Title: Kingdom of Grace

Focus: Jesus came to institute the rule of God which is a rule of grace not for a righteous, but sinful

Function: To motivate the hearers to show the same grace to others that God has shown to them

Text: Mk 2:13-3:6

1.  Jesus used his power in a way that begins opposition (2:1-12)
2.  But it didnít end there

I.  (Mk 2:13-14) - Jesus calls Matthew
	A.  Matthew worked for the IRS
		1.  They didnít fill out 1040ís and W-2ís back in those days
		2.  When passed by a tax man, you never knew what the tax going to be
		3.  Bids for jobs went to ones who collect the most & paid on commission
		4.  People did not like them because they were seen as crooked
		5.  The pious Jews did not like them because they were traitors
			a.  Poor got poorer, rich got richer.  Why?  Rome and tax collectors
			b.  Since they dealt with gentiles, they were ďuncleanĒ
	B.  What would a good Rabbi do in the case of Matthew?
		1.  A public rebuke and call to repent and mourn.   
		2.  But Jesus said, ďfollow meĒ
		3.  Wait a minute, is this a good choice
			a.  You donít nominate someone to run for office if tarnished past
			b.  Imagine the scandal
			c.  But that is not the end
	C.  (2:15) - Matthew and friends (immoral & traitors) eat with Jesus
		1.  Text says ďhisĒ house.  
			a.  Could be Jesusí house (2:1)
			b.  This is worse, because it means Jesus invited them to dinner
		2.  Extending hospitality like that implied acceptance
		3.  (v16) It tarnished Jesusí reputation, Mt 11:19 - Immoral glutton eat w/tax c & sinners

II.  But there is more to the Jews reaction than meets the eye
	A.  John was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Jesus said kingdom near
	B.  Do you know what that meant?   HIstory lesson
		1.  Kingdom was lost because of sin
		2.  Isa 40:3 - Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness - Repentance
		3.  When Israel finally got pure and right, God would come
	C.  Yet, here we see Jesus accepting a bunch of sinners
		1.  Not only is Jesus is setting a bad example.  
		2.  Was hindering coming of the kingdom
		3.  Maybe he didnít know better, after all, he is a young Rabbi
	D.  His reply made it clear that this was intentional (v.17)
		1.  Observance to religious law NOT precondition for arrival of Godís rule
		2.  No different than the first time God came in the wildnerness at Sinai
		3.  God rescued Israel from bondage based on grace, not law.  Law given 
		      later at Sinai
	E.  So the kingdom is coming not just with power, but with the power of grace

	- Now that settled all the controversy right?  Letís read

III.  (2:18) - Question over fasting
	A.  Both Johnís Disciples fasted and the disciples of Pharisees did.  Why?
		1.  Was not so they could diet and be healthy Jews
		2.  Fasting a typical sign of mourning.  
			a.  Why mourning?
			b.  Israel was Godís ďbrideĒ but she committed adultery
			c.  God punished the bride by allowing others to take her away
		3.  So they mourned over sins of Israel and that kingdom not come yet
		4.  Custom was to do it twice a week
		5.  If fasted and mourned enough, then it would prepare them for kingdom
	B.  Jesus either did not believe this, or disregarded it
		1.  Image of the bridegroom (v.19-20) - JOY
		2.  Jesus not believe kingdom would come when they were ďready for itĒ
		3.  Hosea 2:13-16 - God would meet her again in wilderness - Grace
		4.  Jesus clearly believed that kingdom coming to a sinful Israel
	C.  (v.21-22) - Jesusí words or narrators?
		1.  In either case, the idea is of something NEW coming
		2.  Cannot mix old with new.  What is he talking about?????
		3.  RENEWAL - Bringing new wine of Godís grace that increases
			a.  Not compatable with their old way of thinking and living
			b.  Stop mourning, stop beating selves up, no obsession with 
			      personal perfection
			c.  Rom 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and 
			       peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
	D.  Only way to benefit from Godís grace is with New Wineskins - about renewal
		1.  Have to be able to stretch to accept it.  God will stretch you.
		2.  Now they were willing to be stretched, so that was it right?
	- That should settle all the controversies with Jesus right?  

IV.  Next controversy deals clearly with matter of Torah (law)  (v.23-24)
	A.  This deals with central part of Torah, the Ten Commandments
		1.  7th day to be a Sabbath, a rest, and no work to be done
		2.  Sabbath keeping considered serious business
			a.  Num 15:32 - Stoned a man for gathering sticks on sabbath
			b.  Many Jewish wars slaughter, Jews not fight on Sabbath
			c.  Whole section in the Talmud devoted to Sabbath
			d.  Rabbinic - Kingdom come when all Israel kept the Sabbath
		3.  All was to give way to sabbath (except circumcision)
		4.  And here Jesusí disciples were disobeying the Torah by threshing!
	B.  Jesusí justification for his disciples actions (v.25-26)
		1.  Cites incident when David running for his life from Saul
		2.  David broke the law!  Why?  Emergency for a human need
	C.  Jesus clarified this principle:  Sabbath was made for man (v.27)
		1.  O.T. says that God ďgaveĒ the Sabbath - It was a gift
		2.  As God rested & enjoyed fruit of his labor, he wants us to share in it
		3.  However, they had turned the gift into an unbearable burden
			a.  By their actions, you would think Man made for sabbath
			b.  God has always been concerned about people
			c.  God not pleased if let people starve for sake of an interpretation
	D.  Even here, we see that the kingdom is founded on grace

- The next controversy story reminds me of a previous incident in 1:21

V.  The last straw (3:1-2)
	A.  They are watching him to accuse him this time
		1.  Funny, they didnít have a problem back in 1:21ff on the Sabbath
		2.  Notice it wasnít until he started messing with some of their treasured 
		      traditions that their feathers got ruffled?
	B.  (v.3-6)  Jesus embraced the controversy with a pointed question
		1.  Only 2 options, to save or kill, or do good or harm.
		2.  Now wait a minute, couldnít he just wait a day, and heal him?
		3.  Problem was hardness of heart
			a.  They more concerned about traditions than compassion
			b.  But isnít their desire to be true to law commendable?
			c.  Jesus made it clear in previous episode that human need can 
			      take precedent
		4.  His question implies that to do nothing was to do harm
	C.  Was it ever Godís will for people to remain sick, go hungry, or to be unduly 
	       burdened to keep a sabbath law meant as a gift???

VII.  Markís Point in these conflict stories?  The Kingdom is a kingdom of grace
	A.  Jesus the great physician - Came for sinners
		1.  He brought the new wine of Godís grace through him
		2.  Receiving it not depend on becoming good enough
			a.  Legalism not do it (fasting, praying, law keeping, sacrificing, etc)
			b.  How do I know if I am a legalist?  
				- Depend on law keeping, and feel smug on that basis
				- Disdain those who do not have same conclusions as me
			c.  Need new wineskins, a ďchange of heartĒ not perfection
		4.  Notice, Grace will stretch you
			a.  Legalism will not.  Produces apathetic smug self-righteousness
			b.  Grace cause growth, nothing is never enough - but no despair
		5.  ILL:  Woman with abusive husband that had list - Grace motivates!!!!
		6.  If you have not received his grace, get the new wineskin to receive it.
	B.  Jesus is also Lord of the Sabbath - For us whether Christian or not
		1.  Sabbath a gift for man, just like grace is a gift (Rom 6:23)
		2.  Donít make Godís gift a burden
			- Evidence of new wine in new wineskins in how you treat others
			- Pharisee-hard heart/ tough wineskin, new wine making them burst
		3.  Rom 5:15, 20-21; 11:30-36;  Therefore to grace: Rom 12

God can give you the new wine of his kingdom of grace this morning, but you
need new wineskins (Rom 6:1-6 put off old self in baptism, and put on new self)