Our services have officially started! In addition, we are live streaming our sermons through YouTube (Christ Baptist Mokopane) and we’ll also continue to upload a pre-recorded audio version of the same message for those who can’t stream or make it to the services!

The following sermon was prepared by Ps Lucas Stoltz this week for your edification and uplifting.

Click here: Mark 11:27-33, to download or stream the audio sermon, or click here: Mark 11:27-33, for the video feed, and follow the notes below. May the Lord speak into your hearts as you worship.

Mark 11:27-33, Christ’s Lordship In Question:

  • So about 50 years ago, in the 1960s, anti-establishment protests took place in various parts of the world to rebel against authority. Rebellion against parental authority, governing authorities, basically anyone in a position of power.
  • This crept into the church and so many churches lost their conviction about the clear word of the Lord as found in Scripture. With that, these churches began to lose their grip on the gospel. Jesus was seen as a Saviour that gives us fire insurance, but not a Saviour with the right to tell us what to do.

 

  • And so a Jesus of love was preached, instead a Jesus as Lord. It led to a sudden spike in false professions of faith. Many folks were ‘being saved’ but they had no real salvation. Why? Because the gospel that went out, promoted people to come to Jesus – without any need to repent from their sin, and without any need to change. This resulted in weakened churches.
  • Now, in order to address and correct this false teaching, reformed preachers referred to ‘Lordship-Salvation’, which is really just salvation. But because the term salvation was so loosely used, these preachers wanted to emphasize the true teaching of salvation.

 

  • So what is ‘Lordship-Salvation’? It is the teaching that, when we are born again, we embrace Jesus Christ as Lord when we embrace him as Saviour. It means to trust in Jesus to save us, but to also submit to His rule over us. He is the boss of our lives!
  • To teach anything that does not resemble this, is to teach a false Gospel. As Jesus is our Saviour who died for our sins and who rose again from the dead for our justification bringing about our reconciliation with God. But the offence arises when this Saviour tells us what to do.
  • So If Jesus isn’t your boss, He is not your Saviour. And just as Jesus’ authority is put to question in out day, so it was in His day when the religious leaders confronted Him.

 

  • As we examine these verses, we will clearly see the authority of Jesus. And the lesson of this passage is that you will not truly confess Jesus as the Christ until you are willing to bow to his authority as your Lord and Saviour.

 

  1. Christ Reveals His Authority:
  • Text – 11:27a
  • Explanation – After a day of explosive rebuke and correction! Jesus enters the Temple the next day, almost care free. This highlights Christ’s boldness. And so the scene seems so tough! However, Makr leaves out some very sorrowful detail here.
  • Luke 19:41-44 tells us that Jesus had wept outside Jerusalem’s walls prior to His entrance. Why? Because the worship of God had become corrupted and like the fig tree, it needed to be cursed. And so the Temple, the place which God had intended to be a house of prayer for all nations, was not fulfilling this purpose.

 

  • And those at fault were the religious leaders. Those entrusted as mediators between God and men were blocking the way to God. No wonder Jesus wept. He wept over the spiritual condition of the nation of Israel.

 

  • Illustration – Yet, the religious authorities come to challenge the authority of Jesus. They are challenging the authority of the one who they are meant to worship!
  • Now what you have to keep in mind is, from the opening of Mark’s Gospel, the authority of Jesus has been revealed time and again. We saw His authority in His heavenly approval at His baptism (1:1–11). We saw His authority in His victory over Satanic temptation (1:12–13). His authority in His proclamation of the kingdom of God (1:14–15).
  • In His call of the disciples (1:16–20; 3:13–21). His authority over the demons (1: 21–26). In His authoritative teaching (1:27–28). Though His healings (1:29–34). And so hopefully you get the picture, and that’s just chapter 1!

 

  • Application – The point we need to see is that Jesus has all authority. Acts says that He alone bears the only name that saves. This makes Him both Lord & Saviour. He lords over all things, but He is also Saviour as that was His mission in coming to the earth.

 

  • Conclusion – there are serious implications if you do not believe and hold to this truth. Romans 10:9, says “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” If Jesus isn’t boss, then He isn’t your Saviour. He is not a lottery ticket for the streets of gold, He is the way to ultimate peace with God.

 

  • Bridge – Therefore He has the authority to tell us how to live and for who to live! Yet, when you doubt His authority, the following takes place…

 

  1. Christ’s Authority Questioned:
  • Text – 11:27b-28
  • Explanation – What leads one to such a question? What was the issue? Jesus had a character of moral authority and this upset the sinful leaders. This happens when sinners refuse to see that they are sinners.

 

  • Illustration – And this line of questioning came from the “chief priests, scribes, and elders. These three groups made up the The Sanhedrin, a buffer organization between Rome and the Jewish nation, was composed of seventy-one members. They basically had complete freedom in religious matters and restricted power in political matters.
  • And their issue with Jesus is that His authority overpowered theirs by exposing their corruptions. His authority was exposing their hypocritical ungodliness.

 

  • Application – Therefore, the question they asked Jesus was not from an honest motive, it came from an arrogant motive to guard their position of authority. They didn’t care about God or God’s people, they cared about being exposed.
  • They cared about losing their privileged position of abusing their power. They had no moral authority, yet they were confronting the one who had all the authority in order to condemn Him. In other words, they resented His lordship.

 

  • Conclusion – This can be a problem even in the church. When members practically reject the lordship of Jesus, they make themselves the boss. This is what happened when Diotrephes exalted himself and the result of the fallout discouraged ministers and hindered the church’s mission (3 John).
  • When we reject the Lordship of Christ, we reject the clear word of God. And so these leaders aren’t just rejecting Christ’s authority – they are opposing it!

 

  • Bridge – and so next we’ll see how Jesus actually provides us with a great example of how to deal with ridiculers, forcing them to deal with the issue at hand as…

 

  1. Christ Affirms His Authority:
  • Text – 11:29-33
  • Explanation – Jesus’ answer confronted them with the truth that he was the foretold Messiah, just as John the Baptist proclaimed. And by correctly answering Jesus’ question, these leaders would have answered their own question – yet they refused!
  • Jesus isn’t avoiding them with His question, it is means of confronting them with the word of God and its very fulfilment. And His response was also a gracious means to offer them the salvation He came to give.

 

  • Illustration – and so Jesus’ reference to John’s baptism was testimony to Jesus’ authority. John taught that Jesus was the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. John was also the forerunner of the Messiah. So to accept John’s message as from God was to accept Jesus as being from God.
  • And so Jesus’ reference to John’s baptism was significant. To acknowledge that John’s baptism was God-ordained would be to confess that Jesus was the Christ! Therefore, if they accept John’s authority, they must also accept that Jesus is greater.

 

  • They respond with fear. And they have a problem. To answer truthfully would be to challenge their murderous intentions. But denying the heavenly authorisation of John’s ministry would put them in opposition with the crowd!
  • So being unsure, they choose a safe option. However, their safe will lead them to grave eternal danger. They chose to lie. And someone would die because of this. They and their city would be destroyed because of it. And thereby Proverbs 14:12 becomes a reality in them, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

 

  • Application – And so their response is to be faithless. These men were not interested in the truth; they were interested in setting a trap to kill Jesus. If Jesus made a false claim, they would have legal grounds to put him to death.
  • Did they ask Jesus sincerely, perhaps looking for the truth? No. was their question illegitimate? No. Was their question insincere? Yes! They knew what He has done, and they have seen His authority!

 

  • So what do they do? They began discussing among themselves, debating, saying, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” He will say, “Then why didn’t you believe him when He said I was the Messiah?” And we can’t say that.
  • Verse 32, ‘shall we say, “From men”?’” they can’t do that… why? Luke 20:6 says, “All the people will stone us to death.” Because if “you say that John the Baptist is not a prophet of God, you are a blasphemer. You are discrediting a true prophet of God; and there will be mob reaction, and they’ll stone them because everyone considered John to have been a true prophet.”
  • Conclusion – What are they going to do? They’re stuck. If they say John’s ministry is from God, then they have to embrace Jesus; and that they cannot do. If they say it’s from men, they’re liable to get stoned to death; and they can’t let that happen. And so, they were reduced to the worst possible thing that can happen to somebody who has intellectual pride.
  • They were forced to say in verse 32, “We do not know.” Sadly, it was their job to know. “Jesus said to them, ‘Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.’” Why doesn’t Jesus seize the moment and tell them the truth?

 

  • Bridge – Well, He has! And He would not throw His pearls before the swine to only have the truth rejected again. So let’s recap & apply; firstly, we’ve seen Jesus reveal His authority. Secondly, we looked at how His authority was doubted. But finally, we Jesus affirms His authority.

 

Application:

  • Having looked at this passage, let’s consider some thoughts of application. Firstly, our salvation is secure in Christ’s authority. And if we do not recognise and submit to the divine authority of Jesus Christ, we will never receive the benefits salvation.
  • Next, our salvation is revealed to us through the proof Jesus gave when He died and rose again, saying: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).

 

  • Therefore we have a responsibility of telling the whole truth and Christ & His Word. If we dilute the Lordship of Christ, we dilute His ability to save.
  • Third, the authority of Jesus demands that our view of Scripture must be the same as His. Meaning, we cannot pick and choose what parts of the Bible we will and will not believe. For since He affirmed all of Scripture, who are we to contradict him?
  • Fourth, examine yourself to be sure whether you are truly in the kingdom of God. Does Jesus have all authority over every area of your life? Does your life reveal this? Is He Lord in our work, in our walk, and in our worship?

 

  • And finally, submitting to the authority of Jesus means submitting to a biblical local church. Being part of a biblical local church includes submission to its biblical mission to make disciples.
  • But if you claim to be a Christian while rejecting accountability to the local church, then you are making a contradictory claim. Being part of the church will help you faithfully grow in your submission to the authority of Jesus. So if Jesus is Lord of your life, live like it. Don’t question His authority, and don’t give the world room to question whether you truly obey Him or not.