Confrontation (Again!) and Spit in the Eye!
Matthew 16:1-12 Mark 8:22-26
Let’s do a big review >
-The Sermon on the Mount > I’m here for the SLIDE MUMZERS – What’s a mumzer? Outcast > Who were some
mumzers? Matthew, Jesus
-Healed a Roman centurion’s daughter > What’s interesting about this? Gentile! And occupation army. But he had faith,
“you don’t have to go, just say the word.”
-Decapolis > ? Gentile pagan territory > AND, demon possessed man/men? > SLIDE GO TELL EVERYONE!
-Back to the triangle? 3 towns > pharisee territory > Who were they? Religious leaders > What was most important to
them? Being obedient to the text – and – the extra rules they had made. “If we’re just obedient to the text, God will take
the Romans out and the Messiah will come.” (Never mind how we treat people)
-Kingdom teaching and healing > tries to get away from the crowd > feed 5,000 > Who passes out the food? Disciples –
“this is for you disciples to do.” SLIDE Just like the disciples back then, today we disciples are God’s plan.
-Walking on water > we make this negative > but it was a huge learning experience > maybe Jesus was affirming to the
disciples, SLIDE “Have faith in me, and you can do what I’m calling you to do.”
-Phonecia > R&R away from the crowds > lady pestering them > seeing more and more that the mission in for everyone,
Jew and Gentile. Outsiders. Mumzers.
-follows up by going to the Decapolis > 4,000 plus show up > Why? The healed demoniac? I like to think he told
everyone and they saw the miraculous change in him SLIDE He Told Everyone! > Again, Gentiles. Outsiders.
Slide Deja Vu all over again Who said déjà vu all over again? Yogi Berra may have said “déjà vu all over again” after
Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle hit back-to-back home runs in a Yankee game in 1961. Here’s some serious déjà vu.
1 One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven
to prove his authority. 2 He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; 3 red sky in
the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know
how to interpret the signs of the times! 4 Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the
only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away. 5 Later, after they
crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 “Watch out!” Jesus
warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 At this they began to argue with each other
because they hadn’t brought any bread. 8 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are
you arguing with each other about having no bread? 9 Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I
fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10 Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large
baskets of leftovers you picked up? 11 Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again, I say,
‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” 12 Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the
yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
QUESTION: What do we see here that has happened before?
The Pharisees sniping, trying to trick Jesus, their anger building again. CONFLICT/CONFRONTATION
The disciples missing the point about yeast. NOT UNDERSTANDING because????
So annoying to read – the same sins and weaknesses over and over and over – uhhh?!?!?!? Woops
CONFLICT/CONFRONTATION – is not always bad, but most people don’t like it, aren’t good at it.
And it often escalates to acting or reacting badly.
Or fleeing: Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman’s been doing to me. And what does he do? Gonna catch a
freight train, down at the station….til the train runs out of tracks. Fleeing is not a good look either.
SLIDE BIG IDEA 1: If we’re going to live in God’s kingdom and be a light in the darkness, how do deal with
1) V1-4 Why did Jesus let the religious leaders “have it?”
They were now testing and demanding. Not one bit interested in even considering acknowledging who he might be. It
was obvious to him, and I think, to everyone that was watching.
QUESTION: What unusual things do you see in verse 1?
The Pharisees and Sadducees were working together. They were political enemies and didn’t interpret scripture the same
way. Pharisees in the north away from Jerusalem, the center of power. Sadducees in the south in Jerusalem, embracing
Have you ever felt ganged up on? What emotion did you experience? Fear, rage, shock, etc.
(Also, miraculous sign from heaven. This was supposed to differentiate if it was from God or Satan.)
2) V1-4 Tell the highlights of the story of Jonah.
God to Jonah > Go preach in Ninevah > No > Yes > Jonah goes the opposite direction >swallowed by a great fish for
three days > spit out > Goes and preaches Repent > A pagan city repents!
QUESTION: So what was the sign of Jonah? By mentioning Jonah, Jesus was being purposely provocative. His death
would lead not only to his resurrection but the repentance of the pagan nations that his audience would’ve despised. The
sign of Jonah wasn’t just his resurrection but would lead to the repentance of those hated Gentiles.
BACK to BIG IDEA 1- THE CONFLICT
3) V1-4 Jesus had “had it” with the religious leaders and verbally let them “have it,” mic drop, and walk away.
When do you think you have the right to let someone have it, tell them off?
4) When have you let someone “have it” and things didn’t turn out too well?
5) When have you let someone “have it” and things didn’t turn out too well?
-Repeat the story of Dian at Cutter “She’s had it, she can’t take it anymore.”
-When do we ? Basically, we don’t.
-Plus, it never accomplishes your purpose. You may get compliance in the moment, but that’s it.
-Most of all, SLIDE WE ARE NOT GOD But Jesus…, yes, he is God.
-QUESTION: What do I mean when I say, “We’re not God?” It means there’s a lot we don’t know. He knows the
persons’ (Pharisees) hearts. He knows their entire story. He knows their motives. He knows their hidden motives.
So what do we do when we’re pushed to do something/react to something? How are we to react?
HOLD THAT QUESTION
SLIDE BIG IDEA 2: Be alert! Don’t miss what God has for you.
6 “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 At this they began to argue
with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread.
Those dumb guys . . . . Oh, but what about me, what about you. Let’s just hang here a minute and think back – this is
easy for glass half empty people, glass half full people, you might need to work a little harder.
Something that happened next:
Pull the Boat Over!
Mark 8 22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the
man and heal him. 23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s
eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?” 24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see
people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.” 25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the
man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. 26
Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”
What’s this spit about? Ancient remedy. What’s this half miracle about? I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly.
Perhaps it was another lesson to the disciples to drive home the point – open your eyes and mind all the way – pay
attention -don’t walk around half blind.
1) Be alert! Don’t miss what God has for you.
2) How are we going to react to “things?” We’re not God – got it. Goal: to OVER – UNDER REACT
We’re going to practice this week, and we’ll report back next week.
Think of something that annoys you that you typically react poorly to, big or small. Maybe start with small. Example –
hand towel replacement.
If you take the towel away, can’t you put another one in it’s place?
Instead, thank you for taking care of and washing and drying and properly storing our towels, wash rags, and clothes.
Got it? And maybe, just maybe, this could be the start of a major life change. Wow, I can handle small and big important
conflict/irritations/confrontations differently. Wow, I am being more of a light in God Kingdom – less negative words,
less shouting, less anger – an example of him and his Kingdom to others -and- more of the GOOD LIFE that Jesus has
3) Don’t miss the big story of God redeeming the world (moving away from it all being about us): What a
struggle Jesus is having – the powerful want to destroy him and his followers aren’t totally clued in.
But Jesus is here to reach the whole world! He’s willing that none should perish, but that all would have everlasting life.
The people that thought they were in are– the religious trappings of robes, of power, of titles – didn’t cut it. out – those
who felt like they were most definitely out because of their poverty and sickness – they were in.
Faith-Belief -Humility to say I don’t have it all figured out but I’m going to follow this man, Jesus– that’s who’s in!