Sermon: Jesus’ Ministry and Our Calling Matthew 9:35-38

Truth Taught- Looking to Jesus, we discover what our calling consists of.

Introduction

So far the Gospel of Matthew has focused most all its attention on Jesus and rightly so.  He is, in fact, the subject matter of the entire Bible.  In our section today, there is somewhat of a shift in focus.  Jesus is still the thrust but He is now becoming the Model for us in discipleship.  He is the model of discipleship.  So, what we learn today comes in the process of Jesus teaching His own followers to begin going out and to doing the things He does themselves.  So, in other words, we are going to learn a bit more about Jesus’ ministry so that we will go out and engage others by doing what He did and doing it with the heart of love He had.

Matthew 9:35–38 (ESV)

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

1.  Three Main Components of Jesus’ Ministry

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.

We are told that Jesus went out all the cities and the villages in that region.  In the area or district of Capernaum there were estimated some 200 cities and villages with an approximate population of about 3 million people.  Jesus had a comprehensive ministry.  He was so busy teaching preaching and healing that there was basically no one who hadn’t heard Him teach/preach and seen Him heal.  His ministry was very comprehensive in focus.

It’s time for Jesus to entrust His mission to His followers.  In order to do this there had to be some training involved.  This is the purpose of the current section.  Jesus is like the All-Star baseball player who is now transitioning to the Player-Coach.  He will still be engaged in ministry, still in the game but His goal now is to raise up others to learn from Him and follow in His footsteps.

            A.  Teaching in their synagogues

Throughout the Gospels we hear stories of Jesus entering into synagogues to read scriptures, to teach, and to heal. Indeed, the Gospel of Mark records that Jesus’s first act after making the announcement of his missionary purpose was to go to the synagogue to teach and to heal (see Mark 1:21-27). Similarly, the Gospel of Luke teaches that Jesus first revealed his divine mission while at a synagogue after reading a passage from Isaiah. Because the synagogues were central to Jewish community life during the time of Jesus and during the time of the synoptic writers, we see the gospel writers share a variety of crucial stories about Jesus that are situated at the synagogue.

Jesus took advantage of the custom of the time for visiting Rabbis to bring the message in the Synagogue. He would call for a certain Old Testament passage to be read and then He would explain the passage showing God’s plan for their redemption. An example of this is seen in Luke 4:14f when Jesus returned to Nazareth, entered the Synagogue on the Sabbath, then at the appropriate time stood and read Isaiah 61:2, then He sat down to explain what He read and its application for the present time which in this case was the fulfillment that day of Isaiah’s prophecy.

This was one aspect of Jesus’ ministry that He did throughout the region of Galilee in every city and village. It was the means by which Jesus was able to show the people that He was indeed fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies. He was the Messiah.

Often, our Lord entered a town or a city and as a distinguished Speaker and Teacher would proclaim and teach in each of the synagogues.  These were places of worship and much that Jesus did is what we follow today.

The synagogue was the place where God’s Word would be read in detail then exposited or the meaning explained and then the Word would be applied.  This was Jesus’ ministry in all the places He went.  He would read the Word and explain the meaning of the text.  He did this from the synagogue. 

            B.  Proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom

In the New Testament, we find the term gospel on the lips of Jesus Himself (Matt. 26:13). Christ uses the word most often in connection with the kingdom of God; thus, the Evangelists can speak of Jesus proclaiming “the gospel of the kingdom” (9:35). From Genesis to Revelation, we see the Lord’s servants longing for the kingdom of God to come. Put most simply, the kingdom of God is that place where His reign is recognized openly and gladly.

Isaiah 52:7 (ESV)

   How beautiful upon the mountains

are the feet of him who brings good news,

       who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,

who publishes salvation,

who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

When we speak of the kingdom of God, we do not mean to imply that there are places over which the Lord does not currently reign, for our Creator sovereignly rules over all.

Psalm 9:7–8 (ESV)

   But the Lord sits enthroned forever;

he has established his throne for justice,

   and he judges the world with righteousness;

he judges the peoples with uprightness.

 However, since the fall of Adam, His realm has been in open rebellion against Him (Gen. 3). Men and women do not willingly or happily embrace, submit to, and rejoice in God’s reign, and because of that they forfeit many blessings.

For people to recognize God’s kingdom, our Lord had to act and overcome humanity’s suppression of the knowledge that He is King and that we are to be His loyal subjects. This He did in the person and work of Jesus Christ, who as the second person of the Trinity and victor over sin and death now reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 19:16 (ESV)

16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Jesus broke our eternal rebellion against God and His rule and reign as He died on the cross for our sins.  As God’s people, we have been given a new heart that is not in rebellion but submits to Jesus’ rule and reign.

This is what Jesus preached and proclaimed.  He preached humanity’s need for repentance and forgiveness because of sin.  He then died to grant the very repentance God required.

I pray through the ministry of Jesus Christ your heart has been changed and you now currently submit to God’s reign in this world.,

            C.  Healing every disease and affliction

Jesus healed every disease and affliction in the region.  There were literally no sick people to be found, no one was lame, or blind, or deaf.  There were no demon possessed people because as the text tells us His ministry was exhaustive and comprehensive. 

Why did Jesus connect His preaching and teaching with a healing ministry?  We have looked at the first reason some in previous sermons.  In healing He was verifying that what He taught was also true.  His healing proved His power and authority over every realm therefore what He taught would also be viewed as authoritative.  His message was verified and the people convinced as He healed them along the way.

Another reason is to show us an accurate picture of God’s character.  The Pharisees had presented God as mean, impatient and unloving.  Jesus heals to show that God is the God of compassion.

2.  Jesus was Motivated by Compassion

When Jesus heals His biggest motivating factor is compassion. 

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus has compassion because God is love and God shows compassion toward those who are His.  When we read about Jesus healing the sick and showing compassion to the multitude we are to connect the dots by concluding that this is the most accurate picture of who God the Father is.  It’s vital that when we read about Jesus healing all in the region and that He does it  from the motivation of compassions that we absolutely let this prove to us that God the Father is exactly like this as well.  The Trinity shows compassion to creation.

Exodus 34:6 (ESV)

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

Psalm 103:8 (ESV)

   The Lord is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Isaiah 49:13 (ESV)

13    Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;

break forth, O mountains, into singing!

       For the Lord has comforted his people

and will have compassion on his afflicted.

Why such a strong feeling? Because the situation the multitudes were in was desperate. Our text describes them as “distressed and downcast.” The KJV has “they fainted, and were scattered abroad.” The NIV says, “harassed and helpless.” The Amplified version puts all of these together and says, “bewildered – harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless.”

The first word ( esklmenoi / esklmenoi) has a root meaning of “being flayed” or “having the skin torn” as might happen to a sheep wandering among the brambles and sharp rocks. Its derived meaning would be “harassed” or “severely troubled.” It would carry the idea of being battered, bruised, mangled, ripped apart, worn out, exhausted.

The second word (from rhynumi / rapsnumi) means to be thrown down prone and helpless,” as would an exhausted sheep or a person who had suffered a mortal wound. This word was used in reference to corpses lying on the ground.

Jesus was not fooled by religious fronts. He sees the heart, and He saw the hearts of these people as wounded and torn by the effects of sin. They were inwardly devastated and helpless in their sinful and hopeless condition.

They were “like sheep without a shepherd.” They were entrapped in a system led by the Scribes and Pharisees that had codified the Mosaic Law and left them wounded and wandering. Those that were supposed to be leading them were not leading them to God, for they were instead wolves leading them away from the true and proper worship of God. These sheep had no shepherd, and like a sheep without someone to protect and guide them they had become battered, bruised, confused, and disheartened.

Jesus was motivated to heal because He saw their great need and had compassion on the crowds.  When Jesus surveyed the crowds He saw that they were harassed and helpless.  He saw literally from harassed people who were so beaten down with wear that their skin was torn and it was as if they were fainting under this world’s abuse and helpless.  They were wounded sheep with no way to ever get better. 

When Jesus sees this very desperate sight He is moved with compassion.

Compassion in the Greek comes from a word that means bowels.  The sight of Jesus’ people being like lost sheep without a shepherd beaten down and helpless caused something to happen inside of our Lord.  His stomach churned.  That’s the idea of compassion; it’s a stomachache over a truth or sight that motivates us to take action.  Do you have compassion on those who are helpless?  When a fellow church member is suffering do you feel sadness and does that motivate you to show love to them?

No matter how good people are at presenting themselves in a positive light Jesus gave us the reality.  When He looked out among the people He saw their reality not their make believe show.  Jesus sees through all the fluff to reality.  When He did that He saw people greatly beaten down by sin and life.  He saw their great needs because they were helpless like sheep without a shepherd.

3.  Jesus’ Call

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

The reality Jesus focuses our attention on is the reality that there is a great harvest that needs brought in to the barn.  Harvest is plentiful

Now Jesus uses a word picture here of a field with crops that stand ready to be harvested.  The reality is there is a great work before us because we are talking that there is a harvest of people.  There is more involved in the harvest of souls…

To be a worker in that type of harvest we must be prepared for all the difficulties we will face.  We will be hated and abused.  We will go out as sheep among wolves. 

Because there is a massive harvest ready to be picked and because there are few workers then we are to pray for more workers.

Notice with me that at least here in this text Jesus does not say pray for the lost does He?  Instead, He commands us to pray for workers to go out into His field.  I don’t know if you ever noticed that or not?  If there is someone you know who is lost perhaps the way to pray for them is to not pray for them but to pray for workers?

Jesus prayed all night before He went out to gather His first workers, the Apostles. 

Luke 6:12–13 (ESV)

12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:

There is a twist that,Lord willing, we will look at next week…

*Resources Used:

Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary

A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles

A Gospel of Matthew by France

Matthew by Craig Bloomberg

Matthew by Doriani

Matthew by Charles Price

Matthew by Leon Morris

sermon: When You Look at Jesus What Do You See Matthew 9:27–34

Truth Taught-  Jesus is the Messiah King, the merciful Son of David

Introduction

Today we are going to look at two miracles of Jesus.  The first is the healing of two blind men and the second we will Jesus casting out a demon from a man who because of the demon could not speak.

These miracles are reported to show us that the Kingdom of God has come.  It’s come because the King is here.  

Matthew 9:27–34 (ESV) 

27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district. 

32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” 

1.  Blind Men, See

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Sermon: The Touch of Jesus Matthew 9:18-26

Truth Taught-  Jesus has the Authority and Power to Raise the Dead

Introduction

Our account today follows on the heels of Jesus teaching the disciples of John that the New Covenant, the Gospel and His ministry are the new things God is doing and cannot be placed as a patch over bleeding Judaism.  The point last time was that it is the presence of Jesus that makes all this a reality and feasting not fasting is appropriate.  I pray that the world we are living in reminds us that Jesus will one day make all things new.  I pray you’re longing for that today.  In light of these teachings that Jesus makes all things new, we have three Gospel healings Matthew presents.  Today, because of the providence of God we are looking at the first two.

Again we see Matthew being amazed at how Jesus’ Words are backed up or illustrated by the acts of Jesus found in the very next section.  Here Jesus teaches that He is the New Covenant and He makes all things new.  Now, we will discover there is no limit to Jesus’ authority and power to make all things new.

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Sermon: When the Bridegroom is With Them Matthew 9:14–17

Truth Taught- When the Bridegroom is present, celebrating and feasting are appropriate not mourning and fasting.

Introduction

What will you do when the day comes and you see Jesus face to face?  When forgiven sinners in the NT see Jesus there is a celebration.  Banquets are thrown in Jesus’ honor, costly perfume is poured out upon Him, fishing nets, tax booths and earthly honors cast aside as worthless, lives are changed because allegiances and treasures are changed.  Everything else falls away and Jesus becomes the center and ultimate focus.

This truth becomes even more intense when our Lord returns.  At that moment we will be made like Him and we will be able to see Jesus as He really is.  On that day, beloved there will be great celebrating and great feasting because the Bride of Christ will have the Bridegroom and forever be with Jesus.

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Sermon: A Year End Benediction Numbers 6:22-27

Truth Taught- God has promised to bless His people forever with provision and protection. 

Introduction

As we wrap up 2020 we all can look back and remember challenges.  We can remember the pandemic and all it brought with it.  We can remember challenges when many couldn’t work, when some were sick.  We remember quarantines and school closings.  We remember when our church closed for 6 weeks.  We are living in a time of masks and mandates and a rapidly changing culture.  We are now given the challenge of a vaccine.  Will it be forced upon us like everything else this year?  Will a vaccine which alters your DNA that was produced for a virus that has a 99.8% survival rate and which will not make you immune to the virus but only possibly lessen the symptoms be made mandatory in many respects?  Will your job depend on whether you get it or not?  

About 2.5 million people die in the United States annually.  Recent statistics show a year here and there where as many as 2.7 million people die per year.  This year, the year with the pandemic it is estimated…get this…2.5 million people will die, basically, the same as any other year.  Now we never want to underestimate a threat such as Covid-19 nor forget that many people have had it and some do die and those who have lost loved ones this year.  We show compassion and mercy to all involved.  However, we cannot live in fear as God’s people.  We cannot live trusting in our government to save us or even help us.  I think we are finding out that, in many ways they may just be the enemy.  

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announcement: 12/24/2020

Dear Church Family,

The Elders have decided to cancel the service for this evening due to the bad weather and dropping temps.  We will miss seeing you tonight.  Please pass the word so that no one makes the trip.  We pray that you have a Merry Christmas tomorrow and Lord willing we will be together this Lord’s Day morning.  

God Bless,

Pastor Brian

Sermon: The Abrahamic Covenant and Miraculous Births ( Selected Verses )

Truth Taught- We who hope in Jesus Christ and follow him in the obedience of faith are descendants of Abraham and heirs of his covenant promises.

Introduction

Our days studying the Book of Genesis have been a great blessing to me.  I pray your hearts have been encouraged as well.   We have just come through the section that covers the birth of the promise to Abraham and Sarah. 

There is a biblical promise given to all people that is infinitely more valuable than anything you will receive this Christmas.

We who hope in Jesus Christ and follow him in the obedience of faith are descendants of Abraham and heirs of his covenant promises.

God had made the promise that through Abraham the families of the world would be blessed.

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Sermon: Jesus Came Into the World to Forgive Sin Matthew 9:1-8

Truth Taught- Jesus has the authority to forgive sins  

Introduction

It’s good at this point to be reminded of Jesus’ birth and mission…

Matthew 1:18–23 (ESV) 

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 

23    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, 

and they shall call his name Immanuel” 

(which means, God with us). 

Our Lord’s purpose in coming to earth as a human was to save His people from their sins.  This is what the angel tells Joseph even before Jesus is born.

So, everything Jesus did in His ministry while incarnate was working toward that main purpose.  As we’ve looked to His authority it is moving us forward to the ultimate authority that Jesus possesses, namely, the authority to forgive sins. 

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Sermon: Jesus Came to Destroy the Works of the Devil Matthew 8:28-34

Truth Taught- Jesus has the power and authority over Satan’s realm

Introduction

Psalm 24:1 (ESV) 

   The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, 

the world and those who dwell therein, 

As we continue through Matthew’s Gospel we have already seen a theme through this section.  Authority is mentioned at the end of the Sermon on the Mount…

Jesus’ Words has authority

Matthew 7:28–29 (ESV) 

28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. 

Jesus has the authority over sickness and disease.

Matthew 8:8–9 (ESV) 

But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 

Matthew 8:16 (ESV)

16 That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. 

Jesus has authority over creation

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Sermon: What Sort of Man is This? Matthew 8:23-27

Truth Taught- Jesus is God, wielding the power of the Creator, may we place our trust and fear in Him alone 

Sermon Outline:

1.  Jesus Trusts God Completely

2.  Jesus Commands the Wind and Waves and They Obey

3.  Jesus is to Be Feared