St. Luke's Church Faribault
3/21/2021
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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        September 29, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
      • Download

        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        September 29, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
      • Download

        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        September 29, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
      • Download

        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        September 29, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
      • Isaiah 43:15–19NIV2011

  • Come Thou Fount
  • All Creatures Of Our God And King
  • My Jesus I Love Thee
  • pray
    Matthew 9:9–17 NIV
    9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. 16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
    Last week we covered the calling of Matthew. and we ended with verse 13.
    Matthew 9:13 NIV
    13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
    Last week, the point was that God is most interested in a repentant heart-rather than just empty works. The nation of Israel had this way of being double-minded to borrow a phrase from James. They would do these works to try and win God’s favor, yet the whole time their heart is not in it.
    As Jesus often does the point is made not once, but a second time in another way.
    So verse 13 is , but go and learn what this means, I desire mercy not sacrifice, and now Jesus will show us a little more what this means.
    Beginning at verse 14 we read
    Matthew 9:14 NIV
    14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
    Then John’s disciples approach Jesus and ask Him a question. Is this a challenge to the previous episode? Kind of an Oh Yeah Jesus well how about this? John’s Disciples and the Pharisees Fast often -But you guys don’t? You guys are not as good we are., and Jesus you really aren’t a good leader are you? Here is your guys, and they aren’t fasting? But us and the Pharisees, we fast- Tell us mister Holy Man-If you are so Holy why aren’t you fasting?
    John’s Disciples
    What is your perception of Holy People? Let’s take a minute think about this, who doe we think is really Holy? What comes to mind? Is it Monks? Priests? Mother Teresa? The Pope? Jesus people tucked n a commune somewhere? What characteristics do we assign to Holy people?
    John was thought to be strange indeed. And some of his characteristics and his group were considered holy.
    In Matthew 3, we are told He lived in the desert, and he wore a camel hair garment, a leather belt. He ate locust and wild honey. He was living a life of isolation, a very meager lifestyle. His everyday provisions came from the wilderness he lived in.
    This is very similar to Monks or other groups that have decided to come out and be separate. They live this isolationist lifestyle, very poor and meager in their clothing, the plain robe, and not much fancy food, often producing what they eat right there
    They do this because they are seeking to remove the distractions of the outside world in order to be more holy. They are hopeful that eliminating the temptations of the outside world they will be able to grow closer to God. More time for more prayer.
    So in this way John and His disciples are very similar to the monks, or other groups like this. Is this Holiness? Is this what we have to strive for?
    Luke 18.12 the Pharisees and there holy lifestyle too.
    Luke 18:11–12 NIV
    11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
    The Pharisees in their quest for holiness fast twice a week-give a 10th of everything. They are holy. In its essence, its purest form there is nothing inherently wrong with this pursuit. However, if we look at that and hold that up as holy here is what happens- for most people we cannot achieve that holiness. We are left out. If we cannot isolate, we are left out of being Holy is that right?
    Then for the supposedly Holy, there is a temptation that grips them. Holy seeking people get caught up in what they are doing and how good it is. They have put in a lot of hard work, It is quite an achievement. It is difficult to fast, It is hard to maintain a holy life. And ultimately you attribute your holiness, to what you are doing. You are essentially making yourself Holy.
    If we could make ourselves holy-would we need Christ? At least aside form a motivation story? That is essentially what happens. All we really need to be Holy is ourselves and a little motivation and the story of the gospel can be reduced to a motivational tale. and it would be able to be substituted for any other motivation story
    And after you did it for a while, the outsiders it seems are outsiders because they don’t work as hard as you do.
    Well, you know if they would just not go to the bar, then there would not be a problem. If they would do this, or if they would do that. Our vision of Holiness becomes something that is a matter of achievement.
    Jesus we are working hard-Why aren’t your disciples working hard like we are working and the Pharisees are working?
    It is really a valid question-If this Jesus guy and His band are going to be the next Holy Rollers, shouldn’t they at least be Holy? Doing the “right” things? Fulfilling the model of holiness?
    Ask your self-What does a Jesus follower look like to you? Whatever ideas we come up with-barefoot, sandals, or robes, or a suit and tie, or Mother Teresa we think a Holy person should be as soon as we get that idea in our head, arnd it becomes the model or the prototype we are striving for and what we do becomes about that, trying to reach that prototype.
    They and us have the whole Old testament book of plans to follow, but what Jesus does is He smashes that prototype, he smashes that model and in the process He can leave us bewildered confused.
    He says,
    Matthew 9:15 NIV
    15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
    And.....Jesus answered with a wedding analogy. Uh Jesus not helpful-we don’t understand....Not clearing it up...
    Well let’s think about this for a minute...Israel or the jewish people are often referred to as God’s bride. God loves them like a husband loves his wife. They are committed-for better or worse. We find this imagery scattered all over the Old testament
    Jeremiah 31:32 NIV
    32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.
    Though I was a husband to them....and it is not just here, there are many many references to this idea like Ez 16:8-14 or
    Isaiah 54:5 NIV
    5 For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.
    Or
    Jeremiah 2:2 NIV
    2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “This is what the Lord says: “ ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.
    It is on and on. In the mind of the jewish people when Jesus said bridegroom is with them-This was----mind bogeling---They were thinking-wait God is our husband. Now the Bridegroom is with us?????
    They knew what he was saying, and what He is saying is He is God.
    Matthew 9:15 NIV
    15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
    For all those that say-Jesus never claimed to be God… Again-right here. God is Israel’s Bride, The groom is Here!
    How can the guests mourn while He is with them? This is NOT the time of mourning it is a time for feasting! Are you with me still? God is the Husband of Israel, now God is with you he is standing in your midst, He has come, to claim his bride. He is here among you right now, this is big---this huge. You should be partying and feasting!
    The question isn’t why Jesus and the disciples aren’t fasting the question should be How can John’s disciples be fasting? Fasting has long been associated with sack cloth, and ashes, this somber painful, lamenting experience. There was nothing joyful about fasting- Sometimes it is in with Rending your clothing, and fast- Often with fasting…people in Biblical times when they got upset they would tear their clothes-Rend means to tear.
    Israel was feeling abandoned by God. The glory had long left the tabernacle. The Romans were occupying the land, things were not like the old days. That was awful. They really wanted something from God-the blessings SO they said-lets, really get our selves back on track- We need to do things that make God happy, so that God will bless us.
    See God was kind of up here, the spouse is gone. The Glory departed the tabernacle, so… mourn fast pray -do religious things to get to God.
    That is what the essence of religion is- It is the process of man doing things or rituals to get to God. Religious acts-like Sacrifice-ceremonies, rending your garments, pouring ashes over you head, that is the essence of religion, weather it is Christian or not - Religion is working toward God. Religion is doing all the rituals associated with man going after God.
    Now, those things aren’t necessarily bad things, they just aren’t a formula or the method for getting to God. In a marriage you should be buying your spouse flowers, because you love them, because they are special to you, not to get them to like you.
    But what does Jesus say-Guests don’t fast when the bridegroom is with them---It is not about working toward God-God is here, There is no more sadness of waiting, no more lamenting and groaning, no more tearing your clothes, Jesus is here, The groom has come to claim His bride.... NOW is the feast!
    It is not about religion-working toward God-It is about the relationship between God and man, the relationship that Israel is to be a part of. The relationship that is having Jesus -God come to them-
    But is there a time to fast?
    Matthew 9:15 NIV
    15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
    The time will come Jesus says-when the bridegroom will be taken away-then it is a time for fasting. Jesus often referred to the crucifixion, as Him going away-Now you see me, there will a time when you will no longer see me- Or Where I am going you cannot come… to mention a few phrase from John and Jesus is predicting or foreshadowing or prophesying about the crucifixion and ascension- Someday Jesus will go.... then they will fast…When the spouse is gone it will be a time to fast.
    And this is indeed what we see in the book of Acts. We hear about several times the disciples fasted.
    Acts 13:2 NIV
    2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
    and
    Acts 14:23 NIV
    23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
    Here the disciples in the middle of a critical church decision, at a time when the church was facing a crossroads, made a decision toseek after the Lord. They with devotion sought God through prayer and fasting.
    So there is a time of fasting-there isn’t a time of fasting? It is still confusing. Sacrifices-not sacrifices-working your way to God or relationships..
    Is this all confusing? Let me sum this up Here it is
    We do these things in the Context of the relationship--- not to establish the relationship...
    And that is a whole NEW way of thinking about things. Last week we had repentance, that is a NEW direction, going a new way toward Jesus and away from our sin, now we are in this relationship and in the context of that relationship we fast, we plead, we pray we LOVE.
    This is what the Gospel is about-Is is why THERE is power in the Gospel, and there is power in the cross.
    All of the Old testament-All of Israel’s history was focused on “fixing” their problem. God tells them to follow Him, they do not now they have to “fix” the problem and get back in God’s favor. The problem is they can’t. They and us have a sin problem so we try and fix it by working toward God, but that doesn’t even make sense, does it.
    I mean let’s say I go out and I am mean to someone. I yell at them and belittle them. Ok now religion will tell you, come to the local religious leaders of religious house and give them money, like paying a fine, or say some words a certain number of times, or kill an animal and spread blood on the altar. But… what does that do for the poor guy that is over here who I just trashed, nothing-He is still in misery and pain. And if I have enough money or time to make things right I can go and keep doing it over and over again.
    But… what if there is a better way-A new way? What if we can change the person so they do not keep doing itBut Jesus says this- I have got a whole new way of looking at things
    Matthew 9:16–17 NIV
    16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
    New cloth has not been shrunk yet, if you sew it on a old garment it will eventually shrink and pull at the stitches. Similarly with wine skins, they will burst. They are brittle and dry and if you fill them with new wine they will leak. No- better than just trying to patch together the Old-We need a whole new way of doing things- We need a completely NEW PATH>.
    We have to do something completely new and substantial about this sin problem- We have to somehow change the offender. We have to give the offender a new heart so that are not caught in that cycle of darkness, and we have stop that working your way toward God mentality, and get to the relationship.
    In Joel Chapter 2 we read this.
    Joel 2:13 NIV
    13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
    I am not interested in you tearing up your clothes-buying a new blouse does nothing- God says- Your heart needs to be broken- I am looking for you to be different . I am looking to mend this broken relationship .God goes way out of his way to establish this relationship. He goes way out of His way to do this.
    And He told us about it -He said He would do this. Long before any of this happened, long before Jesus Long before any of this God said He would do it.
    in
    Jeremiah 31:33 NIV
    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
    and
    Ezekiel 36:26 NIV
    26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
    God does this- He gives the offender-the one who repents truly by rending their hearts a NEW HEART He makes them a NEW Creation The are NEW
    He does this by going to the cross. See the cross has to do something-It has to cause transformation-It has to have power. As we saw throughout Matthew 8, It was a demonstration that Jesus’s words had effectiveness and power-Jesus’ words- God words must be effective-They have to DO somethingWhat Jesus says has power and authority-What he says and does carries the weight of Almighty God-His action have authority, and they do something.
    The cross is not a dead hunk of wood-The cross is not a symbol of the murder of an innocent rabbi, or the symbol or motivation for you to do better-Look at poor Jesus now go and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. . If it were than you and I better get busy with the rituals, and better start working our way to God.We need to tear our clothes and fast.
    But here is the good news The cross is effective and powerful-What happened at the cross, was more than just the death of an innocent man-It was Jesus-Fully God and fully Man sacrificing Himself-so that He could make things right-Make things New The gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
    Because Christ was fully God as well as Fully man- what happened at the cross had authority and power. The same authority and power that stilled the storm, the power that drove out the demons-the same authority that forgave the sins of lame man and the same power that caused the lame to walk.
    What the cross does-is it actually changes the sinner-
    When the sinner, by faith believes and repents and rends their heart--- the cross has power it changes them. It places into us a NEW heart it gives us A new spirit, it is Like putting New wine into New wineskins. It Rends our hearts and not our garments.
    There was another more symbol of this when Jesus died on that cross.
    See There was a Curtain-- a huge heavy curtain hanging from the high ceiling to the floor in the Temple. It separated the Holy of Holies from the common man. It seperated God’s presence from the people. Because God is SO holy that he cannot be in the presence of sin. But When Christ died on the cross that curtain was torn. It was rent in 2 from top to bottom, as if God Himself had torn the veil, the symbol of the Old Covenant.
    Matthew 27:51 NIV
    51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split
    God was now with us, it was now a relationship for those who would repent and believe. Begin again today, Jesus said Behold I make all things new
    2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
    17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
      • Matthew 9:9–17NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:13NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:14NIV2011

      • Luke 18:11–12NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:15NIV2011

      • Jeremiah 31:32NIV2011

      • Isaiah 54:5NIV2011

      • Jeremiah 2:2NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:15NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:15NIV2011

      • Acts 13:2NIV2011

      • Acts 14:23NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:16–17NIV2011

      • Joel 2:13NIV2011

      • Jeremiah 31:33NIV2011

      • Ezekiel 36:26NIV2011

      • Matthew 27:51NIV2011

      • 2 Corinthians 5:17NIV2011

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