Mark Chapter 2 beginning at verse number 1, the Bible reads, “And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.”
This is a really beautiful story about Jesus Christ preaching in the house, and he’s just holding a service in somebody’s house and there were such a huge crowd of people that came out to hear him. They could not even fit in the house. And they jammed this house, packed with people, even in the windows, the doors… anybody just crammed in and hear what Jesus had to say. And then there are these four guys that have a friend that’s sick of the palsy, and they want to bring him unto Jesus to be healed. But they can’t get to him because it’s just too crowded. There’s no way to even get near this house, and so, they take apart the tiles of roof and they lower this guy’s bed down. It must have ropes or something just to lower this guy down. So imagine Jesus preaching. I love the story. Jesus is preaching, and all of the sudden, this bed just starts lowering from the ceiling. And that guy is lowered down, and he ends up healing the guy because he was so impressed by their faith, that they just do whatever it took to get this guy unto Jesus. If they get into Jesus, they knew he’ll be healed. It’s worth it to them to go through all the trouble, to get up on the roof, just device this whole strategy and whatever damage they’re doing to the roof that they’d be liable for, and so forth. They knew that if they could get him to Jesus, he’ll be saved. And it’s a great team effort that we see here. Before we get into that, let me just mention the fact that Jesus had a great crowd of people listening to him preached. There are a lot of people today, who mistakenly believe that if you preach the truth, you’re not going to able to get a crowd. There are some people out there that have a defeated mentality, especially amongst [unclear] Baptists, where they really have a small church and they say, “it’s just impossible to grow if you preach the truth, if you take a stand, if you don’t compromise, it’s going to be small.” The church is going to always stay small. That is not true.
Obviously we know that when you preach the truth, you’re not going to be popular with the world. You’re not going to be popular with the majority, and people out there. The we’re in a city with 4 million people, even if 99% of those people completely reject everything that we have to say. There could still be room for plenty of crowds to come in to Faithful Word Baptist Church and hear you preaching God’s Word. Even if they were a small minority that we reach. So don’t ever get this attitude that says “we can’t grow, we can’t have a big crowd. We can’t have a big church.” Or a mentality that says if the church gets big, it must be a bad church. Truly, many of the churches that are huge are bad because they’re appealing unto the world, they’re appealing unto the flesh, they’re compromising what they believe in order to grow at the expense of the truth. But if you stay true to the truth, and stay true to the Gospel, and don’t trim the message, and preach all the council of God, you will reach people, and you will multiply and you will grow and the church can thrive and succeed. And people will say “I’m not in 2014.” But yes, in 2014, we can grow, and thrive and succeed. There’s no reason why not. There’s nothing new under the sun. And you’d say “but the world is getting so wicked.” But the Bible talks about in Daniel Chapter 11, about how in the last days in the end of times, they that be strong and do know their God, it says that they shall do great exploits. They’ll do great things for God in the last days. And so, there’s no reason that this defeated, losing mentality that says “our church will always be small, we can’t grow, you just can’t do it in 2014.” And a lot of times, that just becomes a cover for somebody who’s not really doing the work in order to grow. They’re not really doing their soul-winning or maybe, there’s something else that they’re doing. Let me say this, we don’t want to look down on a church that’s small. Because first of all, every church starts out small, and it takes a long time to get things rolling.
I remember when I came here in 2005 and would start a church from scratch on December 25th of 2005, and it was slow going. The first year, we ran about 10 people. The second year, about 20. Third year, about 30, in a city of 4 million people. But if you hang in there, it keeps growing, and you stay with it. And it’s not like a weed that shoots up overnight, but it’s like a real tree that starts out slow and then it gets huge. So, I don’t like this attitude that says “small church, good. Big church, bad.” That’s not biblical. I think that our church should strive to be as big as we possibly can with zero compromise. No compromise. So, we’re not willing to make any changes or compromise or a water things down in order to grow. And honestly, if I have to make the list of my goals as a pastor, and my goals for Faithful Word Baptist Church, numeric growth is not at the top of that list, as being the most important thing. It’s not even that high on the list. But it is a natural result of going out, winning souls, preaching the Gospel, doing something for God. We are to be reaching people. We are to be growing and thriving, and our church, every single year, has been larger than it was the year before. We’ve never yet gone backward. Hopefully, we never will. But honestly, we’re not only growing every single year, but we’re sending people out to start church, so we’re losing whole families when we send them out to go start churches. And then, we see them succeeding. And some will succeed faster than others depending on the area that they’re in, depending on what God’s plan is for that area. And if they’re all working hard and serving God, but we see in their ministries, those that we’ve sent out, and we see in our ministry here, and we see in other ministries of soul-winning Baptist churches in America, then it is possible to grow and succeed and thrive in 2014.
So, don’t ever get this defeated, losing mentality. It isn’t right. The Bible talks about God blessing us and multiplying us. We should be growing. And Jesus Christ had zero compromise. He preached the truth. Was he hated of the world? He said the world hated me, because I testified of it that works, they are of evil. The crowd nailed him into the cross. The multitudes turned on him, and many people rejected him. All of the chief priests and scribes in Pharisees either secretly believed in him or openly rejected him. But he didn’t get a lot of support from that quarter at all. Except when they were coming to him by night. None of the chief priests or rulers would stand up openly and confess the lord Jesus Christ. But does that mean that he didn’t have a crowd to hear him preached? Yet thousands of people come to hear him preached. John the Baptist had thousands of people come to hear him preach. The Apostle Paul reached all kinds of multitudes with the Gospel.
So don’t get confused on this thing of “if you preach right, you’re not going to be popular with the world.” And then confuse that as nobody’s going to come to your church. And people live in twist scripture and say that “Noah preached for a 120 years and had no one saved.” That’s not true. Or that Jeremiah preached for decades and had no one saved. That’s a lie. Because if you preach the Gospel, people are going to be saved. If you go soul-winning, people are going to be saved. I’m not saying that every single time you go, but the Bible says that “he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” It doesn’t say “Hey, you might go out and do a ton of soul-winning and not have anybody saved.” That’s not what the Bible says. The Bible says, you’ll doubtless come again. I’m not saying that it’s going to be spontaneous or the first time you go out. But if you keep going out, you will eventually get people saved. You will come back rejoicing bringing your sheaves with you. And so, this idea that soul-winning doesn’t work or that we go out and preach and nobody gets saved, that is a defeated, failure mentality. It’s not biblical.
In the Book of Acts, people are constantly being saved. It’s constantly success. They’re constantly doing things for God, and making a big difference at people’s lives. And so, I like the saying that I heard one time from a preacher. He said “if people are not being saved, then either the Gospel is not being preached or the Gospel has lost its power.” And that’s the truth. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. If we’re preaching it, people are going to be saved. And so, the idea that people are not going to be saved is a false doctrine. Or the idea that you just preach for decades and nobody gets saved. That’s not biblical. A lot of that is because people are preaching a false Gospel. They don’t even know what the Gospel is, or they just don’t know how to go soul-winning, or they just don’t do any soul-winning. And then, they expect everybody to come to them. Those are some of the excuses that they’ll use for those kinds of failures. But we need to be in it to win it. We need to go out and win people to Christ, and want to grow and serve God, and do something big.
We’re out soul-winning this afternoon and knocked in a neighbourhood that we’ve knocked several times. Even though it’s several miles from here. And we’ve knocked all of the surrounding areas so many times. The further out areas, we’ve done zero or one time, but close to us, we’ve done these areas, 3,4,5. And I love it when I recognize people. We’re not going into this lady’s door and think that I’ve knocked this, and this is my third time at this lady’s door. Over the years though. I love that. Because it makes me feel like “wow, we’re actually getting the Gospel to all the people in our area even multiple times. We’ve been able to plant a seed and water. And speaking of planting the seed and watering, go, if you would, to 1 Corinthians Chapter 3. Just a few pages at the right in your Bible.
1 Corinthians 3… There are a lot of things that I love about this story, but that the thing that I really love about it is how it’s a team effort, how four people working together to bring this guy to Christ, and then Jesus sees their faith, it says. It says when Jesus saw their faith, he said then of the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. A lot of people have this mistake and idea that going out and winning people to Christ, “we’re not really part of the equation. We don’t really matter. It’s just God that saves people.” Truly, God does save people, and truly, He is the Saviour. But, to say that God just saves people and that we have nothing to do with it, is false. Because God has committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation, and He is counting on us to do the job. He has commissioned us to do that job. And let me say this, if we don’t do it, it won’t get done. Don’t give me this thing of “God really wants somebody to get saved, then God will send somebody.” No. God really does want people to get saved, and God is sending you, and God is sending me. The question is, will we go? And God uses obedient Christians to give the Gospel. Let me tell you this. If a church goes out and knocks every door one time, or if that same church goes out and knocks every door four times? What these things will result, and more people being saved. “It just doesn’t matter, it’s all in God’s hands.” [unclear]. If we go out and do it four times, more people are going to get saved. And that’s why tells us that if we do not warn the wicked that his blood is on our hands. And that’s why the Apostle Paul in the New Testament said “I’m free from the blood of all men.” Why? Because he preached to all that were in Asia, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And he said “I’m free from the blood of all men.” I’ve not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” He said, “I’ve taught you publicly. I’ve taught you from house to house. I’m free from the blood of all men.” We have a responsibility to go out and win souls to Christ. And we just don’t go out just to go through the motions, just to be obedient to God. It’s great to be obedient to God and go out and preach the Gospel. But I go out to get people saved. Yes, I want to go and be obedient to God, but I go out to get people saved, because I love people also. I want to reach people. I want to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s what the Bible says of having compassion, making a difference. Others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire. We, as Aaron did, truly stand between the dead and the living when we go out soul-winning. We are there on the frontlines of the spiritual battle, winning people to the Lord Jesus Christ, and getting people saved. Look what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3, as we think about that team effort of those four men that carried that bed to Jesus. It says in verse 4, “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”
Right here, the Bible is teaching, of course, that God gets the glory. God’s the one who does the saving. We get that. But that be like saying, if I had a garden, because this is all the illustrations – planting, watering – if I had a garden, and I go out and water the garden, and somebody said, “you don’t make that garden grow. God makes that garden grow.” You might plant a seed. You might pour water. But you don’t have the power to produce life. Only God can produce life. Isn’t that true that God that’s the one who’s making the plants grow? And God is the one who can produce life? But what if I just say, “OK then, I’m just not going to water. And I’m just not going to plant seed, now that I know that’s God doing it all. Now that I know that it’s all the work of God.” But wait a minute. If I don’t put that seed in the ground, it’s not going grow. And if I don’t water that seed, it’s going to die. But if I water it, God will be able to do the work of making things grow. So while God can just do it all by himself, really? Is that really biblical? Does God do it all by himself? No, he doesn’t. Because the Bible says, “if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”
So, if we hide it under a bushel, people go without hearing the Gospel. People are doomed. We need to reach them with the Gospel. And you’d say, “everybody gets a chance.” But I want to give people two chances. I want to give people a third chance. I want to give people a fourth chance. Because most people don’t get saved the first time they hear it. I want to give them the sixth and the seventh chance. And the more we go, the more people are going to be saved. The more seeds we plant, and the more water we dump in that garden, the more people are going to be saved. So it’s so foolish to say “it’s all in God’s hands, because God makes the plant grow.” No, it’s not all in God’s hands. Because we have to be faithful to water that garden. That’s what the Bible is actually teaching, because God says “ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man.” So God has given every man ministers by whom they might believe. So, are we going though? Are we being that minister? Are we filling the role that God has for our lives, and are we being an answer to prayer? When people pray in some distant city, “Oh God, please let my relative in Phoenix, Arizona be safe.” Are we an answer to prayer when we knock on that door? Because I remember many times that I’ve knocked on somebody’s door, and given him the Gospel, and they said, “wow, my grandma is a Baptist, or my uncle is Baptist, or my aunt David…” They keep talking about me all about this. And then they get saved. And you think, I’m going to be the answer to the prayer of that other relative. That’s a blessing to do that. But you know what? When people are praying, so many people are just not willing to go. And then it just doesn’t get done. And I say “why God doesn’t answer my prayer?” But God is trying to send people, but here’s the problem. The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” You could be an answer to that prayer by being a labourer that goes out into the harvest. And we see here that one person plants, and another waters, God gives the increase. But I like this is verse 8. It says, “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one…” What does it mean “he that planteth and he that watereth are one?” It’s the same guy who plants, and it’s the same guy who waters. Sometimes, we’re planting. Sometimes, we’re watering. There’s no such thing as an all-time planter. I’m just a seed planter. I never want anybody to Lord, I just plant seeds. Or, all I do is just water. No. It’s the same person that does. Sometimes we plant, sometimes we water. Sometimes we get to see that harvest reap.
Flip over to John Chapter 4, just back a few pages to the left in your Bible, John Chapter 4. And the Bible says, “He that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” We don’t matter. We don’t have any part in it. We have nothing to do with it. That’s not what the Bible teaches. We have a job to do. God gives us that job to do. If we accomplish the mission, we get our reward. We get paid. Why do we get paid by the Lord? Why does he reward us? Don’t we owe so much anyway? Here’s the thing, though. Salvation is free. We don’t pay that back. When we go out and do works for God, He rewards us. It doesn’t go toward our salvation then. That’s already been paid. By Jesus.
Look at John Chapter 4, and we have another great passage on the same concept. It says in verse 35, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages…” Do you see that again that reward when you go out and win souls to Christ? “…and gathereth fruit unto life eternal…” Again, showing that when we bring forth fruit as believers, that’s when we win people to Christ. And those people have eternal life. “that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.”
When we go out and knock doors in soul-winning, we’re not always starting from scratch with people, are we? We talk to somebody, and a lot of times, they already know who Jesus is. They might know the basics of the Bible, the basics of the story. They’ve already been thinking about these things. And we just get to come in, and just water that plant a little bit, and reap that harvest. And the Bible says, at the end of verse 36 there, “that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” Isn’t it going to be great someday to get to heaven? And be able to get together with your co-labourers and rejoice together. The people that you’ve won to the Lord, you could rejoice with those who planted the seed, and say, “hey, your labour wasn’t in vain. Remember you gave the Gospel to that guy and he didn’t receive it? Guess what, I came along, and got that guy saved.” And vice versa. And we can rejoice in our labours, and rejoice in the increase that God gave as a result of being faithful and going out and knocking doors, and giving the Gospel to people, and witnessing unto people of the jobs, of the friends and family, and loved ones, and it’s a team effort. It’s not a one-man show.
Go back to Mark Chapter 2. That’s what we see in Mark – multiple people working together to get people saved. And that’s what we do when we go out two by two. Maybe one person is doing the talking, and another person is just praying silently. Or maybe [unclear], keeping the dog at bay, or keeping everybody and distractions away, and everything like that. But winning soul to Christ is a team effort. It’s something that we work together. And so, don’t get discourage if you go out and give people the Gospel and they don’t get saved. Somebody else will come along and finish that hopefully, God willing. And especially as our church grows, and we just keep knocking more doors, we ourselves will go back to that door again, and again, and again, and get as many people saved as we can. We can’t saved the whole world. But do you know what we can do, though? We can reach our area, and at least make sure that everybody in our area gets saved. There could be people not hearing the Gospel in distant areas. But not in our area. We can’t sit there and take the whole world on our shoulders. But we can say, Phoenix, Arizona is where God has put us. We’ve got a big task ahead of us. We’ve got 4 million people, that God has put within, just a convenient drive for us to get to. We can make sure that everybody hears the Gospel multiple times in that radius. And we can work together as a team, and I love how four people here work together to get this guy saved. Because not only did he receive physical healing, he also got saved by believing in Jesus, because it says in verse 5, “when Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.”
So, it’s a wonderful story. The religious scribes, they think that Jesus is speaking blasphemy by just absolving this guy of all his sins. Why? Because they don’t believe that he’s the Son of God. They don’t believe that he’s the Lord, and that all power has been given unto him in heaven and in earth, and all judgment is committed under the Son, and that he will judge the quick and the dead. They don’t believe that. I have to agree with the scribes that a mortal man can’t just go around telling people “thy sins be forgiven thee, my son.” This kind of thing. The Roman Catholics. They say “come to this confessional booth, and tell me all your dirty secrets, because I’m a pervert, and I just like to listen to dirty secrets. The more detail, the better. Come tell me yours, and I’ll just tell you, you’re forgiven as long as you just do some Hail Mary’s, and some Our Father’s. Just chant this over and over again and rub these beads, and you just go ahead and chant over and over again, Our Father who art in heaven…” A vain repetition like the heathen do and you’ll be saved. That priest does not have the power to forgive sins. It’s God that can forgive your sins and no one else. And the Lord Jesus Christ can forgive your sins. But that man pretends to have the power to forgive sins, to give people a dispensation, to give them absolution of their sins, whether he be the pope or the priest, or whoever else, he is a man, and he is just as much as a sinner as you are. He’s probably more of a sinner, because of all that junkie. He listens to that stupid confessional booth all day. He’s probably corrupted and rotten in his mind even more.
And so, they would have been right, except that they don’t recognize who the Lord Jesus is. Look at verse 14, “And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus…” Now, I look at the name Alphaeus. That didn’t look like a Jewish name to me. Alphaeus? That looks like a Greek name, right? And this guy, his name is Levi. That’s a pretty Jewish name, right? Levi? But his dad’s name is Alphaeus. Jesus had a disciple called Simon the Canaanite, and it’s so funny when people think that Jews, that they are so separate from the Greek, and there has never been any mixing or anything like that. Remember Timothy himself was a product of a Jewish mother, it seems that way, a Jewish mother and a Greek father. And all throughout the Bible, there’s all kinds of mixing that takes place between those that are Jews. You have Simon the Canaanite obviously, he’s at least partially Canaanite, at least on some branch of his family, to have that name of being the Canaanite. And also, just the fact that we have so many Greek names in these stories, it shows you that Greek is a language that was being spoken in that place at that time. It’s hard to say, with authority, exactly what languages were being spoken, because there’s so few documents that have survived from that period until now. Really, the Bible is the only thing that we really have to go on that’s authoritative, that we can really trust to tell us the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But just using a bit of logic and using what we read in scripture, and we do know, for a fact, that the New Testament was written in Greek. That is a fact. And if you think about that there are people out there , this Hebrew roots false movement that’s out there, is teaching this lie that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew. Let me say this. There are today, in existence, approximately 5,900 handwritten manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek, either partial or complete manuscripts. And the word manuscript means written by hand. If you speak Spanish, you know that mano means hand, and script makes you think of writing. So a manuscript is a hand-written document. So there are 5,900 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, hand-written copies. So these go back many hundreds of years, and some of them are over a thousand years old. And do you know how many Hebrew manuscripts of the New Testament there are? Zero. But don’t let that stop you from thinking that it was originally written in Hebrew. Even though there’s no evidence for that. Even though there are zero manuscripts of it being written in Hebrew. But there are people out there today, and it’s a movement that’s growing, and people believe this stuff that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew, and Jesus never said that he was the Alpha and Omega. He really said that he was the Aleph and the Tav. Because you know, he never would have used the Greek alphabet. But the New Testament is really in Greek. And you’d say why is that important? Why does that matter? It’s extremely important. Why? Because the Greek New Testament is the bases for everything that we believe, because that’s what was translated into this King James version, a Greek New Testament. The New Testament were [unclear]. So if somebody says, “the Greek New Testament is actually a translation.” And they’ll even say that it’s a translation with mistakes in it, then God’s Word isn’t preserved. Then we’re putting our faith in a document that is a false document. This is why they have to come up with that. “It wasn’t originally written in Greek.” Because they want to call him Yeshua, instead of calling him Jesus. And the New Testament never says Yeshua. The Greek New Testament doesn’t say anything like Yeshua. If you’re to pronounce the Greek word for Jesus, it’ll be Iesous. Iesous. Or they’d say “in ancient times, it was pronounced Yeah-sus.” That’s where we get Jesus, not Yeshua. But they’d say, “Everybody spoke Hebrew, and they were all Hebrews, and it’s all written in Hebrew.” It’s false. And if you look at where Jesus grew up, Jesus didn’t even grow up in Judea. Just think about this for a minute. Jesus did not grow up in Judea. Where did Jesus grow up? Somebody tell me. Where did he grow up? He grew up in Nazareth, right, which is not in Judea. He grew up in Galilee, which is another province of the Roman Empire there, not down in Judea. But he grew up up in Galilee, on the edge of what would be considered [unclear]. And he also spent part of his childhood in Egypt. From the time that he was two years old, he spent a lot time down in Egypt. And then he came up from Egypt. And then he lived in Galilee, and it wasn’t until he’s in his thirties, that he’s doing a lot of ministry in Judea. Of course, he went down for the sacrifices and things like we see Jesus in the temple at twelve years old in Judea. But where did he grow up most of his time? In Galilee. And to say that there’s no way that they spoke Greek in Galilee, is just total ignorance. If the whole New Testament is written in Greek, do you believe that Peter, John, James the brother of Jesus, Luke, Matthew, Mark… who am I naming? Authors of the New Testament, right? Do you think that these men did not speak Greek? But that they just wrote the New Testament in Greek? A language that they didn’t speak? Well, they learned of it. Do you really think that these guys just went through their whole lives speaking nothing but Hebrew. They just spoke Hebrew, maybe Aramaic, according to these Hebrew roots people. And then, all of a sudden, they just, as adults, learn Greek as a foreign language as adults, as grown men, and then they just write these perfectly eloquent books of the New Testament in Greek. And I realized, of course, that the Bible is inspired by God, that they spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. But it wasn’t the gift of tongues when they’re writing letters and epistles in the Greek language. They wrote it because that’s the language that they spoke. Just common sense will tell you. They wrote it in a language that they spoke, and the epistle part of the Hebrews? Yeah, it’s in Greek. And it’s in a very high level language of Greek. You read it in English, and it’s in a very high level. It’s one of the most difficult books of the New Testament.
You’d say, “Why does it really matter Pastor Anderson? Who cares?” Here’s why. Because God made a point to give us the Bible in multiple languages, not just one language. Because think about it. What if He just gives us the whole Bible in one language, all Hebrew. You what people would say? “It’s got to be in Hebrew.” And then they would exult that language, then what they will do, they will exult those people above all. When in reality, the Word of God is in multiple languages, which proves that He can give us His Word in multiple languages, which means we can have His Word in English. We don’t have to go. People with the Quran, the Quran is all Arabic, right? And here’s what would they say, “You have to learn Arabic to get the true Quran.” You’ve got to get it in Arabic. You can’t really say that with the Bible. “It’s got to be Hebrew.” Oh really, but why is its half in Greek? Because it doesn’t have to in Hebrew, does it? Because God can speak to us in our tongue wherein we were born, in the language that we were born. And you’d say, “Where in the world did you get that the apostles and Jesus spoke Greek?” I don’t know. Just the fact that the whole New Testament is written in Greek. Just the fact that a lot of people have Greek names. Just the fact that all the epistles that they write, even when they’re writing to the Jews that are scattered abroad and to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, it’s all written in Greek. I wonder if maybe people just spoke Greek at that time. And what really was going on is that, at that time, Greek was like a universal second language, sort of like English today has become the universal second language, where an ambassador from China and an ambassador from Russia might get together and speak English together sometimes. From two totally different countries. Just because it’s the universal second language. It’s known as the lingua franca of the world. English is the universal second language today.
Hundreds of millions of people speak English as a second language. The reason that we don’t understand this in America is because we live in a country, where everybody just speaks one language pretty much. It’s English. We do have, of course, Hispanic people that speak Spanish and English. But amongst us, just normal, like everyday American, people are just saying English. One language, English. Why learn anything else? To us, it’s a foreign concept of most people speaking multiple languages. But if you go to other parts of the world, almost everybody speaks two languages, at least. They speak their local language or dialect. And then they speak the main language of the larger region, that allows them to communicate with more people.
For example, if you look at Africa. Let’s say, you’re in East Africa. Swahili is the universal second language of East Africa. Swahili is not even really a native language. It’s a language that was created by mixing a whole bunch of African languages, and it became like a language of business, or universal second language for people in East Africa. So people speak Swahili but they also speak another language. For example, if you were to go to China. There are all these Chinese dialects that are completely different from Mandarin Chinese and they couldn’t understand each other if one only spoke Mandarin or they only spoke the dialect. So, your average Chinese person is going to know their local language, their local indigenous language, and they’re going to know Chinese. Think about, for example Navajo. Do you speak Navajo? Yeah, do you only speak Navajo? No, of course, you speak English too. Why? Because you’re on the reservation, that’s his local language of Navajo, right? But then also, he lives in a larger group, being within the United States. So if you want to communicate with that group, it’s going to be English. So, he’s got Navajo. He’s got English.
For example, in Luxembourg today. That’s a country in Europe, where, it’s very small, and they have a language called Luxembourgish. It’s not that major of a language. If that’s all they speak, they are going to be pretty isolated. So, when they go to school, in elementary school, they learn German. And all of their schooling is done in German. So at home, they speak Luxembourgish. All through elementary school, it’s all German. But by the time they’re in high school, their schooling is 100% in French. No more German. So they do Luxembourgish at home. Half of their schooling is in German. Another half of their schooling is in French. Why? Because every person in Luxembourg grows up speaking three languages. Minimum. And many of them speak 4 or 5 languages. I’ve been to Luxembourg. I went to the store in Luxembourg, and they took 4 or 5 kinds of money when I was there, because it was before the Euro. And they took Deutsch of Marks. They took, whatever, that’s what I had so I don’t remember what they took. Dollars. They took dollars. Deutsch of Marks and, I don’t know, three other things that they took. They’ve taken everything, because they’re on a bordering area. They’re at a border there, between a few countries.
Here’s the thing about Galilee. You’re on the border. You’re on the edge. Jesus Christ grew up in a place, where he was on the edge of a few different cultures. And his disciples are what? Galileans as well. So chances are, if we just use a little logic, and just read the Bible, we could figure that they probably spoke Aramaic and Greek. And they probably grew up speaking Greek as the second language. And Jesus was obviously a smart man. Obviously, he’s the Son of God but he was still human. Because the Bible says he grew in wisdom. So even though he was God in the flesh, he still had humanity. But do you think that he was, as far as his humanity went, on the slow side? No. Because he obviously, he was the most diligent, most righteous person, because he’s God is the flesh. Obviously, he’s a smart guy. He’s not just going to live in a place, where all these different cultures have converged, where Greek’s the universal second language, but he was just stuck on one thing, just Hebrew. That’s all he wanted to do. Hebrew, nothing else. He probably spoke Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. That’s what actually makes sense, if you read the stories and read what the Bible says.
So don’t be deceive by this Hebrew roots movement, that tells you that Adam and Eve spoke Hebrew in the Garden of Eden, and all this stuff. It’s just so bizarre. People think that that actually makes sense because they haven’t studied. But that makes about as much sense as saying that they spoke English in the Garden of Eden. It makes about the same amount of sense. Because even Hebrew, even changed from the time the Bible started being written to the time it was finished being written. Hebrew changed. So don’t just sit there and say that a thousand of years ago, and it’s the same? And before the Tower of Babel, they all spoke Hebrew? And then God divided the languages. Then who are the lucky people to keep Hebrew? I guess the pagans in Babylon, just because Abraham was going to be one of them. It doesn’t make any sense, my friend. So don’t be deceive by that. And that was all based on one word in Mark Chapter 2 – Alphaeus. Look at it. It’s like Alpha. Alphaeus. I’m sure somebody is going to email me and tell me that that’s a Hebrew name.
Let’s keep reading. I have to keep that up my chest. It says, “And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.” So, what is he doing? He’s receiving [unclear], a tax collector. And these people were thought of back then as the scum of the earth, and those were the good old days. But anyway, nowadays, you don’t feel that anymore. But back in those days, that was considered pretty low, when you’re a tax collector.
It says in verse 15, “And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house…” his house… that’s not Jesus’ house, because if you compare this with Matthew and Luke, he’s at the tax collector’s house. He’s at Levi, the son of Alphaeaus, who, by the way, his name is also Matthew. It’s just another name for Matthew. And it says “when he’s in his house, many publicans and sinners…” So these are all his tax collector buddies, that are all there. Publicans and sinners sat also with Jesus and his disciples, for they were many, and they followed him. Even a tax collector can be saved, my friend. God’s grace… that’s sufficient. But says, “And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Let me just say this. When it says “sinners” there, obviously, in a sense we’re all sinners. There’s not a just man upon the earth that doeth good and sinneth not. But when the Bible talks about publicans and sinners, it’s using the word “sinner” as somebody who is a major sinner. That’s what it means…people that are just known for their sin for lifestyle. Somebody whom you’ll just look at and say “that person is a sinful person.” And all these people are coming, and Jesus is eating with publicans and sinners, and is being rebuked by the religious leaders. And Jesus says that basically, he’s trying to reach to these people. “I’ve come to not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” So he’s saying “I want to reach these people.” That’s what’s the meaning of that.
Let me say this. In the New Testament, the Bible is very clear, that we should not eat with people who are Christians, people who are called a “brother” who are majorly sinful people. And he brings up drunkenness, fornication, covetousness, railer, extortioner. He says that we shouldn’t be eating with those kinds of people. When it comes to the unsaved, though, we should eat with them. For some people, that doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t I be more likely to want to eat with my brother in Christ, be it he’s an extortioner, a drunkard, a fornicator? But no, actually, the Bible teaches that it makes more sense to go out and dine with the publicans and sinners of this world, so that we can reach them with the Gospel. Whereas the ones who are already a brother in Christ that is living that lifestyle, he’s just going to drag us down. They should know better, anyway. They’re choosing to continue in sin, even after they’ve been saved. That’s somebody we should stay away from. Those people need to give [unclear] with from God to be restored, the fellowship, and stop drinking, stop fornicating, whatever their issue is.
But here, we see that Jesus did dine with the publicans and sinners. But people will try to apply that to say “hey, we should spend time with all Christians, no matter how wicked they are.” But this is talking about, basically, people that Jesus is reaching and calling to repentance. Because 1 Corinthians 5 says, “with such an one no not to eat…” referring to anyone that is called the brother. And he makes the distinction in 1 Corinthians 5. He says, “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, for then must ye needs go out of the world.” He said that if you can’t eat with fornicators, you’re not going to be eating with anybody in the world, because the world is full of fornicators. But he said “now, I’ve written unto you not to keep company, if any man, that is called a brother, be a fornicator or covetous or idolater, or railer, a drunkard or extortioner, with such an one no not to eat.” So that distinction is important to maintain. We should reach out to the ungodly and the wicked, and try to reach them with the Gospel. But when we see Christians who are backslidden and living a really sinful life, we need to stay away from people like that, because they are going to take us with them.
Let’s keep reading. It says in verse 18.. I’ve got to hurry, we’re almost out of time. It says, “And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”
When we analyze this part on fasting, because some people will say that fasting is a command. Is it not a command? Is it something that we have to do? How often do we have to do it? When do we do it? When do we not do it? What is the purpose of fasting? And obviously, this could be a sermon all in itself, just on fasting, because there’s so much scripture on fasting. There’s actually quite a bit. Mainly in the Old Testament, but there’s quite a bit in the New Testament. Let’s just go on some highlights. Let’s go to Matthew 6, just to look at a few highlights on fasting. Like I said, we would never have time to go through all the scriptures on fasting. It would take up more than one sermon to do so. But I think that if we just take this story that we just read in Mark Chapter 2 at face value, I think that we can clearly see that there’s a time to fast and a time not to fast, because of the fact that Jesus says that while the bridegroom is with them, meaning while he himself is with them, he says that they cannot fast. But he says that when the bridegroom is taken from them shall they fast. He says why would they fast when I’m with them? And if you think about that, that’s about 3 ½ years, where the disciples are not doing any fasting. That’s 3 ½ years. So this is someone like “hey, you have to fast all the time. You need to constantly fast.” Because the disciples went 3 ½ years without fasting. There’s a time to fast and a time not to fast. You cannot really find a clear command in the Bible that ever commands you that you must fast. But, I will say this though. There’s a lot of example of people fasting in the Bible. All the great men of God in the Bible, we have examples of them fasting. The Apostle Paul, for a New Testament example, said he was fasting often. So the Apostle Paul was one that fasted often. Jesus, of course, not giving a command, but speaking of a future time when he’s gone, says that they will fast. So we know that the disciples fasted. All of Jesus’ apostles fasted.
Matthew 6 says that when you fast, the assumption that is there is that there’s going to be a time that you do fast – when you pray, when you fast, when you give alms. These are things that we’re supposed to be doing – praying, fast, giving alms. As far as the command to fast, the only that you can really find is in the Old Testament. Specific commands to fast in specific situations, or certain situations that people are in where they’re told to fast, in order to get right with God. So, I think that the main thing that we see in Mark Chapter 2 is that there’s a time to fast, and a time not to fast.
Look at Matthew 6. It says in verse number 16, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
Flip back to Isaiah Chapter 58. Here we see that there are people who are hypocrites, who fast in order to make it an outward show, in order to receive glory from men. That’s why the Bible says that when we fast, we should not make ourselves look poor and disfigure our faces and make sure that everybody knows that we’re suffering, and how hard it is, and what bad thing we’re going through when we’re fasting. Just to receive glory of men. The Bible says that we should not appear unto men to fast, but we should fast before our Father, which is, in secret, and our Father will see it in secret, and shall reward us openly.
More warning about hypocrites in fasting in Isaiah 58 verse 1. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness…” meaning outwardly, they seem to be doing righteous, “…and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore…” meaning why, “…ave we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate…” So are these people are fasting for the right reason? It says you fast for strife and debate, “…and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?” Isn’t that exactly what Jesus talks about in Matthew 6 – the outward show, the hanging down of the head, the wearing of sackcloth. He says, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” So what God is saying is, if you’re going to live a wicked life and then you fast, it’s meaningless to God. Just like when the Bible says that if someone turns away their ear from hearing the Law of God, even his prayer is abomination. So praying and fasting are not going to do you any good if you’re not serving the Lord, obeying him, doing what you’re supposed to be doing. So God desires obedience rather than sacrifice. First of all, God wants us to obey his commandments and obey his Word. Does that mean that fasting is not something that we should do. No, on the contrary, fasting is a good thing to do. What is the purpose of fasting?
In this passage, God gave us one of the purposes of fasting. At the end of verse 4 – “to make your voice to heard on high.” Basically, to get God’s attention, to basically amp up your prayer line if you have a prayer that you really want to get answered, you can make that prayer a stronger prayer toward God by combining that prayer with fasting. So when is the appropriate time to fast? It would be when you have a major serious prayer request that you want God to answer. You would combine prayer with fasting.
Another time that would be appropriate to fast would be to fast when you are weeping and mourning about the loss of a loved one or some other sad event in your life. So there are times to pray and fast. The Bible says, “I humbled my soul with fasting.” David said, “I chastened my soul with fasting.” The Bible says that if we would judge ourselves, then we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened at the Lord. So fasting is something that can humble us, afflict us, chasten ourselves, get ourselves right with God, show God that we’re sorry for something that we’ve done wrong, weeping more about something bad that has happened, or just if we want a prayer to get answered, we can fast and pray in order to receive an answer from God. That is favourable unto us. So that’s basically, just fasting in a quick nutshell.
When we see fasting in the Bible, it is either a fast that is abstaining from food and continuing to drink water, or you’ll see a fast, where you abstain from both food and water. Obviously, abstaining from both food and water is very dangerous, especially if you live in Arizona. The longest any person ever did this in the Bible was for three days, in the Book of Esther, and they did not live in Arizona when they did that. But a lot of people will go on longer fasting in the Bible, where they just drink water and don’t need any food. Some of the [unclear] of fasting that you’ll see in the Bible is a one-day fast. That is the most common fast in the Bible – the one-day fast. More often that anything else, you’ll see people fasting for one day, or just fasting until the end of the day, until the sun goes down. But you also see 3-day fast, 7-day fast, 14-day fast, 21-day fast, and even the extreme example of Moses, Elijah and Jesus Christ to fast for 40 days and 40 nights.
In modern times, I’ve heard preachers get up and talk about how they fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and lost their reward right there. Imagine going through some like that and just losing your reward? It’s like “why would you?” You went through 40 days and 40 nights of fasting and then you’re going to get up and brag about it? Are you nuts? Do you just like not eating for 40 days? But do you know who also fasted for over 40 days? Mahatma Gandhi, who’s burning in hell right now. So this guy who gets up and tells us how he fasted for 40 days, what a spiritual giant? Gandhi was a spiritual pygmy. Gandhi was not a spiritual man. Gandhi was not a believer in Jesus Christ. Gandhi was unsaved, and he went 40 days and 40 nights without eating. So to sit there and say that all that it makes you a spiritual giant. No, it makes you a bragger and a hypocrite and a Pharisee, and it makes you do a violation of what God told you about how fasting should be. You see, why do we know that Moses, Elijah and Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights? Because they went around bragging about it? Or because the scripture told us that they fasted for 40 days and 40 nights? Don’t just sit there and think “I’m going to fast for 40 days and 40 nights.” Some of you couldn’t afford to fast for 40 days and 40 nights. There’s going to be nothing left. There’s a law of thermodynamics involved, and calories in and calories out. Fasting for one day is an appropriate fast in many situations. That’s a great fast. There’s no need to do and say “I’m going to do everything to the extreme.” That’s not necessarily what God wants you to do or he’s calling you to do. That’s not commanded. Or one day fast may be appropriate, or a 3-day fast may be appropriate. But here’s a thing about fasting. It’s not something where God commands it and says “fast and do it this often, and do it for this long.” It’s a free will type of a thing. It has to be. Because otherwise, He would give us some kind of like “do it this often, do it for this long, do a type or you don’t do…” He doesn’t give us any guidelines like that. He just basically gives a lot of examples. He says that when you fast, be sure that it’s just between you and the Lord. It would be like, some people tell you “eat this,” and you have to tell him “sorry, I’m not eating, I’m fasting.” But that’s not you going around. That’s different when you’re just going around and just brag about it. If somebody asks you and you tell him “I’m fasting.” That’s fine. But to be one, who is just “look at me everybody, I’m fasting, and did I mention that I’m going to give alms a little bit later as well?” That’s being a hypocrite and a phony. And so, I don’t believe that it’s right to say “you have to fast this often” or “you have to do this kind of thing.” No. It’s something that is up to you, between you and the Lord, what you’re going to do for fasting. But I do think that, if we study the Bible, fasting should be a part of every person’s life at one time or another. There should come a time when you fast, because you’re going to get in this type of situation where fasting would be appropriate, and God has laid that out for us in the Bible. So, there are times to fast, times not to fast. There are different types of fast for different types of people. It’s between you and God, and so on and so forth.
Go back to Mark Chapter 2, if I took you away from there. But in Mark Chapter 2, he mentions it about fasting. I’ll say this. I’ve read a lot of books on nutrition and diet and things like that. If you read books on nutrition and diet, they all contradict each other. There’s no consensus. It’s not like it’s said in stone. They dramatically contradict each other. You can hardly find two books that will tell you the same thing. And then you find two that say the same thing, and then you put it in practice, and it doesn’t work for you. So, there are all different types of points of view out there, but I have read a lot of books that claim, and they weren’t even Christian books, they just claim that fasting is good for you. I’ve heard them say that fasting for a day or a day and a half is really good for you to do that once a week, once a month, whatever. Or that even just fasting for 16 hours a day is good for you. I’ve read a lot of books like that, and they said that the idea of going into starvation mode is a myth, because from the science that I’ve read, it says that it takes you about 3 days before you go into starvation mode. So fasting is actually supposedly good for you. I don’t know whether that’s true or not. It makes sense, but I don’t know. But I see biblically spiritual reasons for fasting, and so forth.
So, again, I can’t spend too much time on this because it’s a whole story in itself, but let’s just finish out the chapter here. It says in verse 21, “No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles. And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read…”
Isn’t that a problem when people are wrong about things? The biggest reason why people are wrong is because they haven’t read the Bible. Reading the Bible gets our doctrine correct. It says, “Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”
What Jesus is warning against here is following the laws of God in a way that is too neat picky. God didn’t give us His commandments to just be really neat picky, and to just be illogical and stupid about the way that we follow God’s commandments. The Jews today, they have whole giant volumes and books and thousands of pages on what it means not to work on a Sabbath. They go on for hundreds of pages on “is turning a light switch on a Sabbath day work?” Seriously. Do you really thing that’s what God intended when He instituted the day of rest, when He instituted the seventh day to be a Sabbath unto the Lord? That they go to work 6 days and rest on the 7th day? Do you really think that He intended them to write hundreds of pages about whether flipping on a light switch is work? Because they say that you’re not supposed to kindle a fire on the Sabbath day. Is flipping on a light switch, kindling a fire? But obviously, that’s going back to the fact that if you kindle a fire back in old days, is actually work. That was when they actually had to work to make a fire. They didn’t just push a button or flip a switch. And then the Jews today, a lot of branches, because there are so many denominations of Judaism, just like there are all different denominations of Christianity, a lot of them will say that it’s OK to have a gentile do my work for me on Sabbath day. A lot of the Jews believe that. But actually, it’s really clear when God instituted to us, He said that even a stranger that dwells among you should not be doing any work. But there are a lot, you know, the [unclear], the cattle, the gentiles flip the switch for them, or whatever. And they’ll have a gentile coming and slip the switch in their synagogues to turn the lights on. And they have these Sabbath elevators, that just run non-stop because they say that pushing the button would be work. Good night! Don’t even get out of bed in the morning then. If pushing the button of the elevator is work, you should just pretty like … You’re going to be like a hamster, you have a little feeding tube, and you just have it in bed and have your food and drink all ready. It’s stupid. It’s ridiculous. And Jesus is saying, “what are you talking about?” Other times, he’s like telling them that if their ox or their ass has fallen in a ditch on a Sabbath day, you pull it out. You just don’t let it die. It’s the Sabbath. What is he saying? In an emergency situation, you could pull somebody out of a ditch. If somebody is sick… Close the hospital, it’s the Sabbath. That’s what they said while Jesus heals people on a Sabbath, and they’re telling him he’s in sin. What if your ox or ass falls in a ditch? Aren’t you going to pull it out? Think about that. Shut down all hospitals on the Sabbath. Think about somebody’s just gushing blood and “help me, help me.” “Sorry, can’t [unclear]. It’s the Sabbath.” Die. But this is the bizarre type of mentality that they got, where they don’t even understand why the laws are even there, anymore. They’re just mechanically, robotically following these laws. And it’s like they’re worshipping the rule more than understanding why the rule is there, and why it was even instituted.
They are not going to work. They’re just eating. And all they’re doing is just walking through a field and just picking the corn. My wife had to correct me. She tells me like “it’s not corn like you think of.” Because I have pictured it as ears of yellow corn, and she says “no, it’s not corn on the cob.” Because there’s actually some that didn’t grow over there. That’s something that grew here, that they brought back, with Columbus and everything have brought it back. And when the Bible uses the word corn, and if you study the word corn in the Bible, you’ll see that actually she was right. If we study the word corn in the Bible, corn is just referring to any type of grain, and the reason that she knew that is because she speaks German and English in 1611 was close to the German, and then corn in German refers to all types of grain. And if you study the Bible, you’ll see that it is used in that way about wheat, for example. They’re calling it corn. But whatever it is, whether it was the type that was used to or whatever, they’re just picking a fruit or a vegetable, they just pick whatever corn is considered these days. But I’ll call it a fruit. Who says it’s fruit? Who says it’s vegetable? No one agrees. Just me, that’s fruit. Well, it’s a vegetable then. But anyway, you grab the corn and peel it back and eat it. That’s not work. That’s not making a meal or whatever. Jesus is saying that they are hungry. They’re serving God. They need to eat, and he felt that what they were doing was fine. The Pharisees are being too neat picky. And God is even saying that there are even emergency situations like where David eat the showbread, which he wasn’t supposed to eat, because he’s on the run for his life. And one of the things that I’ve thought of, too, is like, let’s say that you’re in an emergency situation. Let’s say that I’ve got a horrible car accident, and obviously, I don’t believe in being naked in front of the opposite gender. But what if I’m rushed into an operating room, and blood’s gushing everywhere, and I’m traumatized from this car accident, and they have to just grab the scissors and start cutting my clothes off. Are we going to say “wait a minute, there are women in the room.”
Or let’s say that a woman is wounded or dying, and they have to rip her shirt off. Obviously, you’re not going to look at that and say “that’s sinful because you’re exposing and you’re naked.” Normally, it would be wrong to be naked in front of the opposite gender. But obviously, in situations like that, where you’re saving somebody’s life, or somebody’s bleeding or somebody’s dying, obviously, you would just take care of if. You would just fix it to save the life. And I believe in that. And I think that it’s the type of principle that we see here. It’s just to use common sense, and to save people’s lives. But here is where people would go wrong on this. Though to say “every time I go to the doctor, I just strip down in front of the opposite gender.” No. Women who be pregnant and they go a male OBGYN, and it’s like “alright, take all your clothes off.” It’s obscene. And by the way, childbirth is not an emergency. You’re not dying. Childbirth is not a disease. Childbirth is not a sickness. It’s this horrible catastrophe or trauma. Birth is just a normal thing that’s been going on for thousands of years, women have given birth. So, that’s why I don’t believe in these male OBGYNs. And you’d say “who’s going to deliver the babies?” The same people who have been delivering babies for thousands of years. Women. And if you study when childbirth was really at its worst? It’s when men first got involved. Seriously. When women first started going to the doctors and having these male doctors and hospitals, they are all washing their hands in the same dish of water, because they didn’t understand about how germs spread. The mortality rate in hospitals was through the roof. And only the most foreign destitute people wouldn’t even give birth in the hospital because it was so dangerous. Throughout history, women have given birth in their own home. I think in the Book of Song of Solomon that the woman that Solomon is singing to, it says that she was giving birth to under the apple tree, in Song of Solomon Chapter 8. My wife has given birth to seven of our eight children at home. The first one was just because we didn’t know it about. Look, is there a time when there is an emergency, and somebody has to be rushed to the hospital? Of course. Other times, when it’s just saving somebody’s life is important. Of course. But here is the thing though. When you’re going in for your prenatal check-up or just a normal giving birth, you shouldn’t be just stripping down in front of the opposite gender. If I went to the doctor and it wasn’t something life-threatening, and some female nurse told me to take my clothes off, I’m not going to do it. Because I don’t think that that’s right. And today, we just have Christian women who just don’t think about these things. And our society just doesn’t really take care of people’s decency. But usually, for example, my wife had a complicated pregnancy this last time, because she’s pregnant with twins, and it was complicated, and there were problems. But what we did is, every step of the way, we just ask for her privacy to be respected, and we said “hey, this needs to be done by a woman.” Because usually, we just go with a female midwife at home, and then it’s not an issue. But when we were going to these doctors’ offices and hospitals, we said “hey, we want it to be done by a woman.” And they actually worked with us on that, and we were able to just make sure that her dignity was protected and that she wasn’t viewed by the doctor nude, or seen her nakedness. I am protective of my wife. I’m jealous of my wife. And so, that’s the way we should be as men, to protect and take care. Now, does that mean that if somebody is drowning, I don’t want to just put my hands all over to this woman , she’s drowning. Or, we don’t want to take her to a male doctor, because she’s bleeding out. Obviously, you save the life, you do what it takes. But to sit there and just throw all morality out the window for non-emergencies is to go to the other extreme. To just say “Oh, let’s not do the Sabbath at all” if you’re living in the Old Testament. If I can pull my ox out of the ditch, I can pull it out of the oven. I can do whatever I want. So, you don’t want to go to that other extreme. You want to use common sense with the laws of God, and understand that there are emergency situations, and then there are just normal situations. Let’s rise and have word of prayer.
Father, we thank you for this great chapter, Lord. And Lord, I pray that, especially, we would really think about the story at the beginning about reaching people with the Gospel, just how those men were just willing to do anything. They’ll tear a part of the roof. They’ll work hard. They’ll carry a bed on the roof. They’ll lower it by four men. And Lord, help us to be a part of this soul-winning team, Lord. Help us to team up with people that we don’t even know, who have gone before us and sowed the seeds. Help us to go out and water those seeds and reap that harvest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.