Bible Preaching

Mary Humbly Trusts Her God

A Bible Exposition of Luke 1:39-56

Today, we will look at a few verses in the Gospel of Luke together. Turn with me please to Luke 1. 

This passage reveals the human side of God fulfilling a divine plan. What did the human characters think and feel and do when God was at work in their lives as recorded here for us in Scripture. It’s a historical record of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

In our passage today, we will see two women, Mary and Elizabeth, marvel that God has sent his Messiah, and that Mary is his mom and reflect on the joy of God making good on his promise. God can be trusted to fulfill his promises—you can always bank on them, and he promises to save all who call upon his name.

These themes come together as expressed in our outline today:

3 Fruits as Mary Humbly Trusts Her Faithful God (Lk. 1:39-56)

  1. She embraces God’s providence (39-40)

  2. She experiences God’s provision (41-45)

  3. She extols God’s personhood (46-56)

The Long-Awaited Day

Jesus Finally Gives Three Details About the Day We’re All Waiting For (13:24-32)

1.     The cosmic occasion of my return (24-27)

2.     The clear indicators of my return (28-30)

3.     The complete certainty of my return (31-32)

24“But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, 25AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26“Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory. 27“And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. 

28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29“Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 30“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 

32“But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 

33“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34“It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35“Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37“What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ ”


Withstanding the Greatest Tribulation

A Bible Exposition of Mark 13:14-23

A great deal of what we study in the Scriptures is historical, it has already taken place. But today again we are looking into events that have not yet happened. Please grab your Bibles and turn with me to Mark 13, we will be studying vv. 14-23 today.

If this study has felt a bit technical for you, let me remind you, this is considered one of the most challenging passages of Scripture in the New Testament. We are in this together and it feels technical and challenging to me as well. 

It is agreed by everyone that Jesus gives instructions about the future here. The debate centers around just how far into the future. Do these words pertain only to the disciples and their generation? Do these words pertain only to days beyond the disciples, or is it some combination of the two?

Our temptation when you come to a difficult passage is to find your favorite or most trusted teacher and listen to their perspective and make that your own. Or if you have a well-established theological grid to bring that understanding to the passage.

But that’s not the proper approach to this. We don’t do outcome-based-Bible study where we begin with a viewpoint and then go to the text because it will slant our views. Rather, if you simply study the text in its context and deal with details in integrity before the Lord you will get clarity on the interpretation.

I was on the phone with one of my former seminary professors this week who I took Greek and some other classes from. I was so blessed by our conversation about this passage… the clarity of moving through it and just letting the text speak is letting God speak to us. So that’s what we are going to do. Essentially in this passage…

Jesus Issues a Survival Guide for Withstanding the Greatest Tribulation

This is content, given by Jesus, which will equip anyone who goes through this tribulation. He provides a guide of sorts that will give someone the tools necessary for surviving these incredibly difficult days.

  1. Study prophecy so that you understand what you’re watching for (14a)

  2. React appropriately when you see the great tribulation arriving (14b-18)

  3. Set your expectations properly for the magnitude of the trial (19-20)

  4. Keep waiting for my return and don’t be duped—you won’t miss it (21-23)

Cleanse Me, Please!

A Bible Exposition Of Mark 1:40-45

There are two examples of Jesus healing a leper in the New Testament. This account in Mark, which is also recorded by Matthew and Luke, and then the time when Jesus heals ten lepers in one fell swoop in Luke 17.

But Jesus healed lepers regularly.

Mark records this account to teach several things. First and foremost is Jesus uncontested authority of life and death and all of creation. To heal someone from leprosy was as difficult as raising someone from the dead. So when Jesus cured this leper, He did the impossible.

In this record, we see the compassionate heart of Jesus. We see his willingness to associate himself with weakness and human suffering. We see his earthly ministry and the practical challenges He faced to His ministry of proclamation as His fame spread throughout Galilee as a “miracle-worker.”

And yet leprosy is a profound illustration of the corruption of our souls. As leprosy rendered the physical man crippled and destitute, unable to become clean, so sin corrupts the spiritual man, leaving him crippled and unable to self-reform. Praise God that Jesus cleanses sinners!

6 Parts to the Story of Jesus Cleansing a Leper

  1. The suffering creature (40a)
  2. The shameless claim (40b)
  3. The sympathetic cleansing (41-42)
  4. The sharp constraint (43-44)
  5. The swift carelessness (45a)
  6. The significant cost (45b)

Mark 1:40–45—40 And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. 43 And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, 44 and He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45 But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere.

This Bible Exposition was preached at Cornerstone Bible Church in Albany, Oregon on December 11, 2016.

A Unique Authority Among Us (Part 1)

A Bible Exposition Of Mark 1:21-28

What we will find today is that we are picking up on a theme that was implicit last week, and it will become central this week. Last week Jesus had just called four of his disciples to Himself.

These were men had already been following Him as disciples. We said is that these were disciples with a little “d”. They were students and followers in a general sense. But that day at the lakeside everything changed.

They didn’t realize exactly how, but what just happened would change their entire lives and their eternities. These would be the men who were the pillars that built the foundation of the church that exists today.

Jesus called them away from their skilled trades or businesses really, their livelihoods… He called them away from their hometown, from their families, and from their inheritance. And they left it all immediately without hesitation.

And Mark wanted to get these guys into the record book because they will continue to show up elsewhere. But this calling demonstrated something of the authority of Jesus. His authority was unrivaled. He commanded and they obeyed.

And Jesus had every right to command them in that way. Well if His authority was implied in this previous section, then it is explicit in the portion we will study today. In fact, the authority of Jesus is going to be a central theme in this week and next week as well.

Chapter 1:21-39 covers one day in one city. Well, it depends on how you tell time. From a Jewish perspective, it is two days, but it is a 24-hour period or so.

Mark 1:21–28—21 They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Jesus’ Authority Stirs up a Synagogue

  1. The Setup (21-22)
  2. The Showdown (23-26)
  3. The Shock (27-28)

This exposition was preached at Cornerstone Bible Church in Albany, Oregon on November 27, 2016.