(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)

MARK 14:32-50 – ARE YOU?

LIFE OF CHRIST #54 

We all have opinions of ourselves.  And although sometimes our opinions about ourselves are not accurate, we usually seem to know what we are and what we are not. 

Jesus prayed a great intercessory prayer for his disciples and for us right after his “Upper Room Discourse”.  Then He came to the Garden of Gethsemane where he would pray another prayer. This one was for Himself as he faced the agonies of a mock trial, physical and verbal abuse, and the suffering for our sins on the cross. 

As we look at the actions of the disciples and of our Lord, we should be led to ask ourselves some frank questions concerning our own behavior.  I will ask you these questions, and then you can ask yourself. 

Vs. 32 – The Garden of Gethsemane was evidently a garden that contained olive trees. The name Gethsemane means “oil press”.  Evidently a press was there or had been there for pressing olives to make olive oil. 

The disciples were not surprised when Jesus led them to this quiet, secluded place.  It was evidently a familiar resting place for Jesus and the disciples.  They had been there often.  If fact they had been there so often that Judas suspected that Jesus had gone there. John 18:2  

Jesus was not avoiding Judas.  The only way Judas could have caught Jesus and led in His arrest was if Jesus, God in the flesh, would let Him and Jesus did.    

The instruction given to the majority of the disciples was to sit and wait for Jesus to be done praying. 

Vs. 33 – Jesus took his “inner circle”, Peter, James, and John with Him.  

Jesus was “sore amazed” and “very heavy”.

He was looking into the immediate future and seeing the suffering that He would endure as he took upon His shoulders the punishment for every sin that had ever been committed.  

He was actually astonished at what he would have to face!

I don’t think we ever come close to understanding what Jesus did for us.  The depths of pain and agony that He faced for you and me! 

Vs. 34 – This was Jesus’ support group.  He admitted His anguish to His friends.  His sorrow was so great that it even threatened to take His life.  So, he says to His friends, “Watch with Me!” Luke 22:40  

We learn a lesson here.  The way through our greatest temptations and problems is the way of watchful prayer.   

Now with this command in mind, it time to start asking the “are you” questions. 

ARE YOU SLEEPING? – Vss. 37-41

 We will come back to the content of Jesus’ prayer in a few minutes.

 Vs. 37 – Humanly speaking, this was Jesus’ hour of greatest need, and His friends let Him down by sleeping.

Peter is singled out because he was the one who had promised His loyalty so vehemently. Mark 14:29-31

Vs. 38 – Notice that prayer is a weapon against temptation. If we prayed more, our temptations would probably not lead to sin.

Here, Jesus observes that their “spirit”, their new nature as Christians, was willing but their flesh, their old nature was weak.

What is the responsibility of Christians today? Colossians 4:2, 1 Peter 4:7, Ephesians 6:18

Of course the number 1 reason for watching and praying is because God tells us to. Why else are we to watch and pray?

  1. JESUS COULD COME AT ANY TIME! – WATCH AND PRAY – Mark 13:32-37 
  1. THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING AND GOING TO HELL! – WATCH AND PRAY! – John 4:35, Luke 10:2, 1 Timothy 2:1-4  
  1. YOU WILL FACE TEMPTATION! WATCH AND PRAY! – Mark 14:38  
  1. YOU HAVE PROBLEMS! – WATCH AND PRAY! – 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22  
  1. SAINTS HAVE PROBLEMS – WATCH AND PRAY! – Ephesians 6:18, Hebrews 13;3  

There are so many reasons to watch and pray.

And yet we sleep.  The sleep isn’t necessarily a literal sleep.  We “sleep” when we don’t want to pray. We “sleep” when we make excuses for not praying.  We “sleep” when we are too busy to pray.   

Why do we sleep? 

We care more about our plans than God’s plans.

We are selfish.

We are lazy.

We don’t care!

We are spiritually lackadaisical. 

If you do not have a vibrant prayer life, you are spiritually weak.  You are sleeping. 

ARE YOU RUNNING? – Vs. 50 

The Lord Jesus would go his last hour alone.  That was His plan. That was God’s plan. John 18:8  

Nonetheless, after Judas had betrayed Jesus, the disciples ran! 

These men ran because they were terrified. 

Do people run today? Yes!

Do Christians run today? Yes! 

  • God calls some men to be pastors and they run!
  • God calls some men and women to the mission field and they run!
  • God calls some men and women to teach in the local church and they run.
  • God calls men and women away from sin and they run.
  • God calls men and women to do what is good, and they run.
  • God calls men and women to church membership and they run!
  • God calls men and women to stand up for what is right and moral, and they ran! 

WHY DO CHRISTIANS RUN FROM RESPONSIBILITY? 

  • They run because they are afraid.
  • They run because they don’t like change.
  • They run because they don’t like inconvenience, a change in lifestyle.
  • They run because they don’t want to suffer.
  • They run because they are selfish. 

What is the opposite of running?

It is following. Luke 9:23-24, Luke 14:26-27 

ARE YOU BETRAYING? – Vss. 43-46

Vs. 43 – Judas came with a small army made up of all sorts of  people including Roman soldiers and the temple guard.

Vss. 44-45 – Judas came and kissed him, perhaps on the hand, but it was a fervent kiss.  Judas didn’t want anyone making any mistakes about who to arrest.

Judas, the betrayer showed affection.

Judas was a betrayer.  He pretended to be a follower of Jesus and wasn’t. He turned against Jesus.

Are you a betrayer?

Do you pretend to be a follower of Jesus on Sunday and live for the devil the rest of the week?

You can’t call Him “Lord” Jesus if you are constantly doing things that betray Him. 

  • If you profess to know Jesus and constantly get drunk you are betraying Him.
  • If you profess to know Jesus and are having an affair, you are betraying Him.
  • If you profess to know Jesus and are in a relationship with an unbeliever you are betraying Him.
  • If you profess to know Jesus and are doing drugs, you are betraying Him.
  • If you profess to know Jesus and curse and swear, and take His name in vain, you are betraying Him. 

It’s a package deal! If Jesus is your Savior He is Lord!   

ARE YOU SUBMITTING? – Vss. 33-42 

Vss. 35-36 – Jesus made a request of His “Daddy” (Abba), His Father, and His Father said “no”! 

If there was another way possible to redeem your soul Jesus was willing to take it.

If there was another way to pay for the sins of mankind, Jesus wanted it!

Humanly speaking, what Jesus faced was so horrible that Jesus wanted to avoid it! 

In fact Jesus asked three times to have the cup of suffering removed from Him if it were possible. But it wasn’t possible! 1 Peter 1:18-20 

Three times Jesus asked for the cup to be passed.

Three times the answer would have been “no”.

Three times Jesus said, nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. 

 At that particular moment, Jesus did not like the will of God, but he accepted it. 

He submitted to God, because he knew God’s will was best!  And the end result was glorious!     

Philippians 2:8-11And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. [9] Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: [10] That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; [11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

So what part of God’s will don’t you like?

What is it that you are resisting? 

If Jesus could submit to such a horrible death for you, can’t you submit to whatever God wants you to go through for Him? 

Isn’t it time that we said to God, nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt? 

Now it’s time for you to answer these questions: 

ARE YOU SLEEPING? – Vss. 37-41

ARE YOU RUNNING? – Vs. 50

ARE YOU BETRAYING? – Vss. 43-46

ARE YOU SUBMITTING? – Vss. 33-42

 

(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)

MATTHEW 9:23-27 – STORMY WEATHER

LIFE OF CHRIST #24 

We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 

STORMY WEATHER IS BEST FACED WHEN JESUS IS IN THE BOAT 

Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    

STORMY WEATHER RESULTS FROM OBEDIENCE   

Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   

STORMY WEATHER IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 

STORMY WEATHER INVOKES FEAR AND PANIC 

Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 

STORMY WEATHER REQUIRES PRAYER AND FAITH 

Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 

STORMY WEATHER REVEALS THE GLORY AND POWER OF GOD 

Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes. 

STORMY WEATHER IS BEST FACED WHEN JESUS IS IN THE BOAT

STORMY WEATHER RESULTS FROM OBEDIENCE

STORMY WEATHER IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

STORMY WEATHER INVOKES FEAR AND PANIC

STORMY WEATHER REQUIRES PRAYER AND FAITH

STORMY WEATHER REVEALS THE GLORY AND POWER OF GOD