Saturday, December 12, 2015

Matthew 12-Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath

SLIDE 01 Jesus spent a lot of time in synagogues (Matt. 4:23). He taught in them (Matt. 13:54), healed in them (Luke 4:33'35; Mark 3:1-5), and debated the interpretation of Torah in them (John 6:28-59). Last week our memory verse Matthew 11:28-30
.28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Jesus is inviting ALL who are heavy laden to take His yoke, learn from Him and find rest for your souls. Beginning in the first verses of Chapter 12, He demonstrates the rigid manmade laws that the people were subjected to. Hebrew word shab-bat means “repose or rest,” yet there is no rest in mere religious observances. The religious leaders put heavy burdens and hard yokes upon the people.
SLIDE 2 Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
·        Keeping the Sabbath
·        By whose Authority
·        Good or Evil
What’s in your heart?
Matthew 12 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 
SLIDE 3 According to Deuteronomy 23:25 travelers may eat from neighbor’s field.  If you go into your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor's standing grain.
The eating of the grain was not the issue, it was the “work” done on the Sabbath. David Guzik, in the eyes of the religious leaders they were guilty of: 
·                Reaping
·                Threshing
·                Winnowing
·                Preparing food
Clearing picking a few kernels of grain is not all that work. (This was the original fast food.)
SLIDE 4 verses 3-5 Jesus provided the priest with two examples of breaking the laws of the Sabbath. David he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests.
David was forgiven the offence because of his need, so how much more should the Messiah, Son of David by justified.
 SLIDE 5 The priest themselves did more work than this when they made preparations for temple worship.  "The Temple ritual always involved work - the kindling of fires, the slaughter and the preparation of animals, the lifting of them on to the altar, and a host of other things. This work was actually doubled on the Sabbath, for on the Sabbath the offerings were doubled (cp. e.g. Numbers 28:9)." (Barclay)
The priests’ service was in obedience to the law given by God. This suggests that man’s traditions about the Sabbath were wrong, for they contradicted God’s own law.
SLIDE 6 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. ?And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
Jesus reminded them that human need is more important than observing ceremonial rituals.  Mercy has a deeper meaning in our spiritual perspective and in our obedience to Jesus Christ.
If we carry a friend to the ER on a Sunday morning, the Lord will bless your kindness even if you are absent from church. However if you use excuses too often you may need to check your commitment to your church, CBS, and your LORD.
Jesus never violated God's command to observe the Sabbath but he often broke man's legalistic additions to that law. What’s in your heart?
SLIDE 7 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand.
The Pharisees asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”  “to heal was to work, and work was prohibited on the Sabbath day.” The Rabbinic teaching allowed healing if one’s life was in danger. Clearly Jesus could have healed this man on the next day.  However he continue to prove a point.
11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
Not doing good on the Sabbath day (or any other day) is the same as doing evil. WW
SLIDE 8 "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke What’s in your heart? Over our holiday as we celebrate the birth of our Messiah, let’s continue to pray for Israel.
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 
Jesus did not actually do any physical labor to heal this man. We may not have a withered hand, but maybe a withered faith; a withered family life, a withered soul. The situation you are in now it not what you desired in life. 
SLIDE 9 “Stretch out your hand.” Do something! Please close your eyes and commit anew your life to Jesus. Right now Surrender everything …every known or hidden sins… sin of unfaithfulness… sins of lack or little faith and sin of not trusting Him…sin of disobedience… sin of self-centeredness…etc…Give everything to God and we ourselves will discover the comfort and the blessings of life with Christ.  Sermon illustration
We have seen the Pharisees try to trap Jesus breaking the law or committing blasphemy.
14-16 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. 15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all 16 and ordered them not to make him known. 
Here again Jesus asked those He healed to not make Him known.
Tell me this, if someone was on the street corner giving away $10 bills to each person. What would happen? Right a mob would descend on him. If you venture out on Black Friday into the insanity of Christmas Sales, you may understand why Jesus withdrew from the cities and synagogue.
 It was not Gods timing for Jesus *to be arrested and sacrificed.
SLIDE 10  15-21The prophet Isaiah foretold of a beloved chosen one with the Spirit of God who will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,  and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
These two example represent something in a weakened state. Jesus is gentle and humble of spirit.
Jesus came first to the Jews. The Pharisees plotted to kill Him. Now He will extend His ministry to the Gentiles. 21 and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
12:22 Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw23 And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?”
There were some incidences of priests trying to cast our demons, but they were not very successful.
 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Their accusation amounts to a charge of sorcery.
SLIDE 11 Holy Spirit or Demon Possessed-The Pharisees were unable to help the man that Jesus healed. In an effort to explain this miracle they credit the power of the Holy Spirit to Beelzebub. Satan is not the equal or even the opposite of Jesus. God is omniscient-all knowing; He can read your mind and your heart. Satan and his demons cannot. When Satan fell from Heaven he took 1/3 of the angels with Him. God has twice the army of Satan but God is omnipotent-all powerful. When we studied Revelation last year we discussed the Creator spoke the world into existence. He does not need an army of angels or saints to return with Him. He can defeat Satan and his minions with a single word. What’s in your heart?
SLIDE 12 12:28 Jesus said, “if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
In our everyday life we can be plagued by demons who give you negative thoughts. The only way to be truly be free of demeaning self talk is to fill your mind with things of God.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
SLIDE 13 29   In order to “enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, you must first binds the strong man?”
Jesus explained His authority to bind Satan's power. He is stronger than the strong man. In so doing, Jesus presented a valuable principle in spiritual warfare as we remember that Jesus used His name and authority, as well as the Word of God to defeat Satan.
 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. We cannot remain neutral to Christ and His power. You must pick a side.
SLIDE 14 Remember the legion of demons possessing the Gadarenes man in the tombs. They begged Jesus to be sent into the pigs.
The spirit that was driven out of a person seeks rest. And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
Israel had tried to rid herself of idolatry, but did not replace this void in their lives with something good. I have friends that do Yoga; emptying your mind. There is a danger in that you must fill your mind with things of God or something else will inhabit your mind. What’s in your heart?
SLIDE 15 Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
The priests by claiming Jesus was an instrument of Satan were attributing the power of the Holy Spirit to a demon. This is an unforgivable sin.
Why is the blasphemy against Jesus forgiven?  It appears that this situation existed only while Christ was ministering on earth. Jesus did not appear to be different from any other Jewish man (Isa. 53: 2). But when the Spirit of God came at Pentecost it proved that Jesus was the Christ and was alive. This rejection of the Holy Spirit’s witness was final. The only consequence would be judgment. WW
It is the Spirit who bears witness to Christ (John 15: 26) and who convicts the lost sinner (John 16: 7– 11).
SLIDE 16 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 
This year our theme CBS is Salt and Light. As Christians we are to season our speech and reflect the love of God to others.
SLIDE 17 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” More about this in your commentary.
Jesus was not being disrespectful to his Mother and brothers. It is clear from other gospel account, that his family did not fully understand His mission.  Mark 3:21
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
SLIDE 18 Jesus would not be sidetracked from his Father’s business.
“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
SLIDE 19  What’s in your heart?

wait a few seconds   click do you speak good or evil?

Matthew 11-Kingdom Conflicts

SLIDE 1 Welcome Back Ladies. I sincerely hope you had a restful time with your family and friends over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope you took time as Jesus did in the verses are the end of this chapter 11 to say Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. Don’t let the busyness of the coming holidays steal your JOY of celebrating Christ’s Birth. Don’t miss the Gift! Jesus is the true reason for the season.
SLIDE 2  Kingdom Conflicts
·        John the Baptist’s part in the Kingdom
·        Israel’s Refusal to Believe
·        Cities’ Refusal to Repent
·        Invitation to a Relationship
God has a divine plan for you set in place from Creation.
SLIDE 3 As I prepared this lesson I had a feeling of déjà vu.  We will have just a short refresher to help us understand John’s crisis of faith. In Matthew 3 we studied the angelic birth announcement of John the Baptist to his father Zechariah as he at the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place. This is not the Holy of Holies which was reserved for the High Priest on the Day of Atonement once a year. (Thank you Debbie)
What a day for Zachariah: performed his once in a lifetime duty, told by an angel he would have a son in his old age, and struck dumb until the birth.
Extra information. Abijah was one of twenty-four divisions of the Levitical priests. King David had divided the Levitical priests into divisions when there were too many priests (8,000 to 18,000) to perform the work at the temple. According to David’s guidelines, each division served at the temple twice a year and at the major holidays. Fifty-six priests from one of the divisions served each day. Consequently, the priest who offered incense at the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place each day was determined by a random lot. However, a priest could only offer this service once in his lifetime.
God has a divine plan for John set in place from Creation. Only God could bring into being this special child to a barren couple so advanced in age. John’s call was given to his father Zachariah as the baby was developing in the womb. John’s ministry was preparing the way for the Messiah.

SLIDE 4 Luke 1 tells us 16And he will
·        turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17and he will
·        go before him “Christ” in the spirit and power of Elijah,
·        to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and
·        the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
·        to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."

Ladies I want us to be a people prepared not for the season of Christmas, but for our part in the plan God has for our lives. Build your relationship with Jesus during our Christmas holiday.
Matthew 11:1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
SLIDE 5.Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
John recognized Jesus as the Messiah. He baptized Jesus. He was witness to the voice of heaven…"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." What made John have doubts?
I’m sure that John thought Jesus would usher in the Kingdom of God in his lifetime. Now John is in the prison of Herod at Machaerus, (pronounced ma KAY rus) a magnificent castle yet he was in a prison forbidding fortress,
SLIDE 6 Herod had three strongly defended fortresses at Herodium,  at Masada and  at Machaerus, (ma KAY rus) east of the Jordan Valley on the shore of the Dead Sea.
·        18 miles from the mouth of the Jordan River
·        44.8 K as the crow flies from the city Jerusalem
·        Far away from where Jesus was teaching and preaching
SLIDE 7 John couldn’t know all that Jesus was doing unless someone brought him news. Notice the place of Machaerus on the mountaintop 3,500 feet above sea level, a breathtaking view for Herod of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River but John the Baptist was deftly hidden away from his disciples and his family.  The fortress was no doubt heavily guarded.  John must have wondered what was happening with Jesus’ ministry.
SLIDE 8 Jesus may not have fulfilled John’s expectations as the Messiah. Perhaps John like Jesus’ disciples expected a warrior King like David. Jesus did not come merely repeating John's message of judgment on God's people. Jesus did not take up the mantle and lifestyle of the wilderness prophet in the manner of Ezekiel. No where do we read in scripture where John preformed miracles or healed anyone.
SLIDE 9 And Jesus answered (John’s disciples), “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk,
No other person is scripture is given credit for healing the blind. It is only in Jesus that can remove our spiritual blindness for He is the light of the world.

lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, Isaiah 3:5 tells us

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
I found only one instance of healing of the deaf. Mark 7:31 .. in the region of the Decapolis. 32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
SLIDE 11 the dead are raised up, (Jarius’ daughter, widow’s son)
Luke 7:11-17 Jesus traveled to the town of Nain with his disciples and a large crowd of followers. As they approached the town gate, the dead child of a widow was being carried out. After Jesus saw the widow, he miraculously brought the dead child back to life and gave him back to his mother.
SLIDE 12 the poor have good news preached to them. Jesus came proclaiming the authority and salvation of God, even for the least, the last, and the lost.
God has a divine plan set for our Redemption and Salvation in place from the beginning of the World.
Jesus will complete His Father’s work and accomplish what was foretold in the Scriptures.
SLIDE 13 Jesus now proclaims And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Jesus' testimony to John in verses 7-15
·        John did not wear royal robes like Herod, and interestingly, the coins minted by Herod feature a reed blowing in the wind.
·        Affirmation that John the prophet foretold in Isaiah and Malachi 3: 1"Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me.
·        He is not merely the forerunner, he is the preparer of the way;
·        SLIDE 14 Among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.
·        "Yet the least in the Kingdom is greater than he” John not yet heavenly kingdom
·        Jesus suggests the line of the Old Testament prophets ends with  John,
·        Violence against the Kingdom's messengers--namely John and later Jesus.
16-19 compare this generation like children calling to their playmates,
SLIDE 15: 17 ‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn't dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn't cry!’ They can’t be pleased 18 When John came, he fasted and drank no wine, and everyone said, ‘He has a demon in him!’ 1
SLIDE 16 When the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and everyone said, ‘Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!’ God's wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.”
God has a divine plan before Creation for John to prepare the way for His Son the Messiah .
SLIDE 16 Jesus began to denounce three cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. We learned last year of the Woe judgments in Revelation. Woe is used to express grief, regret, or distress.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! And you, Capernaum
If the mighty works done in these three cities had been done in pagan cities like Tyre and Sidon or Sodom, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
SLIDE 17  … I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." 
I’m afraid America may soon be called out for her lack of repentance.
Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation who God is the Lord.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
SLIDE 18 25    At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
27            All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
SLIDE 18 28    Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and
 you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Sisters in Christ do you know the plan God has for your life?
From day five of your questions….
“Jesus offers rest to those who are weighed down by heavy burdens. If you carry such a burden in some area of your life, how much of the weight comes from what others have put on you; from what you are putting on yourself; from what you discern God is asking you to carry?”
SLIDE 19 As we talk about yokes and burdens, make sure you are only carrying the burdens the Lord has assigned for you. Imagine being on a long hike with a heavy backpack and you ask a friend to carry that pack for a while- what relief comes from letting go!
Jesus said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Handing over my own backpack(My baggage)and freeing my will to God’s plan for my life is hard for me. I have always been the fixer in the family, the caretaker in the dysfunctional home. It is easy to assume you have to carry the burden of those you love.
Adapting an illustration I read in a book.
SLIDE 20 The Lord comes to me and says (insert name here) “Ann, my good and faithful servant. I have a job for you to do. Are you willing to pull this wagon up to the top of the mountain?”
“Oh yes, Lord I am willing to serve you in any way I can. It would be my honor to do this for you Lord.”
It was a lovely fall day and a great time for a walk. As I went by my neighbor’s house with my wagon, he says, “Hey Ann, can you carry these few bricks in your wagon and save me a trip.”
“Oh sure, anything for my neighbor,” and on I go along the way. As I pass my cousin’s house she inquired where I was traveling and asked if I could fit in some rocks she had dug up out of her yard.
“Well, maybe I can manage a few, pile them on.” After adding a few more burdens belonging to my family, half way up the mountain I am getting breathless and tired.
I cry out to the Lord in discontent. “Father, this load is too heavy! I can’t finish the trip to the top. This burden is too much for me to handle.”
“Ann, Ann (kind of like Martha, Martha) Did I ask to you carry the burdens of your friends and family?”
“No Lord, you did not give me that task.”
“Why are you trying to carry a burden that is not for you?”
This week, what could you to do to take one of those actions regarding this burden?
SLIDE 21 I remember a bumper sticker that said “Let go and let God!”

Are you willing to follow the divine plan that God set in place for you from Creation?