Brothers and Sisters,
My heart is filled with joy as my thoughts turn to another sabbath with you all. The Lord’s kindness in bringing me in amongst such a wonderful group of saints, is more glorious than I can say.
I pray that your house is full of mirth and fellowship. I pray that your marriages continue to be fruitful and strong. I pray that your tables overflow. That your children grow in wisdom and stature as they delight you. That your circumstances turn your hearts expectantly toward the throne of Christ. That Jesus’ victory over Satan, sin and death is a way of life for you all; every man, woman and child.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace.
Filling up the edges
The authority with which Jesus spoke presupposes a commission and authorization from God inseparable from His declaration that the kingdom of God had drawn near. In the presence of Jesus men are disturbed, and this disturbance is the precise act of fishing to which Jesus had called the four fishermen.
Mark 1:30–31 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
There is no other remedy like this one. Without a doubt, in emergencies the means God has provided should be pursued; doctors in times of sickness, lawyers in legal disputes, the help of friends and family. But the first thing and throughout, we should be crying out to the Lord. No one can heal us as effectually as Jesus can. None are as compassionate or ready to aid and relieve us.
Philippians 4:4–6 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
When Jacob was in need, he first turned to his God (Genesis 32:11). Hezekiah knew the only one capable to aid Israel, so he spread the letter of Sennacherib before the Lord (2 Kings 19:19). As soon as Lazarus fell ill, his sisters sent immediately to Jesus (John 11:2). This is the response of faith. When troubling circumstances befall us or our loved ones, turn to the one who has the compassion and authority to respond.
1 Peter 5:6–9 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
We are sinners and sufferers. The days of darkness are many and the valley of the shadow of death is long. Its no prophesying to say that our tears and doubts will be many before we die. But we are armed against despair before the day of trouble comes. Remember that in sickness, bereavement, loss or disappointment oppresses us that the deliver is at hand. Before the crown is the cross and we follow the Lord of Life, the nourishment of heaven; our daily bread.
Let us respond as the believers in Simon’s house at Capernaum, let us tell Jesus at once.
Jesus responds immediately for He is at hand. He has complete authority over the illness. In response to the healing, Peter’s mother-in-law “began to wait on them” (v.31). The word for “serve them” is the same word used for the angels’ “attending” Jesus during the temptation (v.13)and is the same word translated “to serve” in Mark 10:45, where Jesus declares that the Son of Man comes “not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
What you see here in miniature is the great commission. This section is a template for weekly sabbath observance. Jesus spends his day at church and in festive fellowship amongst friends.
But the larger typological significance cannot be over emphasized. Jesus casts out the demons his authority is declared to the whole region. Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law and she rises up a servant like the one who served her.
The authority that heals us as sufferers and sinners is the authority that equips us to continue that mission to sufferers and sinners.
Matthew 28:18–20And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The authority of the church is derived from Christ and is meant to be exercised in the prophetic word and mercy work that heals both the spiritually bent and physically broken.
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ comes through His authority and his authority is not seen in political wrangling or powerplays or carnal demonstrations of raw power.
As Husbands, parents, employers, neighbors, citizens – the ultimate authority in our lives is Jesus. And His authority is with us, to accomplish the work he began in this synagogue in Capernaum.
Jesus commands the four fishermen to follow him. Jesus proclaims the Gospel. Jesus heals. All these actions are the casting of the net. The general call. Those who encounter Jesus’ powerful word and mighty authority are being drawn in, to see the final revelation of the true servant of God in all his obedience and suffering.
God Calls you to follow Him and then He works through you in the lives of others just like Peter’s mother-in-law. The fever will be the means of liberation. The suffering is the surety. Jesus has all authority over physical circumstances and spiritual forces.
He is power. He is victory. He is might. He is yours. He isn’t offering you an eternal meal ticket. He is offering you His victory and before the crown comes the cross. He says follow me and has the sovereignty to overcome everything that gets in your way or weighs you down.
Believing it is how He does it.
Jesus’ authority is demonstrated in the prophetic word; this is sin, this is what a boy is, this is what marriage is.
The Gospel is the message and the power to live it out in word and deed is the Gospel. The ministry of reconciliation is the mission of the church because its Christ’s ministry to you. What saved you is the message. His authority is ultimate, entire, complete and we must cast our nets to gather in under His banner everyone, everywhere.
Serving is the way of Jesus and those who attend him. Therefore, it describes an essential characteristic of the kingdom of God that Jesus introduces and exemplifies. His authority is service oriented. Others, not Himself are the beneficiaries of His power and authority.
Others, not merely yourself, should be the beneficiaries of His power and authority. That which reconciled you to the Father, is your ministry to the world; Jesus.
Around the worldwide web
John Piper on the authority of Christ:
My Soul Among Lions sings about the wilderness:
Your Word penetrates our hearts and exposes the truth about our thoughts and intentions. It uncovers our self-confidence and self-centeredness, as well as the secret sins that we hide so successfully from one another. The truth is that we cherish and love many evil thoughts in our hearts, even when outwardly we pretend to be full of spiritual desires. We harbor hatred and anger for those around us, along with jealousy and pride. We judge and condemn others in our hearts, or we envy them and lust after them. Even our good deeds are deeply stained by wrong motives. We often wait to serve others until people are watching us, so that we may be admired and glorified. We speak your truth impatiently and harshly in order to prove ourselves. Father, forgive us not just for our sinful actions but for our corrupt and perverse hearts.
Jesus, thank you that you came to deliver us from our sinful self-centeredness. Your heart was always perfectly aligned with the Father’s Word. Your thoughts as well as your actions were always pure and undefiled, filled with love for those around you and compassion for lost people. You worked hard in the Father’s service, but you also rested confidently in the Father’s power. Even though you are the LORD of Glory and eternally deserving of praise, you never glorified yourself. Instead, you laid aside your glory and became a humble servant, defeating the forces of Satan through your own death and winning victory in our place.
Holy Spirit, teach us not to trust in ourselves or in earthly sources of power and strength. Enable us to trust completely in Jesus, our great High Priest, who faithfully intercedes for us. Help us not to be unduly discouraged by the heavy load of guilt that so easily clings to our hearts. Instead, whenever we see clearly the sins of our hearts, enable us to fly to the Scriptural truth that in Christ the penalty of those sins has been paid for, once for all. Remind us that we are now clothed in Christ’s perfect righteousness, and that therefore there can be no condemnation left for us. In Christ’s name we pray,
Jered Leslie, Call
Keith Gamble, Prayer
DISCIPLESHIP CLASS: A SURVEY OF THE GOSPELS
Sunday mornings 9AM, through 11/18/18. Childcare provided for children 2-6. Kids aged 7 and up are encouraged to join the adult class.
Wednesday, Sept 26, 7pm at Lannie Brown’s home. Fall meet-and-greet; snacks provided.
MEN’S PRAYER BREAKFAST
Saturday, October 13, 9AM at the church. Breakfast provided. Time of fellowship and prayer. Bring your boys 8 or older.
October 26-27. Why Marriage Matters (Doug & Nancy Wilson); Trinity Church Office; 14623 NE North Woodinville Way, Suite 201. Online registration coming soon; no childcare will be provided.