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“A Light for the Nations” (Mark 7:1-13, Isaiah 42:1-25)

Pastor Bowman, March 8, 2020
Part of the Isaiah series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

Sermon begins at 6:10

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Mark 7:1–13 (Listen)

7:1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

  “‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
  in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)—12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

(ESV)

Isaiah 42 (Listen)

42:1   Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
  I have put my Spirit upon him;
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.
  He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street;
  a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
  He will not grow faint or be discouraged
    till he has established justice in the earth;
    and the coastlands wait for his law.
  Thus says God, the LORD,
    who created the heavens and stretched them out,
    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
  who gives breath to the people on it
    and spirit to those who walk in it:
  “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
    I will take you by the hand and keep you;
  I will give you as a covenant for the people,
    a light for the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
  to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
  I am the LORD; that is my name;
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to carved idols.
  Behold, the former things have come to pass,
    and new things I now declare;
  before they spring forth
    I tell you of them.”

10   Sing to the LORD a new song,
    his praise from the end of the earth,
  you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
    the coastlands and their inhabitants.
11   Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
    the villages that Kedar inhabits;
  let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
    let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12   Let them give glory to the LORD,
    and declare his praise in the coastlands.
13   The LORD goes out like a mighty man,
    like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;
  he cries out, he shouts aloud,
    he shows himself mighty against his foes.
14   For a long time I have held my peace;
    I have kept still and restrained myself;
  now I will cry out like a woman in labor;
    I will gasp and pant.
15   I will lay waste mountains and hills,
    and dry up all their vegetation;
  I will turn the rivers into islands,
    and dry up the pools.
16   And I will lead the blind
    in a way that they do not know,
  in paths that they have not known
    I will guide them.
  I will turn the darkness before them into light,
    the rough places into level ground.
  These are the things I do,
    and I do not forsake them.
17   They are turned back and utterly put to shame,
    who trust in carved idols,
  who say to metal images,
    “You are our gods.”

18   Hear, you deaf,
    and look, you blind, that you may see!
19   Who is blind but my servant,
    or deaf as my messenger whom I send?
  Who is blind as my dedicated one,
    or blind as the servant of the LORD?
20   He sees many things, but does not observe them;
    his ears are open, but he does not hear.
21   The LORD was pleased, for his righteousness' sake,
    to magnify his law and make it glorious.
22   But this is a people plundered and looted;
    they are all of them trapped in holes
    and hidden in prisons;
  they have become plunder with none to rescue,
    spoil with none to say, “Restore!”
23   Who among you will give ear to this,
    will attend and listen for the time to come?
24   Who gave up Jacob to the looter,
    and Israel to the plunderers?
  Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned,
    in whose ways they would not walk,
    and whose law they would not obey?
25   So he poured on him the heat of his anger
    and the might of battle;
  it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand;
    it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.

(ESV)

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