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Summary: Are we trusting Jesus? (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

• Distance (7:24-30)

• Deliverance (7:31-37)

• Defective faith (8:1-9)

SERMON CONTENT:

Ill:

• Some time ago the ‘Reader’s Digest’ magazine told a story;

• About a company who mailed out some special advertising business post cards.

• Glued to the postcard was a mustard seed;

• The card also contained the following words:

• "If you have faith as small as this mustard seed in our (particular product),

• You are guaranteed to get excellent results and be totally satisfied.".

• Signed, The Management.

• A few months later one person who received this promotional postcard;

• Wrote back to the company and said,

• "You will be very interested to know that I planted the mustard seed;

• That you sent on your advertising card;

• And it has grown into a very healthy bush producing wonderful tomatoes!"

• Point:

• Sometimes we grow things we didn’t expect, because we plant that wrong seeds!

God wants us to plant seeds of faith, to trust him to work in our lives;

But so often we plant seeds of self-sufficiency or mediocrity.

• Quote: Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6:

• “Without faith it is impossible to please God”.

• That principle is illustrated for us in our three stories from Mark’s gospel.

Ill:

• Before we look at the passage – I want us to watch this clip:

• ‘Trust/Fall’ sketch – available from Sermonspice.com

We are looking at three short stories from Mark’s gospel:

• They contain two examples of faith;

• And one example of failure;

• The two examples of faith come from unexpected sources;

• And surprisingly it was those closest to Jesus;

• Those who had the odds stacked heavily in their favour;

• That failed the test and according to Hebrews 11 verse 6 disappointed the heart of God!

(1). Distance (7:24-30)

Ill:

• It might surprise you to know;

• That the most popular tourist attraction in Northern England is Hadrian’s Wall.

• The wall was built as a defensive fortification.

• They began building in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian,

• The wall was the most heavily fortified border in the Roman Empire.

• It ran 80 Roman miles (73 statute miles) from coast to coast.

• A significant portion of the wall still exists today;

• Particularly the mid-section.

There were a number of walls stopping this woman discovering the living God.

(A). GEOGRAPHICAL BARRIER.

• But that barrier is removed when Jesus went outside of Israel;

• He was based in Galilee (the North).

• Jesus and the disciples went another 40-60 miles further on;

• Into a region called Tyre and Sidon (these Phonician cities were part of Syria).

• This is the only time Jesus went beyond the borders of Israel;

• During his preaching ministry.

Notice:

• Verse 24 tells us that he came to this area for some peace and quiet;

• Some privacy.

• Jesus was fast becoming a celebrity figure:

• i.e. After all no-one could do the miracles he was able to do.

• i.e. No-one taught with authority the scriptures like he was able to do.

• i.e. And no-one took on the religious leaders (and won!) like Jesus had done.

Ill:

• So Jesus was a public figure and everyone wanted a piece of the action:

• Celebrities often say that there is a down-side to fame.

• The problem with being a celebrity is that you become public property;

• Whenever you go out there is always someone who wants an autograph or a photo;

• Or wants to shake your hand.

• And the celebrity is expected to oblige – after all that’s the price of fame.

• So to get some ‘peace and quiet’ and some quality time alone with the disciples;

• Jesus went outside of his homeland into Gentile territory;

• About 40 miles from Capernaum for a few months break.

ill:

• We have just reached the end of the football season in England,

• Many footballers (soccer players) head of to USA for the summer holidays.

• The reason being football is a world game except for America;

• So they know they will not be recognised or pestered,

• They can just blend in to the crowd as just another person.

• Now although verse 24 tells us that he came to this area for some peace and quiet;

• Some privacy.

• I like the quotation that says:

• Quote: “There were no accidents in the life of Jesus Christ only appointments!”

• I believe it was no accident, coincidence that Jesus crossed the pathway of this way.

• To meet her he would have to break down a geographical wall.

(B). NATIONAL BARRIER.

• She was a Gentile and Jesus was a Jew.

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