Monday, 11 February 2013

Jesus has Authority!

Sunday Sermon Review - February 10, 2013
(from my home church I attend regularly)
Topic - Matthew Series - Jesus has Authority
Speaker - Pastor Ben

The service began with singing. "Emmanuel, God With Us" and "I'm Running to Your Arms".

We are continuing on in our Matthew Series. We are in Matthew 21: 23-46 and reads as follows:
23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
 24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?
 26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.
 27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
 28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
 33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
 39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
 41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

Here is some of what Pastor Ben taught:
This was Jesus' last week on earth. He had just cleared the temple.
It was the God-given responsibility of the priests to care for the temple. The Levites the decendants of Aaron had been given this duty.
So the chief priests question Jesus on His authority. Jesus is not a Levite.
a note from me: We know from the book of Hebrews that God chose Jesus as our Priest, He is not a decendant of Aaron, but Jesus is a chosen Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec. Hebrews7:14 and 17 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Questions on Jesus' Authority
 The chief priests question Jesus on His authority. They are out to get Jesus, to have him arrested. Jesus points back to John the Baptist who was a prophet called to prepare the way for Jesus.
Is Jesus authority from God or from man? The chief priests give a politically correct answer.

The Parable of the sons in the Vineyard
Jesus calls them out.
These parables are warnings.
The one who obeys also does the will of God.
God is not impressed by our words when we don't obey - when we come to church but live the rest of the week for ourselves.

Why is it that the tax collectors and harlots came to Jesus?
And why did the religious leaders not come?
Why did some obey and give their lives to Jesus and others did not?

The tax collectors and sinners came because-
* - Jesus brought them hope for a better life
God is a God who cares for us and He invited the tax collectors to come to Him.

God will set you free and change your life.
* - Jesus brings forgiveness -
We are not our past failures though they do shape us.
Our past does not define us.

* - God is the God who gives second chances -
You are precious and loved.
God will reside in you, we become His dwelling place.

Why would the religious leaders not want this?
The next parable will explain.

The landowner and the vineyard
This is the story of Israel - rejected the prophets of old, rejected and killed the Son Jesus.

Parables are Warnings
- if you don't produce fruit in your life - you will wither.
- To be part of God's kingdom we must be willing to give up our power and stuff.

They refused to give the owner what was rightfully His.
They were desperate to hold on, to cling.

To be part of God's kingdom we have to give to God - our finances - Everything you think you own belongs to God.
It requires faith, loyalty, trust - I believe you will provide for me, not my finances.
Everything we have is a gift from God including the very air we breathe.
- give up our very lives - Hands surrendered to God.
To live with open hands. Obedience is not about rules. They were clinging to their rules to retain power.

What does it look like to live with open hands?
eg. * - its when the seniors in our church do not demand music to be the way they like it but they allow the young people to provide it their own style.
 * - accidental generousity - you notice you have been more generous than you meant to be.
 * - when young people choose to do what is right in this crooked world.
* - when kids say they don't need presents but rather give to charity.
* - its not hoarding things

What is God calling you to let go??

Note: We will be taking a break from our Matthew series now and will be focus on Lent!

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