Good Monday Morning To You!
Many of you who are winter visitors to Friendship Harmony have told me you enjoy keeping up with us through this blog. Thank you for being loyal readers and good friends. Some of you have never personally attended a service here. I hope that through these writings you can experience Friendship Harmony. Who knows, maybe someday you can come here too.
This past week was a very busy one. Several of us attended a Seder Dinner. One was in Ft. Myers, and the other was in Punta Gorda. The one I attended was hosted by the First Baptist Church Of Charlotte Harbor. It was very enjoyable and quite informative. On Friday I preached at The Sovereign Grace Church of the Brethren in North Ft. Myers. My message title was, “Jesus? Who Is Jesus?” As I promised, the notes for that message are printed below.
Easter at Friendship Harmony began with a sunrise service at 7:00 a.m. followed by a fellowship breakfast. We had Sunday School, then followed with our Easter Morning Service. It was a very good service. The Birdsongs sang a song I had never heard before. It was awesome! I hope they sing it again. My sermon title was, “What The Donkey Saw!” The notes are below for this brief look at what the little donkey saw throughout the life of Jesus. These notes, as with all the others are for your use in your personal Bible study. I hope they are of some help. You who are teachers and preachers may use them as well. They are copyrighted, so if any of you quote them in print, proper credit must be given. (Sorry, but our team of fancy Southern Baptist lawyers make me say that.) Here are both the Friday and Sunday morning notes.
Jesus? Who Is Jesus?
Mark 14:53,54; 66-72
By Victor Cooper
Intro: Remember, Mark received his account of the Gospel from Peter. How hard it must have been for Peter to have to relive this incident we will never know.
I. Verse 54
A. Peter followed close enough to see, but not close enough to stand out. (He thought!)
1. Matthew tell us he followed and was permitted entrance into the high priest’s palace to see what was happening.
2. This is the same Peter who earlier had pulled his sword planning to fight for Jesus.
B. Peter, like most Jews of his time was looking for a fighting liberator, not a suffering servant.
1. Peter had been taught better, but once again he shifted his focus off Christ.
II. Verses 66-68
A. Peter “denied,” which rhymes with “lied.”
1. He pleads ignorance - “I don’t understand;” but he understood perfectly.
B. He absolutely understood what the rooster said, but he likely didn’t think about it at that time.
1. Bible Book Commentary For most people in the ancient Mediterranean, rooster’s crowing marked daybreak. Some scholars have suggested that this reference is to an earlier Palestinian rooster crowing between 12:30 and 2:30 a.m.
III. Verses 69-70a
A. Another denial. After the first, it gets easier and easier.
B. Matthew tells us at this second denial, he is much more vehement.
1. The bad language was Peter’s attempt at manipulation. He wanted to manipulate the mob into believing he was not associated with Jesus.
2. How better to look un-Christian than to sound un-Christian?
IV. Verses 70b-71
A. His accent betrayed him as to his citizenship, while his verbalization betrayed his love for Christ.
1. John tells us that this accusation was from a man who was kin to the man whose ear Peter had cut off in the garden.
B. The cursing and swearing is not what we’d call “cussing.” That was the above “bad language.” The cursing was wishing a curse upon himself if what he said was not true. It is called “anathematization.” The swearing is to take a solemn oath.
Conclusion: Jesus had called Peter a rock. The contrast is between two rocks: Jesus the Solid Rock, and Peter, the rock who crumbled. After his repentance, Peter took hold of the Solid Rock, Jesus, and never denied Him again.
What The Donkey Saw
By Victor Cooper
Intro: In the life of Jesus, a donkey was present on many occasions. Donkeys were used for travel by all classes of people. Let’s meet one of these little ones. He is going to tells us what he saw.
I. The donkey saw the parents expectantly waiting.
A. He would have carried Mary as she and Joseph made the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. (Luke 2:1-5)
B. The donkey might have sensed both their joy and their concern as they made the roughly eighty mile journey.
C. As Mary and Joseph took refuge in the barn, the animals would have been there too.
D. Preach The Word Commentary They [Mary and Joseph] appeared to be helpless pawns caught in the movements of secular history, but every move was under the hand of Almighty God. The Messiah would indeed be born in tiny, insignificant Bethlehem!
II. The donkey saw the Baby exceptionally born.
A. His birth was normal in every way except one: Mary was a virgin.
B. His birth was exceptional because of His Father.
III. The donkey saw the Toddler exalted by the wise.
A. The wise men were not at the manger as was the shepherds. Their visit came later.
B. Tradition tells us there were three wise men because of their three gifts. The Bible however does not give a specific number.
IV. The donkey saw the Pre-teen exclaiming in the temple. (Luke 2:46-52)
A. Here we are given a brief glance into the private family dynamics of Joseph and Mary’s home. JFB Commentary …we are here let into the holy privacies of Nazareth; for what He says they should have known, He must have given them ground to know.
B. His knowledge of the law was astounding.
1. The Jewish historian Josephus tells us, “when he was about fourteen years of age, the chief priests, and the principal men of the city, were constantly coming to him to be more accurately instructed in matters relative to the law.” If this were true, it is no wonder to find hem now listening, with the deepest attention, to such teaching as they never before heard.
V. The donkey saw the Master’s exhausting ministry.
A. Jesus kept a hectic pace.
1. His friends said it was maddening.
Mark 3:20-21 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.  And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
2. Jesus family attempted to slow Him down.
Mark 3:31-32 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.  And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
VI. The donkey saw the Lord’s exuberant entrance.
A. Prophecy spoke of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem.
Zech. 9:9 (NLT) Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—even on a donkey's colt.
B. This time the donkey had a front seat.
Bible Knowledge Commentary Jesus’ riding into the city on a young donkey was a sign of peace. He did not ride a war horse or carry a sword or wear a crown. Nor did He ride in a wheeled vehicle, as did many kings.
VII The donkey saw the Innocent excruciatingly crucified.
excruciating def. the pain of crucifixion
A. Christ had done no wrong. 2 Cor. 5:21a For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin…
B. Pilate knew He’d done no wrong.
Luke 23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
C. Caiaphas knew He’d done no wrong, or else he wouldn’t have had to hurriedly assemble an illegal trial.
D. The Father knew He’d done no wrong. On two different occasions God said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
VIII. The donkey saw the Savior exhume Himself.
A. exhume def. The digging up of a buried body.
1. Obviously, the dead cannot do this.
Jesus claimed before His death that a self exhumation was coming.
John 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
B. The angel testified to the fact.
Matthew 28:1-6 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
C. Peter saw it for himself. Luke 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
To the men who are still here with us, don’t forget our men’s fellowship breakfast this coming Saturday Morning at the Twisted Lemon on Pine Island Road. The time will be 8:00 a.m. I trust your upcoming week is a good one, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!