Sermons by Brian Burris
Paul begins the introduction to this powerful letter by giving his credentials to a church he has not visited. He is a “slave to Christ” meaning that he is not his own. That is how we need to see ourselves if we are Christians- bought with a price. And that attitude flows through the entire letter. We look at Romans 1:1-7 and the first half of Paul’s introduction
Mark contrasts the Solid Rock, Jesus, with the crumbling rock, Peter, through Jesus’ “trial” and Peter’s denials. The truth is that if we aren’t solid in our faith through prayer, Bible study and worship, we stand the very real chance of being like Peter in our everyday lives. We betray him daily when we don’t stand for the truth, when we don’t defend Jesus or when we don’t share the gospel.
We look at two people, both close to Jesus, with two different understandings about who he was/is and how to live in light of that- Mary and Judas. We need to be like Mary- all-in no matter the cost to us in time, money, reputation, whatever.
Part 2 of the Olivet Discourse- Jesus continues urging his followers to “stay awake” for his return but don’t focus on the timetable. The job of his followers is to love God with all we have and love others, not figuring out the signs of his return. Stay awake.
Jesus deals with the destruction of the temple and the end of the world. But his focus isn’t on signs that it’s coming. His focus is on his disciples being ready and not being led astray. That should be our focus as well. Stop trying to figure out the signs and, instead, live out the great commandment- love God with everything and love others.
This story, when viewed in context, isn’t about the poor widow at all. It is about judgment on the temple culture by the True Temple, Jesus. Jesus is replacing false religion with the truth of the gospel.
Showing that the Jewish leadership had missed the signs, he shows them through Scripture that the Messiah would be both David’s son (human) and David’s Savior (divine), warning the crowd that the religious leadership is corrupt and condemned. It’s the last week of Jesus’ earthly life and judgment is coming.
“…you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Jesus continues his condemnation of the temple culture during the last week of his earthly life by explaining that there is no marriage in heaven (which is a good thing because of what and who is there). He also points to Scripture about the fact that there is a resurrection of the body, despite what the Sadducees believed.