Summary: Are we trusting Jesus? (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Distance (7:24-30)
• Deliverance (7:31-37)
• Defective faith (8:1-9)
• 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!"
• 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.
• 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)
• 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.
• 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.
• So Jesus was a public figure and everyone wanted a piece of the action: