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Kept From Christ

Mark 10:46-48 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.  47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.  48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Have you ever wanted something but an obstacle always got in your way?

It seemed like you couldn’t get it even if your life depended on it.

Maybe you could identify with the stories commemorated by the Berghaus Matterhorn, a famous hotel situated at the 10,700 ft. level in the Swiss Alps, close to the peak called the Matterhorn.

First ascent of the Matterhorn: 1857
n 1857, two French men and an French woman attempted to climb the mountain. They soon had to abandon their ascent because the ridge was too steep.
The same two French men undertook a further attempt – this time from the Italian side. However, at a height of 12,500 feet they once again encountered a very steep passage that proved insurmountable.
This time a French climber along with a Swiss man and two English brothers succeeded in climbing up to the big tower. The brothers twice tried to climb the Matterhorn from the Zermatt side, but they too had to abandon their project at an altitude of 11,800 feet.
The English alpinist Edward Whymper made an unsuccessful attempt to climb the Matterhorn.
Following five further unsuccessful attempts and a fall of 200 feet, Whymper temporarily abandoned his project. Five men who had climbed before, reached the first part of the peak, nowadays called Pic Tyndall.
Whymper, along with several others suffered the same setback as the previous year. The mountain remained unconquered.

On the morning of 13 July 1865 Michel Croz, Taugwalder and his son, Reverend Charles Hudson, Lord Francis Douglas, Robert D. Hadow and Edward Whymper set out in the direction of the Matterhorn. The group camped for the night at a height of 11,000 feet. In the early afternoon of 14 July 1865 they reached the summit of the Matterhorn, until then unconquered. Far below them, they spotted some Italian climbers.
The descent proved long and perilous – particularly with the inexperienced Hadow. Croz tried to help Hadow by correctly positioning Hadow’s feet, one after the other. Croz was just turning to continue his descent when Hadow lost his grip and fell, pulling Croz with him. A moment later Hudson and Lord Douglas were also pulled away from the rock face. Edward Whymper and Taugwalder used all their force to belay the rope and stop their companions’ fall, but the rope broke between Taugwalder and Lord Douglas.
The remainder of the group returned safely to Zermatt.

In the news this week was the accusation that Floyd Landis, the 2006 winner of the Tour-de-France, tested positive for drug use. Last night, on CNN’s Larry King Live, Landis denied the charge. He will be tested again and his cycling team, Phonak, has announced that they will drop him from the team if the results are positive again.

Here is a classic case of a man reaching for something, in this case a winner’s trophy, and something or someone keeping him from it. I can’t imagine being so close and yet so far from such a coveted prize.

I’m going to make an assumption here, that everyone in this sanctuary today wants to come to Christ for some reason.

  • You have a condition; an affliction; a disease; a problem; a crisis; a heavy burden…
  • You have an emptiness; a loneliness; a depression; a deeply wounded spirit…
  • You have a spiritual hunger; a longing; a curiosity; a passion; an overwhelming desire…
  • You have a conviction; a revelation of truth; a conscience working overtime…
  • You may be a Bartimaeus with blinded eyes; a Zacchaeus with a short stature;
  • A Mary Magdalene with seven devils; a Centurion with a dying son;
  • A little boy with a lunch to give; a person in a huge crowd wanting a lunch to eat;

And so, if I may be so bold…what’s the problem?

You’re here with your situation.

Jesus is here with the answer.

It seems like a relatively simple solution here: just come to Jesus!

All the elements of the exchange are here…all the ingredients for a miracle are here…

As Nike used to say, JUST DO IT!

Well, the fact is…it’s not that simple.

It ought to be, in reality it might actually be simple…but it’s not.

There are many charging you to keep your peace, to stay where you are… to give it up…

I would like to deal with seven forces that keep people from Christ.

Fear…(Joseph of Arimathaea)

John 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

Failure…(Simon Peter)

Luke 22:54-62

4 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.

55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.

56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.

57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.

58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.

59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.

60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.

61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.


John 20:24-28

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Cost of discipleship…(Rich young ruler)

Matt 19:20-22

20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Anger…(The Jews)

John 10:32-33

32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.


John 13:26-30

26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

People keep you from Christ. (Bartimaeus)

Mark 10:48-49

48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.


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