Posts Tagged ‘ Jesus ’

VerseD: Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8, ESV

If we focus on how bad the world is, we can pulled into complaining and worry. If we focus on what good is happening, we can share our joy with a hurting world, especially the salvation offered by Christ.

VerseD: Psalm 85:2

You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin. Selah

Psalm 85:2, ESV

We lashed out at God.

He took those lashes to the cross, buying and giving forgiveness by His blood.

VerseD: 1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:18, ESV

We no longer need to fear God’s wrath after we come to Christ. Instead, we should fear for those who do not know Him and share the Gospel with them.

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:17-20

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group.

Sermon on the Mount – Part 5

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean?
Based on the first twelve verses, blessed means realizing our own wretchedness and need for a Savior. In other words, it is becoming/being a Christian.

Matthew 5:17-20

What is the Law?

  • The books of Moses, the Pentateuch, the Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy)
  • Jewish leadership of Jesus’ day would have included the writings of teachers that expounded on and added to the Law.
  • The Prophets (the rest of the OT) were highly regarded, too, except by the Sadducees.

What is the purpose of the Law?
Romans 3:19-20 – points out our sin

What is antinomianism?
Anti = against, removed. Nomian (Deutero-nomy) = law. Therefore, against the Law or the Law
removed.
In other words and in a summation: antinomianism teaches that we are not under any part of the Law,
even the Moral Law (summarized as the 10 Commandments).
• Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 12:1 – Laws for the Promised Land

Matthew 5:17:
Pretty clearly says “not abolish but fulfill”:
• What does Jesus mean by fulfill?
o 1 Peter 2:22-25 – Perfectly obey and bring about what was prophesied.

Matthew 5:18:
• How do antinomians interpret this verse?
   o John 19:30 – They say He meant the Law is accomplished (after all, that entire passage speaks of how
His crucifixion fulfills Scripture, i.e. the Law and Prophets.)
• What is the better interpretation?
   o John 17:4 – accomplish the work the Father gave
   o Luke 19:10
• Also, “until heaven and earth pass away …” The Law stands until all of God’s plan is complete, i.e.
the renewal of all things.

Matthew 5:19:
• Relaxes one of the least of these commandments?
o Matthew 23:23-24
▪ The leaders stressed things like the tithe (meant for the Temple and priests, Numbers 18) but
showed a lack of compassion and justice and faithfulness to God’s intent.
• But we don’t obey all of those laws, right?
o Acts 15:22-29 – We an understand this as “do not worry about the Law for Israel, just obey the
Ten Commandments as has been revealed.”
o But what about the Sabbath?
▪ Hebrews 4:1-13
All other Commandments are repeated in the New Testament except the Sabbath (we await the full rest
of our souls and renewed bodies in eternity)

The tithe is also not expressly demanded in the NT. The tithe was supposed to supply the priests with food and necessary means for Temple operations and upkeep.

Matthew 5:20:
Jesus rarely said the Jewish leaders were flat out wrong about their teachings. They understood God’s
Word really well!
• Matthew 23 explains the 7 woes of Jesus against the Scribes and Pharisees
o Basically, they made themselves look good on the outside, but they were hypocrites.
• We are to work out of love of God and people: Romans 13:14; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17

VerseD: Zechariah 14:9

And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

Zechariah 14:9, ESV

We are able to share the good news that one day God will put an end to all evil and suffering, and to be a part of it all only takes faith in the work of Christ.

VerseD: Matthew 7:12

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7:12, ESV

Kindness and mercy are definitely important, but we should not forget grace and forgiveness as well as sharing God’s Word with all people. There is nothing more loving than pointing each other to God.

Sermon: Remember: A Love Note from God – Mark 14:12-31

I preached again!

It was my turn in our usual rotation (pushed back a week due to Pastor Scott getting sick and throwing the rotation off), and it was also Communion week. (I am more a fan of Communion happening every week, but it is not something I will break fellowship over!)

What makes it extra special that it was Communion week is that I got to preach on the Passover meal (Last Supper) which includes the institution of the Lord’s Supper – Communion.

As usual, here are my notes. Remember that I do not necessarily stick strictly to the notes. In fact, I added quite a bit this time (I tried making adjustments on my iPad, but it did not want to let me), and I switched a couple parts around slightly.

(And the audio for our official church video was messed up, so here is the recording I made from my phone! I almost lost it a few times while preaching, so there will be some moments of silence … and maybe you’ll want to cry too.)

Remember: The Love Note from God  —  Mark 14:12-31

INTRO:

In all of my preaching classes I was told over and over that we need a good introduction that ties in with the whole message. Something that we can refer back to throughout the message, even in the conclusion.

In conversations, I tend to be pretty good about that: making connections throughout to things we’ve said before. I even connect a lot of it to the Bible.

For some reason, I often am not that great at it when preaching. And here is a great example.

This intro has almost nothing to do with the rest of the message, but I like the connection I can see in my mind. I cannot suggest everyone see this PG-13 movie, because there is a decent amount of vulgar language and violence (much like a video game) throughout, so do not take this as an official endorsement or suggestion to see it.

That being said, I got to see Free Guy (with Ryan Reynolds) this week. It really is a fun movie, especially if you enjoy quite a bit of nerd-culture (comic books, video games, YouTube, movies, etc.). Many, if not most, of my friends said one of the best scenes in the movie is one jampacked with references to recent popular movies, and it indeed is hilarious.

My favorite scene, though, comes a few minutes after this. When two of the other main characters are talking, and this line is said,

“I’m just a love letter to you. The real question is who is the writer?”

Today, we talk about God’s love letter to us. Technically, yeah, it’s the Bible. More specifically, it’s the Person of Jesus Christ. Most specifically, it’s about how much God loves us, that He came for us, died for us, and welcomes us in. All for His glory and our benefit. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

And the love note we get to enjoy “as often as we drink it, in remembrance of” Him.

MESSAGE:

[vv. 12-16:]
Firstly, what is the Feast of Unleavened Bread? The celebration of Passover. Remember way back, about 1500 years earlier, Israel was enslaved by Egypt, and Moses came to free God’s people.  After nine plagues, came the 10th: the death of the firstborn. This is the inauguration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because, as Exodus 12 reminds us, the Lord struck down all the firstborn children in Egypt (including animals), except for in the homes where a lamb was slaughtered and its blood painted over the doors. This was the sign for the Spirit to Pass Over their houses.

But why is it called Unleavened Bread? Because the Israelites did not have time to let dough rise for bread. This serves as a reminder that the Lord can take us at any time, like He did with the Egyptian firstborn. The entire week-long feast is done with unleavened bread, to remind the people of the time they were redeemed by God, and quickly. (It is possible this can point to the Rapture, as well.)

Now, Jesus and His disciples (specifically the Twelve … possibly with some others, as we note that some disciples prepared the Passover before Jesus arrived with the Twelve, and this meal was usually held with family present) were going to eat the meal together, but they needed a place. Remember that none of the various groups of this time were completely correct on what the Messiah would be like and do, but the group that came the closes was the Essenes.

Who were the Essenes? A group expecting the soon coming of Messiah who secluded themselves from the rest of society (something Jesus/the NT actually warned not to do) to live purely and to copy the Hebrew texts (not just books we find in our Bibles nor only in Hebrew/Aramaic), and only men could become priests. (They were basically their day’s version of a Roman Catholic hippie commune.) They were the closest to understanding the Messiah.

But they also kept at least one house in nearby cities, to be cared for by priests and for getting supplies as needed.

Why is this important?  Because in these days, only women carried water jars around. Unless they were of the Essene priesthood and maintaining the city-home. And, therefore, it is very possible that Jesus was working with the local Essenes to have a place ready for His final meal with His disciples. (He also could have miraculously known who would let Him use a place with a large room for the dinner!)

[And notice, again, the use of water. The earth was formed out of water by God, destroyed again by water by God. Through water Israel was saved. By water we are baptized as our Lord was. His first miracle was turning water into wine. Now, water is the sign that will lead the disciples to the Last Supper – where the sign of the new covenant is given.]

We also know from Luke that Peter and John were the two who prepared everything. And it was probably Thursday that much of this took place, with the meal beginning in the evening, as prescribed by Exodus 12. This would have put the dinner, arrest, and crucifixion all on Friday by Jewish time-telling.

[vv. 17:]
We see that meal does not even begin until the evening. We remember from the other Gospels that they arrive, and Jesus washes their feet. A major sign of humility, even shaming the one who was seated in the lowest place (probably Peter, actually) who was usually the one (without servants) to wash everyone else’s feet.

I think it is also good to jump around a little in our passage today, because Jesus has just washed their feet and is getting ready to enjoy the meal with them. But how hard was this time for Him?

Why?

[vv. 18-21:]
We remember from last time that Judas has already made an agreement with the Jewish leadership to betray Jesus, so we are not surprised by this.

Neither is Jesus. The other gospels help us to see that they have been eating together for a time, and Jesus even calls out Judas (quietly, implying the two seats of honor at the table are taken by John – who leaned on Jesus during the meal – and Judas – who could be secretly talked with during the meal!) The other disciples just think that He leaves to take care of the business needed for the feast, which helps to imply that he was not actually there when the Lord’s Supper was instituted.

So, Jesus goes into this meal thinking about the man who will betray Him to death. Someone who has been with Him for over three years and been considered a friend.

A friend who not only turns his back but also (almost literally) stabs Him in the back. How must that have felt?

Have you wondered how about Jesus’ words here? “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Maybe, like me, you have wrestled with the idea of a sovereign God who would create someone just to be destroyed. How could He?

But we also know God created us with free will. Judas chose to betray his friend, and our God – who is sovereign – works this man’s evil intents into His plan for our salvation.

And Jesus laments that His friend is choosing not only to reject a friend but God Himself. He has seen God face to face, and now he must face eternity having rejected Him.

But there is more. After they leave the meal, on their way to Gethsemane …

[vv. 26-31:]
Jesus tells His disciples – especially Peter – about their and his denial. First there is the backstabbing friend He knows about. Now we see He knows one of his closest friends is going to leave Him hanging (pun intended) in His darkest moment.

Jesus is having dinner with his closest friends, knowing that He is on His way to the cross, knowing that one of His friends is sending Him there and all of His friends, including one of His best friends, will abandon Him.

So what do we learn?

What have we called this series in Mark? Power Serve. What does it look like to serve others with the power of God? Humility in the face of hatred. Grace in the middle of greed. Love in the light (and in spite) of loss.

We are not really given permission to hide ourselves away when painful circumstances come our way. The example our Lord and Savior has given us is that when we know no one is there for us, when people abandon us, when we are at our darkest moments, that is the exact moment we need to rely on the Father to guide us through and show the most humility, grace, and love. We serve others with the Good News of Jesus Christ, in His power and love, by His grace, humbly and without complaint.

Because that is what He did.

Think about it. What, really, was His example?

This is a Passover meal. They probably discussed how God spared Israel when all of the firstborn were slain. And Jesus – the Firstborn of God, fully God and fully Man – has come to be the only firstborn whose blood is shed to save all other people who call on His Name.

Instead of a year-old lamb, Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Instead of the blood being painted over the door of our homes, The Door poured out His blood.

Instead of death coming for us, He defeated death through taking away our sin by becoming sin on the cross and then rising from the grave.

In other words, Instead of unleavened bread, we have the Bread of Life who was broken for us and rose again to Life.


He became a friend when His friends abandoned Him.

And He gave us a reminder to celebrate it. A love note to remind us “as often as [we] drink of it”.

[vv. 22-25:]
So, we take communion to remember that He has done all the work. It is not so much our story. We are a part of His story. All of this – literally everything – is about Jesus.

We take communion to remember His humility and sacrifice for His friends.
For those who abandon and ignore Him.
For those who put Him on a cross to suffer.
For those who mistreat Him, mock Him, and turned away from Him.

But we have this hope: that He has forgiven us by His blood, and we will one day enjoy a meal with Him again.

But until then, we proclaim His life, death, and resurrection. So, join me in partaking in communion.

RESPONSE:

1 Corinthians 11:23-25:
the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance
of me.”

VerseD: Matthew 5:4

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4, ESV

We are blessed when we realize our wretchedness compared to God, and we mourn the sin the separates us from God – our own sins and the sins of others.

For only then can we seek the blessing of forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus Christ.

VerseD: Psalm 145:18

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Psalm 145:18, ESV

God wants us to draw near, not merely waiting for us but even coming for us, but in His truth.

Don’t chase a fake god. Pursue the Gut of the Bible.

VerseD: Matthew 9:37-38

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Matthew 9:37‭-‬38, ESV

Prayer for the pastors, missionaries, and evangelists of Christ is always welcomed and necessary.

Pray also that your heart may yearn to share the Word and help reap the harvest of saved souls.