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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012



Mark Chapter Twelve

Sermon of the Week for January 31, 2010

And the common people heard Him gladly. Mark 12:37. He came into His own and they that were His own received Him not, yet Mark tells us here that the common people heard Him gladly. This chapter has several instances where the Lord had something to say—plenty of reason for us to ascertain why it was true then as it should be now—the common people heard Him gladly then, and the common people will hear Him gladly now.


At the start of the chapter is the statement, And He began to speak unto them in parables" The story Jesus told was about a man who planted a vineyard. He set a hedge about it, digged a pit for the winepress and built a tower. Then he let it out to husband-men or sharecroppers to take care of it. When the season of fruit came he sent his servants to receive the fruits of the vineyard. They beat him and sent him away empty. He sent another ser­vant and they knocked him in the head and handled him shame-fully. He then sent others with the same results. At last he sent them his son, a beloved son. He said they will reverence my son. The sharecroppers said this is the son, let us kill him and take the inheritance. So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard. Jesus said then, "What then will the Lord of the vineyard say when he hears about this?" The answer was that he would destroy the sharecroppers and give the vineyard to others who would render him his fruits in their season. He reminded them of the scripture, The stone which the builders rejected the same is made the Head of the corner.

The meaning of the parable was obvious to all who heard it. God did take away the vineyard and give it to others who would bring forth fruit in their season. But what does this mean to us now? Will He not do the same? He has given us the vineyard. The vineyard has all the necessary equipment for carrying on the work. He has given us the Bible. He has given us the Holy Spirit. He has given us the Church. He has given us everything we need to get the job done. Many of us today have done the same thing as the former sharecroppers.

The reason the sharecroppers in both cases are so brave in their rebellion is because the owner seems to be so far away and out of touch with what they are doing. Jesus reminds them that the stone that was rejected is made the head of the corner. Matthew says that whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces and on whomever the stone falls it will scatter him as dust. That big rock will grind you to powder. In the book of Revelation we note that when the Lord comes many who are unprepared will call for the rocks of the mountains to fall on them and hide them from wrath of the Lamb. On that day that is what will happen. The only thing is it won't be the rocks of the hillside that will fall on them, it will be the Rock of Ages that will fall on them and crush them into powder. This is the fate of those who reject the beloved Son that was sent from the Father. Jesus is our last hope—beyond Him there is no other. Because of this message, we are told that the common people heard Him gladly.


Another area where the Lord had something to say was when they came to ask Him if they should give tribute to Caesar or not. Jesus perceived their hypocrisy and said unto them, ''Show Me the tribute money—bring Me a denarius." Jesus evidently did not carry any money around with Him. He did not have a denarius. They showed Him the money. He said, "Whose image and superscription is on it?" When they said, "Caesar's," he said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and un­to God the things that are God's" The image of Caesar is on the coin and the image of God is on the man. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's. The common people heard Him gladly, because they could unders­tand Him. He used an object lesson. He could have said what He said without the coin but by using the coin He impressed the lesson on them so that it would never be forgotten. Everything we learn is learned in one of five ways. Our five senses. Every bit of information we have goes in through the eye gate, or the ear gate, or the nose gate, or the taste gate, or the feel gate. Here Jesus used two gates to impress this message. The eye gate and the ear gate. They would not forget this lesson.

One time Jesus had something so important to tell us that He used all five gates to impress it upon us. That was when He in­stituted the Lord's Supper. He held it up where they could see it. That was the eye gate. He said, "This do in remembrance of Me," that was the ear gate. He said, "Take eat," that was the taste gate. He gave it to them, that was the touch gate. They could smell the fruit of the vine, that was the nose gate. He used all five senses to impress upon them the necessity of the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day. Jesus had a way of saying everything so that they would remember. No wonder Mark says that the common people heard Him gladly.


Again we note that the common people heard Him gladly when He talked about the resurrection. The Sadducees came to Him with the question they had probably asked the Pharisees many times with great success. Here are seven brothers who
have married the same woman, there were no children—whose wife shall she be in the resurrection? They did not believe in Heaven, but for the sake of argument, they were willing to suppose that there was such a place. Jesus told them that they did not know the scripture or the power of God. In Heaven they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as angels. He then took them back to Exodus—one of the two books they believed in—to show them that Moses taught the resurrection...There are two lessons that Jesus taught when He told them this—one was that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still alive. He said that God is the God of the living not of the dead. From this statement of Jesus we conclude that all the people who have died are yet alive. They are just as conscience now as they ever were. Their bodies are dead, but their souls live on. The other truth that Jesus taught here is that there will be a day of resurrection. He said, "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage." When you consider that Jesus affirmed the fact of life beyond the grave, we find no need to marvel when we read that the common people heard Him gladly.


Another area where the common people heard Him gladly was when He had something to say about the greatest command­ment. One of the scribes asked Him about the greatest command­ment. Jesus said, "Hear, 0 Israel, the Lord our God is one and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind and with all thy strength." The second is this, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." There is none other commandment greater than these. The scribe said, "Of a truth, Master, thou has well said that He is one and there is none other but He: and to love Him with all thine heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength and to love his neighbor as himself is more than all whole burnt offering and sacrifices." When Jesus heard him and saw that he answered wisely, He said unto him, "THOU ARE NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."

He was not far from the Kingdom of Heaven in point of time. It would be about two months before the Church would begin on the Day of Pentecost. One wonders if this scribe was one of the three thousand that accepted the Lord on that day. The gospel was preached—the story of the death, burial and the resurrection of Jesus. People asked what to do and Peter said, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Could he have been one of the three thousand that gladly receiv­ed the Word on that day? We will never know until that day. We can only hope that he was. At any rate at that moment he was not far from the Kingdom of God. Usually in point of time no one is far from the Kingdom of God. If you are in a Church service and you hear the gospel preached after making the confession you are not more than five minutes from being in the Kingdom of God.

In another sense we can say that there are many who are not far from the Kingdom of Heaven. Many believed that Jesus is the Christ. They believed that He arose from the dead, that He is coming again. They have repented of their sins and even made the confession that Jesus is the Christ, but they have never com­pleted their obedience by being baptized for the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Truly we can say that we are not far from the Kingdom of God. We say to you, even as Ananias said to Saul of Tarsus, "Why tarriest thou, arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord." Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God.

Many of you have listened to the God Is Just A Prayer Away ministry for years and yet never made a decision. Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God. One thing for sure, you cannot stay in that condition for very long. If you are not far from the Kingdom of God, you will either come in before long, or you will get further away. Someone has said it well in these lines.

So near to the Kingdom! Yet what dost thou lack? So near to the Kingdom! What keepeth thee back? Renounce every idol, though dear it may be, And come to the Saviour now pleading with thee!

So near, that thou hearest the songs that resound, >From those who, believing, a pardon have found! So near, yet unwilling to give up thy sins, When Jesus is waiting to welcome thee in!

To die with no hope! Hast thou counted the cost? To die out of Christ, and thy soul to be lost? So near to the Kingdom! Oh come, we implore! While Jesus is pleading, come enter the door!


Another area where the common people heard Him gladly was when He talked about the hypocrisy of the scribes. He said they loved to walk in long robes, and to have salutations in the marketplaces and the chief seats in the synagogues. They devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. I don't think the scribes heard this gladly, but the common people heard Him gladly. This would be enough to scare me away from wearing a long robe. However there are a great many more people who suffer under the curse of pride than those who wear long robes and part of their clothes backwards. Many a preacher who has never had on a long robe of any kind, who may have a short hair-cut and who never wears any articles of his clothing backwards is guilty of pride. Sometimes it is easy to be proud. The common people heard Him gladly.


The last area in Mark chapter twelve where the common peo­ple heard Him gladly is in regards to the widow's mite. It could very well be spelled THE WIDOW'S M.I.G.H.T. What Jesus had to say He said to the Apostles, but they were common people also. The common people heard Him gladly. Jesus pointed out that the widow cast in two mites which made a farthing. Many that were rich cast in much. Jesus pointed out that they have cast in much of their superfluity, but she of her want cast in all that she had even all her living. Jesus knows how much we give also. He knows whether it is all of our living or whatever the percent may be. Nothing is hidden from Him.

It is hard to figure how much it was this woman gave. It has been estimated from one-eighth of a cent to one-quarter of a cent to one cent. At any rate she gave it all. The common people heard Him gladly. Jesus still sits over against the treasury. He still sees how much goes in. There are two ways of looking at it. First, how much does it do for the Lord's work? and then how much does it work for the individual? A check of a hundred dollars will do more for the Lord's work than a check for five dollars. The question is, "Does the check for the hundred dollars represent you?" It could be that the check of five dollars is a better representation of one person than a check for a hundred is of another. Each person must ask himself as he gives knowing that he is being watched by one who knows—Does this gift really represent me? Jesus is still sitting over against the treasury. In all of these areas and a lot more besides. THE COMMON PEOPLE HEARD HIM GLADLY.