SermonNot Recognizing Our Messiah
An all-creatures Bible Message

Not Recognizing Our Messiah
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
28 January 2018
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Mark 2:1-12
1 Corinthians 9:1-18

Not recognizing our Messiah, the Hebrew title for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is both a visual problem and a spiritual one, for we may fail to recognize our true Messiah when he does return, and false ones when they claim to be Jesus Christ.
But what about in the mean time before Jesus returns; will we recognize His will and teachings?
Or, are we going to be like most people who are not recognizing our Messiah in His word, and falling for the evil and corrupt ways of this world?
If we are truly born again and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and listen to His unction, we will not follow the corrupt and evil ways of this world, even if most people around us are following the corrupt ways of the world, for we will easily be able to follow the heavenly will of God and reject the ways of the devil and his minions.
As we look at Mark 2:1-12, letís try to discern which people are not recognizing our Messiah, Jesus Christ, from those who do recognize Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

1. And when He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home.
2. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them.

If we look at this account in Mark and compare it with the ways the people in the world act today, we would suspect that there were both kinds of people coming to Jesus: those who truly recognized Him as their Lord and Savior, and those who just came to Jesus for the entertainment value of seeing Him heal someone along with those who selfishly just wanted to be healed of an affliction, because they only saw Him as a worldly miracle worker.
Now, letís look at a situation involving true believers.

3. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men.
4. And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.

These men went to a great deal of effort if they did not have faith, for the way we live and act tells a great deal about who we are and what we believe.

5. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." 

Jesus is apparently saying this because there is a connection between this kind of heavenly healing and being a forgiven believer, but even more importantly the words that Jesus spoke were meant for those gathered around Him.
Note carefully what we are told nextÖ

6. But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,
7. "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?"

This is proof that these scribes donít really believe, or they would have recognized Jesus as their Messiah, and their attitude and the attitude today of many religious leaders is a major reason why many people are not recognizing our Messiah.
Jesus is our Lord and Savior!

8. And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?
9. "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Arise, and take up your pallet and walk'?

To a non-believer these two statements sound like two completely different things, but to God, they are one and the same in the healing process.

10. "But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" ó He said to the paralytic ó 
11. "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." 

Jesus already knew the faith of the paralytic and of those that brought him, so what He said is the same as saying your sins are forgiven, and because they are the same, the miraculous healings occur.

12. And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

The believers were glorifying God, and hopefully some of the non-believers who just came to see Jesus perform, and were not recognizing our Messiah, became believers because of what they saw.
As we have said before, we may not have the power to bring about these kinds of healings, but we do have the power of healing many people of their chronic diseases, such as type II diabetes, by having them stop eating animal products, and eating only whole unprocessed plant foods like the ones that God created for us to eat in Eden.
In 1 Corinthians 9:1-18, it is apparent that many people are not recognizing our Messiah, because they are focused upon the ways of this world, and not upon the heavenly realm and listening to the Holy Spirit; and Paul is trying to help them open their eyes and heart.

1. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

Paul is trying to open their eyes to see the heavenly truth, which is above the ways of this corrupt world, and to think of everything in terms of the heavenly will of God.

2. If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

Just because many people in the world do not see the truth, it is no reason for us to lose our faith, in fact, it should cause us to strengthen our own faith to help overcome the world.

3. My defense to those who examine me is this:

But we need to think about the things that Paul said from a heavenly perspective to understand them, for those who are examining him are not.

4. Do we not have a right to eat and drink?

The answer is, yes, but not everything that is available to eat is profitable to our health and wellbeing, such as animal products and most of the processed foods on our supermarket shelves.
God created whole plant foods for us to eat, and these are part of Godís heavenly will that we are to bring to earth as it is in heaven as an example to others.
This is also why we speak out against the eating habits of most worldly people and even so-called junk food vegans, because they are on a collision course with the chronic diseases that plague this world.
God wants us to be healthy, and this is the reason He created only the plant foods for us to eat; they are all a part of His creation and heavenly will.
Then Paul switches the subject a little, like he is trying to justify something in his life or complain about his situation.

5. Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
6. Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?
7. Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?

From what Paul writes, it sure sounds like he is complaining about the situation he is in, as if he had forgotten that this is all part of his ministry, much like those who are not recognizing our Messiah.

8. I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?

To us, it still sound like he is speaking according to human judgment.
Or, perhaps Paul is also suffering from a little burnout because of the pressures of his ministry.

9. For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing." God is not concerned about oxen, is He?

We really believe that God is concerned about oxen and all other animals as well as human beings.
The other thing we need to consider is that Paul is in charge of his own ministry, and if something isnít right or working correctly, he has the power to change things, just as we have.

10. Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.

But the oxen also deserve to be fed and given water while they are working, which we believe is part of Godís message; likewise it means that we also deserve to get paid for what we do in money or other kinds of compensation, for we are all part of His creation intent and heavenly will.

11. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?

If the people Paul is ministering to are truly saved and living in Godís heavenly will then the people should also realize that those ministering to them need food and shelter, and provide what they need without having to be asked.

12. If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.

But Paul does seem to be using that right, doesnít he, even though he said that he is not?
We are not picking on Paul, we are just hoping that we can also see ourselves in the same boat with him, when we are overwhelmed by the things that are going on around us.

13. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share with the altar?

Since God does not want animal sacrifices, we need to look at this in spiritual terms.
We are to rise above the physical ways of man to the heavenly will of God.

14. So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

But this doesnít always mean that those who hear the word are to be supporting the preacher, for many of them canít afford to do it; and for this reason God often supplies the means to support the ministry from other sources, as He has done with us.

15. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things that it may be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.
16. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
17. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

We still see two sides to what Paul wrote: one is that he feels sorry for his present condition and wants the people to help more even though he said it is not the case, and he may be saying it for the benefit of the people that hear him that they may be strengthened to conduct their own ministry.

18. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

This is the way that we also feel, but not everyone is in our situation.
The main thing that we need to watch for is that we do not get so overwhelmed in our own ministries, which all of us should have, that we become so disheartened that we become like those who are not recognizing our Messiah.
And recognizing our Lord and Savior is not just waiting for His return, but it is recognizing Him in Godís heavenly will, in the things that Jesus taught us, in the unction of the Holy Spirit, and in the pages of our Bibles.
We spiritually need to be constantly living in the heavenly realm of God, even while physically living in this corrupt and evil world with all its violence, suffering and death.
We are to always rise above these worldly ways and be the peacemaking children of God that Jesus calls us to be.

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