Sermons

Summary: A look at the mock "worship" that the soldiers give Jesus and five ways we too often mock Him in our everyday Christian lives.

THE SOLDIERS' MOCKERY: The soldiers’ “worship” was a mockery because their actions and words didn’t match their heart.

- Mark 15:16-20.

- It’s interesting when you dig down into the passages just how much they mimic a worship experience in their mockery of Jesus:

a. v. 16 – They’re in a “palace” – i.e. the home of a king.

b. v. 16 – They’re a “called-together” assembly – kind of like a church service is.

c. v. 17 – They put a “purple robe” on Jesus – purple being the royal color and a robe designating a king.

d. v. 17 – They put a “crown” on Him – a crown designating a king.

e. v. 18 – They “hail” Him.

f. v. 18 – They call Him “King of the Jews.”

g. v. 19 – They “fall. . . on their knees.”

h. v. 19 – They “worship Him.”

- There is so much here that would be in a meaningful worship service, yet the opposite of that.

- Of course, that’s often what a mockery is – an insulting imitation.

- Many of the outward elements are there, yet it’s a violent insult.

- The sermon title is “Why It’s So Easy To Shift From Honoring God To Mocking Him.” Why is it so easy? It’s because the movement from doing things with all your heart to doing things just out of ritual is so easy. It’s because the movement from speaking words with all your heart to saying things just because you know that’s what Christians say is so easy.

- This should wake us up because we read this passage and think (I hope) how horrible it is that Jesus was treated this way. A large part of that is the violence, but another key element is the mockery. Obviously, I would hope that we would never want to mock God or Jesus.

WHAT ARE EXAMPLES FROM TODAY OF HOW CHRISTIANS MOCK GOD?

1. “The Bible is God’s Word”. . . yet I never read it.

- 2 Timothy 3:16.

- We talk a lot about how great the Bible is, but most Christians don’t back that up by actually reading the Word.

- If “words not matching your heart” is mocking, then we’re mocking God when we say that.

- You say, “But I really do believe that the Bible is God’s Word!” [Hold up an envelope.] If I told you that in this envelope was direction for your life from God Himself, you would be eager to rip it open. Yet we don’t treat the Bible like that.

2. “Jesus is a master teacher”. . . yet I don’t obey Him.

- Matthew 7:21, 24.

- We talk a lot about what a great teacher that Jesus is, but most Christians don’t back that up by actually being dedicated in following Him.

- Jesus is indeed a master teacher. The words He said have great wisdom. They are a solid foundation to build your life on.

- If “words not matching your heart” is mocking, then we’re mocking God when we say that.

- We say, “Jesus is a great teacher, but I’m going to do things my way!” If you had the chance to have Warren Buffett give you insider investment advice, you’d eagerly accept it and apply it. Why? Because Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time. Why aren’t we equally eager to apply Jesus’ advice to our lives?

3. “God answers prayer”. . . yet I only pray in emergencies.

- Matthew 7:7-11.

- We say that “prayer changes things” and that “God answers prayer,” but most Christians don’t back that up by actually having much of a prayer life.

- God will indeed answer our prayers. He is willing and able to do that for us. But we too often don’t.

- If “words not matching your heart” is mocking, then we’re mocking God when we say that He answers prayer but yet we only pray in emergencies.

4. “Amen, preacher”. . . yet I’ll leave unchanged.

- 2 Peter 3:11.

- We will say “Amen” in a worship service as the truth of God is proclaimed. As we do that, we are expressing our agreement with God’s Word. But many times we leave the same people we came in. We don’t allow those words of conviction to challenge us.

- Sometimes we reach a point in our Christian lives where we feel like we’re ok. We kind of settle into “cruising altitude” and don’t make many changes. We look like what our church says a believer should look like, so we quit striving.

- We need to come into church eager for the words that convict us. Why? Because those words point to where God is still working on us, where He is pushing us to greater heights.

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