Thursday, June 16, 2011

Matthew 9:14-17 A Pair of Skewed Perspectives—John the Baptist’s Disciples part 1

John the Baptist was a pretty interesting character. He probably wouldn’t have been invited to preach in our churches if he was around today, which wouldn’t make much of a difference to him, I would bet, because he’d be in the “boondocks” or some part of town that most of us wouldn’t be caught dead in preaching the gospel. His disciples, as we observe here came to Jesus with questions that were born out of a skewed perspective just like the Pharisees—skewed ii a different direction, perhaps, but skewed none the less. In short, the disciples of John had an incorrect perspective on the situation of Jesus’ disciples and the scope of Jesus’ ministry.

First of all, notice their perspective on Jesus’ disciples. They ask Jesus in Matthew 9:14 why His disciples do not fast as the disciples of other teachers did. Now, observe the tone they used. It doesn’t appear that they were accusatory or combative. They were just asking a question—clarifying. Furthermore, while the Pharisees fasted according to Jewish tradition on holy days as well as regularly during the week, it’s possible that at this point when they spoke to Jesus that John’s disciples were grieving the loss of their teacher after he was executed by Herod the Great. Therefore, they may have been asking Christ why His disciples were not fasting to mourn with them, since he was Christ’s cousin, or they may have been asking why they didn’t follow the same ceremonies as the disciples of other teachers.

In any case, Christ loving clarifies His disciple’s situation for them. Please notice, as I’m sure you have, that Christ does not forbid fasting or abolish the practice. Rather, He points out the unique situation of the disciples and why they are not fasting. Borrowing from the custom of Jewish weddings, which were basically huge parties, he makes the analogy that He is the bridegroom, the disciples are the wedding guests and as such it would not be proper for them to mourn (Matthew 9:15). While Christ is with them, they don’t have any reason to mourn. The Messiah has come and is preaching to good news of the gospel. The dead are being raised, the lame walk, and the blind see. For the person who had their eyes opened to this truth, there couldn’t possibly have been any happier time. Rejoicing, not weeping, would be the response you would expect of someone who had been given by God the revelation of Who Christ was.

Furthermore, as we continue to read in Matthew 9:15, Christ notes that there will be a time in the future when His disciples will fast—they will have reason to mourn. As He did several times in His ministry, he predicts a time when “…the bridegroom is taken away…” referring to the time when He was crucified. Of course, we know how sad and fearful the disciples were immediately after the crucifixion but at the time neither the disciples of John nor Christ’s own disciples realized exactly what lay ahead. However, though John’s disciples couldn’t have known exactly what Jesus meant, Jesus did point out to them the fact that they didn’t have a clear perspective on why His disciples didn’t fast. In short, the time wasn’t right.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Psalm 1:4-6 There is a Payday--Count on it.

I know I blogged through Psalm 1 sometime back a few years ago (see here).  However, I've recently had the chance to preach through that psalm.  Here is the link to the 3rd and final sermon I preached out of that psalm, which if truth be told should have been the 2nd half of the 2nd sermon I preached.  Oh well, c'est la vie.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Colossians 1:1-2 The Power of the Gospel

I began preaching through the book of Colossians this past Sunday.  Here is the link to download the audio.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Audio Sermon Links

Here is the link of the new page I added where I'll post links to audio from sermons I have the opportunity to preach.  At the moment, I'm using a freebie audio hosting site so the links won't play audio directly--you have to down load them.  But come on, you've got room on your mp3 player for some more sermons, right?  Of course you do. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fundamental Friday's--God's Revelation in Scripture

In the early 1900's. a twelve volume work on theology titled The Fundamentals was published. This massive work, in my most humble of opinions, is just as relevant today if not more so with the ever increasing attacks on the faith of Christians--and that's just from folks inside the church. I wanted to publish some excerpts from this work that I think will be greatly encouraging to you.

But there is another revelation which God has given of Himself to men-a more definite and personal one. He gave them up to the thoughts of their own heart, and selected one man, Abraham, to go out from his friends and kindred, so that in his seed all the nations of the world might be blessed. Then, first, out of Abraham came the people of Israel, to whom were committed the oracles of God; and from this period began the history of the written Word. Moses narrates the beginning of things, also records the law, and holy men of God speak and write as they are moved by the Holy Spirit. That is inspiration—a divine in-breathing.

In giving us these narratives it may be said, moreover, that God, who numbers the very hairs of our head, exercised a providential control, so that what was reported by His chosen men should be the real facts, and nothing else. To what extent He inspired those men with the very words used by them, it is not for us to know, but probably more fully than we suspect.

But when God, after having communicated the law to Moses on Mount Sinai and in the Tabernacle, communes with him as a friend with friend, and Moses writes "all the words of this law in a book" (Deut. 28:58; 31:24), then Moses really becomes the pen of God. When God speaks to the prophets, "Behold, I put my words in thy mouth," and "the words that thou hearest thou shalt say to this people," then these prophets become the very mouth of God. When Christ appears to John on Patmos, and says, "To the angel of the church write these things," this is an instance of verbal dictation.

But just here we are amused at those weak-minded critics who, with hackneyed phrases, talk so glibly about "mechanical instruments" and "mere verbal dictation." Does then a self-revelation of the Almighty and a making known of His counsels, a gracious act which exalts the human agent to be a co-worker with Jehovah, annihilate personal freedom?The Bible is, consequently, a book which originated according to the will and with the co-operation of God; and as such it is our guide to eternity, conducting man, seemingly without a plan and yet with absolute certainty, all the way from the first creation and from Paradise on to the second or higher creation and to the New Jerusalem (Comp. Gen. 2:8-10 with Rev. 21:1, 2).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Acts 2:36-38 Now THAT'S An Invitation

This past Sunday, I had the chance to preach in the church I pastored before I moved to Tennessee, Matthew's Memorial Baptist Church.  Here is a link to download the audio from the sermon.  I pray that you are encouraged.