Mark 9: 30-37
     (Sermon for the week of September 24th)

Mk 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey
through Galilee,

but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”


The sermon for this week will consist of information pertaining
to the the reading this
week that contains a good amount of verse
in need of explaining. Please note that with the direction of the
Holy Spirit, Our Lord may teach us the meaning behind His words
in this short reading from the Gospel according to Mark. I will
also draw from historical facts, biblical study, and will tell
you when I am presenting my opinion.

First, I want to point out that this is the second of three
times in the Gospel
according to Mark that Jesus has foreshadowed
what will happen to Him in the future in great detail.

Jesus (THE SON OF MAN) will be:

The other two times the crucifixion events are mentioned is
in Mark 8:31 and 10:33-34.

There are two important subjects that I need to discuss in this
section from the reading.
Notice that again, Jesus refers to
Himself as "The Son of Man". Some argue that the name Jesus
calls Himself here is a contradiction and He never said that
He was the Son of God or the Creator...(The I AM in the burning
bush who spoke to Moses). This is not the case. The Jews know
very well that the Messiah, the "I AM" from the burning bush
will come to earth as the Son of Man.

Why? Those of us NOT accustomed to Jewish tradition and teaching
and especially Western
culture...freely use the word "GOD".
We say God all the time to represent the name of the "I AM" in
the burning bush. (Well, some people do.) I ask, the name GOD
means to you? To the is impossible to know exactly who
God is because IT is UNKNOWABLE and NAMELESS. To name something
is know it...and no man, woman, or child can know God well enough
to call it by name. So, the Jews DO NOT name God, they do not
call "GOD" "GOD"...hard to say that in English...because English
cannot express ideas and emotion like so many other languages do
including Hebrew. So, when Jesus calls Himself the Son of Man,
He is calling Himself, the Messiah...the One who was prophesized
to come in the line of David...the One who told Moses that the
One speaking is "I AM" (Exodus 3:14). We have grown accustomed
to the phrase "Son of God" which denotes Jesus as Our Saviour
as the common title of Jesus. Many will say that the title
Son of Man denotes that Jesus was in the flesh and a perfect man.
I see the Jewish connection to the phrase as a name with
special meaning
among the Jews...the "Son of Man" is the Savior...
the Messiah.

Just for reference, the title "Son of Man" is used 43 times
in the New Testament and the
title "Son of God" is used 37
times in the New Testament.

This term was common in the Old Testament for a human.
"Son of man" occurs 93 times in the book of Ezekiel and 106 times
in the entire Old Testament. Jesus acknowledges that He is the
I AM, the Creator, and is relating to mankind by using the title Son of Man to emphasize that the Son of God lived also as a
human man...

Let me now bring this together for you:
To re-frame this thought correctly....Jesus was the "Son of God"...
which is the FIRST
manifestation of the ALL KNOWING INFINTITE GOD
who is nameless...the "Son of God" who IS the Creator of this
universe and mankind who came down to this Earth in a tent of
flesh as "The Son of Man"...a perfect man because He was 100%
the Son of God who lived 100% in the flesh in the form of a man.
The name "Son of God" and "Son of Man" IS the title of the Messiah..
but when communicating with a Jew, you would call the Savior the
"Son of Man". that same verse I would like to point out another
important statement. Jesus said
Handed over? By whom? Here is a thought against those who would
call Jesus just a Prophet. Clearly, he foretells in detail future
events as a Prophet would. But why use the term "handed over"
if Jesus was just a man who was a Prophet? Who handed Him over?
The Jews? No, they exchanged Jesus for Barabbas. I ask those
who call Jesus a Prophet...Wouldn't a man who was just a prophet
save his own life and escape the events that he foretells here? Why know that you will suffer a horrible death and not try to
save yourself? Couldn't you save yourself by moving to another
country? Why go through all of that pain and know EXACTLY what
would happen far in advance?

So, who is handing over Jesus? The answer is: His Father is..."GOD".
(I apologize for
now using the word "GOD" but the English
language does not have any other word or phrase that would suffice!)
GOD, the "Father" of Jesus, is HANDING OVER the Son of God, Jesus,
as a sacrafice for the world. This is the Will of God, "The Father".

So now we understand a little more why the disciples did not
understand Jesus. I am
sure that a few of the disciples quietly
thought Why must all of these events happen if this is truly
the Son of Man standing in front of them?

My opinion is that it would be difficult to question Jesus
without sounding faithless
and arrogant like Peter can at times.
Imagine one of them asking Jesus..."Jesus, My Lord...why must
you die...after all you are the Son of God?! Show these people
who's boss!". A legitamate question to ask when finding your
faith...but even I would probably NOT ask Him this question if
I was one of the Disciples and I am know to be quite daring at

Moving on in the reading, there is some explaining to do about
the verse where Jesus
asks some of the disciples what they were
arguing about. His question makes them instantly silent which
denotes that this "argument" they had between each other was
inappropriate because no one said anything at all in response
to the Lord asking them a question. So what were the disciples
arguing about? I stated earlier that this week's reading is the
SECOND out of THREE times the foreshadowing of Jesus' suffering,
crucifixion, and ressurection is mentioned in the Gospel of Mark.
The THIRD time the disciples are told is in Mark 10:33-37...
In that chapter, James and John ask to be seated at the right
and left hand side of Jesus' throne. So, with that in mind,
it is safe to say that the disciples are arguing among themselves
about who the greatest is among them in order to secure their
place in heaven.

The Lord just tells you for the second time that He will be
betrayed, tortured,
sacraficed and risen...but you want to
secure a place in heaven for yourself?? Yes, inappropriate and Our Lord ends this argument with a simple question so that
they cease their bickering.

The final part of this weeks reading is an interesting instruction
that holds much
wisdom. The Lord called the Twelve Disciples and
said that the FIRST must be LAST of all and SERVANT. Allow me to
and then add the word SERVANT. Those that are FIRST in the
Lord's eyes are those who SERVE the LORD and hold the LEAST
GREATEST position or status in this world.

So in the world's eyes you are the least popular...but the most
popular in the Lord's
eyes as long as you are a SERVANT of the Lord.
This is a good time to look up the word servant in the dictionary.
A servant is one that serves others AND/OR one that performs
duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer.
The FIRST are those who serve their personal employer...
JESUS CHRIST. Now, how do you serve your Lord Jesus Christ?
Start by asking Him on a daily basis! Pay attention to what
appears in your life and who you may serve in the name of Jesus
who is your personal employer.

Recall that the thief next to Jesus Christ on the cross is the
last person to realize
and have faith in the Lord and is actually
the FIRST one in heaven!

The next sentance spoken by Our Lord is when Jesus takes a
little child and places
the child among them and says:
"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and
whoever receives me receives not me but the one who sent me".
There are a couple of statements I would like to make about
this verse. One, is that the anyone who has children or little
brothers and sisters knows that their FAITH is unwavering.

A young child has faith in whatever they see and hear and yet
holds the least amount of
respect in the world. They are thought of as...children and that is it. Children are not taken seriously
and their words are utterances of nonsense to many. I personally
pay close attention to what little children say and because of
the what the Lord has said about them. They are, in a way...
a role model for my own personal faith in Jesus because of what
the Lord has said as in the reading this week. Young children
will not question, argue, debate, lose faith, rebel, or ignore
what an "elder" teaches them. It is quite amazing to see their
imagination take form and the amount of faith they possess.
It is hard to see that in many adults.

But many church "elders" would ask the opinion
of a small child on
matters of faith? Not many, becuase children
are not thought of as being capable of such "advanced" issues
of faith. How do they know anything? This is the same attitude
that is shown to people who are not able to give anything back
in return. The receiving (acknowledgement or welcome) of a child
is just as important as those individuals who are thought of as
immature, unworthy, or uneducated.

These people that are to be received and welcomed are the
mentally ill, the sick,
the uneducated, and anyone else who
cannot "make it worth our while" such as the homeless man, or
the disabled. All of these people have a tremendous amount of
faith to share and many times their faith will exceed those
around them. They are to be embraced as the little child who
has received the Son of God without question.

Whoever recveives the Son of God without question (which is
with FAITH"ing") receives
the FATHER of the Son of God.
We begin to know God the Father through the Faithing in the Son.
Powerful stuff!!

God bless you and your families this week!

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