faith comes by hearingand children are welcome
— Romans 10.17 —
In John's Gospel, we met Jesus the Son of God. In Luke's Gospel, we meet Jesus the Son of Man. In Mark's Gospel, we meet Jesus the suffering Servant. And with Matthew we embark on our Gospel-journey to meet Jesus: the Sovereign King.
Matthew begins by leading us down royal lines of our King's lineage.
From His birth He began threatening other earthly kings.
Futile efforts to find & kill Him were thwarted by wise men & magi. Upon finding their infant King, they fell and worshipped with royal gifts from the east.
In time, John the Baptist would join the herald of heavenly hosts, proclaiming the King & His Kingdom at hand!
Satan affirmed Jesus' reign by his efforts to tempt Him to a Kingdom exchange.
The sermons of the Sovereign One would also convince on-listeners of His heavenly descent: "He speaks as one with authority, not like our scribes & Pharisees."
During His crucifixion trial He made His own declaration: "My Kingdom is not of this world." Heaven's King came to reign upon the earth. The Cross would be the means by which He would conquer, a stumbling block for the proud, but grace to the humble.
Shaking off death like dust, Jesus proved His dominion over hell when He arose from the grave.
And ultimately, Matthew's final words record his Messiah's pronouncement: "All authority in heaven & earth has been given to Me."
Despite great lengths that Matthew went to in order to convince us of Christ the King, he faithfully & painfully focuses also upon the Messiah's rejection by His own people. Like no other Gospel, Matthew depicts the hostility of the religious leaders who refused their King. Of Himself He said, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.'
But Matthew also includes chapter 24 wherein we learn of the Son of Man's second coming at an unexpected hour, full of glory, judgement & power. Will the bride be ready?
No other Gospel provides more instruction, direction and power for faithful followers commissioned to represent Christ the King throughout the earth.
"Down. Set. Hut!" That's the way the quarterback gets the play going: "Down. Set. Hut!" Not "Hut! Set. Down." Right? Doing it backwards just wouldn't work. None of the line would be in position to block, none of the backs in position to run, etc. etc. In other words, there is a certain order that has to be followed to accomplish the action.
Likewise, when it comes to the activity of faithfully following Christ, of living out our faith, order matters.
Do you know how the Bible defines 'eternal life'? It's actually pretty simple, just one sentence in fact. That sentence is found in John 17.3: "This is eternal life," it says, "knowing God and Jesus His Son." That's it! Pretty clear, huh? Eternal life is simply knowing God.
Knowing God is the "Down & Set" that precedes the "Hut". Knowing God is the fuel that runs the engine, the fire that produces warmth, the source that provides the service.
Sadly, many people try to live out their faith without knowing God. They hike their lives without getting down in the Scripture, without setting their lives upon the Word, without knowing God.
What about you? Is your Christianity based on a few familiar tweets or bumper stickers slogans, or do you know the Lord from your time with Him in His Word?
We can't live what we don't know. We can't apply God's Word without knowing what it says, what it means, how it was understood & applied by those it was first written to. That process is what today's message is all about: learning to apply God's Word to our lives, particularly the passages from our last two sermons from Matthew 27.1-26.
27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.
3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.”
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
blue = leaders only
living on mission: Are there any lost you are praying for or ministering to that we can come along side of you and help some way?
sharing life together:
Do you ever have trouble saying you are sorry?
Do you ever have trouble repenting of sin?
Is there a difference between telling God “I am sorry” and repentance? Repentance is turning away from our sin with the intent to never do it again. We are motivated by the sorrowful knowledge that it was our sin that Jesus died on the cross for. We are ashamed that we had a hand in his death. Sorry, might be just a word, with out any of the weight of a true sorrow.
growing in truth: What’s the point of the passage? Jesus, was the promised Messiah and the Jews rejected him