The Christian Counter Culture (Part 1)
Truth Taught- Jesus’ teaching is not in line with our culture’s values and worldview. He is God and His ways are not our ways.
One of the church’s greatest failures today is that the church fits in far too well with our secular world. This world is a fallen sinful place. This is a biblical truth that affects everything all the time. The only way this will ever change is when Christ returns and sets up His kingdom. Until then we are stuck with the consequences of our sin.
People think that a utopia can be achieved by man’s efforts without God. People who are anti- Jesus, God, and Christianity want to tell everyone about their moral standards. They think everyone should line up and follow their rules.
Beloved we cannot and must not ever follow the world’s standards. We must never allow our culture to dictate our views and our behavior.
God tells us that His ways and mankind’s ways are not in sink with each other. If you think for a second that our secular culture and its values are anything like true righteousness God requires you are gravely mistaken. A culture that seeks to live without God is a culture to be separated from.
Our society calls murder a mother’s choice. Calls perversion an alternate life style. It has a name for everyone who disagrees with them. You are homophobic if you disagree with them.
My fear is that all too often we fit in with our secular world far too well. Beloved we must stand up for God’s truth and seek to go against culture. Read More
The Messiah and His First Followers
Truth Taught- Jesus chose His first followers
and immediately they respond to His call.
As we begin today let’s look together at our Lord’s first disciples and His first teaching. We will also see that as He calls His disciples there is an immediate response they begin to follow and then we will also see the great crowds also follow. Let’s look together as God’s Word.
Matthew 4:18–25 (ESV) Read More
Jesus Begins His Mission
Truth Taught- Jesus came from Galilee preaching the Kingdom of God and repentance
From the very beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, God has been moving Jesus from place to place to fulfill biblical prophecy.. He was taken to Bethlehem (the City of David) to be born which fulfilled Micah 5:2
The Testing of God’s Son
Truth Taught- When tested, Jesus remained true to His Father
and His mission.
By way of introduction, what we have in this passage typically titled the temptation of Christ is really something quite different. We’ve usually been taught that this is Satan’s temptation of our Lord and that is true on a surface level and from Satan’s perspective, however, what is really going on here is much different. What is really going on here is God’s testing. Satan will do everything in his power to tempt Jesus and Jesus will prove undefeatable by the devil or any other opponent. In many ways Jesus is thrown into the deep end of the pool and proves He is a great swimmer. No opponent will ever defeat King Jesus, not even Satan, himself.
Satan goal is to persuade Jesus to act against God’s will.
The Baptism of Jesus the Messiah
Truth Taught-At Jesus’ baptism, He is marked, anointed and declared to be God’s Messiah and God’s Son
So far in Matthew’s Gospel we’ve been looking at the birth and infancy of Jesus and we’ve looked at the ministry of John the Baptist. Now, Jesus is an adult and His path and John’s path intersect.
John’s ministry is about to come to its pinnacle as he baptizes Jesus, the Messiah. After today’s text, we will see John’s ministry decrease and fade away as Jesus now bursts onto the scene. John’s task of getting the people ready for the Messiah ends as the Messiah appears.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand
Truth Taught- We are called to repent and believe because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
It is very fitting that as we leave the Christmas season we also leave baby Jesus. We love to hear about and sing about the birth of our Savior but now is the time for transition. In our text today, Jesus is all grown up. No more a baby in the manger, no more an infant who needs care and protection. Jesus is just about to burst onto the stage of human history.
The Nobody-Messiah From Nowhere
Truth Taught-The Old Testament teaches that Jesus the Messiah-King would have no worldly status and be despised and rejected by people
Jesus is not going to be the Messiah-King that people think He’s going to be. He is not interested in the status quo… the existing state of affairs, especially regarding social or political issues.
Status is a big deal in our society. And status is often measured in very superficial terms: like according to what kind of clothes you wear, what kind of car you drive, the house you own and where you live. The people that our popular culture idolizes and regards as successful are those who possess the right outward symbols of status, power and wealth.
Jesus, The Messiah-King Born in the City of David
Truth Taught- According to Old Testament prophecy the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the City of David
Last time as we looked at the birth narrative from Joseph’s perspective we saw the first of five Old Testament quotes by Matthew to prove that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.
Last time we saw that he quoted from Isaiah 7:14 a virgin shall conceive and you will call him Immanuel. By quoting this passage and connecting it to Jesus’ birth narrative, Matthew is telling us that the Messiah will be born of a virgin.
Jesus, The Messiah-King from the Line of David
Truth Taught- The Messiah-King is Conceived of the Holy Spirit and Born of the Virgin Mary
If we do a study of the Kings of Israel and Judah we discover very quickly that the majority of the kings were evil and did not obey God. Every king that Israel had was evil all 19, in fact. Judah had a few considered good but Judah had mostly evil kings. Why does this matter? Well it matters because we also learn very quickly that we cannot put our trust and hopes in any person. We must never think that people will ever save us. We cannot put our trust in kings, presidents, politicians, church leaders, Popes or anyone else. People will always fail to save us. But there is this One King…If God was going to save His people through a King, there had to be something different take place. Something outside of the norm would have to happen in order for God’s King to actually save His people.
The reign of this special King is foretold throughout the Old Testament in places like…
Jeremiah 23:5–6 (ESV)
5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
Every time a new king ascended the Davidic Throne the people had high hopes that maybe this would be the one God promised, the righteous branch, and every time they were disappointed. Israel and Judah endured many many evil kings while they waited for the Promised Messiah, the King who was the Son of David and David’s righteous branch. The truth was David had many unrighteous branches. Israel had 20 evil kings and Judah had 19 kings and none proved faithful to the degree the OT spoke of.
So, something different will need to happen in order for a King to be the Deliverer and One who would be just and righteous.
Last time we saw that Jesus was from the Davidic line and that He was the descendant that finished the third group of 14 showing that He alone qualified by birth to be the Messiah. As great as Matthew’s lineage of the Jesus was it sort of ends not with the bang we might have hoped for but rather…
Matthew 1:15–16 (ESV)
15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
I’m not sure you caught it last time but Matthew goes to great lengths to actually show us Joseph’s lineage not technically Jesus’.
One key that Matthew highlights is that Jesus the Messiah is from the line of David but not from the flesh of David. This is how God did it. This is how God saved His people by a King. Jesus came from the Davidic line through Joseph. Jesus was the rightful heir to the Throne of David and at the same time was not of David’s flesh. This is the key role Joseph played in Jesus’ life. Jesus was the rightful heir to the Davidic throne through Joseph.
How will God save His people through a King? Let’s pray and discover together the amazing plan God had through the centuries to save His people through His anointed King.
Matthew 1:18–25 (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). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
In God’s sovereignty His plan was as good as accomplished. From Joseph’s perspective there were still a couple of issues God needed to resolve. He needs Joseph to go through with the betrothal and final marriage with Mary even though she is clearly pregnant and in order for Jesus to be in the line of David, Joseph needs to accept Jesus as his own Son by adoption. Let’s look together at how God works through this just and merciful man named, Joseph…
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.
I want to work our way through this section (18-20) to discover some facts concerning the conception of Jesus the Messiah.
The Lineage of the Messiah
Truth Taught-God has fulfilled all His promises to Abraham and David in Christ.
Today we officially begin the Gospel of Matthew. I wanted to begin by looking together at what is a Gospel? I’m not referring to the Gospel in the sense of the plan of salvation per se but a Gospel in the sense of the four books we have in our Bibles referred to as Gospels, namely, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
A Gospel is a type of literature it’s in a category by itself. A Gospel has a purpose, each of the four was written with a purpose. They are the chronicles of Jesus. They record who Jesus is, His acts or the things He does and His words, what He says and teaches.
The Gospels are not the same but each writer captures different aspect of Jesus’ life. Sometimes they record the same event and sometimes they record different events.
The Gospels are so important because they give us a window into Jesus’ life. We learn about our Savior first hand in the Gospels.
As we begin we should ask who is Matthew? The writer of the Gospel of Matthew was the Tax Collector that met Jesus and was converted and called to be one of His disciples.
Mark 2:14 (ESV)
14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
In this one verse we see that Levi (Hebrew) Matthew (Greek) was going about his normal day of cheating his own people. There is a whole history behind how one got to be a tax collector and how they sold out their own people to the Romans and how they cheated as many as they could so they could keep the profit. This was Matthew until the divine call entered his ears. In that instant God changed everything in Matthew to make him able to obey Jesus’ command to follow Him. This is a Lazarus type event. In the twinkling of an eye Matthew’s heart was changed from the love of money to the love of Christ and the tax booth no longer was a means of wealth but a burden to be left and he walked out of that booth free and clear and followed Jesus the rest of his life because he found true riches in Jesus. God’s irresistible grace was at work in Matthew’s call. Jesus called Him to be His disciple and Matthew stands up and walks away. It sounds like he left everything behind…the day’s take of money, records, probably even his lunchbox all Matthew could see was Jesus.
Today, Matthew wants to teach us who this Jesus is that changed him so drastically from a thief to a follower. He does this by stating who Jesus is and then gives us the list of His ancestors to prove that what he tells us is true. Here is this long list of descendants he not only tells us who Jesus is but proves to us by His lineage exactly and without a doubt who He is. So, this record is proof and the way Matthew arranges this genealogical record is brilliant and shows God’s sovereignty every step of the way. It is very fitting to begin with The Lineage of the Messiah
Matthew 1:1–17 (ESV)
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matthew gives us the record of the Messiah’s lineage. This is literally the Greek reading of the first verse.
Let’s not shoot across this verse and miss the magnificent claim Matthew makes. Matthew is claiming Messiahship for Jesus. He does this first by calling Him Christ, which is the Greek title for Messiah. Matthew calls Jesus the Messiah. Make no mistake Jesus is the long awaited Messiah Matthew says He is.
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
He is also the Messiah by virtue of the fact that Jesus is the Son of David and the Son of Abraham.
Why is this important? I want to answer that question first. It is important because Messiah means King. Here’s where being the Son of David finds significance.
God made a covenant with King David and promised him that his kingdom would never end, that there would always be a King sitting on his throne and ruling his kingdom.