I scored a goal for the other team!
Why did I score a goal for the other team?
Because my heart shackled my hands.
Because I felt I had to look good in front of the other players. Because I never thought of admitting my need once I walked onto that field. Because I became so taken up with my success that I totally missed the reality that I had never played the game before, that I had never been a goalie before. Because I thought I could fake my way through to victory.
Because whatever is in our hearts comes out our hands.
We have a need to look good,
a need not to fail,
a need to win,
a need for self-protection
because we have deep needs in our hearts that determine what we do with our hands.
We are driven,
we are fearful.
we are hiding,
we are angry,
we are angry,
we are unforgiving,
we are vengeful,
we are impatient,
we are unloving and
we are selfish
all because of what’s in our hearts.
We have expectations for ourselves and of others because of what’s in our hearts. Most of all, our hearts block us from experiencing what God has for us, what He wants to do through us, how He wants to exercise His power through us. Nothing shows us this more effectively than Mark’s Gospel.
We begin our two-day look at the third storm by asking a question.
Could you have the dreaded D. D.?
Could this destructive, debilitating struggle mark your life?
Could the dreaded D. D. be darkening your mind, deafening your ears, crippling your tongue, paralyzing your hands, and blinding your eyes?
Today I am issuing a call to you, the call to die.
I am issuing this call to you because if you don’t die you will always be dead. You will always be protecting your face, your interests, your success.
So I am calling us to a radical trust in Christ in which we trade our control for His resources, our safety for His cross.
We learn about the dreaded D.D. and the call to die from Mark’s Gospel, so let’s turn to Mark and begin our time with the reading of Mark 6:45-52.
Read Mark 6:45-52 and comment.
Unusual force—Chap. John 6
He dismissed the crowd after the disciples were gone.
He needed time with His Father without His disciples—for their well being and growth.
Alone on land:
They are struggling while He prays—and He planned it that way.
He could see them.
They were in trouble—and set up by Him.
3:00-6:00 in the morning
Walking on the sea:
Not an everyday event
Harsh—Chap. Exodus 34:6-7; I Kings 19:10
From theology to superstition under pressure
Their heart was hardened!
Yet they had given up family normalcy and financial stability.
1. The words hardened heart are very difficult to hear—they pierce us deeply.
Surely we don’t have hardened hearts. We are radically committed to Christ, even to the point of giving family normalcy and financial security to go into medical missions and ministry.
a. But the disciples could have hardened hearts—they were slow and unresponsive to the Lord as any reading of the Gospel clearly show.
b. Well, you know, that’s very interesting, since a reading of Mark 1 tells us that the disciples did the same thing we have done—they gave up family normalcy and financial security too.
c. In reality you have to be committed to have the kind of hardened heart the disciples had.
d. We may not be committed enough to have the disciples’ kind hardened hearts.
e. We will define a hardened heart more specifically tomorrow.
2. The feeding of the five thousand revealed their condition.
Mark 6 begins a transition in the book in which Jesus changes His focus from the crowds to the disciples.
Before this Jesus focused on the crowds, and the disciples were spectators. But starting in Mark 6 and for the rest of the book, Jesus focuses on the disciples, and the crowds become the spectators. It is in Mark 6 that our Lord begins to focus on forming His disciples into world impacting leaders.
a. The feeding of the five thousand is a unique miracle in that Jesus involves the disciples in the collecting and distributing of the resources needed to do the miracle.
b. This is the first time they are involved with Him in a miracle.
c. This miracle is recorded in all four Gospels, one of the very few events that is.
d. This is a paradigm miracle, a model of the ministry the disciples would have for Christ in His absence.
e. And this paradigm miracle has a point.
YOU MUST DO WHAT YOU CANNOT DO WITH WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES.
But there’s a second dimension to this model.
I WILL DO WHAT I CAN DO WITH WHAT YOU DO HAVE—THROUGH YOU— FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES.
What’s missing from Mark’s account of Jesus’ walking on water?
And this adds one more reality to the paradigm.
OVER THE SIDES OF THE
BOAT AND ON TO THE WAVES.
But hardened hearts cannot grasp these realities and continue on their struggling ways.
We see this very clearly in Mark 8:11-21 where Jesus once again teaches His disciples following an incident of loaves.
3. The four message miracles reveal their true condition.
a. You have facts you don’t understand.
b .You hear My message, but don’t grasp it or say it clearly.
c. This is a rerun miracle emphasizing our Lord’s point.
d. You are seeing, but you mix men with trees.
4. Their response confirms their condition.
a. The Pharisees came out to test Him, not to trust Him.
b. He gives orders to the disciples to avoid the leaven of the Pharisees and the Herodians.
c. They become concerned with how much bread they have in the boat, rather than with what Jesus is saying.
d. Jesus raises the question of their hardness of heart and shows that
A HARDENED HEART DARKENS THE MIND,
DEAFENS THE EARS, CRIPPLES THE TONGUE, PARALYZES THE HANDS, AND BLINDS THE EYES.
THE DREADED D.D. IS CAUSED BY HARDNESS OF HEART!
Well, how do you feel when you score a goal for the other team?
When you become jealous because of another team member’s success or depressed because others are seeing more fruit than you or fearful when you realize you may not be as great as you thought you were going to be or angry because someone on your team is such a bother or frustrated because there just isn’t enough money and you decide to quit or bitter because someone doesn’t give you the credit you earned or so many other things that disrupt your team’s harmony?
Just remember, what’s in your heart comes out your hands—and that’s why we score goals for the wrong team.