< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Mark 2:18-20

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mark 2:18-20

Below is Part 1 of another sermon on the Gospel of Mark by Pastor Kurt Gebhards:

Mark 2: 18-20 18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”
19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

Jesus was crucified in the 1st century because He wasn’t religious enough. Today He would be crucified because He is too pious, too focused on God and considered “exclusive”. No one goes to the Father except through Christ. Our world today is profoundly inclusive. Meaning whatever anyone chooses to believe should be ok.

The Pharisees were fasting. The Old Testament tells the Jews to fast once a year. The Pharisees were fasting twice a week! They took the law and because of their pride and wanting others to admire them they took it to an extreme. They missed the whole point of what Jesus was teaching though. That it’s our hearts God wants. Not rote “religious” habits and rituals.

Fasting is a sign of mourning, internal sorrow. Jesus says in this passage, “I’m HERE! There is no reason to do that. There is every reason to be joyful!”

In verse 20 He says there will be a time for fasting. When the bridegroom is taken away. He used a verb for taken away that means taken away violently. He was prophesying here how He would be taken from them.

And they did mourn…but only from Good Friday until Easter Sunday! We are still in the season of joy!

Here are the differences between Religious formalism and Christianity.

Religious formalism:

1. Duty
2. Easily see the sins of others
3. Listless singing
4. Humdrum routine
5. One day a week
6. Bad attitude
7. Going through the motions
8. Looking good
9. Change of behavior around spiritual leaders
10. Surface devotions

1. Delight
2. Searches heart for personal sin
3. Zealous worship
4. Privileged service to God
5. Trusting God every hour of your life
6. Joy filled!
7. Fighting for holiness
8. Integrity

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