Mt 5:6,7 Sermon on the Mount – we have King Jesus setting out the character & the required lifestyle of his subjects (his subjects are “BLESSED”). Jesus the King –the one who has authority to determine who will and who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
New Creation, New People
Genealogy: Gk Genesis – Matthew wrote to remind hearers & readers of Genesis the first book of the Bible: how God created the whole world, how God brought about the beginning of God’s People. Matthew is saying Jesus’ coming is like a whole new creation started for a whole new people of God.
MAJOR Theme of Gospel of Matthew:
Kingdom of God expanding & the part God’s people have to play in that expansion as we bring the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
Only if a church understands God’s plan will we be able to set our course in the light of it. If a church fails to understand God’s plan for the world, the church won’t have a clue what we it is supposed to be doing. The church will follow all the latest trends.
Intent of Matthew 8:
Bringing together the idea of Jesus the Conquering King who will hold back God’s judgment and presents us with his glorious future free from everything that spoils & wrecks our world (Sin, Sickness, Suffering) TOGETHER with the idea of Jesus the Suffering Servant who rolls back God’s judgment by bearing God’s judgment in his own body on the tree, the Cross
Matthew v18-22 WHAT’S THE COST?
What price would you pay for your place in heaven?
QUALIFIED DISCIPLESHIP – Do something first, then only follow Christ
v18-22 Teacher of law promised/offered too much, too soon THEN offered too little, too late
by being focused on this world (aspirations, expectations, attention – to achieve heaven on earth (dream relationship, car, bonus, promotion, status, raised income, secure pension) which Jesus did not promised
What price do you think God puts on our place in heaven (perfect existence)?
· Price is God’s Son – he alone can pay the debt: a huge debt mounting up day by day, year by year;
8:20 Son of Man from Dan 7:13,14 (Eternal ruler)
- All authority, all glory, all sovereign power, all peoples, nations & men of every language for all time
- Relinquish heavenly & earthly, human rights to pay debt we deserve > demonstrates immense value of place in heaven
v23-34 CREATOR OF THE WORLD
Enormous, furious storm - disciples terrified & wakes Jesus
v26 What does Jesus do?
First, Jesus rebukes their lack of faith while still lying down
Second, he got up & rebuked waves – obey & completely calm
v27 What kind of man is this? (What is Jesus like? His nature?)
Incident makes the point that Jesus Christ has all power, all authority over his creation when he walks on earth (Psalm 33:6-9; 89:8,9)
Purpose: focus not on disciples but Jesus
Aim: Show us what kind of man is Jesus –
Eyewitness account very clear:
- All authority, power – Lord, Ruler
- Therefore, demands we put him at centre of our lives: No 1 priority, Right to demand central place
8:28-34 Two Demoniacs
Have you come to torture us before the appointed time?
Key phrase unique to Matthew’s account: the appointed time
Demons recognize who Jesus is – God’s one & only Son with all authority & power; know what kind of man he is BUT recognizes he’s come early – expected him to come later at appointed time when he comes to judge & rule over all people & destroy all wickedness.
Demons know they have a shelf life – days numbered & will face God one day in judgment and that God will destroy them.
Jesus, coming to his creation when he did, is altogether unexpected.
He’s come for a different purpose (Matt 9:1-8)
When the Judge comes in advance of the final day, the thing Matthew wants us to notice is that it is extremely uncomfortable (8:33,34).
Jesus comes, finds situation out of control, exercises his divine authority over the wind & the wave, then meets the enemies – the demons – and with a word, restores situation.
Yet, local population begged him to leave: cannot handle this Divine Authority – awkward, uncomfortable because disturbed status quo:
§ His authority is challenging
§ He exposes inconsistencies & hypocrisies
§ He will want to change our lives
§ He is Creator & Lord & has authority over all creation
§ He has come early, unexpectedly
§ He makes us uncomfortable because he asks us to recognize his authority
§ He will change our priorities, our thinking, our agendas, our language, the way we treat our work colleagues, the way we treat our competitors
Q: What will we do with him?
Beg him to leave? Look at 9:1 don’t know the next time the people meets Jesus again, they may never meet him again. If they didn’t, the next time meet him will be in judgment.
ETERNAL & EVERYONE (Matthew 1:1)
Jesus as the very centre of God’s plan for the world:
The 2 big baskets of promise in the Hebrew scripture are:
- Promise to David of a Son who would be a King forever
- Promise to Abraham of a Seed who would be a blessing for everyone
Jesus is the King forever and he is the King for everyone. The eternal King through whom God’s blessing will extend to the nations.
Applications: Talk about it in LG & with one another
1 Discuss the following:
Only if a church understands God’s plan will we be able to set our course in the light of it. If a church fails to understand God’s plan for the world, the church won’t have a clue what it is supposed to be doing. The church will follow all the latest trends.
2 Discuss the following Equation:
If make much of Jesus as a church > will do a lot of speaking about him;
If we are not talking about Jesus much > you can be sure we are not much in love with Jesus
If the church is in keeping with God’s purpose for the world, it will be transparently Jesus-centered (FBC ethos, FBC profile).
3 How big do you think God is? Do you think any political leader or devil can thwart the plans of God who put the stars in the sky?
- Be confident: God’s plan will triumph! God will reach all the peoples of the world.
Easy to be swamped by negativity & easily lose heart (restriction of freedom of Christians & our right to tell people about Jesus, specifically targeting Christians in Syria & Iraq for kidnap, torture & execution, people hostile & not interested in Jesus)
- Be focused: First, God’s plan is to reach all the peoples of the world. Second, his plan is to do it through Jesus.
The great evangelist is not apostle Paul, not Billy Graham, etc. The great evangelist is God himself.
4 What is it that will make a man willing to go anywhere, and do anything and lose everything like that? (Example: Henry Martyn, missionary to India)
Whether life or death be mine, may Christ be glorified in me.
5 With the gifts and personality that God has given each of you, how can you be deliberate and intentional in playing your part in God’s plans to reach the nations with the Good News of Jesus Christ?
You’ve only got one LIFE and it will soon be past and only what’s done for Christ will last.