Posts Tagged ‘ Notes ’

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 7:24-29

I have started (and with this one finish) 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. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 15

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.

What was discussed last time?

  • Fruit and False Prophets
    • Good appearances and loving works do not necessarily mean faithful Christians
    • Most (if not all) know they are deceiving others
      • The destruction will be quick … and eternal
      • They should be pitied and evangelized! And refuted

Matthew 7:24-27:
Foolish and Wise builders

  • Do not jump to the Genesis 6-9 Flood.
    • The Flood was cataclysmic globally, such that nothing remained. The wise houses remain.
  • See the Psalms, frequently pointing to “The LORD my rock”, as well as Matthew 16:13-19
  • James 1:22-25
  • Let us remember what came before: Fruit and Prophets
    • Ezekiel 13:8-16
    • Compare with the parables of Jesus:
      • Ten Virgins (25:1-13) – Be prepared, our faith cannot save nor sustain others
      • Talents (25:14-30) – Invest in what God has given us, it is to be grown and shared
      • Forgiving (18:21-35) – We give His forgiveness and grace, yet wisely
      • Weeds (13:24-30, 37-43) – Realize the false are mixed in with the true believers
      • Sower (13:3-9, 18-23) – Not all who respond well to the Gospel are saved

Matthew 7:28-9:
“Astonished”

  • Does not mean they believed
    • See Jordan Peterson (as of 12/13/2021)
  • Does not mean they obeyed
  • Does not mean they followed well
    • After explaining communion/following Jesus (John 6), we see John 6:60 and 66 – many found His teachings hard, and they left
    • Luke 8:18-22 – Following Jesus is hard
    • Luke 14:25-33 – How many are told to “just pray and believe” without being told of the cost?

Have we counted the cost?
Are we being wise, studying His Word and applying it; or foolish, taking what we like and throwing out
the rest?
Are we listening to the under-shepherds or the wolves in sheep’s clothing?

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 7:7-14

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. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 13

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.

What was discussed last time?

  • Judging others
    • Using right judgment, based on God’s standards
    • Not hypocrisy (saying one thing while willfully doing the opposite)

Matthew 7:7-8:
“Obviously” this means we can ask God for literally anything and get it, right?

  • Context part 1:

Matthew 7:9-11:
How do we typically give gifts?

  • Firstly, for others’ needs
    • We try to make sure the basics are met
  • Secondly, for others’ wants
    • When the basics are covered, we can “step it up” to something better or more desired.

How does God give gifts?

  • More abundantly and amazingly than we can fully fathom
    • All we need to do is ask!
    • He also makes sure we have the most basic needs
    • Sometimes He goes beyond the basic to give us something we want based on preferences
  • Context part 2:
    • Matthew 6:33
      • God always gives according to:
        • His character
        • His mission (drawing others in)
        • His glory (that which brings Him praise and honor)
    • This should demolish the Prosperity gospel
      • Paired with John 14-15, especially

Matthew 7:12:
The Golden Rule

  • Tied to how we give as well as how we judge! (The verse starts with “So,” as in “therefore”, and it is attached with the previous “therefore” in 6:34!)
    • Are we judging based on our own standards or God’s?
    • Are we giving to do something good for the ego boost/to feel better/”because we have to” or for God’s glory?
  • We should be striving to treat others as God treats us in Christ!

Matthew 7:13-14:
Jesus always takes us deeper

  • It is relatively easy to be nice/kind/loving to people we like
  • It is relatively easy to give things to people for various reasons
  • Loving people like God loves is not as easy (at first).
    • Pernicious lie today: “Self-Love”
      • “But the Bible says!” Philippians 2:4
        • We should take care of our temple
        • Yet, Philippians 2:1-11
          • No selfish ambition or conceit
          • Count others more significant
          • Have the mind of Christ: sacrificial servant
      • Yes, take care of yourself (at times pampering, sure)
        • Maybe gift someone that spa day
        • Maybe merely take a hike/walk
        • Maybe buy the name brand product rather than the generic
          • Or buy two generic and share with one who needs it!
        • Maybe take another person along who also needs a break
        • Maybe just be with someone as much as you want to get away
    • Self-love is not inherently bad the way most use it, but how often we use it as an excuse to avoid giving, to avoid serving, because we’re tired, hungry, stressed?
    • Acts 20:35
  • Why is it so hard to enter the narrow gate?
    • John 14:15, 15:10-17

Sermon on the Mount study notes: Matthew 6:25-34

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. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 11

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.

What was discussed last time?

  • Where we store our riches
  • Inner darkness vs. light
    • Is our focus on the Kingdom or ourselves?
    • Are we listening to/teaching selfish, worldly teachings?
  • We can’t serve two masters.

Matthew 6:25:
“Therefore …”: Jesus has been leading to a point in this chapter:

  • We give to those in need
  • We fast and pray
  • We do it all to focus on God and His Kingdom

Since we are focusing on God:

  • Why should we worry?
    • Food
    • Water
    • Clothes

Matthew 6:26-32:
We get a mini-lesson on why not to worry:

  • Birds of the air
    • Psalm 147:9 (see vv. 7-11)
    • Job 38:41
  • Solomon and flowers
  • If these can be clothed so beautifully, yet …
    • Isaiah 40:8, 61:10-11
      • We are reminded that nothing in this world lasts, so we should trust what God says.
      • 2 Peter 3:9-13
      • This all reminds us that such as the Prosperity Gospel is false

Matthew 6: 33-34:
We get the reminder that we trust God alone. And what does that look like?

  • Philippians 4:4-7
  • 1 Peter 5:5-11

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 6:19-24

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. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 10

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.

What was discussed last time?
• Giving to the needy
• Love your neighbor as yourself
o We are serving Christ when we serve others.

Matthew 6:19-21:
But isn’t wealth a sign of blessing?

  • As usual, what is our focus?
  • 1 Timothy 6:1-10
    • Why vv. 1-2?
      • Be good servants – good employees!
      • Be good masters – good managers!
      • Don’t just focus on the money of work, rather doing the best work (as for the Lord – Colossians 3:23)
    • False teachers focus on money and lustful, covetous, earthly desires.
    • It is the love of money that leads to so many problems.

Matthew 6:22-24:
What is Jesus saying?

  • How do we view the world and Scripture?
    • With Holy Spirit-eyes or worldly eyes?
  • Mark 7:14-23
    • The darkness comes from our sinful desires

What does it look like to serve two masters?

  • Matthew 12:22-32,43-45
    • How many teachers, preachers, prophets(?), apostles(?) claim to be casting out demons and performing healings in the name of Jesus without the full gospel or for money?
    • Many of these people say it is demanded we speak in tongues and heal, and even claim to be super-apostles, all while claiming to regularly visit heaven and speak with angels as they bind and rebuke demons.
      • 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
  • 2 Peter 2:17-22 (paraphrase vv.10-16)

Jesus always takes us deeper.

  • It’s not just about money and budgeting and not merely seeking money as an idol.
  • Beware the false teachers and false christs (anointed ones) who only want your money – or being one of those yourself!

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 6:5-18

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. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 10

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.

What was discussed last time?
• Giving to the needy
• Love your neighbor as yourself
o We are serving Christ when we serve others.

Matthew 6:1:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people …”
• Jesus is continuing from this point: why do we fast and pray?

What does Jesus repeat throughout the first half of ch. 6?

“They have received their reward … And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:5,16:
Fasting and Praying:

  • Why do we fast and pray? (Surface-level, observation of people)
    • Because we are supposed to.
    • Because we want something.
      • From God, and this is how we make God see we’re serious
      • From people, and this is how we show them we are holy and serious
  • Why should we fast? (Real, biblical reasons)
    • Prepare
      • Ministry
      • Event/Life-change
    • Seek
      • Wisdom
      • Deliverance (spiritual attack, for loved ones)
      • Victory (over sin, circumstances)
    • Repent
      • Personal sins
      • Corporate sins
        • Family
        • Congregation
        • Community
        • Region
        • Nation – World
    • Grief/Healing
    • Worship

Matthew 6:6,17-18:
Do we only pray private prayers or only fast secretly?

  • No, because what about all of the calls to public, corporate prayer/fasting?
  • It is a matter of the heart: why are we doing it? For show, or to seek God?

Matthew 6:7-8:
Think of what Jesus means (Compare 2 Corinthians 10:5):

  • Pagan meditation:
    • Clearing mind of all thought
    • Focused on a desire (i.e. The Secret)
  • Pagan prayers:
    • Some are “okay”, sure, but Jesus is speaking to the prayers of mindlessly speaking or repeating a specific prayer or chant over and over in the hopes that a god will hear.
      • Stream-of-consciousness
  • Not bad in and of itself, but unfocused and unthinking.
  • The matter of “speaking in tongues” (1 Corinthians 14)
    • Tongues is supposed to be “for the unbeliever” as a sign
      • Repeating a word or phrase repeatedly.

So, what about The Lord’s Prayer?

Matthew 6:9-13:
Seems repetitive to say every day/week:

  • Is this a command to pray this way:
    • Not exactly: Jesus says “Pray in this manner” and not necessarily “Pray these words.”
    • It’s not bad to repeat a good prayer!
  • What is Jesus saying?
    • Compare Luke 11:1-4 (11:5-13 shows up in Matthew 7:7-11)
      • Jesus was specifically asked how to pray (not what to pray)
    • How do we pray?
      • Worship God (hallowed, or holy, be Your name)
        • Do we live in such a way that shows God’s holiness?
      • Help us live out God’s will (Your Kingdom come …)
        • Are we fulfilling the Great Commission?
      • Meet our needs (Give us this day …)
        • Are we trusting in His sovereignty, grace, and mercy?
      • Repentance (forgive us …)
        • We mess up, but also remember one of the reasons for fasting: praying for our lost loved ones
      • Help (lead us not …)
        • To get through each day but also in emergencies
    • Notice these are not numbered nor too specific!
    • If we know the reasoning, it is not bad to recite the prayer. It can help focus us on Christ.
    • It is not a thing to be done as penance/punishment (Yes, this is a jab at the Catholic Church)

Matthew 6:14-15:
Again, focused on our hearts/minds:

  • If we hold grudges, are we showing we don’t understand forgiveness?
    • Malice and hatred are the antithesis of grace and mercy
    • We might not actually be saved.
  • Have you forgiven yourself?
    • This is not to say “If you can’t forgive yourself, God won’t either.”
    • In spite of our sinfulness He saved us!
    • We might not actually be saved if we get too hung up on our sinfulness.
    • Believing we are unforgivable implies God can’t save us (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit)

Fasting and Prayer is to help us communicate with God, to change us.

“Prayer is for us, not God. He knows what we need, and we need Him.”

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:32-37

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. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 8

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. (A focus on why we’re blessed from 5:3-11)

[Jesus always takes us deeper]

What is an oath?
What was discussed last time?
• Lust and Divorce
• What are the most important promises we make in this life?
o Faith in Christ
o Marriage

Matthew 5:33:
What is Jesus saying?
• Once again, “an archaic saying”
o Said of old means: The Old Testament, specifically the Torah, more specifically Leviticus 19:11-12
▪ Essentially a rehashing of the 10 Commandments, but deeper
• Is He saying “Don’t cuss”?
o No, but also a good idea. Look back at vv. 21-22 – words spoken in anger
▪ OMG
▪ “I swear [to God], if you …”
o It becomes an issue of “Lord’s name in vain” then, as well
• Based on Lev. 19, don’t drag God into your lying and false promises
But what else is He saying?

Matthew 5:34-37:
What is Jesus saying?
Did Jesus abolish this law?
[Not exactly, but He also says “Just do it. Say you will, and then do.”]
• In other words, do not make oaths:
o That drag God into your failures or make your deeds seem good (Matthew 12:22-32)
o Based on Creation
o Based on your own abilities – James 4:13-17
• James 5:12 – Jesus’ brother reiterates “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
o Notice the context: James 5:7-16
▪ He reiterates that we will suffer for Christ.
▪ Don’t grumble/complain/get angry
• We remember Christ is coming soon
• Do we really believe Christ is coming soon (swear to God), or do people see us squabbling and
assume we doubt His return?
▪ Actually pray for people when you say you will! (This keeps coming up in these lessons)
▪ Confess sins
• Do we really believe God has forgiven us, or do people see us hold sins against each other and
assume we doubt His forgiveness?

Are all oaths/promises bad?

Not necessarily:

  • Intent matters:
    • Do you promise beyond ability? Then oaths and promises are stupid.
    • “As much as I can … if the Lord wills …”
  • It would rule out … covenants!
    • Remember: God swore by Himself with Abraham (Hebrews 6:13-14)
    • Covenants can be one-sided or two-sided (yes, sometimes more), but are commitments/promises between parties to fulfill obligations
  • Oaths/Promises can display sincerity (i.e. marriages, court trials, desperate pleas)

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:27-32

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. [Reminder that these are only notes!] (And I just realized I forgot to publish this earlier in the week!)

Sermon on the Mount – Part 7

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.

Can God see into our hearts and minds?
• 1 Samuel 16:7 – “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but
the Lord looks on the heart.”
• Psalm 44:21 – Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.
• Proverbs 21:2 – Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
• Jeremih 17:9-10 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can
understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his
ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Mormons believe God can’t see into human hearts.

What is that old, archaic word for wanting something badly (found in the 10 Commandments)?
Covet – What does this mean? [To want more than God, to desire to the harm of others]

Is it the same as lust? What is lust?
[e.g. disordered desire for someone or something, usually sexual in nature]

Matthew 5:27-28:

What is Jesus saying?
[Is it okay to look? “It’s not hurting anyone!”]

Matthew 5:29-30:

What is Jesus saying?
[“STOP IT!” It is severely serious how bad sin is.]
• Matthew 18:7-9 – Our own temptations can lead others into temptation
o Will we actually enter eternity mutilated and deformed? (Remember, Jesus has His scars!)

Matthew 5:31-32:

• Jesus refers to Deuteronomy 24:1-4
o Sometimes a woman was given a second dowry if she remarried.
▪ What is the abomination in God’s sight?
• Remember that brothers were to give their widowed sisters-in-law a child, so is it purely sexual?
• If there is a second dowry, the first husband may be taking her back just for the money.
• We see the seriousness of divorce.
o Matthew 19:1-9 (Genesis 2:24)
• Does this mean a divorcee can never remarry?
o Consider 1 Timothy 3:2
o What if it was before they became a Christian?
o Consider Israel through Hosea: Israel was His unfaithful wife. The Church is not a new wife, rather a
renewed wife, for Israel is still included. In fact, we have been grafted into Israel (Romans 11)

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.”

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:10-12

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 – The Beatitudes: Part 3

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? How do you understand it?
The word “blessed” appears 306 times in the ESV Bible (in 288 verses; 302x in 287 vv. in KJV)
Happy (definitely deeper than this), Revered, Content, Worshiped, Made holy, Fortunate, Well-off

Matthew 5:3-12: The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:10-12:
The first several verses tell us it is blessed (brings joy, contentment, peace) to find salvation in Christ

  • We realize our wretchedness (v. 3)
  • We lament our sinful rebellion against God (v. 4)
  • We realize our need for help and salvation (v. 5)
  • We see a growing desire for God’s Word & presence (v. 6)
  • We realize our fallen neighbors need the same mercy we receive from God (v. 7)
  • We let God renew our hearts and minds to seek His goodness for others (v. 8)
  • We desire to bring others to the peace of God (v. 9)

What then happens in the life of the Christian?
Now we read:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:10-12, ESV

v. 10-11: Firstly, notice the first phrase to be repeated: “theirs is the kingdom of heaven?” (from v. 3)
• We mourn their sin as we mourn our own. It is no longer “me vs. the world” but “Here am I, send
me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
• We are letting God change us – Romans 12:1-2

When we allow God to change the way we see, think about, and interact with our world, it becomes
easier to live out these qualities and not act like the world.

What is righteousness?

(Doing/believing/teaching what is right – by GOD’S STANDARD)

[READ 2 Timothy 2:22-26]

  • Respect – This world has a lack of true respect for others, to the point even children are sing parents. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
  • Racism – “We evolved into different races.” No respect for the other people, even though there is only 1 human race (with different ethnicities and cultures, sure. See Acts 17:26)
  • Marriage – “Anyone can love who they want. Love is love.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
  • Gender – (Matthew 19:4)
  • Drugs
  • Abortion
  • Climate Change – (Technically true. The creation is cursed due to human sin – Genesis 3)
  • Truth – “Follow your truth” “What is truth?” (Pilate, John 18:38)

[READ 2 Timothy 2:22-27]

Taking a stand for truth (The Gospel and God’s standard) forces the world to face their sins. Do we like being told we’re wrong?

Seeing their sin results in lashing out: verbally, physically, emotionally
• 2 Timothy 2:8-12; 1 Peter 4:12-19 (Romans 1:16-17)

So, we show compassion. What does compassion mean? (Feeling with others, joining in their experience. “I was you. I, too, rejected God and sinned.”)

So, then, what does it mean to be blessed, I light of these 10-12 verses?
To join in Christ’s passion: His suffering, His sacrifice, His love, His grace. It seems Jesus speaks of
those who find contentment in life as they are made holy.

What does it look like to live out this blessing?

Jude 17-25

Sermon on the Mount study notes: Matthew 5:6-9

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

The Beatitudes: Part 2

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? How do you understand it?
The word “blessed” appears 306 times in the ESV Bible (in 288 verses; 302x in 287 vv. in KJV)
Happy (definitely deeper than this), Revered, Content, Worshiped, Made holy, Fortunate, Well-off

Matthew 5:3-12: The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:3-6

We see the coming of repentance: people who know their wretchedness (poor in spirit), lament their sin (those who mourn), and realize their need to someone to save them (meek).

Matthew 5:6-9:
v. 6: Hunger and thirst for righteousness = Seeking out God’s strength and righteousness as only
found in and through Christ by the power of the Spirit.
• Psalm 42:1-6a; 2 Timothy 2:20-21
v. 7: Mercy = not giving what is deserved. Merciful people withhold anger and refuse to retaliate
when wronged.
• Luke 6:36; Proverbs 19:17; 2 Timothy 1:16; Hebrews 6:10
v. 8: Pure in heart = cleansed of sin and looking on this world as if through God’s eyes. The pure do
not see others as objects (thus, not to be lusted after or “discarded” based on shifting desires nor to
break promises flippantly. Love overflows.
• Psalm 24:3-6; 2 Timothy 2:20-22; James 4:7-10; Titus 2:11-14
v. 9: Peacemakers = foster order, love, and compassion around them.
• (2 Timothy 2:22-26; Matthew 10:34-36) James 3:13-18

What does it look like to live out this blessing?
We see salvation. We come to faith in Christ. We also become voracious consumers and seekers of God’s Word and
presence. (Bible reading, sermons, Bible studies, Prayer)
We also become ambassadors of Christ.
• 2 Corinthians 5:1-6:1