September 26, 2021 SUMC Online Worship Service 9AM

Sunday Worship Services:

Sanctuary & online - 9AM and 10:45 AM

Sep. 26, 2021

The Chosen: I Have Called You By Name

Luke 8:1-3; Isaiah 43:1-3; John 20:18

1.  Introduction: Faith and Film

2.  Mary of Magdala ~ Mary Magdalene

     a.  Myths:

          i.  She was the wife of Jesus. (Davinci Code)

          ii.  She was pregnant with the child of Jesus.

          iii.  Leonardo Davinci painted her into the Last Supper.

          iv.  She was a prostitute. (Pope Greggory 591A.D.)

     b.  Truths:

          i.  Mary’s first appearance in the Bible.

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;

Luke 8:1-2

          ii.  The backstory as portrayed in The Chosen.

          iii.  Stronghold: A stronghold of the mind is a lie that Satan has established in our thinking that we count as true but is actually a false belief. 

               > Mary and her seven demons.

               > Mary wanted to numb her pain.

          iv.  Jesus meets us in the middle of our pain and desperation.

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

Mark 2:17

               > We don't have to be perfect to be worthy of Jesus time and affection. 

               > Jesus comes for the lost, the sick, and the broken.

               > Jesus sees us and can deliver us from our demons.

     c.  You are mine!

          i.  Jesus delivers Mary from her demons.

               > Sidenote: Lilith is a name that Mary gave herself because she wants to escape her past. It means bitter waters.  

          ii.  I have called you by name. You are mine.

          iii.  In the clip, Mary’s glass shatters to the ground. 

               > She is letting go of her past, her brokenness and her despair.  

               > She is responding to the call of Jesus in her life.  

               > She will never again be the same person. 

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1b

          iv.  You are mine!

               > What is possessing you?

               > Jesus doesn't just deliver you from your demons, he delivers you to your destiny. 

               > Mary Magdalene became an apostle to the apostles.

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

John. 20:18

3.  Conclusion:

     a.  Jesus wants to possess us.  (You are mine!) 

     b.  We're not possessed by our past. 

     c.  We're not defined by our brokenness. 

     d.  We're not labeled by our mistakes. 

     e.  God has chosen us, and He’s called us by name.

*Closing Thoughts by Kevin Keating

Although The Chosen is still a few seasons away from the Resurrection of Jesus, it is clearly beginning with the end in mind. One day (hopefully) we viewers will get our first glimpse of the resurrected Jesus as we follow Mary to the empty tomb. In the same way, we get our first glimpse of the pre-resurrected Jesus as we follow her struggles in the first episode. And the parallels don't end there.

Consider how the show depicts Jesus' first appearance. Just like one day Mary Magdalene will be caught up in despair because she can't find Jesus' body, she's caught up in despair at her own situation. And just like one day Mary will initially fail to recognize the risen Jesus, confusing him for a gardener, she initially fails to recognize Jesus when he first comes to her, confusing him for one of the men who's been hassling her. And just like one day the risen Jesus will reveal himself to Mary and free her from grief and fear by calling her name, Jesus first reveals himself to "Lilith" and frees her from her grief and fear and demons by calling her by her true name, Mary. And just like one day Mary Magdalene will be the first witness to the risen Jesus (perhaps to Nicodemus as well as the disciples), the show also makes her the first witness that we see in action.

These parallels are more than a neat bit of foreshadowing. They prompt us to consider how these two events, Mary's first encounter with Jesus and her first encounter with the risen Jesus, are connected in a deeper way. Although we'll have to wait in order to understand fully what the show wants us to conclude, this could be a subtle and effective way to show how Jesus' ability to heal and save is ultimately grounded in his willingness to die and rise again.