How is it that He Eats and Drinks?

What is appropriate behavior for the people of God and their leaders?  In our passage for today, we see Jesus and his disciples eating and drinking.  We see Jesus eating and drinking with tax collectors and others who were known as sinners.  And it is in the midst of his eating and drinking where we see more opposition rise up against Jesus.  In both of the scenes in this passage there is opposition against Jesus and both rounds of opposition are ultimately asking the same thing.  They are both questioning the appropriateness of Jesus’ conduct and his behavior in leading his disciples.  This passage wonderfully shows his Jesus actions are quite appropriate, and finds the basis of their appropriateness in the gospel.

Passage: Mark 2:13-22
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 03/02/2008 in Novato, CA.
Other Scripture Readings: Leviticus 23:26-32; Revelation 19:5-6

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Power on Earth to Forgive Sins

Passage: Mark 2:1-12
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/24/2008 in Novato, CA.
Other Scripture Readings: Psalm 103; Isaiah 53; Romans 3:9-26

In our passage for today, Jesus makes a rather bold claim. He claims that he has the power on earth to forgive sins. When Jesus declared that the paralytic’s sins were forgiven, he caught everyone’s attention. Some responded with faith to Jesus’ claim, but many with doubt and skepticism. Such a bold claim, dare I even say, an outrageous claim, demanded some sort of proof. If true, it would suggest that Jesus came with the very authority and power of God himself. And our passage beautifully shows how Christ’s claim was vindicated, verified through his miraculous healing of the paralytic.

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I Am Willing — Be Cleansed!

Passage: Mark 1:40-45
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/17/2008 in Novato, CA.
Other Scripture Readings: Leviticus 13:45-46; Hebrews 13:10-13

Have you ever felt like an outcast?  In our passage for today, we see a leper who would have surely been just that – an outcast.  Among Israel, according to the Old Testament Law, lepers had to live alone outside the camp, away from everyone else, and wherever they went they would have to cry out “Unclean! Unclean!” as a warning to any around them.  And as we look at this passage and see Jesus heal this leper, we’ll see how this beautifully shows forth the nature of the kingdom which Jesus was bringing.  And we’ll see how the cleansing of this leper look forwards to the cleansing that Jesus would bring on the cross for all of us – for we all are ultimately outcasts from God because of our sinful rebellion.

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For this Purpose I Have Come Forth

Passage: Mark 1:14-45
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/10/2008 in Novato, CA.

Jesus had a plan and purpose in his ministry.  And as we study this passage today, we get a great glimpse of that purpose.  Verse 38 records Jesus talking explicitly about his purpose for coming when he says, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” This chapter introduces what Jesus’ purpose in ministry was, by illustrating what Jesus was typically doing in his ministry. This chapter also shows a danger and threat to Jesus ministry, and by looking at that we’ll also get a better idea of his purpose in ministry.

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