An Ill-Timed Request
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An Ill-Timed Request

Mark 10:32–45  (ID: 2505)

Although Jesus spoke very clearly about His impending death and resurrection, His disciples struggled to understand because Christ’s words were incompatible with their preconceived notions of the Messiah. Instead, their focus was marked by rivalry and selfish ambition. Alistair Begg teaches us that it is not our accomplishments that earn us salvation but the sacrifice of Jesus, and it is not for our own glory but for His.

Series Containing This Sermon

They Just Don’t Get It. Do We?

Mark 8:31–9:1, Mark 9:30–37, Mark 10:32–45 Series ID: 25601

Sermon Transcript: Print

I invite you to turn again to the passage of Scripture that was read from Mark chapter 10.

Now a prayer together before we look at the Bible:

Father, thank you that we have a Bible to turn to—that your Spirit teaches us in it and through it. We humble our hearts before you. We pray that you will conduct that divine dialogue between your Word by your Spirit and our lives and conform us to the image of your Son, Jesus. For it’s in his name we pray. Amen.

Well, we turn this morning to the third and final prediction which Mark gives us of the passion of Jesus. And you would perhaps think that by this time, the disciples would have learned their lesson. You remember on the first occasion—we looked at it back in 8:31—Jesus explained what was going to happen in Jerusalem, and that was responded to by what we refer to as “an ill-conceived rebuke.” Peter sought to rebuke Jesus at that point. Jesus returns to the same issue, recorded for us in chapter 9,[1] and we find that the disciples, in response to Jesus’ instruction on that occasion, respond with what we refer to as “an ill-advised argument.” And here we discover this morning, in this third prediction of the passion of Jesus, that the response of the disciples is equally poor. And what we have before us this morning we’re going to refer to as “an ill-timed request.”

Their proximity to Jerusalem as it’s described there in verse 32 highlights the very incongruity of their response to what Jesus is teaching them. I couldn’t help but think of the words of a Paul Simon song: the nearer their destination, the more they’re “slip sliding away.”[2] And the closer they’re getting to the events as predicted by Jesus, it would seem the less likely they are to grasp what’s going on. And so, once again, we observe, as we have done on each of these occasions, “They just don’t get it. Do we?”

Now, in order to trace a line through our verses this morning, I have a number of words. I think I can perhaps recall them. The first word is description, the second is prediction, the third one is reaction, and the fourth one is… I don’t know what it is. It’s, I guess, application. That’s probably what it is.

A Description of Their Location and Attitude

Anyway, first of all, you will notice that in verse 32, in the first part, we have a description both of the geographical location of these individuals and of their attitude.

They’re “on their way up to Jerusalem.” If you’ve ever gone to the country of Israel and have taken a tour guide, they will have explained to you that you always go “up” to Jerusalem. You always, in the Hebrew word, make aliyah. From the east, it is a steep climb up to Jerusalem—the direction from which these individuals were coming. But when you read the Old Testament, you discover that it is always a description of making an ascent to the holy city. For example, Psalm 122: “Jerusalem is built like a city …. That is where the tribes go up.”[3] In Isaiah 2: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.”[4] And that’s exactly what’s taking place here. They are now on their way up to Jerusalem.

And Mark describes for us here not only, as I say, where they are in the journey but also where they are in terms of their minds. And he gives to us the specific response to the resolution of Jesus. I say “the resolution of Jesus” because the phrase there, “with Jesus leading the way,” is clarified in Luke’s Gospel when he says, in Luke 9:51, “[And] as the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”[5] He “set his face”[6] towards Jerusalem. So we have a picture here of the rabbi, as it were, leading the way and his students coming behind him. He’s not meandering; he is moving with a resolute commitment towards his destiny. He has told them once and twice, and now he is about to tell them a third time, the nature of what is going to take place—a vivid picture of Jesus walking out ahead with his frightened followers in his wake, a man with a mission striding towards his destiny.

And it is, therefore, presumably this steadfast commitment to all that awaits him which draws both astonishment and fear from those who are in his company. They recognized enough to see that Jesus was walking into immediate danger—that he was not strolling in the afternoon towards an event of inconsequential nature, but he was moving, in light of all that he had said, towards this dreadful destiny.

And so Mark tells us that “the disciples were astonished,” and “those who followed were afraid.” Astonishment and fear. If we had been in their company, we would have felt the same thing—the disciples saying to one another, “I just really don’t understand why he keeps emphasizing all these dreadful events.” And the sense of urgency, matched by their incomprehension, was then shared by those who followed along with the Twelve, and they had a sense of fearfulness in relationship to the unfolding story.

A Prediction about Their Fate

Now, it is in that context, in the description that we have there, that Jesus, we’re told in the end of verse 32, then takes his Twelve aside and tells them what was going to happen to them. So from the description of verse 32 we move to the prediction of verse 33.

Notice once again, Jesus follows his pattern: his concern for privacy. He is giving this information to those who are his immediate followers. And this third statement that he makes is the most detailed of all. Look at it again:

“We[’re] going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. [And] three days later he will rise.”

Now, for those of you who’ve been paying attention—and I’m sure that’s most of you—you will recognize that this is the most detailed prediction of the three. And we ought to understand what Jesus is saying here not simply in light of its fulfillment, as we’ll discover it in a few chapters, but also in light of its prediction in the Old Testament. Jesus, we have noted, is picking up on all of the Servant songs that have been there in the Old Testament—both in the messianic psalms and also in the predictions of the prophets. For example, now, what he says here concerning his destiny ties in with Psalm 22:7, which reads, “All who see me mock me; they hurl [their] insults, shaking their [head].” Or in Isaiah 50:6:

I offered my back to those who beat me,
 my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
 from mocking and spitting.

And then, of course, in 53, in the familiar words:

He was despised and rejected by men,
 a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
[And] like one from whom men hide their faces
 he was despised, and we esteemed him not.[7]

So, the sequence that is described for us here is going to be worked out as we’ll discover it in the events of his passion. And this notion of being handed over we will see: he was handed over by Judas, the betrayer, into the hands of the Jewish authorities; and then, since the Jewish authorities did not have the power to execute the death penalty, they in turn handed him over to the Romans in order that he might face his death.

Can I just say parenthetically, tangentially, for a moment that the wonderful cohesion in the Bible between these Old Testament passages—for example, in the messianic psalms and in the portions of Isaiah—written hundreds of years before the appearing of the Messiah, speak far more forcibly to the veracity, to the authenticity, to the compelling power of the Bible than the materials which have been offered to us this week, right on cue, via television and in our bookstores do anything to undermine its truth? It is important that we understand that the materials that are on offer in the Gospel of Judas, the work by Michael Baigent, and so on that the media once again picks up on because of its ability to triumph anything that challenges the authenticity of the gospel should not unsettle the believer. There is nothing new in this material. This is the same challenge which has existed since the first centuries of the church, when Gnosticism, the original heresy to hit the church, sought to drive a wedge between the historicity of the Gospels and the reality of Jesus the Messiah.

That kind of approach—which was picked up by Origen in the third century, who then championed an approach to the Bible that regarded so much of the material as allegorical—caused great confusion in that time. And what it was doing was seeking to counteract, to undermine, the apostolic approach, which I hope by now we have grasped something of in our studies under Paul in Acts, where you remember that on every occasion he had the opportunity, he would go into a synagogue or confront a crowd, and his approach never changed. What did he do? He argued from the Scriptures that the Messiah must suffer and die, because they couldn’t fasten on the idea of a dying, suffering Christ—a dying, suffering Messiah. So he had to argue strenuously to show them in the Scriptures that this is what the Scriptures said would happen. And when he had brought them along that line, he then went to his second point, which was to show that this Jesus is that Christ—that the historical nature of the material is met in the reality of who Jesus is and what he has accomplished.

The disciples are very interested in honor rather than rejection, and they are fundamentally consumed with the possibility of great exaltation and a crown. But they just have no place at all for a cross.

And within a relatively short period of time, the Evil One, through the mechanisms of men, seeks to challenge that same issue. It is the essentially same matter that is in all of the materials that are before you this week. And if you take time to read them, although it will be a largely unprofitable exercise, you will discover that what I’m telling you is absolutely true. The real test in this is for believers not to scurry after these things and get caught on our back foot trying to respond to them, but the real test is for us to be able, as people dealing with currency do, to take a dollar bill and to examine it with such care so as to know it so thoroughly that whenever somebody comes up with something that is spurious, we are able to recognize the counterfeit. Do not run after the counterfeit. Do not waste your time on the counterfeit. Read your Bibles. Think. Follow the line through.

A Reaction to What Jesus Says

Well, that’s all parenthetical. Let’s get back to our outline, and we come now to the reaction of the disciples to what Jesus has said.

Somehow, the disciples were capable of selective listening, weren’t they? It’s as if Jesus was giving the material in stereo: the upside of it was coming through the right speaker, the downside of it was coming through the left speaker; somehow or another, they managed to tune out the left speaker, only listen through the right speaker—only heard what they wanted to hear, only heard what they anticipated might happen. And in fairness to them, perhaps their expectation was that maybe all these bad parts, as Jesus was describing them, would not actually be part and parcel of the ushering in of his kingdom in the messianic age. Perhaps they were hoping against hope that although Jesus was painting a very bad and dark portrait, that it wouldn’t end up that way.

Certainly, we discover again, as before, that they’re very quick to focus on glory rather than on shame, they are very interested in honor rather than rejection, and they are fundamentally consumed with the possibility of great exaltation and a crown, but they just have no place at all for a cross. I think they would have been very interested in going into Borders and finding in the display a book which gave them seven steps to living at their full potential, a book which said to them, “You can have your best life now,” because it would appear that that was really what they were interested in. It’s not unusual that people today are interested in these same things—that they’re interested in a kind of gospel that offers all the upside and none of the downside. But such a gospel is neither true to what Jesus is proclaiming, as we’re about to see, nor is it true to human experience.

During the course of this week, and just following up on mail that has come to me through Truth For Life, I’ve had occasion to call people around the country just because of the material that has come our way. Speaking to a lady who’s suffering from cancer herself: her twenty-year-old son has a virulent form of leukemia. He’s hoping to get into remission so that his twenty-one-year-old sister can provide for him a bone marrow transplant. But at the meeting of the physicians as it was on Wednesday or Thursday, there is very little hope of remission and very little prospect of the bone marrow transplant. And as I spoke with the mother, coping with her own issues and trying to uphold her husband and trying to look on her son and the prospect of his loss, I’m sure you understand that I didn’t suggest to her that she could have her “best life now.” I’m sure you don’t think that for a moment I suggested there were seven principles for her to be able just to swim beyond this.

Or when I spoke to a thirty-two-year-old man in his hospital in Washington—a trainer, just having opened his gym, off on vacation with his wife of a few years and his one-year-old daughter, a wife who was five months pregnant. He fell asleep at the wheel. His car hit the center reservation. They were run over by a truck. His wife died. He survived. Before I spoke to him on the phone, he’d had his pelvis put back together again, a steel rod in his left leg, his back and his ribs all reinforced, and they had just finished amputating his right foot above the ankle. So I told him about his “best life now.” No, of course I didn’t.

No, Jesus says, “Let me tell you what it means for me to go, and let me tell you what it means for you to follow.” And then look at these fellows. It’s quite incredible, isn’t it? And “then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,” from the fishing business, they “came to him,” and “‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we want you to do for us whatever we ask.’” However he was going to accomplish it, they recognized that somehow or another, he was going to introduce the messianic age. By the time the resurrection has taken place and before Pentecost, you will remember in Acts chapter 1, it is these same disciples who come to Jesus and ask him the question, “Are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”[8] “When does the good stuff start, Jesus? When do we get all the good business? You’re going to reign on David’s throne forever and forever. We understand that part. And that’s why, Jesus, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“Well, what do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

“Well,” they said, “we’d like to get our reservation in for our seats. It’s never too soon to reserve good seats.”

Jesus is talking about suffering; they’re talking about status. They had enjoyed privileges to this point, hadn’t they? The particular privilege of the transfiguration—Peter, James, and John taken by Jesus into a unique and wonderful opportunity. Perhaps that had made them think that they were deserving of such experiences. When God draws us close and introduces us to the wonders of his love, it’s not because we’re deserving of it. It’s an indication of his amazing grace. But maybe somehow or another they said, “You know, there’s a reason why he took us up on the Mountain of Transfiguration. We are the key guys! So why don’t we just go ahead and ask him and see if we can’t make sure our seats are reserved, one on the right, one on the left? That would be nice, Jesus, if you could do that for us.” Unbelievably ambitious. Unbelievably insensitive. And what about their buddy Peter? Weren’t there three of them on the mountain of transfiguration? “What about Peter, James?” “Yeah, what about Peter? There’s only two seats! There’s only one right hand and one left hand. We asked first!” Unbelievable selfishness. They just don’t get it. Do we?

Now, his question in verse 38 anticipates the answer “No,” obviously, doesn’t it? “‘You don’t know what you[’re] asking,’ Jesus said.” In other words, “You just don’t get it, do you?” “‘Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I[’m] baptized with?’” The answer is obviously “No,” because Jesus is going to drink the cup of God’s wrath—God’s wrath poured out against the sins of men and women. Jesus is going to be baptized or, if you like, overwhelmed by the reality of God’s judgment. “Can you go through that? Can you bear God’s judgment? Can you face this baptism?” But the obvious answer is “No.” But look at how they’re replying—verse 39. If their ambition is selfish, their presumption is clueless. “Yes, we can!” “‘We can,’ they [replied].”

Now, how we understand the pathos in Jesus’ voice here in verse 39 I think is important. I imagine that with a measure of sadness, Jesus responds. He says to them, “Well, actually, you know, you will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I’m baptized with.” Well, is he changing his tune? Is he saying in verse 38, “You can’t, and you won’t,” and then in verse 39 he says, “You can, and you will”? No. The distinction should be clear to us. What Jesus is going to accomplish is a unique mission. We’ll see that in just a moment as we conclude. That’s why context is always crucial to our understanding of a passage. What Jesus is going to accomplish is unique. But what he identifies as he looks into the faces of these dear disciples is that they, too, are—in walking in obedience to him, in following along with him—they, too, will face suffering. They, too, will face death.

“But,” he says, “you need to know that your experience down that road is not the condition for securing the best seats.” In other words, there is no notion of penance here, is there? That if you do a really good job of enduring all of this, then you get a very special place for you, because you’re “participating in,” you’re “sharing in,” you’re “offering it up.” Some of you understand that terminology from your background, when you were told by your priest or your nuns to “offer it up.” What they actually meant by that was something very significant which runs absolutely counter to what Jesus is saying here. There is nothing that we have to offer up that contributes one iota to the sufferings of Christ or to the acceptance of God’s sacrifice of his Son. No. When we endure what we endure under the providence of God, whatever that may be, we do not endure it in order that it might secure for us a seat in the dress circle, because “the seats in the dress circle,” Jesus says, “are not mine to give out. They have been prepared for those for whom they’ve been prepared.”

I mean, you can just imagine the disciples—how that buzzed them when they thought about it. “Ooh, wow!” And then they began again, I’m sure, to say to one another, “Do you think you’re in? Do you think you’ve got a chance? What do you think?” “Eye ha[s] not seen, nor ear heard, neither ha[s] [it] entered into the heart of man, the things [that] God has prepared for them [who] love him,”[9] for those who love him. Leave that to God! Leave God to order all your ways. You don’t have to worry about that. Don’t you worry about that.

When you take your place in heaven, if you’re in the seven-thousandth row away from the action, you’ll sit down and say, “This is a fabulous seat!” And if you happen to be in the third-front row, you’ll sit down and say, “This is a great seat!” And if you’re in row 780, and you look down at the people that are in front of you, unlike at a sporting event or a rock concert, you will not go, “Oh, I wish I was up there!” because you will be perfectly content with the place he’s given you. And if you are in a different place, you will not, as in a rock concert, turn round and go, “Man, I’m glad I’m not back there!” because you will be absolutely contented with what he provides. Your eye hasn’t seen, your ear hasn’t heard, it hasn’t entered into your mind the things that God has prepared for them that love him. “Listen, fellas, you shouldn’t be asking about the seats. I am not in charge of the seating arrangements at my banquet. The Father has taken care of that. But know this: the key to the seats is not your suffering—a suffering that you will experience.”

So the selfish ambition of the two is matched by their clueless presumption, and the clueless presumption and the selfish ambition is matched in verse 41 by the shared indignation of the ten: “When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.”

I suppose it is just remotely possible that the reason they were concerned was because they thought that it did a great disservice to Jesus for the two of them to think in that way, and they, the ten, were so far removed from that that they were just indignant: “I can’t believe you said that, James and John.” That’s one possibility. The more likely possibility is that they were ticked with James and John because James and John had got a jumpstart on the seating arrangements. And when they found out that James and John had applied for the left- and right-hand seats, then they were absolutely furious. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Because after all, on the previous occasion, what had they been arguing about as they came up the road? Who’s the greatest. Who’s the greatest! Hadn’t they learned anything? Jesus had said to them back in chapter 9—remember? He says, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”[10] “If anyone wants to be first, he must be … last, and the servant of all.” “Jesus! Excuse me. Thanks for sharing that stuff about Jerusalem, but—James and John—we’ve just been talking. I mean, no big deal, but we’ve just been wondering if you would do for us whatever we ask. We like a Christianity where you serve us. We like a Christian experience where you exist to do what we want. You seem to be talking about a Christianity where we exist to do what you desire. We’re not liking that approach just as much. So would you just do for us whatever we ask? Jesus, make me healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

“What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”[11] “Better to pluck out your eye and go into heaven with one eye than go to hell with two.”[12] Who said that? Jesus. They just don’t get it. Do we?

What a group! The future leadership of the church! Here it is, marked by rivalry and selfish ambition. The core! Jesus’ plan for the future! It is, on the one hand, amazing, and it is at the same time encouraging. At least it ought to be. Because if Jesus had taken this perfect group of individuals, we would have looked at them and said, “We’re so far from that, it’s not funny. He’s never going to make use of somebody like me. After all, I’m a doubter. After all, I’m a betrayer. After all, I’m a chicken. After all, people ask me questions, and I say, ‘Oh no, I don’t know Jesus. No, I don’t go there. No, I… No!’”

“No, I’m not interested in me! No. Getting first and…” Yes, you are. Yes, I am. Yes, we are.

An Explanation

Finally, he huddles them up, and he gives another word of explanation. Verse 42 and we’re done.

He says, “Let me just contrast what you know of the gentile rulers and what I want to be exemplified in those who are my followers.” The overreaching of the gentile rulers is set in stark contrast against the characteristics of greatness in his kingdom. And it may well be that Jesus is simply referencing the coinage of the land. The head of Tiberias, or Augustus, the emperor, appeared on the coins, and along with that on the coins the inscription “He Who Deserves Adoration.” “He Who Deserves Adoration.” And every time the people took the coinage out of their purses, they looked at it, and they said, “You know, this is the epitome of having made it. If you become the emperor, you deserve adoration.” And of course, Jesus understood that there was only one who deserved adoration, and therefore, those who were going to be his followers needed their human valuation to be turned on its head.

As soon as you know yourself to be a sinner, then suddenly, the notion of someone dying in your place becomes profoundly good news.

Look at that little sentence that begins verse 43 in the NIV. Four words: “Not so with you.” “Not so with you.” That’d be good on the front of a T-shirt, wouldn’t it? “Not so with you.” Someone says, “What in the world does that mean?” You say, “Well, let me tell you.” “Not so with you. Instead…” “You want to be great? Serve. You want to be first? Be a slave.” The word he actually uses is doulos. He introduces another word—an even more graphic, even more pointed word: “Be a slave.” In other words, he reverses all these human values—a reversal that is embodied in himself, who, although he had equality with God, did not think equality with God something to be grasped”—remember in Philippians 2?—“but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant and being made in the likeness of man. He became obedient unto death—even death on the cross.”[13] That is what is unfolding here. And as this very pattern unfolds, the disciples are making such a royal hash of it.

And as he contrasts the characteristics of the kingdom with “the rulers of the Gentiles,” he then serves up the ace in verse 45. He says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” In other words, he’s making reference to himself. He does it in the third person. If in the first person, it would have been, “For even I did not come to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.”

You see, this answers the question that is in the minds of any thoughtful person: Why did Jesus have to die? Why did Jesus have to die? Well, remember at the very beginning of Mark’s Gospel, when Jesus had had that wonderful event at the house of Levi. Levi was a tax collector, and Jesus had called him, and he became a follower. And they were having dinner at Levi’s house, and there were a lot of disreputables at the dinner who were eating with Jesus and the disciples. And the teachers of the law, who were Pharisees, saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, and they asked his disciples the obvious question: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”[14] “I mean, if this fellow is a Messiah, if this fellow is a rabbi, if this fellow is a teacher of the law, what in the world is going on here?” And “on hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It[’s] not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”[15] Now, all these days later, he says, “Think about it: even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” In other words, this points us forward to our service on Good Friday, which is coming up in just a matter of days, when we will gather and ponder the fact that at the cross of the Lord Jesus, “heaven’s love and heaven’s justice meet.”[16] “I [did] not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”[17]

See, the Bible is essentially a book written for sinners. And if you’ve been coming to Parkside, and you’re saying, “You know, I don’t get the Bible. I just don’t get it. I mean, I don’t understand this suffering thing. I don’t understand this dying Jesus thing. I mean, there’s a lot of ways that God could have showed his love. I mean, why this dying?” But as soon as you know yourself to be a sinner, then suddenly, the notion of someone dying in your place becomes profoundly good news. But if you think you’re a very righteous person—at least righteous enough or good enough to make entry to the kingdom and secure your seat on the strength of how well you’re doing—then you will find it just as incomprehensible as did these disciples. “Jesus, why are you saying these things? Why are you doing this? It makes no sense”—until I realize that “bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood” and “sealed my pardon with his blood”[18]my Savior.

Jesus wasn’t calling his disciples to give their lives as a ransom. That was his unique mission. He’s the only Savior because he’s the only one who’s qualified to save. But he does call us to service, and he does call us to sacrifice. He does call us to selflessness. He does call us to humility of heart.

It’s tremendously challenging, isn’t it? You think it’s challenging to listen to? You should hear what it sounds like from up here. ’Cause I know my own proud, stony heart. What’s hard about this to understand? Nothing. And as my good friend Sinclair Ferguson puts it, the simple words of Jesus are always the most difficult. But they just don’t get it. Do we?

Father, thank you for the Bible. Thank you for the way that it searches us and knows us and penetrates our hearts, confronts us with our own selfishness and preoccupations with position and status. We confess our sins to you. We confess that we haven’t known you as we ought, nor have we loved you and served you as we should. We look forward to the day when, finally, all of our love and our service and our knowing will be on account of being welcomed into your presence, when we will enjoy all that you have prepared for us, not on the strength of how well we’ve done but on the basis of the accomplishment of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. So turn us from ourselves to Jesus afresh today, we pray. And we ask it in his name. Amen.

[1] See Mark 9:31.

[2] Paul Simon, “Slip Slidin’ Away” (1977).

[3] Psalm 122:3–4 (NIV 1984).

[4] Isaiah 2:3 (NIV 1984).

[5] Luke 9:51 (NIV 1984). Emphasis added.

[6] Luke 9:51 (KJV).

[7] Isaiah 53:3 (NIV 1984).

[8] Acts 1:6 (NIV 1984).

[9] 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV).

[10] Mark 9:35 (NIV 1984).

[11] Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25 (paraphrased).

[12] Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:47 (paraphrased).

[13] Philippians 2:6–8 (paraphrased).

[14] Mark 2:16 (NIV 1984).

[15] Mark 2:17 (NIV 1984).

[16] Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” (1868).

[17] Luke 5:32 (NIV 1984).

[18] Philip P. Bliss, “‘Man of Sorrows,’ What a Name” (1875).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.