:::: MENU ::::

Posts By / Pastor Heo

  • Feb 15 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness (Matthew 19:1-12)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness (Matthew 19:1-12)

02.15

02.15.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, & Singleness

Matthew 19:1-12 (Pastor Heo)

Divorce

19:1-9pp — Mk 10:1-12

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” 

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”


 

Today’s topic is a very controversial issue.

Already, some time ago, the religious leaders, Jesus’ public enemies had attacked him with some Qs to ensnare Jesus. “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? Show us a sign from heaven.” But Jesus always prevailed.

Today, once again, they tried with the most controversial issue: Marriage and Divorce.

John the B had been in prison and killed because of his public opinion on this topic.

Even today, divorce continues to increase – the rate continues to climb. This even attacks the homes of Christian leaders.

“Today the couples are married ‘for better or for worse, but not for long.’”

This was a hot issue between 2 schools of rabbis.

  1. Rabbi Hilem? “A man could divorce his wife for ANY reason, even finding a younger, prettier woman.”
  2. “A man could divorce ONLY if his wife had been unfaithful to him.”

With this background, they attacked Jesus to ensnare him.

They are attacking Jesus based on the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 24:1-4: “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her, and sends her from his house. And if, after she is gone, she remarries, but her second husband also divorces her, or if he dies, then her first husband is not allowed to marry her again after she is defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord.”

Here’s the situation:

  1. If Jesus supports divorce, he upholds the Pharisee’s procedures – they doubted he would.
  2. If Jesus supports one of their positions, the other group would hate and attack him.
  3. If Jesus opposes divorce, they would accuse him of being against the Law of Moses.

Like this, we must seek to serve GOD and not our own wicked desires.

Jesus’ answer (v. 4-6) “Haven’t you read…?”

This implies that they haven’t read their own Scriptures with any understanding. They started their attack with Deuteronomy, but Jesus started his argument with Genesis – BEFORE their argument has any relevance.

Jesus revealed the original design and principle of God from Genesis 1, 2.

As you know, each day of Creation, there is the same comment: “God saw that it was good.” In the last part, it is repeated 7 times. And finally, “God saw that it was VERY good.”

In this story of Creation, there is only ONE time that God said, “hmm, it is NOT good.” This was when God saw that man was alone and he said, “Let me make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:25)

He caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, he took a rib, and made a woman and he brought her to the man. He said, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh – she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man. For this reason…” (Jesus’ reference).

The only thing that wasn’t good about Creation was the fact that man was alone. The woman was created to meet this need. The man needed a companion who was equal to him with whom he could find fulfillment.

Marriage makes possible the continuation of the race. God FIRST commandment was “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth.” From the Beginning, it was God’s command that sex be practiced in the commitment of marriage. Outside of marriage, sex is a destructive force – more than any other sins.

1 Cor “Flee from sexual immorality – all other sins a man commits are outside his body, but a man who sins sexually, sins AGAINST his OWN body.”

  • Marriage is one way to escape sexual sins – fornication and adultery.
  • Marriage = a dedicated partnership between one man and one woman.

God’s work was not PERFECT until he made woman along with the rest of Creation.

Are you willing to keep this commitment that makes the two of you one? The goal in marriage should be more than friendship, more than fellowship, more than sex, more than kids, more than success, more than a partnership. The goal = ONENESS.

Marriage is a gift from God.

God gave Adam and Eve marriage as a gift. Marriage is not made by any human institutions. But as you know, a happy marriage is not automatic, not easy. It is the result of mutual commitment, sacrifice, understanding, patience.

At that time, Adam and Eve had no idea of divorce. Who else should they remarry?…

In this way, Jesus makes it clear: Once married = lifetime marriage.

But the Pharisees pushed him “Then why did Moses allow divorce?”

v. 7-9

Because human’s sinful nature made divorce inevitable, the Mosaic Law was given as a way to help/protect its victims – especially women and to minimize the abuses of divorce.

  • The Pharisees here say, “Moses COMMANDED divorce.”
  • Jesus says, “Moses PERMITTED divorce because of your stubbornness, hard-heartedness, stubbornness.”

In that day and in our day, marriage has fallen very far from God’s original intention.

Divorce is not good, but it is better than open adultery.

Then, the Pharisees were amazed and silenced and the disciples asked about singleness “Isn’t it much better not to marry?”

v. 10-12

In verse 12, Jesus makes it clear that each man and woman must consider God’s will about marriage. Some should not get married because of physical and emotional problems from birth. And some should not get married because of social responsibilities (in history, some people were castrated to serve the king and his harem – without any sexual desire or ability to produce offspring). Also, in church history, there are some who voluntarily give up marriage because they feel they can serve God more (Paul, Jesus).

Marriage is designed by God for all human beings GENERALLY.

But God does not make marriage a prerequisite for a fulfilled life for all people.

The decision to be single must not be forced by man – even parents, pastors, friends (consider Martin Luther). Singleness must be a choice only between the individual and God.

Marriage is used as an illustration of the intimate relationship between God and the church. Eph 5:32? “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about the church.”

Just as Eve was taken out of the side of Adam, so the church was born out of the death of Christ. Christ cares for the church just as husbands are to care for, nourish, encourage, build up, grow their wives.

  • 1 Cor 6:17 “He who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in Spirit.”

Jesus is the author of this relationship between man and God. This is a life union. Col “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live…”

  • Col 3:3-4 “You died but your life is hidden with Jesus Christ in God. Jesus Christ who is your life appears and at that time we also will appear with him in glory.”

The union/life of Christ is the life of believers.

Also the union is a lifetime union – marriage is this way. But the union with Christ is eternal union – even in the afterlife. Marriage union = only for this lifetime.

Jesus says, “Our Father who has given you to me is greater than all. No one can snatch you out of my hand.”

In addition to this, Jesus is holding us all in his hand – his Almighty hand – which assures us that NO ONE (Satan, demons, death, life, depth, future, nor present, angels, height, nor any powers, nor anything else in all Creation can separate us from the love of Christ, our bridegroom (Romans 8:28-38?~)

Let us pray together.

  • Jan 18 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Enjoy the Freedom and Power of Forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Enjoy the Freedom and Power of Forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35)

01.18-Pastor Heo

01.18.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Enjoy the Freedom & Power of Forgiveness

Matthew 18:21-35 (Pastor Heo)

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”


 

The last verse is the key verse from today’s reading. Remember this not only in your brain, but also in your hearts. This is the conclusion:

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

One time, Peter asked, “Lord, how many times should I forgive? 7 times? Wow! So many!” At that time (and in the Bible) the number 7 is a symbol of perfection.

How about you and me? Can we forgive 7 times? Only 3 times? Not even one time?

Peter probably expected praise from Jesus for showing his great faith when he offered to forgive up to seven times. At that time, the rabbis taught that 3 times to forgive was sufficient.

But if we look at this passage clearly, we can see Peter’s serious mistakes:

  1. 1. He lacked humility – he was proud, he was sure that OTHERS would sin against him, but not he against others. Yes, when others hurt us, we remember this very clearly. But we have difficulty to remember our own faults against others.
  2. 2. He asked in measured limitations – if there is a limitation in numbers, then there is no true love in your heart – “Be rooted and established in love to know how wide, how long, how deep, how tall is the love of Christ – so that we may be filled to full perfection in the love of God.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” What number is there? NONE. If there was a number, we would surely exceed it and go beyond God’s limited forgiveness (in this scenario).

This parable deals with the power and freedom of forgiveness. This parable is not about our salvation – about grace, freely given. The emphasis here is about forgiveness between brothers – not on God’s forgiveness of sinners.

From verse 23-27:

10,000 talents – how much is that? This debt was CANCELED.

At that time, 2,000 years ago, even 1 talent was enough to start a business (50,000,000 Won?)

At that time, in another parable (Matthew 25?) the Master (king) was going on a long journey and he gave 1 talent to one servant, 2 to another, 5 to another – entrusted to them.

At that time the entire TAX of Jerusalem was 800 talents.

Ordinary people had to work 20 YEARS to make ONE talent. So, it is ludicrous to think that one slave could ever borrow 10,000 talents from the king – it was obvious that he was STEALING when the books were checked.

His story is like our story – he is a guilty debtor. He was an enemy of the king, as we were once enemies of God. He thought he could repay the king by his own effort as we once thought we could pay for our own salvation through our good works. He was powerless in his debt, and at one time, we also were powerless in our sin. Both of us received merciful debt forgiveness.

“The servant’s master took pity on his and CANCELED the debt and let him go.”

v. 28-29

100 denarii – how much is that? – CHOKING over this amount – PRISON for this amount.

At that time, an average worker earns 1 denarius per day. This debt was very small compared to what this servant owed the king. 10,000 talents = a bus full of money. 100 denarii = a pocket full of money. This wicked servant grabbed, choked, threw him in jail. This second servant used the SAME method, pleading that the first servant had used “Please, have mercy, have patience.”

This first servant had been forgiven, but was unwilling to grant to others what he’d already received. He and his family had been spared the shame and suffering of the prison, but he refused to spare his friend.

If we receive unconditional forgiveness from God and then don’t forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are WORSE than him.

v. 31-35

The King delivered this servant from prison, he saved him – but this servant actually put himself back in prison. He did exercise justice and cast his friend into prison – and the king said basically, “OK, cool. Let’s live by ‘justice’ then. Here’s your justice. I’ll do to you just as you have done to him.”

Conclusion: 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

In the Lord’s prayer, we pray all the time, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

Jesus says, “If you forgive when others sin against you, also my Father will forgive you, but if NOT, then he WON’T.”

  • Eph 4: “Be kind and compassionate with one another.”
  • Col “Bear with each other. Forgive whatever grievances you have against one another.”

But, we must not forget the conclusion of this matter. This doesn’t mean “if you don’t forgive, your salvation is lost/canceled.” It also doesn’t mean “God MUST forgive you when you forgive others.”

You must understand the true meaning of forgiveness:

What is the ground/foundation of the assurance of salvation?

The assurance of salvation + the assurance of forgiveness = BOTH necessary, mutually exclusive. Without one, you can’t have the other.

Jeremiah 31:34 “The Lord (Jehovah) declares, ‘I forgive your sins. And if I forgive your sins, I remember them NO MORE.’”

Just like ONE salvation = eternal and never changes, likewise ONCE forgiveness against our original sin = eternal and never changes.

If we have assurance of salvation + assurance of forgiveness, then what is the ground/basis for our assurance?

  • We must repent. But this is not the ground upon which God forgives us.
  • We must have faith. But this is not the ground upon which God forgives us.

God cannot forgive/pardon sin/sinners MERELY on the ground of a sinners forgiveness. This would be impossible for a righteous God to do. He can forgive ONLY when the penalty is ALREADY paid.

For Him to forgive, and for us to receive his forgiveness, Christ died upon the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

This is the ONLY ground/basis upon which we can have the assurance of salvation + forgiveness. Even as he was dying on the cross, he prayed “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Even there, he had HUGE compassion for those who sinned against him.

In this world, the worst kind of prison is an unforgiving heart. We are throwing ourselves into prison and torturing ourselves if we don’t forgive others.

We must experience the power of forgiveness in our hearts. If we live only by justice, we put ourselves in prison. But if we live by forgiveness and mercy, giving others what God’s given us, we can experience true freedom and power of forgiveness and the forgiving of others.

No matter our experience, we cannot fully enjoy freedom, peace, and joy without forgiving others.

Yes, we show the true condition of our own hearts by the way we treat others. If we are humble and repentant, we can willingly and easily forgive others. But where there is pride and a passion for revenge, there is not a place for forgiveness.

Let me show the power of the real freedom of forgiveness in the Bible:

Stephen (Acts 7)

He preached a very wonderful, powerful, marvelous and biblical sermon. His sermon is one of the most powerful sermons in church history. But how did the congregation react? Clapping? Thank you? Nope. Death. By stoning.

Imagine I’m preaching here and someone in the audience began stoning me.

But Stephen did not even pay for this. He prayed for them as they killed him. “Father, do not hold this sin against them.” Why? What made him do this? Was he different? No, a normal man, filled with the Holy Spirit – anointed to do this. The power and freedom of forgiveness that he’d personally experienced empowered him to do this and forgive his own murderers as they were murdering him.

We must experience, enjoy the power of forgiveness deep in our hearts and makes us gentle and forgiving of others.

Our brothers and sisters, coworkers, neighbors, family members – we should forgive them all deeply, readily, quickly.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 04 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Be a baby to enter the kingdom of heaven and then be a servant in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-4)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Be a baby to enter the kingdom of heaven and then be a servant in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-4)

Unfortunately, because my computer(s) crashed this Sunday, I was unable to record the sermon message or make the same kind of bulletin as previous weeks. But, here’s the Bible text nevertheless:

Be a baby to enter the kingdom of heaven and then be a servant in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

18:1-5pp — Mk 9:33-37; Lk 9:46-48

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

  • Dec 21 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Immanuel (Matthew 1:23, 28:18-20) – Christmas 2014
Christmas, Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Immanuel (Matthew 1:23, 28:18-20) – Christmas 2014

12.21.christmas

12.21.2014-PHeo-Christmas

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Immanuel (Christmas 2014)

Matthew 1:23, 28:18-20 (Pastor Heo)

23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


 

The key message of Christmas is “God With Us”. How is this possible? By nature, we have no right/authority for God to be with us.

  • God is spirit, we are physical.
  • God is Creator, we are his Creations.
  • God is in heaven and heavenly, we are on the earth and earthly.
  • God is absolutely pure and holy, all human beings are totally unclean and sinful.
  • By nature, God is unreachable, unapproachable. Then how is it possible that God is with us, among us, and IN us?

That became possible by the Christmas story, by Jesus coming into the world as a FULL man, as a person.

John 1:14 “God became man and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory. The glory of his one and only Son.”

  • Q: Do you recognize, enjoy, experience that God is with you wherever you are and whatever you do?
  • Q: If “yes”, how much does this fact affect you and your daily life?

In the Bible, the word Immanuel has different meanings – there are 5 levels in the Bible.

Let me share with you these 5 kinds of Immanuel in the Bible.

#1: Level 1 – one-dimensional Immanuel (“God with us”) – applied to ALL Creation.

God is with ALL things – living and unliving, all his things and Creations, he is “with” them.

God is with men, bad men, women, trees, stars, the sun, moon, birds, mountains, fish, everything, everywhere, God is “with” those BECAUSE God is Creator, Sustainer, Ruler, Governor over all things.

  • Eph 4:6 “There is only One God, the Father of all who is above all, and in all, and through all.”
  • Heb 1:3 “The Son, Jesus, is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being, and is sustaining ALL things with his powerful Word.”

#2: Level 2 – two-dimensional Immanuel

Applied to only human beings – ALL human beings. Yes, God is with ALL human beings, believers and non-, good and bad, the saved, the lost, ALL men.

There’s no place we can be hidden from God. We cannot flee from the presence of God.

Unbelievers do not know/recognize God’s being “with” them BUT regardless of their ignorance that God is with them, he IS with them.

“God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain and snow on the righteous and unrighteous – and causes money and blessings to come to the believers and unbelievers alike.” (Proverbs?)

This unlimited favor to ALL human beings = “General Grace”

#3: Level 3 – three-dimensional Immanuel

Applied only to believers – those who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, Lord, and God.

This Immanuel guarantees no penalty for sin, and guarantees special freedom in Truth. And absolute heavenly peace and joy and intimate relationship and fellowship with God and the right to pray (directly to him) anytime, everytime. We have access to God with confidence and assurance to get help in our time of need.

  • Jesus says, “I give you eternal life. You shall never perish. No one can snatch you out of my hand.” (John’s gospel)
  • Jesus says, “My Father who has given you to me is greater than ALL so that no one can snatch you out of my hand.”
  • Immanuel God promised, “I will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you.” This promise given only to believers is called “Special Grace.”

#4: Level 4 – four-dimensional Immanuel

The BEST/highest Immanuel that we, true Christians can experience in this world.

This Immanuel is applied to only evangelists, preachers of the gospel – to make disciples of ALL nations.

Matthew 28:18-20 = The “Great Commission” for world salvation and evanglization.

“All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go, baptizing all men in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them all that I have commanded you, and surely I am with you always until the very end of the age.”

“…to the very end of the age.” = There is a limitation in time – ONLY until the end of this “age.”

It means, this kind of Immanuel is applied ONLY in this “age” and it means that this Immanuel will be no more after the end of this age.

This kind of Immanuel is applied only (1) in this age, (2) to true believers who (3) go and preach the Word to all nations.

Q: What is the effect of this 4-dimensional Immanuel? This is where the power and authority of Jesus Christ is revealed through the people who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Example: Moses:

  • God called Moses and said, “Go to Pharaoh and save my people out of Egypt.” This means (today) “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
  • God gave him a promise – the best promise he could give him that “I will be WITH you always.”

This promise was a 4-dimensional Immanuel promise. This means, Moses became LIKE God before Pharaoh, before the people, before his brother Aaron.

Moses performed 10 miracles before Pharaoh. After coming out of Egypt, in front of the Red Sea, Moses raised his staff and stretched out his hand and the Red Sea was divided and they crossed by walking on foot.

Later, Moses made drinking water out of the rock. Moses performed many miracles. God’s promise “I will be WITH you” meant “my power will be done/manifested through you as long as you DO the mission I gave you.”

Today, in our time, this is the same.

Jesus says, “All authority is mine… Therefore, GO, and make disciples of all nations… Surely I am always WITH you to the very end of the age.”

This means, whenever you “go and make disciples” Jesus authority will be manifested through YOU who preach the gospel of salvation.

#5: Level 5 – five-dimensional Immanuel

Applied in the LITERAL heaven – in the world to come after this world. This means the redemption of our bodies. We will be LIKE Jesus – seeing him face-to-face – in heaven forever and ever.

At that time, we will receive spiritual, heavenly, immortal, glorious, radiant, REAL, recognizable as the SAME person – bodies.

1 Thess 16:17 “The Lord (Jesus) will come back again from heaven with a loud command with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God, and then the dead in Christ will be raised first. And we who are alive in Christ will be caught up in the air to receive him in the air, and we will be caught up to heaven and be with him forever and ever.”

May God bless all of us with Immanuel God.

“God be WITH us.”

Remember and enjoy abundantly this last sentence: God is WITH you IN Christ Jesus who was

  1. born for us,
  2. died for us,
  3. was raised for us, and
  4. will come back for us, and
  5. live with us forever and ever Amen.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 23 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)

11.23

11.23.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-8 (Pastor Heo)

The Transfiguration

17:1-8pp — Lk 9:28-36 17:1-13pp — Mk 9:2-13

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John1 the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.2 Listen to him!”3 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”4 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.


 

Moses, Elijah left them. Jesus alone is left with them. Also in our lives, many people come and go, but the FINAL one we will be left with is only Jesus Christ.

Do you believe in Christ? Do you have assurance that Jesus believes that you believe in Him?

One of the proofs of this (that I’m a child of God) is to know our own identity in Christ in this world.

I collected our identity in Christ in the Bible:

27 sentences from the NT:

Hang this on your wall:

  1. I’m salt of the earth
  2. I’m the light of the world
  3. child of God
  4. branch of the true vine
  5. friend of Christ
  6. Christ disciple
  7. witness of Christ
  8. slave of righteousness
  9. co-heir with Christ
  10. temple of the Holy Spirit
  11. one spirit united with Christ
  12. member of the body of Christ
  13. aroma of Christ
  14. new creation
  15. ambassdor of Christ
  16. spiritual soldier
  17. Saint
  18. Holy person
  19. Righteous by faith
  20. died to sin, alive to righteousness
  21. citizen of heaven
  22. son of light
  23. stranger, alien in this world
  24. pilgrim to eternity
  25. enemy of Satan
  26. bride of Christ
  27. will be like Christ
  28. will share Christ’s glory eternally and reign with Him

Is this you? May God bless us to be like this.

Today is the “Transfiguration.”

This is one of the great 5 events of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

  1. Incarnation
  2. Death
  3. Resurrection
  4. Ascension
  5. Transfiguration

Let us all be blessed through this wonderful story.

There are many lessons we can get, so let’s look at 5 for application in our daily lives:

#1: (v.1) Jesus selected ONLY 3 people to join him (Peter, James, John)

Of course, he had many followers at that time (70 united, 12 were the apostles, among them 3 were his inner circle) This means that Peter, James, and John are the core, the heart of the 12.

In the Bible, there are at least 3 times that Jesus chose these 3 to join him.

  1. Luke 8 – When Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from death. He brought 12 disciples to the house, but chose only the 3 to go in with him.
  2. Before his crucifixion, he took all the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemene – and took only the 3 with him deeper into the Garden. He told them honestly, “My heart is troubled with sorrow to the point of death. Keep watch with men.”
  3. This event – the Transfiguration

What is the common key among all these events?

Here, we see Moses and Elijah appeared – we don’t know what they talked about. but in Luke 9, they talked with Jesus about his departure – he was about to bring this to fulfillment in Jerusalem. They talked with Jesus about his death – his crucifixion.

The common key = about his death.

What does this mean today?

Yes, if we are truly Christians, we are chosen.

  • 1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood… so that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness…”
  • Eph 1:4-5 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

Jesus: “You didn’t choose me, I chose you.”

But, today, who is the inner-circle of the Christians? Who is the heart of the Christians? Pastors? Elders? Deacons? Cell leaders? NO.

The preacher of the gospel of salvation, the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

#2: (v. 1) He led them UP a high mountain by themselves.

This story doesn’t say the name of the mountain – but it may be Helma? mountain. 6 days after the event in Philippi this happened.

Spiritually, this means, a mountain is higher than the ground – this is a set apart, separate place.

Exodus 3: One day when Moses was tending his Father-in-law’s flock, (he always came there) God appeared to Moses and called “Moses!” he said, “Here I am!” God said, “Take off your shoes, the place you are standing is holy ground.”

Humanly speaking, that was not a holy place, it was a very familiar place – he was even here yesterday. But God said, “The place you are standing is a holy place, holy ground.” What does this mean? Why does God call an ordinary place a “holy place”? Because HE appears there with a holy MISSION to redeem His people out of slavery.

How can we apply this to our lives?

Where are you most? Where do you spend most of your time? If, spiritually, you can recognize the presence of the holy God upon you with a holy mission, holy purpose, then the very place you are standing is a holy place.

1 Corinthians “Don’t you know that you yourselves are the temple of the holy God?” We are a walking, living temple of the holy God. So WHEREVER you put your feet is holy ground.

#3: (v. 2) “Transfiguration”

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light.”

According to the record of the Bible, THIS is the only time that God revealed his glory – Jesus showed his glory in this way while in this world.

The English word = “metamorphosis” (a change on the inside that comes from inside) – Ex. When a caterpillar builds a cocoon and later emerges as a butterfly. A process of metamorphosis radiated Jesus’ glory from the inside as he allowed his essential glory to shine forth.

  • Heb 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s existence.”
  • Exodus: After Moses came down from the Mt. with the 10 commandments, his face SHONE – because he had talked with God.
  • 2 Corinthians “We who with unveiled faces of God’s glory are being transfigured as more of his glory is revealed…”

“Those God knew he also predestined… that Christ might be the firstborn of many brothers.”

Yes, we are a new creation in Christ – we have a new birth, position, standing, status. We are transforming, being transfigured into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds… until you attain the FULL measure of Christ.” (Romans 12:2-3)

#4: The voice of God (v. 5)

When Jesus was baptized by JB at the Jordan river, this same voice (with the same words almost) came from the clouds about Jesus. God gave Jesus the authority.

What kind of cloud was this? A bright cloud.

It was not a vapor, but it was in fact, the GLORY of God. This was the SAME cloud that appeared to the people of Israel in the desert and appeared to Moses, and filled the temple with the glory of God.

God is giving his oral approval of his Son, Jesus. He is identifying him as the promised Messiah. “Hearing” isn’t only “listening” but also “obeying.” Even until now, Jesus is with you and like this for you.

Matthew 28 “Behold, I am WITH YOU always, to the very end of the age.”

How can we realize and recognize this? By/in His Word. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…” (John 1:1)

  • Romans 10 “Do not say in your hearts, ‘Who will go to heaven to bring Christ down? Who will go to the depths to bring Christ up?’” Please remember that Jesus is WITH YOU always.
  • Colossians 3:16 “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

There is a time for everything (a time to be born, a time to die – Ecclesiastes 3). Between these two times, there are suitable/proper times for EVERYTHING (a time to study, a time to play, a time to go, a time to stop, a time to speak, a time to listen). At this moment, Peter spoke and said, “Let me… DO SOMETHING” But what about this situation? Here is MOSES and ELIJAH talking with Jesus about his death. And God said, “LISTEN to Him.” For Peter, this was a time to LISTEN, worship, adore, medicate, contemplation.

  1. We must listen to Christ IN the church, but SPEAK of him in the world.
  2. We must know Christ in the church, but MAKE him known in the world.

#5: (v. 8) NO ONE except Jesus Christ

In this life, we look for many people, many persons, we see many things – but when we stand before God face-to-face, there is only ONE thing we will see: Jesus.

  1. Yes, Moses (representing the LAW) appeared.
  2. Yes, Elijah (representing the PROPHETS) appeared.

All of the LAW and the PROPHETS shadow and point to JESUS and are fulfilled IN JESUS.

Yes, those two are very important, but they are merely shadows/types of Jesus. Jesus alone is THE Reality. All others are only shadows and types.

Another mistake of Peter = If Abraham and David had appeared as well, he would have offered the same thing.

No, no one can be compared to Jesus. No one can be accepted as an object of worship. No one else can be our final example, the object of worship and praise.

Finally, the only ones that will remain forever and forever, permanently are Jesus Christ and those who are IN Jesus Christ and the things done FOR Jesus Christ.

Here’s a closing story.

Acts 8: The meeting of evangelist Philip and the eunuch from Ethiopia. Philip met him on the road only ONCE and after that they never met again – and the meeting was very brief. Also, their meeting was in the desert, not in a luxurious palace – it was outside, dusty, dirty, wild. Then, this meeting remains permanently meaningful and memorial. The question is: What made this particular meeting such a memorable and impactful meeting? It was the topic of conversation between them: the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ. That news made this one short, temporary meeting a permanently memorable event in the sight of God.

Let’s pray together.

  • Nov 09 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Do You Walk With the Lord Well? (Matthew 16:21-28)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Do You Walk With the Lord Well? (Matthew 16:21-28)

11.09

11.09.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Do You Walk With The Lord Well?

Matthew 16:21-28 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Predicts His Death

16:21-28pp — Mk 8:31-9:1; Lk 9:22-27

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter,”Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his lifewill lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


 

From this time on Jesus started speaking very clearly that he would be crucified in the future.

He spoke of this 3 times during the book of Matthew.

In chp 4, in chp 17 – Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of Heaven, and here, his emphasis on his death and resurrection.

His 12 disciples didn’t grasp/understand Jesus’ true purpose because they had preconceived ideas about the Messiah: politics, warrior, king. They thought he would be a kind of “superman” and overthrow the forces over the nation of Israel. They didn’t understand that he would win through the sacrifice of his own body.

But here he is telling them so that they wouldn’t be surprised when it really happened.

He also said that he wouldn’t suffer from ordinary people, but elders, chief priests, and teachers of the Law. The Sanhedrin was composed of these three kinds of people. Actually, they should have been the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but they were the first to make a decision to kill him.

  • Peter rebuked Jesus (his teacher).
  • Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” (rebuked him back)

Peter rebuked him because he loved him – but was wrong. Jesus rebuked because he loved him, but was right. Peter’s response certainly reflected the feelings of all the disciples. “Surely not!” Jesus didn’t say, “Thanks for your pity” rather “Get behind me Satan!” (But Peter isn’t really Satan. If Peter WERE, he would say, “go away from here” – this shows that Peter’s place is behind, not leading Jesus).

Earlier, Jesus praised and honored Peter very highly for his statement “You are the Son of God.” Peter wanted to protect him from the suffering and death he would come to because he loved him so. However, IF Jesus had NOT suffered and died, PETER would have to suffer and die forever in his sins.

Like this, sometimes, good intending friends and family (those who love us and try to protect us from suffering) provide the greatest temptations against doing the things that God would have us do.

Peter was speaking the temptation of Satan without knowing it.

  • At first, Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, not to suffer, not to be hungry, not to die. “If you are the Son of God, make bread! So your greatness! Don’t die!”
  • Also, Satan tempted Jesus ON the cross through the voice of the crowd “IF you are the Son of God, COME DOWN and show us!” (Then he wouldn’t die, we wouldn’t be saved…)

Yes, even today, we can become the mouth of God or the mouth of Satan.

It is so easy for us to limit the impact of God on our lives because we are so focused on the goals of this life. It is so easy to focus on comfort and safety that we forget our divine call to sacrifice and service.

Peter’s perspective was wrong – God’s plan included suffering and death for the Messiah. Jesus needed to fulfill his mission exactly as planned.

THE DEFINITION OF DISCIPLESHIP (v. 24)

This verse is very familiar but not easy to practice.

“IF anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

IF anyone = not only to those disciples at that time, but ALL who would come after as well (like you and me). Recognizing and confessing faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah is only the BEGINNING of discipleship. Jesus invites ALL human beings to “follow” him – but to do so, we need three attitudes:

  1. Willingness to deny ourselves
  2. Willingness to take up our crosses
  3. Willingness to follow CONTINUALLY

Easy to do? Or difficult?

#1: To deny ourselves

This doesn’t mean to deny things. Usually we use “self-denial” in a restrictive sense. We think it means “give up something” – (give up chocolate, cola, bread…) This is a very small part of what Jesus means by self-denial. Jesus means “In EVERY part of life, say ‘NO’ to me and ‘YES’ to God.”

“Not I, but Christ.”

Once and forever dethrone yourself, and put Jesus on the throne. Give our whole beings to Christ and share in his shame and death. Surrender immediate material gratification and safety in order to gain the goals and rewards of God.

Self-centeredness becomes God-centeredness

This is immediate and practical, acknowledge Christ in EVERY area of life. Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live…”

#2: Take up your cross

This doesn’t mean “carry a burden.”

This DOES mean “identify with Christ in his shame, suffering, crucifixion and resurrection” This is humility before Christ. Today, the cross is a symbol of love and sacrifice – but at that time, it was the worst form of capital punishment.

The Christian life is a life of service and sacrifice.

This same verse is found in Luke 9:23: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.”

This is not a MOMENT of great sacrifice, but a DAILY life of humility and service, and concerned with the needs of OTHERS more than the needs of self.

#3: To follow Christ

Not “walking behind” but “take the SAME road of sacrifice and service he took.” We must render to him perfect obedience.

The Christian life is a life of continual obedience to Christ – with our lives, money, time, tongues, bodies, etc.

To follow Christ = Moment-by-moment-by-moment

  • 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Christ died for you, leaving an example you must follow”
  • 1 John “Whoever claims to follow Christ must walk as HE did.”

Can you accept these verses truly?

  • “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me finds it.”

Jesus Christ humbled himself from heaven to earth to exalt us from earth to heaven.

God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names so that he could raise us from death to life.

Now is our turn. To attempt to save our lives = save you life only. If we do this, apart from God, we will lose our (eternal) lives. But if we lose our lives for the Kingdom of God, we save our (eternal) lives.

Jesus wants us to choose to follow him, rather than to live a life of SELF satisfaction. Jesus wants us to give up trying to control our own destiny and let him do it.

As CREATOR – Jesus KNOWS what real life is about.

Real discipleship implies real commitment – a whole life placed in Christ’s service.

“What can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Only when we give our lives to Christ will we discover the true purpose of our living. What good would it be to gain ALL the money in this WHOLE world and lose your soul? Can you imagine all the buildings, cars, gold, money, jewels, electronics, etc? If you were the KING/OWNER of the world but lost your soul… what good is that?

Whatever we have in this world = temporary.

This “stuff” can never be exchanged for our souls. No amount of “stuff” can buy back a lost soul. If we are true Christians, we must make the pursuit of God more important than the pursuit of selfish pleasure in this world.

When we TRULY follow Christ, we will know what it means to have true life in this world (and the next as well).

“For the Son of Man is coming soon…”

He will reward us according to what we have done.

“Some standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming…”

  1. These words are (1) Warning (for Judgment) and (2) Promise
  2. Judgment = (1) condemnation for sins OR (2) evaluation for reward

Your life is going somewhere. Whether we want it or not, your life is going somewhere – the Judgment. In every life, there inevitably comes Judgment.

The man who selfishly hugs his life, money, satisfaction, and stuff is a total FAILURE in heaven’s eyes. The man who spends his whole life serving, living for the Kingdom of God, showing and witnessing for Christ is a SUCCESS in heaven’s eyes.

Jesus has all the authority to judge both heaven and earth. When he returns, there will be a future, final judgment. Everyone’s lives will be scanned, and evaluated, and reviewed, and rewarded according to what he has done.

Even Christians will face the Judgment.

Jesus will judge how we spent our time and money, talents, responsibilities, and so on in order to determine heavenly rewards.

When Jesus returns, there will be some when Jesus returns who see Jesus in body when he comes. Nobody can hinder the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Everything we have done for the Kingdom of God will remain forever, but the things of this world will fade away. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.”

May God bless us as true children of God, disciples of God, so that we may walk with Jesus our Lord – not someday, but everyday.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 12 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Saving Faith is Confessing Christ (Matthew 16:1-19)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Saving Faith is Confessing Christ (Matthew 16:1-19)

10.12

10.12.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Saving Faith is Confessing Christ

Matthew 16:1-19 (Pastor Heo)

The Demand for a Sign

16:1-12pp — Mk 8:11-21

1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”Jesus then left them and went away.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” 8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter’s Confession of Christ

16:13-16pp — Mk 8:27-29; Lk 9:18-20

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”


 

Jesus taught the disciples about his crucifixion and upcoming death, but they were slow to catch on.

This whole chapter is all about Faith.

4 Kinds of Faith

  1. No Faith (v. 1-4) – Challenging Christ
  2. Little Faith (v. 5-12) –
  3. Saving Faith (v. 13-19/20) – Confessing Christ
  4. Serving Faith (v. 21-28) – Following Christ

Sadducees and Pharisees came together and challenged Christ.

Originally, fundamentally, these two were diametrically opposed – totally different in beliefs, policies, and lifestyles.

  • Pharisees = traditionalists, conservative, legalists, unbelieving religious party looking for self-righteousness
  • Believed in life after death, angel and demons
  • Were waiting and hopeful for the Messiah
  • Sadducees = political, wealthy, small aristocracy, a collaborationist party that cooperated with the Roman govt to keep their wealth
  • Did not
  • Were not

These two groups were so totally different, and yet they united so completely to kill and accuse Jesus Christ.

  • They didn’t lack evidence, but lacked honesty and humility.
  • They were spiritually adulterous and wicked (v. 4)

The sign of Jonah – also previously mentioned in chp 12. In this sign, just as Jonah was 3 days and nights in the belly of the huge fish, so the Son of Man would be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights. This is the sign of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is ENOUGH sign that Jesus is the promised Savior and Lord and King of Kings.

This is ENOUGH sign also for US to believe in Christ.

Parable: Luke 16 – The rich man and the beggar (Lazarus?)

The rich man lived in luxury every day and the beggar laid at his gate. One day, both died. The rich man went to hell. Lazarus went to heaven. This rich man’s name wasn’t written in the Book of Life (so we don’t know it), but Lazarus’ name WAS written there.

The rich man lived on earth for a short time with much – in riches, in luxury. Now, he lives on in hell as a beggar. Lazarus lived on earth for a short time as a beggar, but now lives in heaven in luxury.

The rich man said to Abraham, “Please, send Lazarus to tell my family (5 brothers)!” “No, they have Moses and the Prophets.” “But… if someone comes back from the grave to tell them…” “No, if they didn’t listen to Moses, they won’t listen to Lazarus.”

  1. We have ENOUGH evidence.
  2. We have ENOUGH witnesses.
  3. We have ENOUGH to know.
  • Look around at the houses – you don’t know who built them, but there is some kind of evidence that they WERE built and didn’t just “come to exist.”
  • Look at the sky – at the stars – there is also some evidence that SOMEONE put them there. If they were not put there by a man, then someone wiser than a man must have.
  1. Psalm 119? “The heavens declare the glory of God…”
  2. Romans 1 – ‘Since the beginning of time, God’s power and qualities have been CLEAR and can be understood so that NO ONE can be excused before God.”

#2 – Misunderstanding Christ (Little Faith) – v. 5-12

Spiritual things can be understood by the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

“Oh you of little faith… Don’t you remember the feeding of the 5,000 (Jews) and the 4,000 (Gentiles)? I wasn’t talking about bread, but about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Jesus left his confrontation with the Ps and Ss and his disciples went with him, but they forgot bread (and worried). Jesus used this opportunity to teach them about the dangers of the Ps and Ss: the “yeast”. Yeast makes bread grow larger and larger. Meaning: Evil influence, evil doctrine.

In the ministry of Jesus on earth, many people misinterpreted the meaning of his words physically, rather than spiritually. Ex: “You must be born again” to Nicodemus. “How is this possible?” Ex 2: “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst, it will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – to the Samaritan woman “Yes, sir! Give me this water so that I don’t have to come to this well again!” Ex 3: “Whoever eats my body and blood will be raised by me at the last day.” – to his disciples “How can we eat him???” Maybe turned away at that point and no longer followed.

Misunderstanding produces little faith. (almost non-faith) – Therefore, “be on your guard” – keep Jesus at the center of your faith.

#3: Saving Faith – Confessing Jesus Christ

At least we must reach THIS level of faith

(v. 13-19)

In the New Testament – this is the first place the word “church” appears (referring to Peter and how Jesus will “build my church upon the Rock”)

Jesus took his disciples to the Gentile territory. Sycerea – near Philippi – it was the center for Baal worship and had many idols. Even the Greek god Pan had its shrines here. When Philip became the ruler here, he named the city Philippi.

Jesus asked “Who do men say I am? Who do you say I am?” Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, Isaiah – there are similarities

  1. John the Baptist – STRONG messages – about repentance – “You brood of vipers”
  2. Elijah – omnipotent?
  3. Jeremiah – the weeping prophet, also rejected and despised by his own brothers and nation, a man of sorrows and humility and suffering

These answers are all incorrect, this answer cannot save them. “How about you? What do you think?” “Don’t ask me, ‘How about you?’ ask yourself, ‘How about you (me)?’”

Who do people say Jesus is?

We may think this kind of question is silly – but our personal destiny is determined by the answer to this question. The most important question we should ask ourselves throughout our whole lives is “Who is Jesus Christ to me?”

Peter answered: v. 16 “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God.”

Jesus was pleased and said, “You are blessed.”

Even today, if we confess like this, Jesus will say to us, “You are blessed.”

What is the meaning? Christ (Greek word) = Messiah (Hebrew word) = Anointed One

3 offices were anointed by oil in those days:

  1. Priest (interceding for man to God by prayer),
  2. Prophet (preaching the Word of God),
  3. King (overseeing the people of God and leading them)

All the offices of all the men were merely shadows of the ONE man who would fulfill ALL of them – Jesus. Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of God’s self-revelation.

  1. Romans 8 – “He is interceding for us…”
  2. Hebrews 1
  3. Colossians – “All the fullness of the diety in bodily form…”
  4. Jesus says, “I give you eternal life – no one can snatch you out of my hands…”
  5. Jesus says continually (v. 17) – “Blessed are you Simon Peter, for this was not revealed to you by man but by God my Father.”

We don’t learn and understand about Jesus through our own personal investigation – it is only through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that we can get to know him and believe in him.

“On this Rock, I will build my church.”

Who/what is the Rock? NOT Peter himself.

The Rock = a symbol of God (repeated many times in the OT) – this Rock is Jesus Christ himself and the confession of believers who say “You are the Christ and the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus doesn’t say, “I will build your church” nor “you will build my church” but rather “I will build MY church.” The builder, founder, top-line AND bottom-line of the church (the head pastor) IS Jesus Christ alone. And anyone who confesses Christ as Savior and King is a living STONE that builds HIS church.

What is the church? (this is the first appearance of this word in the NT)

  • Ecclesia – Ec = out of; clesia = congregation/ assembly/ gathering
  • Ecclesia = “calling the people of God OUT of this world to establish the Kingdom of God IN this unholy world”

The gates of Hell (Hades) will never overcome it. (Not Peter, the church). Gates = symbol of power, Hades = symbol of death. This will never overcome the church because JESUS is the holder of the keys and the builder of the church.

“I give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.” Do you have this key in your pocket?

Jesus (continual truth-teller) says “You have the keys, whatever you bind/loose on earth will be bound/loosed in heaven.”

Today, Jesus is giving this key (the key of salvation) to the church. Jesus died for the church and then trusts the church to open or close the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven. Since his death to his Second Coming = the “Church Age”. During this Church Age, the timeless truth = it is the ONLY church in this age. There are many “institutions” (schools, govts, etc) in this world – but Jesus only died for ONE and only gives the responsibility and power to ONE – the church, his church.

If we confess Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and King “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God” then you ARE the church – a member, a living/working stone in this church.

Jesus says, “I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven…”

May God bless us with his blessing upon the church.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 28 / 2014
  • Comments Off on You Have GREAT Faith! (Matthew 15:21-39)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You Have GREAT Faith! (Matthew 15:21-39)

09.28

09.28.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

You Have Great Faith

Matthew 15:21-39 (Pastor Heo)

The Faith of the Canaanite Woman

15:21-28pp — Mk 7:24-30

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered,”Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

15:29-31pp — Mk 7:31-37 15:32-39pp — Mk 8:1-10 15:32-39Ref — Mt 14:13-21

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. 32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” 33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” 34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” 35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.


 

The Bible is the Revealed Word of God.

Are you a Christian? A Believer? Do you believe? Have faith? We cannot talk about the importance of faith too much. Faith is foundational to the Christian’s creed and conduct.

We are saved, justified, sanctified, see the glory of God, please God, walk with God, are healed, experience miracles, make the impossible possible. The whole of our salvation including past, present, and future depends on faith.

In today’s story, a Canaanite (Gentile) woman came to Jesus and asked him to heal her daughter – he said nothing. The disciples encouraged him to send her away. He said, “I’ve come to the children of Israel” (and sternly) “it is not right to give the bread to the dogs” (Gentile dogs). She said, “Yes, Lord, I’m a dog, but even the dogs eat the crumbs from the table.” Jesus was amazed. She showed great perseverance. He didn’t say, “Wow! Great perseverance!” He said, “Wow! Great faith!”

Remember Matthew 8, the centurion:

He came and said, “Lord, my servant lies at home, paralyzed in great suffering, please heal him.” Jesus said, “OK, I’ll go.” He said, “No, no, no, no need to come, you’re very busy and important. Just say the word and he’ll be healed.” Jesus was surprised – great humility! But he said, “You have great faith! I have not found anyone else in Israel with such great faith!” And immediately his servant was healed.

Remember Mark 10, Bathemaeus:

He was a blind beggar, and he shouted from a distance, “Jesus! Son of David! Help me!” Many rebuked him, but he cried out more and more. Then Jesus called him and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “I want to SEE!” Wow! great passion/zeal/eagerness! Jesus said not, “Great zeal!” He said, “Great faith! Your faith has healed you!”

Do you have faith?

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus saw and rewarded the same thing in each story: Faith. He is still looking for this today.

Matthew 18:18? “When I come to earth and see faith… Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

2 Corinthians “Examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith. Don’t you know that Christ is in you? Unless you fail the test.”

Everyone has “faith” or “faiths” – and everyday, we ACT on it. We act according to what we believe. Faith cannot be separated from action – it is the demonstration of faith and faith is the driving force of action. For example, why are you sitting on the bench? You have faith it won’t fall down or collapse on you. We buy a box of milk without first checking inside the box to be sure it is milk – because we have “faith” that it’s actually milk. When we go to the restaurant and order food, the owner doesn’t ask “Do you have enough money?” They have FAITH that we do. Likewise, taxi drivers believe that we will pay at the end of our route.

Our whole lives are built on faith and the reliance on testimonies of others.

“Faith” matters less than “saving faith.”

Not all faith saves us. Even demons have faith. Even Satan believes there is one God. His faith makes him shudder. But his faith about God will never save him. Faith IN Jesus Christ alone is saving faith. Faith in anyone or anything else will never save.

  • Dictionary: faith and belief = the same
  • Bible: belief = thought; faith = heart

Faith puts belief into active action and connects possibilities with actualities.

Faith is ACTing on what we BELIEVE in.

  • Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is being sure of what we hope for…”
  • Hebrews 11:11 “By faith, Abraham… by faith Noah… by faith Joshua… by faith Samuel… “ and on and on.

What is the source of true faith?

2 things: God’s (divine) side

#1: God’s side

This is the work of GOD. This is a GIFT of God’s grace. Eph “It is by grace you have been saved through faith – not of yourselves…” Romans 12:3-4 “By the grace given to me, I say, do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought…”

Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus Christ is the author, perfector, and finisher of our faith.”

So, we have nothing to boast of, because faith is the GIFT of God.

BUT, #2, there is a human side.

Our faith grows greater and greater while we read the Bible.

  • The Word of God = the object of our faith.

Our faith in Christ grows stronger and stronger as we HEAR the word of God preached, Romans “Faith comes by HEARING…”

  • Jesus Christ = the object of our faith

Our faith also grows by prayer. This is the instrument in the development of our faith. One day, the disciples prayed, “Lord, increase our faith.” One day, a man with a demon possessed man came and said, “Help us please.” And Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” He said, “Lord, I DO believe. Help my unbelief!”

  • Third, our faith grows through the PRACTICE of faith.

Do you have faith? Yes.

Do you… practice… your faith?

Jesus says (Matthew 25?) “He who has will be given MORE, but he who does NOT have, even what he has will be taken FROM him.”

That faith that is given to us as a gift from God can be increased through our own practice. So, if you have little faith, it’s your responsibility.

  • By faith, we can be saved and spend eternity in heaven with Christ.
  • By disbelief, we will be found in our sins and cast into hell forever.

If we have true faith, we have real peace and joy and assurance. The great question is not: what can I do? But how much can I believe in Jesus Christ?

May God bless us all that Jesus may say of us, “You have GREAT faith!” Do you think Jesus would say that of you?

v. 29-31

Last verse, “and they praised the God of Israel” (this indicates that these are Gentiles).

Still today, if we have faith, Jesus heals broken lives. Yes, we can bring suffering people to Jesus. Who do you know that needs Jesus’ healing touch in their lives? We can bring them to Christ through our prayers, actions, attitudes – so that Jesus can do his healing.

v. 32-39

Jesus feeds the 4,000

Remember the previous chapter?: Jesus feeds the 5,000

This time, 7 loaves of bread and a few fish.

  • In the previous chapter, Jesus fed 5,000.
  • In this next chapter, Jesus fed 4,000.

Differences:

  • 5,000 = in the spring (sat down on the grass)
  • 4,000 = in the summer (sat down on the earth – little grass – high/hot summer)
  • 5,000 = in Galilee, near Bethseda (Jews)
  • 4,000 = in Decapolis (10 cities) – the root federation of 10 Greek cities (mostly Gentiles)
  • 5,000 = they had been with him one day
  • 4,000 = they had been with him 3 days (they’d used up their own supplies of food – so Jesus’ compassionate heart could not permit him to send them along hungry)

The motivation of the miracle: to meet human needs

  1. 5,000 = 12 baskets left (baguni = small)
  2. 4,000 = 7 baskets left (gwangjuri = big)

(same word in English – how about in Korean? = different)

In Greek, different word:

  • 5,000 = copinus = narrow-necked, flask shaped bag – like a lunchbox carried by Jews to avoid eating “Gentile” food
  • 4,000 = spuris = big enough to carry a MAN

Acts 9 – the story of Paul’s conversion

Immediately afterward, he started to preach, and many Jews conspired to kill him. They kept a close watch at the city gate in order to kill him, and his followers lowered Paul from the city “in a basket” (spuris – the same basket here)

We are surprised to see the reaction of the disciples:

The experienced the miracle of the 5,000 feeding some months ago. But… they forgot.

If only they remembered how powerful, graceful, unchangeable, Jesus is – they should have said, “Yes! We believe! Our Lord is able to MULTIPLY bread and fish! We do not need to worry!” But they said, “Oh, wow. Where can we get so much bread?…”

Do you / we also FORGET Jesus’ grace, provision, and power?

We have lived up to NOW with his grace! If we worry about the future, this is such LITTLE faith in Jesus!

Jesus fed us yesterday! He is feeding us today! Won’t he certainly feed us tomorrow as well? Why worry?

If you believe “I am what I am, I have been what I have been by the grace of God” then you also can/should believe “I WILL BE what I WILL BE by the grace of God.”

May God bless all of us to be called of Jesus, “You have great faith!”

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 14 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Men’s Traditions VS. God’s Truth (Matthew 15:1-20)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Men’s Traditions VS. God’s Truth (Matthew 15:1-20)

09.14

09.14.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Men’s Tradition VS. God’s Truth

Matthew 15:1-20 (Pastor Heo)

Clean and Unclean

15:1-20pp — Mk 7:1-23

1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he is not to ‘honor his father ‘ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 ” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'” 10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’ “12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” 15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’ “


 

The Bible says: Truth and Grace came through Jesus Christ. Our Lord’s great concerns are truth and love. In the first part, Jesus is teaching Truth and exposing human hypocrisy. During his time on earth, the main enemy was not the Roman government, but the religious teachers. The Pharisees attacked Jesus with many questions (chp 9: “Why do they not fast?”, chp 12: “Why do they break the Sabbath law?”, chp 15: “Why do they break the tradition of the elders?”)

Today, they want to accuse Jesus of breaking their traditions and culture. (These guys came all the way FROM Jerusalem to accuse him.)

Up to this time, 100s of laws and traditions had been added to the Law (630+ laws in the Old Testament alone – but they also added ON TOP of these – one tradition or law was washing hands before eating).

They thought: “If something is ‘unclean’ – then its ‘uncleanness’ is infectious/transferable – so, if I touch this, or even if it touches me, I will be ‘unclean’ and anyone I touch or who touches me will also be ‘unclean’~! Ahh!~”

The Gentiles were physically, morally, spiritually ‘unclean’ to the Jews at that time. So, they didn’t partake in food with them. Also, the Jews not only ceremonially washed their hands, but EVERYTHING else too! They thought “If I wash my hands, then I’m physically AND spiritually clean enough to approach God and talk to him and be near him. But if I don’t wash, I can’t talk to God.”

mishina = traditions that are more important than the original Law of Moses.

They said to Jesus, “Why do your disciples break the mishina?” They meant, “Why do YOU break the mishina?”

To you, to us, which is more important? Man’s truth (traditions) or God’s truth (commands).

Jesus replied: “Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?”

corba = a gift devoted to God (v. 6)

They nullify the Word of God for the sake of their traditions.

They said to Jesus, “YOU! are breaking the commands of GOD!” (because to them, mishina was equal to the commands of God).

Jesus said to them, “Not I, but YOU are breaking the commands of God!” (because their traditions were stepping on the commands of God).

Example: corba = a gift devoted to God

If a Jew wanted to escape some financial responsibilities (gifts, help for friends or family, etc), he would just say, “Oh! I can’t pay, sorry! ALL my money and property is ‘corba!’ For God only! Sorry!~~~”

In doing this, they are losing the power of God’s Word in their lives, missing God’s blessing, and avoiding the growth of their own character. ‘Corba’ would allow them to disobey God and disrespect parents.

Man’s traditions = to obey men and gain power and respect – deals with ritual – deals with the outward appearance – robs people of the power of the Word of God.

Even now, there are MANY evangelical “traditions” that are practiced and performed as just as authoritative as the Word of God.

v. 7-9

Are you worshiping God truly? Honestly? In vain?

Jesus called them “hypocrites”!

Greek = “actors” – spiritual pretenders “I’m so close to God, but all YOU guys are sinners!” Don’t worship for our own outward appearance. If we claim to worship him while our hearts are far from him, it is meaningless, nothing.

It is not enough to “act religious” or “study religion” or even “read the Bible.” We must RESPOND to God personally.

Yes, it’s EASY to talk about worship.

Worship (William Temple): “To quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind by the truth of God, to enliven the heart with the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

Jesus continues his teaching:

v. 10-11

What did you eat this morning? (French toast)

Uncleanness (defilement) is not an external matter – like washing your hands, or keeping the “Sabbath” – but keeping the heart.

  • Holiness begins in the heart.
  • Sin begins in the heart.

Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things, beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Anything we are doing begins from our hearts. This is the center of our attitudes, passions, desires, and actions.

v. 12-14

Blind leading the blind (Pharisees).

This idea that people were not unclean because of food (or hand washing) was REVOLUTIONARY to the Jews.

Even in our daily lives, we must not offend others because of food – BUT we must also not BE offended by others because of food. Do you eat dogs? Cats? Rabbits? Bison (yummy)? Elk? Cockroaches? Deer?

Eating or not is not a matter of religion, but a matter of health, culture, or habit.

Jesus declares in Mark 7:19 “ALL foods are clean before God.”

Romans “The man who eats everything must not look down on the man who does not eat. Also, the man who does not eat, must not criticize the one who eats. Why? Because God has accepted BOTH. Only God can judge his heart, and only before his own Master he stands or falls.”

Don’t condemn or call “unclean” those who eat.

Romans 14:17 “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but a matter of peace, and joy, and holiness.”

Peter

v. 15-20

  • In the mouth -> stomach -> out of the body
  • Out of the mouth <- from the heart

Evil actions from the evil heart (v. 19):

  1. murder – take a person’s God-given life
  2. adultery – have sex with someone other than a person’s God-given spouse
  3. sexual immorality – having sex in a different manner than a God-glorifying and ordained manner
  4. theft – taking something not yours – not given by God
  5. false testimony – lying about something against someone else created by God
  6. slander – badmouthing another person created by God

Sometimes Peter spoke as the spokesman for the disciples. So, Jesus patiently reiterated his message.

Sin in a man’s heart is what makes him unclean.

What is the heart? The center of the man’s passions, dreams, hopes, desires.

It is clear why we sin: it is a matter of the heart.

When we become Christians, Jesus makes us TOTALLY different from the inside-out and he will continue the changing process IF we ask. He will change our hearts, intentions, desires, and actions from the inside out.


It is up to us to help with outward actions, yes, that’s true and good – giving, going to the Bible study, helping and serving. Wow! Great! Nice job! Essential parts of a Christian life. BUT these are NOT religion themselves. This is a path, a means toward true religion.

True religion is inward, not outward – an attitude toward God and others.

IF outward expression was true religion, it would be very misleading and deceiving. Someone may have a perfect, spotless, beautiful “religious” life and may yet be FILLED with bitterness, anger, cursing.

Yes, we know, blessed are the PURE in heart, for they will SEE God. Why? Because God sees YOUR heart. If you heart is pure, He reveals himself to you, you can see him.

It is with the heart that we are saved and are purified and are justified.

We worship God from the heart, sing from the heart, dance, serve, glorify God, give, help from the heart.

May God bless all of us, especially our hearts: the CENTER of who we are and what we are doing.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 31 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Jesus Walks on the Waters! (Matthew 14:22-36)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus Walks on the Waters! (Matthew 14:22-36)

08.31

08.31.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus Walks on the Waters!

Matthew 14:22-36 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Walks on the Water

14:22-33pp — Mk 6:45-51; Jn 6:16-21 14:34-36pp — Mk 6:53-56

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.


 

As you know, before this event, the last time, Jesus fed 5,000 male adults + numerous women and children by a miracle.

After the feeding of this huge multitude, Jesus IMMEDIATELY compelled his disciples to get into the lake and dismissed all the crowds and went up on the mountainside to pray.

We can see here 3 “immediately”. Why? The answer is in John.

The crowds after this sought to make Jesus the KING by force. Their motives were not spiritual and purposes were against God’s will.

If the disciples had stayed there with them, they would have fallen in with the plans of the crowd. The disciples had previously been guilty of arguing over who was the greatest.

Jesus kingdom was to be a spiritual one, not a physical one. He didn’t want the passion of the crowd to deter them from their mission.

Actually, Jesus’ primary mission was death.

Never be confused by Jesus’ popularity among certain kinds of crowds – even today.

  1. They followed, weren’t followers.
  2. They sought, weren’t seekers.
  3. They believed, weren’t believers.

Even today, many people want Jesus to help, heal, solve physical problems. But very few want him to be Savior and Lord of their lives.

V. 22-23

Jesus wanted time to communicate with his Father, quietly, individually. He was in constant contact with the Father – a life of prayer. Sometimes he spent long seasons in prayer, even the whole night. He often sought seclusion to pray. He prayed before engaging in great tasks – before the missionary tour in Galilee, before choosing the 12 apostles, before going into the Garden of Gethsemane.

Think, if the SON of GOD needed to pray, how much more do we?

Also, let’s meditate on this:

Jesus told, ordered, commanded them to go to the other side, and they obeyed. Sooner or later, they were met by a storm, strong wind and waves.

  1. A storm came to them because they obeyed Jesus. Did Jesus know this storm was coming? YES.
  2. Did Jesus direct them into this storm? YES.

In the Bible, there are 2 kinds of storms:

  1. Storm of correction – when God disciplines
  2. Storm of perfection – when God helps us grow in faith

Think of Jonah – he disobeyed God and needed corrected.

Here, they obeyed Jesus and needed perfected (i.e. to grow in faith).

Still today, some Christians have a mistaken idea, that obedience to God produces smooth sailing. Not true. Jesus, “In this world, you will have many trials and troubles and tribulations…but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

v. 24

4th watch = 3am-6am

There is another reason for that storm.
The Lord needs to balance our lives.

They had just previously been filled with great excitement and a thrill of feeding 5,000. This was their lesson. The storm itself was their examination AFTER the lesson. Would they trust Jesus?

In our lives, sometimes, it is a desperate struggle with ourselves, sadness, sin. But in this story, we can get some lessons from this storm – because Jesus DELIBERATELY directed them into this storm. YES, Jesus Christ comes all the time in the storms of life. Isaiah “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you pass through the storm, they will not wash over you. When you pass through the fire, you will not be burned.”

Now, we are in the midst of the storms of life. Then, one day, someday, he will come for us and we will reach the boat safely.

“Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.” Hebrews

“Who is it that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died, was raised to life, and sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.” Romans

Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage, it is I! Don’t be afraid!”

When Jesus visits, everything will be changed. When Jesus comes in the storms of our lives, he will make a huge difference, because all he taught and did, our lives are different. We are not alone, not lost. We have the present help, the Holy Spirit, and our Father and Lord. All the problems WE have are THEIRS as well.

1 Peter “Cast ALL your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”

v. 28-33

Peter’s special experience

In this story, will you criticize or honor Peter?

  • Criticize? He acted on impulse, without thinking, OFTEN, and failed and came to sorrow and grief, and was sinking in the water here.
  • Honor? Praise him for his magnificent demonstration of faith. He was the ONLY ONE who reacted in faith in the first place. He was the ONLY ONE who experienced walking on the water.

Yes, he failed MANY times, but he never failed finally. (If you never try, you’ll never fail, but you’ll also never succeed.)

Peter’s failures brought him closer and closer, one step closer to Jesus. Every time he failed, he rose again.

Are you a saint? Yes, a saint by faith. A saint is NOT a man who never fails, but a man who can fail greatly, many times, and still get back up and continue going, continue following Jesus, get closer to Jesus through all these failures.

  • Peter said, “Tell me to come!”
  • Jesus said, “Come!”

How long? How far? Unclear – but as long as he affixed his eyes on Jesus, he walked. But as soon as he looked around him at the wind and waves that surrounded him, his heart began to fear, and he sank.

What made the difference? Not visible circumstances, but invisible faith in Christ.

In history, our church father, Adam failed in the best possible circumstances. But, the last Adam, Jesus, succeeded in the worst possible circumstances (the cross).

It doesn’t matter your current situation or circumstances. Whether up or down, as long as you affix your eyes on Christ, you can overcome those trials and troubles and problems! But as long as you concentrate and worry about and affix your eyes on your concerns, problems, fears, worries, and circumstances, you will sink~ This is the little faith, the doubt that his disciples also experienced.

But, AS SOON AS they accepted Jesus into their boat and believed in him, the wind and waves died down and fear turned to wonder, little faith turned into true faith. “Truly you are the Son of God.”

In the middle of the storm, why did they not recognize him? They weren’t waiting for him.

However, if they HAD been waiting on him and looking for him, they wouldn’t have jumped to the wrong conclusions.

  • Do you have faith in your heart? Then you will have no fear.
  • Do you have fear in your heart? Then you will have no faith.
  • Faith and fear cannot live together in the same heart.
  • Why did Jesus walk on the water? To overcome their fears.

Yes, many times in life, we fear. Loss of life, loss of job, loss of possessions, loss of love. But if we affix our eyes on Jesus, then even these experiences will only bring us closer to Jesus. “Affix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.” Hebrews

v. 33-36

Three times “all”

  • v. 33 “All the surrounding country”
  • v. 36 “All their sick” … “All were healed”

Yes, Jesus healed all the sick.

Question: Did these people know that he had just come through a storm to meet their physical needs?

In our situation, do we remember that Jesus endured a storm before saving us? Yes, we need to remember that Jesus endured the storm of the wrath and judgment of God for our sins on the cross of Calvary so that we would never need to face this storm.

So, we must bow, recognize, acknowledge him as our Lord and Savior and Son of God and Lord of Lords, King of Kings. Can we acknowledge and recognize him like this?

All glory, honor, and authority back to Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 10 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Impossible Becomes Possible in the Hands of Christ (Matthew 14:1-21)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Impossible Becomes Possible in the Hands of Christ (Matthew 14:1-21)

08.10

08.10.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Impossible Becomes Possible~~

Matthew 14:1-21 (Pastor Heo)

John the Baptist Beheaded

14:1-12pp — Mk 6:14-29

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet. 6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

14:13-21pp — Mk 6:32-44; Lk 9:10-17; Jn 6:1-13 14:13-21Ref — Mt 15:32-38

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied,”They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.


This is the “Retirement of the King” – when he withdrew and remained in a solitary place.

Several reasons for this:

  1. Growing hostility of enemies
  2. Need for physical rest
  3. Need to prepare his disciples for his death

This withdrawal is not a period of inactivity. There are three groups around Jesus:

  1. His enemies
  2. Huge crowds, hungry, needy multitudes
  3. His disciples

In chapter 14 especially, we can see this.

His response:

Two stories (1-12 – about Herod – his enemy; 13-21 – about the crowd – the hungry multitude).

5,000 men at least. How many women and children is unclear.

Herod Antipas = arrested JB (John the Baptist) and put him in prison and wanted to kill him. This Herod was married to his half-brother’s wife. JB had said continuously “This is illegal!” Both Herod and Herodius (his illegal wife) wanted to kill him. Herodius’ daughter danced before the drunk Herod on his birthday and he said, “I’ll give you anything – even up to half my kingdom.” She asked her momma, her momma said, “JB’s head on a dish.” So he did it. Can you imagine this scene?

Later, this Herod thought Jesus was JB rose from the dead. Later, this Herod tried to kill Jesus – so Jesus called him “fox.” And then finally, before his death, he stood before this Herod and Herod asked many questions, but Jesus was silent – he had silenced God. “If you hear God, do not harden your hearts.”

Jesus heard of this and went off by himself. He lived according to a divine time table – he didn’t want to stir up trouble with Herod too early. At that time, the religious leaders allowed JB to be killed because they did nothing to help him. And these same leaders asked Herod to kill Jesus.

Herod and his ancestors were descended from Esau. Many Herods’ in the Bible.

  1. (Matthew 2 – Herod the Great tried to kill Jesus after he was born – he killed his own sons and wives if they got in his way – he established the “Herod Dynasty”)
  2. (Acts 12 – Herod Agrippa (grandson of the original) – put Peter in prison and killed James – one of the first disciples (and first martyrs))
  3. (Acts 25 – Herod Agrippa II tried Paul before he went to Rome.)

How did Jesus respond to his enemies? He withdrew.

v 14-21

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Still now, he feeds – all living things. He is the provider and sustainer of all things. Eph. Philippians 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs…” “Jesus is the exact representation of God and sustainer of all things…” Jesus = Jehovah Jireh (God’s Provider).

The time is late (getting dark) – the place is remote (countryside) – there’s no food – there are too many hungry people – there’s the problem.

How do you meet the needs of this vast crowd? Their physical hunger? This story is so important because Jesus wants to give us a very practical lesson. This story is so important it is written in ALL 4 gospels. There’s a little difference in the explanation, but it’s the same, it’s one event.

There are 4 solutions to this problem:

  1. Disciples said, “Send them home.” (Get rid of the problem – so much like many of us today. Yes, we “know” God is unlimited in his power and ability – but we try to remove the problem. Jesus said, “They don’t need to go. You give them something to eat.” Do you feel sympathy or compassion (stronger) toward people who need your help.)
  2. Philip (not in Matthew’s gospel) was asked (to test his faith) “Where shall we buy food for them?” Philip said, “8 months (240 days) wages couldn’t buy enough to give ALL these people even a single bite.” (He’s a quick calculator – very often, we also think that MONEY is the answer to every need. But Jesus was asking to test his faith.)
  3. Andrew (also not here) – found a boy with 5 loaves of bread (maybe rolls) and 2 fish (maybe dry), “But how far will this go among so many?” He wasn’t sure HOW, but we are glad that he found someone to help. This is not the final solution.
  4. Jesus (true solution) said, “Bring the bread and fish” and he took it and had all the people sit down in groups. He gave thanks to God, blessed the food, gave it to the disciples, and they distributed the bread and fish. Wow! What a miracle! This miracle happened in the LORD’S hands – not in the hands of the disciples.

Jesus can do immeasurably more than we think, want, and pray according to his will and power.

Not only did all the people eat, but there were 12 baskets left over after everyone was totally full!

Practical lessons (3 to put into practice in our daily, faith lives):

1. Learn from Andrew:

There’s a big difference between Philip and Andrew. Philip said, “Mission: Impossible.” Andrew said, “Here’s a little something, I’ll trust Jesus to do the rest.” Among the 12, Andrew was a champion in bringing people TO Jesus (even Greeks, Gentiles). In the early stages, the first thing he did was to find his brother Simon Peter and said, “I found the Messiah!” and Peter became the ROCK of faith, the first pastor of the early church, one of the most powerful preachers of the early church. Among the 12, Andrew was the first personal evangelist.

No one ever knows, says, “What will come out of this for me?” when we bring a person to Jesus. Are you a parent? If you raise your child in the fear of the Lord, nobody knows what things that child will one day do. When we bring somebody to Christ, who knows if he will be doing something even greater than us for Christ. If I bring somebody, they can do something even greater than I if Christ allows and leads.

Andrew provided material for a miracle.

We don’t know what possibilities we are releasing when we bring someone to Christ.

2. Learn from the little boy:

This boy gave to Jesus ALL he had. The amount was not big, but it was everything. At that time, barley bread and dry fish was an ordinary meal for poor people. But this food was ALL to this boy. If not for this fish and bread, could Jesus NOT do what he did? No, he COULD – he COULD even create something out of nothing. He COULD feed all the people at that time.

Is it possible that there is NOBODY who had something to eat besides this small boy? Maybe. But we must know that God loves a cheerful giver. Do not misunderstand. We must not be proud. God can do anything and everything WITHOUT us – without our service, money, sacrifice. Then WHY does he want to use us and what we have? Because God loves us and wants to bless us and wants to give more reward, have closer relationship, fellowship, communication with us – he wants to upgrade our relationship to “partner” in building his kingdom on Earth.

There are many examples of people that God used their small things, or small bodies to conquer nations:

  1. The staff in Moses’ hand conquered Egypt
  2. The sling in David’s hand conquered Palestine
  3. The words in prophet’s mouths conquered nations
  4. The feet of Paul carried him everywhere to preach
  5. The ears of John heard his final words and recorded the book of Revelation

What is in your pocket? In your mind? In your life? God wants to use whatever is in your hands or pockets – if handed over to him willingly and cheerfully – the small becomes HUGE, common becomes miraculous, temporary becomes eternal.

3. Learn from Jesus:

Jesus speaks a very practical and powerful sermon. Jesus is the Bread of Life – Bread from Heaven – only he can satisfy our spiritual hunger in our spirits, in our hearts. The tragedy is that today, many people a wasting their lives and time and money on things that are not bread – on things that do not satisfy.

In this story, Jesus said, “YOU give them something to eat.” Today, Jesus still says to his church, his body, “YOU give them something to eat.” It’s actually easy for us to send people away, to make excuses, but Jesus asks us to give ALL that we have and let him use it as he pleases, as he sees fit. When we give all that we have to Christ, we never lose. When you give what you have, you never lose. We will end up with more and more blessings than when we started the first time.

These are the practical lessons given to us by our King, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

He is the Only Answer to All Questions.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 27 / 2014
  • Comments Off on How Can We Make Our Old Treasures Into New Ones? (Matthew 13:44-58)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

How Can We Make Our Old Treasures Into New Ones? (Matthew 13:44-58)

07.27

07.27.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

How Can We Make Our Old Treasures Into New Ones?

Matthew 13:44-58 (Pastor Heo)

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

The Parable of the Net

47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. 52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

A Prophet Without Honor

13:54-58pp — Mk 6:1-6

53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen