PROGRESS ON CHILDREN'S AREA — We have gotten a great price on having the fence for our children's area installed, and we are on the work schedule to have it done. We will need to make a decision about what equipment to buy soon.
POTLUCK NEXT SUNDAY — Be sure to be here for our monthly potluck next Sunday. It is not only a time of enjoying great food, but also a time to visit, plan, and talk about our plans for the future. Bring a dish and plan to stay for a while after we eat.
KEEP PRAYING, VISITING, AND SENDING CARDS — There are some serious health issues among us, and we rely on the Marcussen's prayer sheet to give you the latest rather than put it here. Debbie Salmons needs special prayers and encouragement as she battles a variety of issues in her family. Elijah has had some serious problems with blood sugars, and he is getting some specialized mental health help which we pray will help solve some of the other issues. As I write this, he is in Kalamazoo, and Debbie and her family are struggling to keep up with all that is happening. We will hear more this morning, but please stay up with all of our congregation's health issues.
WAS JESUS MARRIED?
1 Peter 3:15 –16
A. Story flooded media the last ten days.TWO MAJOR APPROACHES TO ISSUES LIKE THIS
B. How should we as Christians respond?
1. Denial? Ignore, assume it is a plot or attack.
2. Apathy? “Nothing can change my mind.”
3. Fear? “This will disprove Christianity.”
A. Fideism — believe without examining evidenceOUR QUESTION OF THE DAY — WAS JESUS MARRIED?
1. Atheists believe anything that discredits GodB. Evidentialism — follow the evidence where it leads.
2. Believers with inherited faith
a. "Why bother? I just know … .”
b. Twenty-first century kids will not buy this.
1. Matthew 7:7; John 15:16; 2 Timothy 3:16 —17
2. Matthew 21:42; Matthew 22:29; Luke24:27
3. Never be afraid of evidence.
A. Original article by Dr. Karen KingOUR PURPOSE IN THIS LESSON — APPROACH TO FAITH
1. Fragment —14 lines on 4 x 8 cm paperB. Gnostic heresy comes from the same time.
2. Written in Coptic — Egyptian
3. Portions of sentences — “my woman” not wife
1. Gospel of Thomas — much about Jesus'wifeC. Was Jesus married? Where does the evidence take us?
2. Dr. King denies historical value of find.
1. No fit with Jesus’ mission or biblical claim
2. John 1:14; Luke 19:10; Acts 4:12
3. Answer is “no.”
A. Are you a fideist — without evidence?
1. Atheism demands that.B. Are you an evidentialist?
2. Other religions demand that.
1. Do you go where the evidence leads you?
a. Matthew 7:7 2. 1 Peter 3:15 –16 — You will eventually do this.C. Do not function with blind faith!
NOTHING BUT LEAVES
Jesus walks into the temple one day and is astounded by what he sees. He takes one look and becomes angry. His disciples have had a confusing time with Jesus. On their way to Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples had become hungry. Jesus sees a fig tree in the distance and goes to it expecting to find something to eat. When he gets there he finds that the tree is lush and full of leaves, but there is no fruit on it. Jesus rebukes the tree and says “May no one ever eat fruit from you again” (Mark 11:13). This really has the disciples scratching their heads. They have seen Jesus rebuke a storm and the Pharisees, but never a tree.
After the tree incident Jesus goes to the temple. This is a beauiful structure with all of the sacred objects from Israel's past being present. The temple has everything that the Jews were proud of. In addition there were beautiful places that allowed prayer, wonderful worship, singing, and places of teaching. As Jesus enters the temple what he sees is that this beautiful place is full of commercialism. People are buying and selling and changing money, and Jesus responds to this by overturning the tables and benches. Just like the fig tree, the temple is all show and is not doing what it was created to do. Instead of worship, prayer, singing, and teaching the temple is made of animals, vendors, people hawking merchandise, and money changers yelling and hasiling one another over the best price.
Jesus is not out of control as he overturns the tables and benches, because he knows exactly what he is doing. He quotes Isaiah 56:7 which says “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations” but then adds “But you have made it a den of robbers.” Jesus sees nothing but leaves — no spiritual fruit. People are filled with self interest and greed, and while their lives may look beautiful on the outside there hearts are as barren as the fig tree — nothing but leaves.