Sermon: The Rejected and Murdered Son Matthew 21:33-46

Truth Taught- Jesus is the rejected and murdered Son.  His rejection and murder on the cross have sealed the fate of fruitless Judaism and created a new people who will produce the fruit God desires. 

Jesus has entered His City.  The rightful heir to the Davidic throne has come.  The King, the Messiah, the Son of David, the long awaited One is here and some believe but many do not.  

He came in prophetic fulfillment.  As He entered on the colt.  He then cleansed the Temple which, as we saw, was another Messiah prophecy.  He then declares that at His return, the Mount of Olives will be split, again showing a prophecy fulfilled. In response to these things, the leaders of Judaism ask Jesus by what authority do You do these things and who gave You this authority?

Jesus will not play their game.  In response, He asks them a question about John the Baptist.  Did his baptism come from God or from man?  In other words, was John’s ministry given to him by God, was he a real prophet or was he a self-appointed swindler?  In rabbinic tradition, if they would answer Jesus’ question then they would have the answer to theirs.  However, they refuse to answer.  Then Jesus tells them He will not answer their question either.

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Disciple Hour: Exodus 3:1-9

Last time we saw in Chapter Two, three snapshots of Moses’ life.  We saw how God rescued him from Pharoah’s decree, how Moses understood that he was actually an Israelite and we saw that God had given Moses compassion for his people and their situation.  Now is the time when God calls Moses to obey Him and rescue His people.

Since Moses had fled Pharoah and Egypt settled in with Jethro and his family and marrying Jethro’s daughter, Zipporah he has become shepherd of Jethro’s flock.

Exodus 3:1–9 (ESV) 

3 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. 

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 

1.  A Bush That Burns But is Not Consumed (3:1-3)

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Disciple Hour: Three Snapshots of Moses’ Life Exodus 2

Truth Taught- God was at work in making Moses into the man He would use to save His people

Introduction

Chapter 1 focused on Pharoah’s concern because the Hebrews were multiplying greatly in the land and he wanted to put a stop to it by killing all the baby boys who were born.

So concerned was he that he even commanded all the Egyptians to cast all the baby boys into the Nile River.  This will be an issue in Moses’ birth, after all he is a Hebrew baby boy.

In Chapter 2 of Exodus, we are introduced to Moses.  We are shown three specific episodes of his life that will help us see what God was doing in Moses to better prepare him for his coming mission to lead his people out of Egypt. 

1.  Moses’ Birth and Rescue (2:1-10)

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Sermon: Jesus’ Divine Authority Matthew 21:23-32

Truth Taught- Jesus has the authority to open or shut the door to God’s Kingdom

Introduction

In the passage for today, Jesus’ authority is put into question and challenged by the religious leaders that He has placed under divine judgement.

Where does it come from and who gave it to you? 
We know the answer as we have watched Jesus through the pages of this Gospel that He does have authority.  No one other than His Father gave Him this authority.

Matthew 28:18 (ESV)

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

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Sermon: Jesus Curses the Fig Tree and False Religion Matthew 21:18-22

Truth Taught- Judaism looked good but failed to produce any fruit, therefore, Jesus forever curses it.

Introduction

Matthew’s account places Jesus and His disciples on their way from Bethany back to Jerusalem.  It follows behind the account of Jesus cleansing the Temple of the Money Changers and those who sold sacrificial animals.  We saw last week that it was the Priests of Israel that had the responsibility to keep the Temple pure and free from anything that would hinder the worship of God.  But the Priests of Jerusalem had long since traded true worship for monetary gain. 
We saw last time that Jesus was doing wonderful things, literally Messiah things, cleansing the temple, healing the blind and lame, clearing the way for true worship and the Scribes and Priests were indignant.  They saw the wonderful things, they heard the children declaring that Jesus is the Messiah, and they were angry.

Then Matthew declares that Jesus left them.  He left their religious establishment never to return to them.  We noted that He came back to the Temple but not to those religious leaders.  His words to them from now on would be words of judgement not of instruction or care.
Jesus has declared His authority over Jerusalem as He entered it seated on the colt.  He has declared His authority over the Temple as He cleansed it and declare it to be His house of prayer and worship.  Today, in a further act of judgement on the religion of the day, He curses Judaism once and for all.

Matthew has given us three visual proofs that Jesus is the Messiah.

1. Jesus entering His City riding the colt

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Sermon: God’s People Will Be Persecuted Exodus 1

Truth Taught- God’s people will be persecuted by God’s enemies

Introduction

In the first Chapter of Exodus, we immediately see that the Israelites have greatly increased in number.  They have gone from 70 to over 2 million people in the course of around 400 years or so.  

This great number we see as God forming the nation as He had promised the Patriarchs. 

Genesis 12:1–3 (ESV) 

12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 

We see their great numbers as God fulfilling His promise but the Egyptians and especially Pharoah saw this as a threat to their sovereignty.

To combat their fruitfulness, Pharoah tries two tactics: first, he makes them slaves and second, he tries to have all the male babies killed.

1.  The Promise of Increase (1:1-7)  

1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt. Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them. 

Because we’ve studied Genesis the Exodus prologue makes sense to us.  We are familiar with the sons of Israel and we know that Israel and Jacob are the same person. 
Joseph was already in Egypt- we also know the details of Joseph being taken to Egypt.  We know about his brothers selling him into slavery and all he went through.  We were privileged to inside information that while his brothers were doing a very evil act, God was also working to bring Jacob’s family to Egypt.  This is how God would keep the covenant line alive through the famine.
We know about God’s covenant promise to make Jacob’s family into a great nation.  So, God is causing His people to multiply greatly in the Land.


But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

The numerical increase of the Israelites is a sign of divine blessing.  They are fulfilling God’s original command to Adam and Eve, be fruitful and multiply.

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Sermon: The Messiah King Enters His Temple Matthew 21:12-17

Truth Taught- Jesus is the Messiah King who cleanses His Temple

Introduction

Two weeks ago, we saw Jesus entering His City, Jerusalem riding a young colt with the praise of the followers singing, 

Matthew 21:9 (ESV) 

And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 

As a traveler entered the great city from the east as Jesus did, the first place one would enter is the Temple area.  According to Mark’s account, the event of cleansing the Temple took place the next day after the Triumphal Entry into the City.

The setting for our text today is not the inner sanctum where the Jews could enter to worship but rather the court yard area which was where the Gentiles could be.  The Court of the Gentiles. 
The scene was that the money changers and those who sold sacrificial animals were set up and had overtaken the court of the Gentiles.  This was a great hinderance to their worship.  It would be most difficult to bow down to pray next to someone shouting for business or next to the bleating lambs which were in their stalls, also in the court yard area.  This was not the purpose of the Temple. 
The practice of money changing began because the Jews required Jewish coinage and not Roman coinage to be used for the Temple Tax which was paid just before Passover.  So, the Jews would greatly benefit from the crowds that would gather in Jerusalem at Passover and they would greatly profit when these pilgrim worshippers who often spoke another language had to pay their tax in Jewish currency.  Not only would the Jews profit but so would the money changers.

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Disciple Hour: Introduction to Exodus

1. Preliminary Basics

The Book of Exodus records the redemption of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt.  It also shows the establishment as a nation governed by terms of God’s covenant and God’s laws.  

Israel was in Egypt for about 430 years.  In that time, the Israelites grew in number.  They entered Egypt with 70 people (Genesis 46:27;Exodus 1:5).  At the time of the Exodus, they had grown to between 2-3 million people. 
Exodus means going out or departure.

The traditional Hebrew name of the book is simply Now these are the names, which is the first words recorded in the Book.  

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Sermon: Many Infallible Proofs of Christ’s Resurrection 1 Corinthians 15:1-28


Truth Taught- God presents many infallible proofs that Jesus has been raised from the dead

My goal today is to increase your assurance in what you already believe.  If you will, somewhat like Luke did for his friend Theophilus.


Luke 1:2–4 (ESV) 

just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. 

Then if there is someone here today that does not believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord, perhaps this will be of some help as we look to God’s Word together.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith.  All the NT writers either address it or base what they write upon the foundational truth of the resurrection.  The Gospels contain clear and precise teaching on the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the grave.  The Book of Acts is the account of the Apostles all preaching about the resurrection of Jesus.  Likewise, all the epistles either teach it or assume the truth that Jesus is not dead but alive forevermore.   Even the Book of Revelation teaches that Christ is currently reigning in heaven and is awaiting the time when He will return.  According to the Bible, Jesus is alive and well.

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