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Summary: In this message we will conduct a spiritual health check up. We will check 3 vital areas of our spiritual life, and each one will leave us with a question to answer.

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A SPIRITUAL CHECK-UP

Mark 12:35-44

INTRO:

A check-up always leaves you with questions:

• Am I eating the way I should?

• Do I need to make lifestyle changes to improve my health?

• Should I buy stock in Rogaine?

Today we will conduct a spiritual health check up. We will check 3 vital areas, examine 3 crucial parts of our spiritual life, and each one will leave us with a question to answer.

Turn with me to Mark 12:35 as we begin our check up.

As I read v. 35, Notice the question that Jesus asks.

A. Jesus questions their view of the Christ

How is it = “What do they mean…”

The teachers (scribes) expected the coming Christ, the Messiah, to be a descendent of King David.

Davidic sonship of the Christ was firmly held by them.

Grounded in OT prophecies. 2 Sam. 7:11-16; Jer. 23:5-6; Ezek. 34:23; 37:24.

Messiah would be king promised to Israel to restore.

Given their circumstances, they were expecting a king like David, who brought victory and glory to the nation.

B. Jesus corrects their view of Christ

Jesus says, “Let me ask you this…” Read vv. 36-37

David himself, speaking as an inspired prophet, call the Messiah, promised one his Lord – his sovereign.

Quotes Psalm 110:1 – teachers recognized it as Messianic.

Jewish fathers did not call their descendants “Lord.”

David understood the one to come as greater than he.

How can Messiah be his son and his Lord?

A Haggada-question to reconcile two Scripture passages.

He intended to provoke their deep thought and reflection.

Jesus was pointing out their simplistic, inadequate view.

This son would be no mere descendant. He would also be the transcendent Lord. He’s looking ahead to his resurrection. Cf. Acts 2:24-34; Rom. 1:3-4

The Messiah would be more than they expected!

C. Does our view of Christ need correcting?

Could this ever happen to us? Could our view of Christ ever be out of focus?

He is not just the best man – he’s the son of God!

He’s not just the Son of God, but fully human, suffered and died in the flesh, fully able to sympathize with suffering.

He’s not just the baby in the manger, he’s the coming king.

He’s Judge and Forgiver.

A spiritual checkup begins with out view of Christ.

This is what makes us distinct.

All errors flow from this…

The Davinci Code

The cure for our view of Christ? The Scriptures.

Question: Am I in the Scriptures enough to get an adequate view of Jesus?

Believers: Are you in the Scriptures?

Seekers: If you want to investigate Christianity, you need to be in the Scriptures.

In order to be spiritually healthy, we must have

I. A PROPER VIEW OF JESUS CHRIST

We must have an adequate, well-focused view of who Jesus, the Christ, is.

Transition: Of course, you can have an orthodox, well-focused view of Jesus, but still not be entirely healthy spiritually. What else is involved in a spiritual check up? Notice what Jesus points out about these teachers as I read vv. 38-40.

A. Jesus condemns them for their pride

They walked around in flowing robes – distinctive white robes that made them stand out.

They wanted deferential greetings – people rose when they walked by.

Seats of honor – up front in the synagogue, facing people, in full view. Also given honor at banquets above parents.

They also used prayer as opportunity to gain them esteem.

This is pride. Made themselves more important than God.

They displaced the honor of God fm. center of concern.

B. Jesus condemns them for their greed

They were greedy, too!

They devoured widow’s houses:

Teachers were not to receive pay for their teaching.

It was considered an act of piety to provide for them. Many well to do people subsidized them. There were abuses.

They took advantage of widows whom they deceived.

They took advantage of the benefits they received.

They lost perspective in service of God.

And they would be severely judged!

C. Would he condemn us for pride and greed?

These guys were hypocrites: say one thing, live another.

This doesn’t happen overnight.

It begins when God slips from the center.

Could this happen to us?

The results might not be as dramatic, but…

Preaching, singing, teaching, board membership examples.

In seminary, I wanted people to know who I was…

Do my ethics in the workplace match my beliefs?

Is my treatment of others consistent with my faith?

We must be authentic, genuine in our practice.

The cure for hypocrisy? Worship! The purifying, transforming presence of God. We see who we really are, we come in contact with the living God, we remember that its all about him, not about us.

Question: Am I in God’s presence enough to be genuine?

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Ted Baker

commented on Jan 16, 2008

The good concise analysis of this entire passage is much appreciated. Perhaps your leadership should allow you a little more time in the pulpit to do a little more exposition. Thanks so much.

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