to a culture (that’s still us) that walked in “darkness” and He came as the light for that darkness, He came to a culture that is “bland” in taste as the needed salt to add flavor, to preserve, and to heal. While He was on earth, He was the salt and the light for the world and then in Matt 5:13 & 14 He passed that mantle to us, His followers. As the risk of being ultimately offensive, we need to look around today & see how we are doing.
* Our culture today is sick. The reason this is so is because, in large measure, the church today in this culture is also sick. As the church goes, so goes the culture.
* The last time I preached on this text was close to 10 years ago and I was amazed at some of the characteristics which back then which are worse today. They were: lying, immorality, bitterness, brawling, anger, slander, stealing, gossip, arrogance, and many more.
* Yet our culture (seemingly) has more salt & light now than ever before. Why do I say this? It is because more people than ever “claim” to be “born-again.” However, this larger group makes less impact. Why is that? Think about this: Twelve disciples grew into a 120 followers. Don’t forget Jesus always had large multitudes, but when the dust settled, when the miracles weren’t so prevalent, & when the free food no longer flowed, only 120 stayed.
* For our culture, consider a couple of things: when house is dark, you get a lamp. But it’s not good if it isn’t plugged into the power or the bulb is blown. In the matter of cooking hamburgers, without salt it taste horrible. If the salt gets bad, the Bible says “You cast it out” and use it to walk on. I submit to you that there is a missing ingredient in this culture.
* There is an old song which says “What the world needs now is love sweet love.” I say that the only love which will help this world is the authentic divine love from the Father. His love to this world is found in the person of Jesus. What this world needs is what we need: Jesus.
* From our text and this story, embrace three simply thoughts.
1) RECOGNITION OF JESUS – One of the great issues of today is confusion about who Jesus is, what Jesus does, and even what Jesus wants. The modern day caricature of Jesus is so often and so badly skewed that the world has difficulty recognizing Jesus. We’ll get to that in a sec.
* Verse 54 is clear & the people were clear, “When Jesus got out of the boat, the people recognized Him.” Life would be much simpler today ‘if’ people recognized Jesus. However this day they did recognize Him, but the question is, “HOW?” How did they know it was Jesus? Was it by the boat He was in, by the people He was traveling with, or had the regional hotline of gossip preceded His arrival? Some suggest, He had previously been there.
* One thing is for sure, one way or another they had heard much about this carpenter turned rabbi. They heard about His words, His works, & obviously they heard about His willingness to touch, heal, & salvage lives. We don’t know how, but we know they recognized Him.
* Some will say, “We don’t recognize Jesus because we don’t see Jesus in human form today.” It is true that Jesus does not walk the earth in human form today like He did back then, it is equally true that Jesus should be visible today. The only view the world gets of Jesus is US!!