Please be praying for Nate who is preaching this Sunday, the 10th. We canceled church due to weather the week he was going to be preaching.
Also pray for the Bakken boys Neils and Emmet, who will be baptized Sunday afternoon.
As we reach midweek, it’s important to recall how to build; a household, a marriage, a week, a business, etc.
The corner stone is Christ. Upon that is the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles. Upon that living foundation are placed the living stones of each believer.Pray. Hold Fast. Pursue Christ. Bear your cross. He is our shield bearer, the lifter of our heads and all our hope.
Filling up the edges
Now, the Nazarenes were right in rejecting the earthly background and relationships of Jesus as being the source of his power. It was not as Mary’s son, nor as eldest brother of Joseph’s family, that he did such things: nor was it as the village carpenter, as they would have considered him to be. But, having rightly rejected any human source, they refused to attribute either the wisdom or the miracles to a divine source.
They don’t understand what kind of builder Jesus is. They were deeply scandalized by Jesus’ remarks. The people of Nazareth ‘knew all the answers’ about Jesus: they were not prepared for any fresh revelation.“And they took offense at him,” says Mark. The word for “offense” comes from Gk. skandalon, meaning a “stumbling block.” The verb form of the word means to “cause to stumble,” and in the present context to be “put off” or even “repelled” by Jesus.
Skandalizeinoccurs eight times in the Gospel of Mark; in each instance it designates obstructions that prevent one from coming to faith and following Jesus.
A stumbling block to faith, a signature motif in Mark, is a grave problem. The “offense” of v. 3 verifies that the amazement of the people in Nazareth is not one of faith but of incredulity and opposition.
Jesus is fulfilling scripture. He is revealing more about His ultimate ends. Where is this story heading? He is causing Israel to stumble. He is a rock of offense. He is the cornerstone rejected by Israel, upon which a new Israel; a new temple – will be built.
Jesus is just a builder. But a builder of the kingdom of God. Before the new kingdom goes up, however, the old one needs to come down. Jesus is the one man wrecking crew.
Psalm 118:22–24The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Matthew 21:42–43Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
Peter preaches inActs 4:11–13This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
What is the blueprint for ripping down the old and building the new? Jesus’ response to the people of his hometown marks the first time in the gospel that the term “prophet” is applied to him. He has come like a prophet and is rejected like a prophet. This rejection is therefore portentous because Israel’s history is to mistreat prophets.
1 Kings 19:10He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”
2 Chronicles 36:16But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD rose against his people, until there was no remedy.
They rejected the prophets by killing them.
Matthew 23:37–39“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
By referring to Himself as a prophet Jesus is fulfilling a great promise of Yahweh to Israel in Deuteronomy 18:15–19.
He is identifying Himself as a prophet and what does Israel do to the prophets?
Where is this story going? I thought Jesus’ revealed the enemy to be defeated is death itself, Satan’s greatest treasure? He has come to His own people and His own people did not receive Him.
It is revealed with the healing of the Garasene Demoniac, the woman with a hemorrhage and Jairus’ daughter – that Satan’s greatest treasure – death itself – is going to be defeated.
This is a set up; a transition. He needs to send out the 12. He needs to finish their training so that they are ready to carry on the ministry after the end of His ministry.
The rock that is rejected will be the foundation of a new house. A new temple. A new people. This section and the one that follows – His sending out the 12 – are the gospel story in miniature. Jesus comes preaching the kingdom and will meet the same end of all the prophets.
But He won’t stay dead. He will defeat death with His own death. And then He will equip the 12 with the Holy Spirit and send them out. He is just a builder after all.
Ephesians 2:18–22 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
This is great plan to build the kingdom of God.
Ephesians 4:11–16And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Like a mustard seed He starts small. Accepting Him is the foundation. Turning to the prophets and apostles, gathering to worship under the instruction of evangelists, preachers, teachers and pastors, we learn to minister grace, mercy and reconciliation to one another – building up the body of Christ.
Jesus’ plan is multi-stage, multi-generational and methodical. It’s not flashy. Its humble, its repetitive and it’s HIS – not yours.
But accepting Him, you are accepted into the work of scattering seeds and seeing the fruit 30, 60, 100 times greater than what was laid in the ground.
Around the Web
Read this article. Think of the how Survival bias applies to our culture within the church. To learning from one another’s sins, marital problems, childrearing failures and the whole culture in the Evangelicalism that focuses so much on celebrity pastors, etc.
For humility and simplicity – 2 Cor. 3:18
Grant, Almighty God,
since you have not only created me out of nothing, but intend to create me again in your only begotten Son; and since you have taken me from the lowest depths, so that you may raise me to the hope of your heavenly kingdom: Grant, I pray, that I may not be proud or puffed up with conceit; but may embrace your favor with humility, and submit myself to you in simplicity, until at last I become a partaker of that glory your only begotten Son has acquired for me.
Sunday, March 10. Spring forward one hour.
Baptism on the 10th, this Sunday, at 3pm at the Cejkas to baptize Neils and Emmett Bakken. The Bakkens will provide light dessert and coffee and drinks for kids. Street parking is available, especially near the park.
Wednesday, March 20, 8PM at the church
Wednesday, March 27, 7-9PM at Tami Gamble’s home.
MONTHLY PRAYER MEETING
First Sunday of every month; 9:30-9:50AM; church office. Join us for communal prayer, men & women
Cole, R. A. (1989). Mark: An Introduction and Commentary(Vol. 2, pp. 170–171). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark(p. 173). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Garland , David E.. A Theology of Mark’s Gospel (Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series) (pp. 126-127). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.