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.
Faithful Bread, Fruit of The Vine
Have you ever had one of those spiritual "mountain top experiences", a time in your life when God did something so convincing, so hopeful, so timely, perhaps a merciful healing, or an 11th hour rescue of sorts... something that filled your heart with gratitude, love and confidence in Him, pledging your forever faithfulness to Him in return for His grace & mercy?
I sure hope you have. That has certainly been the experience for lots of folks down through the years. But, just as many have also had the following experience: within a few months, weeks, days or perhaps even minutes, they all failed to maintain their zealous promise to pursue the Lord without fail. In other words, in time, "the shine"--so to speak--wore off. The sparkle waned. The demands & business of life crowded back in. And it wasn't long until... well, they failed on their promises.
If that has ever described your experience, know this: you're not alone. But is there hope for such deniers of the faith?
living on mission: Last week Jesus celebrates the passover and says that he will be betrayed. Judas, had already sold him for the price of a ox gored slave. This week, Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper. Does being reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice help you grow in your love for and desire to follow Him? Is there a better reminder? Discuss.
Why/How should our weekly reminder of Jesus’ death fuel your desire to share Him with others?
Do you know someone that has “denied” Jesus or who has never truly surrendered?
Do you have a plan to help them know Jesus?
What can we or the church do to help you?
sharing life together: What is the Lord's Supper? The obedient coming together of the faithful in remembrance of Jesus and the sacrifice He offered of Himself on the cross which reconciles us to God. We are to remember His sacrifice until His return.
Jesus, says: “for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” What covenant is He talking about? The New covenant
What is the difference between the old and new covenant? The new covenant is written on our hearts and not a stone. The new covenant contrasts with the old covenant that was based on the Mosaic law. The law required regular sacrifices to cover the inevitable disobedience, sin. Under the new covenant Jesus, is the sacrifice and our sins are forgiven. See Jeremiah 31.31-34 ESV
Why would Jesus, have us remember his death and not his birth. He was born to die on the cross. The old covenant made us aware of our sin. Yet, we easily forget the victory is won. Remembering His birth is good, but remembering His sacrifice weekly reminds us that He, has done the work and we are reconciled to God. It fuels the fire of our worship, so to speak. PtL
When will Jesus drink the cup
Again? at the Lambs feast, effectively connecting the last supper to the Lamb's feast, the ultimate celebration of our eternal reconciliation and peace with God: the promise of old, kept.
How is the Lord's compassion for His disciples revealed here? V31-34. He quotes scripture stating that they will be scattered, even Peter will deny him. And yet He will not abandon them, and foretells of meeting them in Galilee when He is risen. They don't get it, but later they will, and it will comfort them knowing that He knew, and, even so, didn’t abandon them.
Many churches today don't do communion regularly. Can you imagine why? Too much trouble to make or buy bread and juice. Clean up. It takes time away from announcements or from praise and worship music. Others might say they don't want it to become too familiar by practicing it so regularly. Communion does not save us but a church that offers it infrequently may not value the sacrifice of Jesus. Or worse they are disobedient.
growing in truth: What's the main point of the passage? Jesus, wants us to remember His death on the cross until He returns.