Thursday, August 3, 2017

"A Charge to Keep" - Doug Rehberg

It’s not often that I get a movie recommendation from a patient in the hospital, but today I did. Longtime Hebron member and friend, Ron Young, asked, “Have you seen Dunkirk yet? It’s worth every minute.” Funny, Barb indicated last night that Dunkirk is on the top of her “must see” list.

Frankly, I’ll take a hospital patient’s movie recommendation over those garish cinematic previews they expose you to before every feature film. For me, those Hollywood previews are a colossal disincentive to movie-going; I like the personal recommendations far more.

Well, this Sunday we are going to give you a preview of the coming preaching series this Fall – “A Charge to Keep”. Remember the “Great Commission” Jesus enunciates at the end of Matthew’s Gospel? Matthew tells us that Jesus is together with His disciples on a mountain in Galilee. It’s right before He ascends into heaven. He says to them:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Now that’s how Matthew ends his Gospel. He’s the only Gospel-writer to end with this three-part Commission. Mark gets close, but Luke and John leave it out entirely. Now there are reasons for that that we will discuss in September; but the essence of the Fall series will be to “flesh out” the third part of the Commission: “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

What’s that mean? What commands did He give us?

This Sunday we will preview the series, “A Charge to Keep” with an examination of an incident that occurs nearly two full years before Jesus issues the Great Commission. And the relevance is striking! As soon as He gets to the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, He encounters a man who is in desperate need of Jesus. This man is a perfect candidate for the work of the Great Commission. And that’s exactly what He receives from Jesus. Here, nearly two years before He issues the charge to His disciples, Jesus shows them how to do it. Like a great movie preview He takes them into the reality of coming attractions! Come Sunday and see what I mean.

In preparation for Sunday’s preview you may wish to consider the following:
  1. How does the location of this incident set the stage for the Great Commission?
  2. How does this trip across the Sea of Galilee to the eastern shore mirror Jesus’ life in Nazareth?
  3. What do we know about this area of the world?
  4. How does this demon-possessed man epitomize those to whom Jesus sends His disciples after the Ascension?
  5. Why does he fall at Jesus’ feet? (See Mark 5:6)
  6. Why does he beg Him not to torment him?
  7. What’s with his name? (verse 30)
  8. Why do the demons beg Jesus not to send them into the abyss?
  9. Why does Jesus allow the man to stay with Him?
  10. How is His command in verse 39 mirror the Great Commission?
See you Sunday!