Sermons on Matthew
Conflict seems to define the histories of our world’s nations. It proves so central to our understanding of nations that we even evaluate countries on the basis of their military strength and willingness to engage in conflict. Jesus came into the world announcing the arrival of a new kingdom, a kingdom over which he rules. But Jesus’ kingdom rejects the conflict thinking that defines the world’s kingdoms. His rejection of the world’s thinking does not result in his kingdom becoming some kind of spiritual Switzerland; instead Jesus’ kingdom embraces a radical agenda – Jesus’ kingdom seeks to reshape the world, which solicits the world’s hostility. This lesson concludes our exploration of Jesus’ kingdom and his expectations for those who claim citizenship in it by considering the conflict his kingdom encounters in the world and how he expects citizens of his kingdom to respond to that conflict.”
This lesson continues an exploration of Jesus’ kingdom and his expectations for those who claim citizenship in it. In particular, this lesson considers the values that motivate Jesus’ kingdom, how those values differ from the values that define the world’s kingdoms, and the place his kingdom values should have within the lives of its citizens.
When everyone is responsible for a job, sometimes that job doesn’t get done. Why is that? Have you been in situations where everyone was responsible, but it ended up that no one was individually responsible? This lesson looks at a few of those times where we know what we’re supposed to do, but may find ourselves being the only one. Have you ever been the only one trying not to be overcome with worry? Or the only one who sees another’s legitimate need? Jesus understood those places. He offers challenging insights. He shows that following God in uncertain circumstances makes all the difference.
Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus’ charge to his disciples to take the message about him throughout the world reminds us that Jesus expects big things from his people. Jesus’ expectation motivates the mission our elders have given to the 151st church family. This lesson will offer a few reminders about our mission and its intersection with Jesus’ expectations.
Mathew 28:18-20 This lessons considers what it means to be a disciple of Jesus so that we can better understand the life we claim as Christians today.
Jesus’ responded to his disciples’ debate about “who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” with a surprising teaching – the greatest are those who purposefully give up status (Matthew 18:1-4). His comment prompted a conversation with his disciples about forgiveness that this lesson explores.
Matthew 11:28-30 We need rest. Do we think about how we rest? Do you think God understands our need for rest better than we do? Sunday morning we’ll study the concept of rest as physically & spiritually renewing as well as the rest God promises in Christ.
Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for neglecting “the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faithfulness” in Matthew 23:23. This lesson will consider why he included faithfulness in his list of weightier matters, how God develops it in the Bible, and the place it should consequently have within our lives.
Rather than exalting God through the spiritual authority they claimed, Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for exalting themselves at the expense of the people they claimed to teach and lead. In particular, Jesus censored them for neglecting the mercy, one of the “weightier matters” of God’s law. This lesson will consider mercy’s place in the Bible and in our lives
Jesus’ identification of justice as one of the “weightier matters of the law” did not offer a new insight to the audience listening to his condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees. The Bible’s persistent teachings about God’s justice provided an anchor for the Jewish peoples’ hopes; they were awaiting the day when God would exercise His justice on their behalf and free them from oppressing nations. Even though the people listening to Jesus teach would have given God’s justice a “weightier” place, Jesus applied God’s justice in a way that resonated with the Bible’s teachings while, at the same time, challenging conventional understandings. We will therefore consider the weightier place Jesus gave to justice and explore the place it should have within our lives.
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus indicated that justice, mercy, and faithfulness hold priority in obedience to God. This lesson will consider the balance Jesus’ comment pointed toward and will explore other passages that help map out that balance and the place it ought to have in our lives as followers of Jesus.
Matthew 5:33-37 God is a God of truth, honesty and plain speech. He calls His people to tell the truth, even when it hurts.
Jesus never seemed to shy away from drawing lines in the sand. Matthew mentions one of those lines when, in Matthew 20:20-28, he records Jesus telling his disciples, “whoever would be great among you must be your servant”. That teaching illustrates the important place Jesus gave to the combined ideas of selflessness and service and how they offer a surprising, counter-cultural expectation that forms the heart of being a Christian
Matthew 5:43-48–Jesus’ challenging teachings include his repeated command to love one’s enemies. This lesson concludes a series examining the place love ought to have within the lives of those who follow Jesus by considering his teachings about loving one’s enemies, its place within the Bible’s larger body of teachings, and the ways it ought to express itself within our lives
The Bible repeatedly instructs its readers to love others as they love themselves. Struggles with our sense of self-worth, however, make it difficult for us to fulfill that command. As we continue to explore the love that should characterize us as followers of Jesus, we will consider the love that we should have for ourselves and how that love motivates our proper treatment of other people
Matthew 22:34-38 –The Bible records God’s repeated command for people to love Him, a command in tension with our culture’s portrayal of love as a spontaneous, free, and emotional thing outside of one’s control. That tension raises an a question – how should we think about God’s command to love Him? We will therefore, in this lesson, consider that command and its place in the love that should define us as followers of Jesus.
Matthew 26:26-29 – Part 3 of 3 – Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper offers a surprising and important retelling of Israel’s Passover and its reminder of their exodus from slavery in Egypt. This lesson will consider the Jewish setting of the Passover and how Jesus used it to establish the Lord’s Supper. This is the final part of the Lord’s Supper series. For part 1 in this series, visit https://www.151cofc.com/sermons/the-lords-supper-part-1/ .
Matthew 26:26-29 – Part 2 of 3 – Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper offers a surprising and important retelling of Israel’s Passover and its reminder of their exodus from slavery in Egypt. This lesson will consider the Jewish setting of the Passover and how Jesus used it to establish the Lord’s Supper. For part 1, visit https://www.151cofc.com/sermons/the-lords-supper-part-1/. For the third and final part, visit https://www.151cofc.com/sermons/lords-supper-part-3/ .
Matthew 26:26-29 – Part 1 of 3 – Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper offers a surprising and important retelling of Israel’s Passover and its reminder of their exodus from slavery in Egypt. This lesson will consider the Jewish setting of the Passover and how Jesus used it to establish the Lord’s Supper. For Part 2 in the series, visit https://www.151cofc.com/sermons/lords-supper-part-2/.
This lesson explores the surprising contagiousness of Jesus’ holiness in the account of his healing of the leper in Matthew 8 and use it to add another layer explaining our need to follow Jesus