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  • 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

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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

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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

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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.

  • Jul 13 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Kingdom of Heaven is Like: Wheat Among Weeds, Mustard Seeds, and Yeast (Matthew 13:24-43)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Kingdom of Heaven is Like: Wheat Among Weeds, Mustard Seeds, and Yeast (Matthew 13:24-43)

07.13

07.13.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

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Wheat, Mustard Seeds, and Yeast
Matthew 13:24-43 (Pastor Heo)

The Parable of the Weeds
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 ” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 ” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ “

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
13:31,32pp — Mk 4:30-32 13:31-33pp — Lk 13:18-21
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.” 33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” 34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

The Parable of the Weeds Explained
36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.


Matthew 13 is a parable chapter of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus uses 7 material things to teach us something about the KOH. Parable = earthly story with heavenly meaning/truth.

Parable #1: The Sower with 4 kinds of Soil

  1. Hard
  2. Rocky
  3. Thorny
  4. Good

Today, 3 parables about the KOH.

  1. Man sows a good seed – Wheat among Weeds
  2. Mustard seed
  3. Yeast (leaven)

#1: KOH = Wheat among Weeds

v. 24-30

There is a saying “Ill weeds grow apace.” This was very familiar to the Palestinian audience. Weeds are a curse against which farmers must labor. During their early stages, the weeds and wheat look the same. It’s impossible to distinguish one from the other.

But, when they grow a little more, they could be distinguish. But, their roots were twisted together, so it was impossible to uproot the weeds without affecting/hurting the wheat. So, both had to be left to grow together until the time of harvest.

Then, at the time of harvest, the wheat and weeds had to be separated. The weeds were poisonous and bitter – a narcotic and causing sickness.

The Jews called the weeds “bastard wheat.”

  • The one who sows the good seed = Jesus.
  • The good seed = the children of the KOH.
  • The enemy who sowed the evil seed = Satan.
  • The weeds = the children of this world.
  • The field = this world.
  • The harvesters = angels.

Satan CANNOT uproot true Christians.

So, Satan merely plants FALSE Christians to infect and influence the true Christians.

Our task is not to pull the weeds, but plant the wheat. We are not detectives, but evangelists. We are not pullers, but planters.

Yes, we should expose the lies of the Devil, but we must also (more importantly) bear fruit.

In this world, there is always a hostile power waiting and seeking to destroy the good seed.

  1. Helps the seed of the world?Word? to grow and flourish.
  2. Tries to destroy the good seed.

We must always be on guard, on watch in this world.

Believers and unbelievers are living together – even here in this service. There are some in the KOH and some who are not. So hard it is to distinguish. A man may appear good, but be in fact bad. A man may appear bad, but be in fact good.

We (dangerously) quickly classify men as “good” or “bad” without knowing the truth. We must wait until the time of the harvest to know the truth. A man is not judged by a single mistake in his life – but by his whole life. Through the grace and sacrifice of Christ, a man may make an ugly life a beautiful thing. Alternatively, a man may live his entire life purely, and at the last moment, fall into sin. Judgment comes someday, at the end, not hastily.

Humanly speaking, a sinner in this world may not ever receive his consequences in this world. But there is a new life to come. Goodness likewise may not ever receive its reward in this world, but there is a new life to come. Only Jesus knows and can judge all things perfectly, completely. At the last time, God will judge all things rightly. Therefore, we must judge ourselves (2 Cor 3?) “Judge yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Do you not know that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless you fail the test.”

The KOH = wheat among weeds (present and growing in this world full of sin and unbelief).

#2: KOH = mustard seed

v. 31-32

The smallest of seeds – produces a large tree.

The point is very clear: the growing power of the mustard seed – from smallest to largest. The KOH is like this – from insignificance to magnificence.

The KOH began with the smallest – JC as a baby in the manger, his death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension. Then, the church was left in the care of 12 apostles and a few hundred followers.

But someday the KOH will cover all the world (2 billion Christians in the world today).

Humanly speaking, Jesus came as a weak person – in a manger, son of a poor carpenter.

When Jesus comes again, he will come as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and his kingdom will cover all the world. At that time, all knees will bow and worship him, and all mouths will confess he is the Lord, Son of God.

In daily application?

This can be true in our small group, churches, schools, academies, careers. The KOH may start with only one person, and nobody knows how big that may grow one day.

A man who is set on fire for Christ is a person who kindles others.

If you plant (preach the gospel message) – this is your mustard seed in his heart and it CAN (with God’s water and help) can grow large in his heart.

#3: Yeast

v. 33

This parable was shocking to them.

Actually, throughout the Bible, yeast is a symbol of SIN – uncleanness. For example, during the Passover, they had to eat unleavened (un-yeasted) bread. Yeast had to be removed from their sacrifices as well.

Yeast was also a symbol of carnality and hypocrisy on the church.

This would be shocking.
“The KOH is like the symbol for uncleanness.”

“What?” This obviously got their attention.

The point? The transformational power of yeast. Just a LITTLE bit with transform the entire loaf of bread.

Without yeast, the bread is hard, tasteless, unappetizing, not delicious. With yeast = soft, spongy, delicious. The yeast transforms it all.

Like this, the KOH transforms our whole lives. The hidden reality of the KOH = Jesus and he transforms our personal, spiritual, physical, social lives.

In human history, there are great societies, great communities where the KOH transformed the whole society.

Examples:

1. Life for women in history.

  • At that time, women were considered property. Men would pray, “Thank God I’m not a Gentile, slave, or woman.” She was completely secluded.
  • In Korea, until Christianity came, a woman was like a half-slave to her husband and his family.
  • In India, until Christianity came, there was a horrible practice – when a husband died, his wife was buried alive to follow her husband.

2. Life for slaves

In human history, until Christianity came, in every community, country, society, there were slaves. Even in Abraham’s community, in Greek, Rome, America, India, Korea – every place there were slaves. A slave was a piece of property – a walking piece of real estate – not a person. But, wherever Christianity penetrated, slavery has gone.

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. So stand firm, do not let yourselves submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

In all aspects of life, only Jesus can give you freedom.

3. Life for children

In ancient times, children had a good chance of dying during his childhood. So, a child was not counted in number, not allowed to attend public meetings. Jesus said, “Let them come to me. Do not stop them. The KOH belongs to such as these.” Jesus received them and blessed them.

4. Life for the weak, sick, and aged

In pagan life at that time, these people were considered a nuisance, irritation. In Greece, in Sparta, when a boy was born, he was to be shown to the examiners – if healthy, he was allowed to live. If weak, sick, or deformed, he was put on the mountain to “live” alone (he died).

In history, Christianity is the first faith to be interested in these broken things in life.

Yes, even today, only Jesus can transform our lives and societies.

From slaves to free, from children of hell to children of God.

May God bless us all with this transforming power in our lives.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 22 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Four Kinds of Soil (Matthew 13:1-23)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Four Kinds of Soil (Matthew 13:1-23)

06.22

06.22.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Four Kinds of Soil
Matthew 13:1-23 (Pastor Heo)

The Parable of the Sower
13:1-15pp — Mk 4:1-12; Lk 8:4-10 13:16,17pp — Lk 10:23,24 13:18-23pp — Mk 4:13-20; Lk 8:11-15

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.” 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”


God bless you with his Word. Your family, community, schools, offices, through you.

First two verses: “That same day, Jesus went out and sat by the seashore…

He went out in a boat to preach.

This is a very important chapter in the gospels. It shows a definite turning point in Jesus’ ministry.

At first, he was teaching in the synagogues. But now, he is teaching outside. This shows that the synagogues were closed/opposed to him – doing their best to find a charge against him – to turn anything he said or did into an accusation.

This is a supreme tragedy that Jesus was banished from the church of his day. John: “He was in this world, but the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1)

Maybe even today this could happen.

But that didn’t stop him from bringing his message of salvation to the people. He preached in the temple of Open Air, on the street, on the beach. A man with a real message – a real heart to deliver it – he will always find a way to deliver it.

The Kingdom of God is the focus here (and the focus of the book of Matthew). In this whole chapter (13) there are 7 parables about the Kingdom of God. Today, just one – the sower and seed. Next time, 3 more about weeds, then the mustard seed, then yeast and leaven, then the end time prophecies about the field and treasure, etc. So this chapter is the chapter of prophecy of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Parables: very important. What are they? Why did he teach in parables? What are the characteristics?

  • WHAT: Greek: parabole = to place aside, to cast alongside – a story/comparison/illustration. Biblically, a short earthly story with a heavenly meaning – using everyday objects to explain heavenly truth.
  • WHY: the laziness of the people at that time. Also because of the Psalm 78:2 prophecy “I will open my mouth and utter things that are hidden – things of old…” – it was written and prophecied that he would teach in prophesies.
  • CHARACTERISTICS: Makes abstract ideas concrete. Most people think in visible pictures. For example, who can explain beauty or goodness without a story? But if we SHOW something with those characteristics, we can clearly understand.

All great lessons start from the Here and Now to get to the There and Then. Jesus wanted to speak spiritual fact directly, but humans would never understand – because we have no experience of these things in real life (no one died and lived to tell of it…). So, Jesus uses what we KNOW, the world and earthly things to teach of heavenly truths.

Parables help us think over these things. We must discover the truth for ourselves. Unless we discover it for ourselves, we will forget it quickly and it will be useless.

That’s why Jesus teaches heavenly truth through material things.

Today: A farmer

Four kinds of soil:

  1. Roadside (hard – can’t get under the ground – birds come and eat it)
  2. Rocks (shallow – no root – easy to spring up, but also dies quickly)
  3. Thorns (choke out the plants as they grow up together)
  4. Good soil (100x, 60x, 30x what was sown – produced abundantly)

Jesus then explains the direct meaning of each: (18-23)

  1. Road – hear but don’t understand – Satan snatches it away
  2. Rocks – received the Word with joy BUT lacking a root, he falls away
  3. Thorns – hears but worries about money and life so that he loses focus
  4. Good soil – hears and understands – becomes fruitful

In this story, the seed = the Word of God. Like the seed, the Word of God has life and power in it = transforming, creating power, and future fruit.

The soil = our hearts in front of the Word of God.

4 soils = 4 hearts

Outwardly, we all look the same, but even among us in this room today, there may be 4 kinds of hearts today. Please, be honest before God, personally, privately. What kind of heart do I have?

4 hearts, 4 hearers, 4 listeners = which are you?

During listening, examine yourselves – don’t ask your neighbor. Even though we worship God together, we also are worshipping God personally, individually.

#1: Hearer with a shut/closed mind.

If both doors in this room are closed, no one can enter this room. If the mind is closed (prejudice, pride, arrogance, sinful lifestyle, immoral character), anything we do not like to receive make us blind and shut. The Word of God may condemn what we like, and reveal what we do as sinful.

If we reject/refuse to receive the Word/Truth of God, it means our hearts are shut. If you shut your heart, even Jesus cannot enter into our hearts. He’s a gentleman. “Here I am, I stand at the door and knock…” Revelation 3?

#2: Shallow Mind.

He fails to think things out and think them through. Some people just follow blindly along with all the trends – new fashion, new electronics. They are constantly STARTING but never FINISHING. When they meet problems and hardships, they quickly give up. Even if they start new things with JOY they never finish them… It is good to receive God’s Word with emotion and action – but remember, we cannot live with God’s Word on EMOTION alone – you also need ACTION and COMMITMENT POWER. Christianity has demands that must be faced before it can truly be received. Yes, it’s a great blessing, but before that, also a great responsibility.

#3: The divided/distracted mind. 

He has so many interests so that he misses out on the most important thing. Yes, these days everything is faster and more distracting: travel, food, information, results. Are you too busy to pray? Too busy to study the Word of God? Yes, we may not do bad things, we may do good things – but remember one of Satan’s biggest strategies is to keep us distracted with the 2nd and 3rd best. Remember, the 2nd best is the worst enemy of the BEST.

In your personal priorities, where is Jesus? If he is #2~ it means Jesus is not in you. In each person’s life, Jesus is either #1 or #0 (gone). Why? He’s the Lord, God, King, Creator.

#4: Good heart.

This soil/heart is open, soft, clean, deep.

In the reception of the Word of God, there are 4 stages.

#1: Open:

He is willing to receive the Word – ready and prepared to hear and understand. He has sought many things and knows how this applies. He hears and understands and produces fruit.

  1. Hear
  2. Understand
  3. Practice
  4. Produce fruit

Without PRACTICE…no fruit.

I know about the piano, I know the history, I know the keys, but I cannot play because I never practiced. Without practice, no fruit. This is not theory, but practice. “Everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock…” Matthew 7?

Fruit is the test of true salvation. “A tree will be recognized by its fruit. A good tree will bear good fruit, a bad tree will bear bad fruit.” Fruit is winning others to Christ, sharing with others, the evidence of remaining in Christ. “If a man remains in me, he will bear much fruit…”

This parable has a double-impact/meaning for us.

  1. Before the Word of God, we are hearers.
  2. Before the world outside, we are preachers (sowers).

Remember, it is impossible to be a bad hearer and a good preacher. Only a good hearer can be a good hearer.

No farmer/sower expects every single seed he sows to germinate and bear fruit. Yes, he knows very well that some seeds will be lost, blown away. Yet, he never stops sowing – he keeps going. Even though some is wasted, yet, harvest is coming.

We must be sure: The harvest is certain.

To sow is our job. To make it grow is God’s job, not our job. Paul (a great farmer): “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (Col? Eph?)

When sowing, we must not look for a quick result. This is not natural. We must WAIT for the harvest. WAIT for the seed to take root.

In nature, it takes a HUGE time for an acorn to take root and produce a huge tree. It may also take much time for the Word of God to take root in man – even if the seed was sown in his heart in childhood, it may not take root until long into his adulthood when it saves him.

This generation looks for a quick result, but we must sow (preach) with assurance, confidence, patience, perseverance – knowing that the Harvest is coming – the End is coming soon. This End is not the end, this End is the new starting point for all eternity.

God bless us with his Word. We are not only hearers, but also preachers (sowers) of the Word.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 08 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ is ALL the Signs of God to Us (Matthew 12:38-50)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus Christ is ALL the Signs of God to Us (Matthew 12:38-50)

06.08

06.08.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus Christ is all the signs of God to us
Matthew 12:38-50 (Pastor Heo)

The Sign of Jonah
12:39-42pp — Lk 11:29-32 12:43-45pp — Lk 11:24-26
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 43 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
12:46-50pp — Mk 3:31-35; Lk 8:19-21
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”


This is the family of God in heaven.

This chapter (12) is the religious leaders continual challenge to Jesus.

  1. (v.2) The Pharisees condemned Jesus, “Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
  2. (v. 10) “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
  3. (v. 14) They want to kill him.
  4. (v. 24) “This fellow drives out the demons by Beelzebub.”
  5. (v. 37) “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”

Nah, they didn’t really want to see it to believe it. They were just challenging him. Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation wants a sign.” To ask for a sign = evidence of unbelief.

1 Corinthians = “Jews look for signs, Greeks look for human philosophy. But we preach Christ – a stumbling block and confusion… God will save some through the foolishness of what is preached.”

3 Responses today

  1. 38-42: Their history
  2. 43-45: Their (bad) hearts
  3. 46-50: He rejects their honor

#1: Reveals their history

  1. The sign of Jonah.
  2. The queen of the south = Arabia (Yemen)

2 stories: Jonah + the Queen of Sheba

  1. Jonah = in Jonah in the OT
  2. Queen of Sheba = 1 Kings 10, 2 Chronicles 9

Jonah (a Jew) was sent to the Gentiles – Ninevah – under the conquest of Assyria – one of the great enemies of the Jews.

The Queen of Sheba was a Gentile, but came from her country to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.

According to the culture of that time, the fact that Jesus mentioned Gentiles, probably irritated the Pharisees.

This sign of Jonah was important – Jonah experienced a kind of death, burial and resurrection in the belly of the whale. All the signs we need today are Jesus’ death and resurrection. That’s why the whole first half of the book of Acts focuses on this, and why Acts has many, many witnesses to the resurrected life of Jesus.

Jonah was in there for 3 days and 3 nights.

Jesus, however, was in there from Friday night to Sunday morning. At that time, the Jews used “3 days and 3 nights” for emphasis to mean simply “3 days” – also they would say “40 days and 40 nights” for emphasis though it would most likely be 40 days and 39 nights technically.

Jesus is much greater than Jonah here.

  1. Jonah = man, Jesus = man + God
  2. Jonah = disobedience at first, Jesus = obedience to death
  3. Jonah’s grave = in the belly of the whale, a symbol of death, Jesus = a true death and resurrection
  4. Jonah’s ministry = once, to one place, Jesus = one day for a timeless salvation for all people of the world
  5. Jonah’s love = non-existent, animosity in fact – he was a messenger of the wrath of God, Jesus’ ministry = a message of love, grace, and salvation

Jesus is greater in his wisdom, wealth, and works

Now, Solomon was very wise, wealthy, and had many works done for him – but Jesus was/is much greater. To see and hear his words is much more satisfying than to visit the kingdom of Solomon.

The moral: The citizens of Ninevah and the Queen of Sheba will witness against the Jewish Pharisees because (1) they repented (Pharisees rejected), and (2) she traveled a long distance to hear (they ignored). The greater the message, the greater the responsibility.

The wisdom of Solomon caused the Queen of Sheba to worship God. “Praise be to your God, he has delighted in you and placed you in the throne of Israel. God has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.” How unsearchable God’s ways. God can never be limited by our imaginations. Who would have imagined that this woman would become an example of Jesus’ for us today. Please, don’t put God in the small box of your imagination. Surprises may come – strange moments we could not predict. If we understand God clearly, we can take all accidents as Opportunities, not Problems. Please think of all people in your life as Willing Listeners. If we believe in God truly, we receive all Problems as Opportunities to pray.

Proverbs 16:19 “A man determines his way, but God sets his steps.”

What are our reactions when confronted with Jesus Christ? What do you think?

#2: Jesus reveals their hearts (v. 43-45)

Do you believe your heart is being revealed by Christ?

Even today, this is happening (”this wicked generation”). Satan’s house = the body of the person possessed by a demon. Our bodies can be the house of Satan. The demons are restless, peaceless, wandering all the time looking for bodies to rest in and dwell in.

When that demon left, that man’s life was changed for the better. BUT, if that man’s life is still empty, when the demon returns, he brings other spirits and the man’s life becomes worse than before – a tragedy.

Yes, evil spirits can be driven out, can be conquered, but cannot be destroyed. They are constantly looking for an opportunity to counter-attack and regain ground. They are never eliminated until Jesus’ Second Coming. So, we must be always vigilant, watchful, and alert.

Lesson 2: It isn’t enough to clean your house (your mind/body). After cleaning it, we must invite in the right tenant. A negative religion cannot be enough. A religion that has only “Thou Shalt Not” etc you will always fail. One religion around us = “Everything is useless. Desire makes our lives stressful and unhappy. So, you must try to remove all desire and passion. Remove all desire, all passion, become empty, become passionless, ambitionless.” Is this good? No, emptiness makes our lives only more terrible.

For example, if we try to eliminate bad habits, that’s good, but not enough. At the same time, we must decide to do something good.

The best way to rid a garden of weeds is to feed the plants good things. Fill your head and heart and energy and time with something good. What’s the BEST? Jesus. The only cure for evil action = Christian action. Our goal is not only removal of negative action, but also “regeneration” – replacing the negative action with positive action.

Revelation 3:29? “Here I am. I stand at the door and knock…”

That’s why the Bible encourages us to constantly “be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

Remember, our lives can never remain empty. They must be filled with something or somebody. With what, or with whom is your life filled now?

#3: Jesus rejects their honor

Even Jesus’ earthly family didn’t fully understand him or his ministry. Some of his close friends even thought he was mad (crazy). But he didn’t want human honor.

He wasn’t disrespectful toward his earthly family, but he emphasized the family of God. Why? They will live together eternally.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened. I’ll give you peace. Peace I give to you, I do not give as this world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

1 John “This world and all its passions pass away but the man who does the will of the Lord will live forever.”

Matthew “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father.”

Do you have true membership in the true family of God? This is only found in obedience to the will of God in heaven – putting our faith in Christ and putting our faith into action.

“Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Let’s pray.

  • May 11 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Pardonable Sins vs. Unpardonable Sin (Matthew 12:15-32)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pardonable Sins vs. Unpardonable Sin (Matthew 12:15-32)

05.11

05.11.2014

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Matthew 12:15-32 (Pastor Heo)

God’s Chosen Servant
15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick,16 warning them not to tell who he was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Jesus and Beelzebub
12:25-29pp — Mk 3:23-27; Lk 11:17-22
22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub,the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house. 30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.


This is the Word of God in human language for our understanding.

v. 15 – Jesus knew…

Remember the last part of the last story? Jesus healed a man with a paralyzed hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Simply because he “worked” and healed on the Sabbath, the Pharisees tried to kill him. So, he withdrew from them. Why?

He was not afraid of them. He was not afraid of death. His purpose to come was to die for the sins of the world. So, why did he escape? Now was not the time. He still had many things to teach and do.

In spite of his withdrawal, many followed him – crowds and more Pharisees. After healing the people in the crowd, he told people not to tell others about him.

Jesus:

  1. didn’t fight his enemies
  2. didn’t want people to come before him with wrong motives
  3. didn’t want to become a worldly powerful person

Isaiah’s prophecy (v. 17-21)

“This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:…”

This is the longest OT quotation in Matthew, so let us see how Jesus fulfilled this beautifully.

4 points:

#1: He will tell the nations what justice is

He shows us how to live in such a way that God and man receive their proper places in our lives. He shows us how to behave toward God and man.

#2: He will never fight, quarrel, cry out in the street

No one will hear his voice in the street. He’s a man of meekness and humility.

1 Peter “To this we are called – because Jesus suffered for us – and we should follow in his steps. Jesus committed no sin, no deceit was found in his mouth – when he suffered he made no threats, instead he entrusted himself to Him who judges rightly…by his wounds we have been healed.”

#3: He will never break the bruised, crushed weed. He will never distinguish a smoldering wick.

A reed may be bruised and hardly able to stand. A wick may be smoldering. A man’s witness, faith may be a flicker, not a flame. But Jesus didn’t come to discourage nor treat with contempt. He came to encourage and treat with compassion and mercy. He didn’t come to put out your flame, but to coax it back to a full flame.

#4: In Him the nations will put their hope

An invitation is present for ALL nations to put their hope in him. In Jesus, there is an offer of peace, and mercy.

But, the Pharisees here say, “He’s a devil himself!” How terrible of them to say!

v. 22-32

Jesus said, “If Satan drives out Satan, how can his kingdom stand?…”

Again, a blind mute man was brought to Jesus. He was blind and mute because of demon possession.

But because of this event, the Pharisees said, “This is the power of Beelzebub!” (Beelzebub = Lord of the flies (poop))

At this moment, Jesus pointed out that their statement was illogical and impractical because Satan has his OWN kingdom. (The god of this age, the ruler of the air, the king of this world).

One of the reasons Jesus came (1 John 3:8) into the world was to destroy the works of Satan. The business of Satan is:

  1. to sin
  2. to cause men to sin
  3. to hold/blind unbelievers in their unbelief

That’s why Jesus came to destroy this business of Satan. One day, Jesus said to them (John 8:44) “You belong to your father the devil! He was a murderer from the beginning. There is no truth in him.” When he speaks lies, he speaks in his native language. This is his mother tongue. He is the father of lies.

We must remember that we must not compromise with the devil by sinning, or we will find ourselves fighting against our Lord Jesus. But:

  1. we must not underestimate the devil – he is very wise and cunning. He never gives up his business until his VISA period is expired in this earth.
  2. we must not overestimate the devil – he is NOT omniscient (all-knowing), not omnipotent (all-powerful), not omnipresent (everywhere at once). He is limited in his power by God and can only do what God allows him to do.

Because of this fighting between Satan and God, there is no neutrality. (v. 30) “He who is not with me is against me. And he who does not gather with me, scatters.”

What does this mean?

Jesus is a victor over Satan. If we believe this without a doubt, we must decide on who’s side we will stand. There is no “between” sides. No middle ground. We are either for God, or against God.

  1. It is impossible to know God and remain “neutral” indefinitely.
  2. It is impossible to know Jesus and not serve him as Lord.
  3. It is impossible to serve Jesus and not witness.
  4. It is impossible to love Jesus and do nothing to serve the church (the body of God).

Here is one thing to make this CLEAR:

Mark 9:40, Luke 9:50 – the verse is reversed

“He who is not against me is for me.”

Very contradictory looking. How can we apply these two verses? On what context does Jesus say these things? Every verse must be read and understood based on its appropriate context.

The above verse, one man cast out demons in Jesus’ name – but he wasn’t one of the “special” 12 disciples. Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! No one who does a miracle in my name can say something negative against me in the next moment.”

  1. The one who is not with me is against me. = a test to apply to ourselves.
  2. The one who is not against me is with me. = a test to apply to others.
  • Judge ourselves with a closed mind.
  • Judge others with an open mind.
  • Judge ourselves with sternness.
  • Judge others with patience, tolerance, and kindness.

The pardonable sins vs. the unpardonable sin (v. 31-32)

  • Pardonable? ALL sins – even saying something against the Son of Man.
  • Unpardonable? Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Does this mean the Holy Spirit is more important than Jesus? No. (They are ONE, they are EQUAL.) There is no difference in their divinity. So, then, what does this mean?

Jesus = God from eternity to eternity forever, definitely.

Jesus did not say, “the sin against the Son of GOD can be forgiven” but “the sin against the Son of MAN can be forgiven.” Jesus was a MAN for 33 years on this earth. He was a man, a son of man. To speak against Jesus while he was the son of Man could be forgiven. So, those who spoke against him on earth could be forgiven.

For example: his brothers – James, Judas = Jude, Simon

  • They didn’t believe in him while he was on earth.
  • But, they believed in him AS GOD after he ascended to heaven.
  1. James wrote “James” in the Bible and became the head of the church in Jerusalem.
  2. Jude wrote “Jude” and also said, “A servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Both of them sinned against Jesus while he was a man – by not believing. But both believed after he was resurrected, and were forgiven.

“If I drive out the demons by the power of the Holy Spirit, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.” What does this mean? The Holy Spirit is testifying to Jesus’ divinity on earth. The most important business of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Jesus (John 15:26) as Messiah – the Truth, the Way, the Life.

After resurrection before ascension – for 40 days, the main topic he talked about was the Holy Spirit “don’t leave Jerusalem until you receive the Holy Spirit.” The last word of Jesus before his ascension is our 2014 verse (Acts 1:8).

1 Corinthians 12:3 “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.”

The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (who reveals Jesus as Lord) = the whole lifetime rejection of Jesus Christ.

It is contradictory to believe in Jesus and doubt forgiveness. How can you get forgiveness (assurance of forgiveness) without believing in Jesus as Lord?

God cannot forgive sin JUST based on your repentance. He will forgive only when the penalty is first paid. Jesus PAID it all, first. When we believe in him and repent, we will be forgiven.

May God bless us with the assurance of forgiveness, because without that we cannot have assurance of salvation – based on what Jesus did on the cross.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 20 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Christ Has Risen! – Easter 2014 (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Has Risen! – Easter 2014 (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)

04.20-easter 

04.20.2014 (Easter) Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Resurrection of the Dead
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

58 Therefore, my dear brother, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


Amen.

God bless us all with his Word. Christ HAS risen from the dead!

That Christ has risen, holds a unique place in Christianity. This is the only religion on earth that places its hope and claims on the resurrection of its founder. Only Christianity does this. SO, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is fundamental to Christianity.

In the New Testament, there are more than 100 instances of the resurrection of Christ being spoken of. Also, it is very essential in the application of our salvation – provided by in his death. So, about his resurrection, much more could be said. But because of limited time, let’s talk about only ONE topic: the CREDIBILITY of the resurrection of Christ (good topic).

  • Credibility = the acceptance of fact in a manner that demands fact and belief.
  • Belief upon good authority, reliable facts, and competent witnesses – belief, facts.

This resurrection is a FACT proven by competent facts and deserving full acceptance as a belief. This is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity proven by many infallible proofs. So, for the credibility of the resurrection, there are at least TWO arguments:

  1. Argument from cause and effect
  2. Argument from testimony

For example, around us, certain things, conditions, institutions exist today. They are effects of causes or a cause. Every effect has a cause. So, if the resurrection of Christ is a cause, what is the effect?

In church history, there are MANY effects that can be traced to the bodily, physical resurrection of Christ.

#1: The Empty Tomb!

That was an effect. What was the cause? The fact that the tomb was empty was testified to by MANY eyewitnesses – including his friends AND his enemies. The women were first, the angels, the disciples, the Roman soldiers – even the Pharisees later said, “Tell them to say the disciples stole the body.”

On that day, in the early morning, the angels came and rolled away the stone, and sat on the stone and spoke to the women who came to annoint his body with oil. “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is NOT here. He has RISEN from the dead. Come and see the place where he (once) lay.” Pointing.

Wow. Pretty strong evidence that he rose from the dead.

#2: Sunday worship services

Sunday is not the original Sabbath (actually that was Saturday). Who would DARE to change this extremely ingrained and protected day? The Jews NEVER celebrated anybody’s birthday – even great men. They only celebrated events – like the Passover.

Strange then that in the New Testament, the Jewish Christians change this century’s old Saturday sabbath into the FIRST day of the week (Sunday). This is a massive effect, a marvelous effect. What was the cause? Why did they do that?

The resurrection of Christ was the cause for the great change in worship to Sunday.

#3: The Christian church – the body of Christ

Are you here now? We know this is a grand and noble institution. Imagine, what would this world be like without church? Churches sing hymns, and worship God, but also provide mercy, grace, help for others, social justice, social ministries. Where did this great institution come from?

It is a glorious effect from the resurrection of Christ. When Christ appeared to the discouraged disciples and restored their hope, they went out with restored faith in their risen Lord. They preached the story of his birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and coming again. And men believed their preaching. And they gathered themselves together to study the Scriptures, and pray, and worship God and preach Jesus to the lost nations. This is how the Christian church was born in this world. It’s cause was the resurrection of Christ. That’s why the church is called “the BODY of Christ.” He is the HEAD of the church.

#4: The Bible – especially the New Testament

If Jesus had NOT been raised. If he’d remained buried, the story of his life and death would have remained buried with him – just like so many other revolutionaries before him. The New Testament is a fact – evidence, proof – of the resurrection of Christ. The New Testament wouldn’t grow out of nothing. But the beautiful story of Jesus life (through the New Testament) grew out of the story of his resurrection. The New Testament is THE BOOK of resurrection.

#5: Testimony of eye-witnesses

Humanly speaking, we need three things to make a trustworthy testimony:

  1. The witnesses must be competent and 1st-hand witnesses
  2. The witnesses must be sufficient in number
  3. The witnesses must have a good character and reputation

All the apostles/disciples qualify in these three. They repeatedly, continually said, “We are eye-witnesses” (and they were witnesses in different places – even up to 500 people at a time – no hallucination can ever be like that).

How many witnesses do we need to make a case today? ONE. Only one eyewitness is enough to prove murder. Two witnesses is OK for a suit against the government. Three is OK for the execution of a Will. In a human court, 7 witnesses is OK for a Spoken (Oral) Will. This is the largest number of witnesses required for court.

But Jesus’ resurrection had OVER 500 witnesses!

Imagine their character and reputation. 12 disciples = we know up until the resurrection they were COWARDS – timid, afraid, even Peter denied him 3 times to a slave girl. And all the others abandoned him and returned to their lives as fishermen when he was arrested.

But, after they saw the risen Lord, they TOTALLY changed – many of them even DIED for him – martyred.

  • The fearful became fearless.
  • The faithless became faithful.
  • They became the tireless preachers of the story of Jesus’ resurrection.
  • They proclaimed/declared his story at the risk of their own lives (what a big change!)
  • ALL of them died a martyr’s death because of the story of the resurrection (they tried to boil John alive, but he lived and wrote Revelation later).

#6: YOU

If somebody asks you about the credibility of Jesus’ resurrection, show yourself.

The resurrection of Christ is the HOPE of ALL hopes.

So, the last verse says, “Stand firm!” because Jesus is risen! “Let nothing move you!” because Jesus is risen! “Always give yourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord!” because Jesus is risen! “And we know that your (our) labor in the Lord is NEVER in vain!” because Jesus is risen! and he has defeated the last enemy – Satan, sin, death, and hell.

ONLY Jesus can say this (John): “I am the resurrection and the life, and he who believes in me will never die but have eternal life.”

God bless us all with assurance and POWER in the resurrection of Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 13 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14)

04.13

04.13.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF File>

1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread–which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

  1. Next Sunday is the Resurrection (Easter) Sunday.
  2. 40 days preceding this is called Lent (40 days to receive Jesus’ resurrection through prayer, meditation, etc). The first day of Lent = Ash Wednesday (March 1, 2014). This is to remind us that we are ash, and will return to ash. If we remember this, we will be humble – we must be humble.
  3. Today is Palm Sunday. Today, we remember the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey. Palm branches were on the road under the feet of the donkey. This is fulfillment of Daniel 9:27~56? 77th prophecy.
  4. This coming week is called Passion Week. We remember Jesus’ willing suffering to go to the cross for our sins – as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins – not only ours but also those of the whole world.”
  5. Today’s story is NOT the story of Palm Sunday, but it MATCHES the story of Passion week.

v. 14 “But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.”

In this story, we see this as a series of crucial events in his life.

Of course, in everyone’s life there are crucial moments on which much is hinged/depends. This is one of those moments for Jesus.

This was the final decision (rejection) of the Pharisees – they wanted to see “how can we kill him?”

Jesus deliberately violated the Sabbath “rules” and traditions multiple times to let us know that these “rules” cannot make us holy. Only our hearts can make us holy. The Pharisees thought the absence of work was true holiness. But Jesus shows that true rest (Sabbath) is found only in him. True rest, true sabbath can be found in worship to God. Have you ever sometimes been tired of worship? Be careful answering.^^

v. 1-2

At that time, the fields were laid out by the roadside without fences. According to tradition, any hungry traveler was allowed to pick some grain and eat – the disciples were not stealing. The Pharisees don’t criticize the picking of grain, but the fact that *GASP* It’s Sunday!~

The Creation story says God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th. He did not need rest, but he rested to give us rest in him. He blesses us by acknowledging him as God, and having a relationship with us.

Over time, the Pharisees lost the true meaning of the sabbath. They tried to define the sabbath very very theologically. There were 39 actions declared as “work” that must be done the day before and not be done on the Sabbath.

  1. Picking = harvesting
  2. Opening = threshing
  3. Preparing = Winnowing
  4. Getting ready to eat = preparing a meal

Jesus appeals to

  1. David
  2. the priests
  3. the Prophet
  4. Himself

in his answer to their accusations.

#1 Appeal to David v. 3-4

The picture of the Tabernacle at that time, there were 3 divisions.

  1. Temple court
  2. Holy place
  3. Most holy place

Every week, 12 pieces of bread were placed in 2 lines of 6 on a table – representing the 12 tribes of Israel and showing God’s provision. This bread was changed into new bread every week. This bread was then given to the High Priests every week to eat (as salary kind of).

BUT 1 Samuel 21:1-6, David and his soldiers entered the Tabernacle and gave David and his soldiers this holy bread. God did not punish David and his soldiers. Why? Their need for food was more important the priestly rules.

Jesus, “If David could break the ‘rules’ in a special case, how much more could not I do so?” Jesus says “haven’t you read?” Of course they’ve read it – but this reveals their true ignorance of the story. They didn’t understand clearly and didn’t apply the true meaning of the Scriptures. John 20:9-14? “You study the Scriptures thinking that by them you have life, but you do not know that these Scriptures testify about me. And you do not have life because you do not come to me.”

The true meaning and purpose of the Scriptures (in their entirety) is to see and find Jesus.

#2 Appeal to the Priests (v. 5-6)

Yes, the people were not to “work” but rest on the Sabbath. But remember true worship is true rest.

On the Sabbath day, worship services were doubled, offerings were doubled. Many things had to be done.

  1. Making fires
  2. Preparing animals
  3. Lifting them on the altar
  4. Carrying the animals
  5. etc, etc

If “ordinary” people did it – it would be illegal. But because they were PRIESTS, it was “legal.” Why? Because they were priests and worship MUST be done. Even the same things can be seen as right or wrong depending on who does it.

The topic of Hebrews = Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (in becoming our merciful High Priest). Hebrews 4:15-16? “We do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but a HP who was tempted in every way as we are, but was without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with confidence to find mercy in our time of need.”

  • The priests had to sacrifice animals first for themselves, and THEN for the people.
  • But Jesus was without sin, so he offered sacrifice DIRECTLY to God.
  • Humans offered animals, tried to show the way to God.
  • Jesus offered himself, and IS the way to God.
  • Human priests are mortal – cannot pray for people permanently.
  • Jesus is forever alive and still NOW is interceding for us at the right hand of God.

#3 Appeal to the Prophet (v. 7)

“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” – this is one KEY verse of the Old Testament (Hosea 6:6) – “I” = God.

God wants love, not legalism.

Rituals and even keeping the Law can be valuable ONLY when carried out with an attitude of LOVE for God and men.

If our hearts are far from God, then ANY Law keeping is USELESS – no more than empty mockery.

What God desires more than sacrifice = mercy, compassion, answering the call of human needs – this is the greatest service. To worship rightly is to love each other. (1 John? “A new command I give you – to love one another just as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are my disciples.”)

#4 Appeal to the Lord of the Sabbath (himself) v. 8

This sentence means “I” Jesus is the Creator of all creation, the true rest, the true blessing, the true object of all worship. He is the provider of all needs. Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to the glorious riches …”

  • If Jesus is the center, all is well.
  • If something else is the focus of your worship, something is wrong.

Next, Jesus shows practically that he IS the Lord of the Sabbath.

v. 9-13

This same Jesus is still with us here and now.

Jesus entered the synagogue, not the market.
To the Pharisees, synagogue is like the church room. We know what we are doing in this room. This is a room for worship, Bible study, prayer, religious education, holy fellowship – for themselves, with God.
In this synagogue, they had no love, no concern, no mercy on him. Their only concern was “the rules.” They used this man to find fault with Jesus.

Remember, we are like in a synagogue – we are here to learn, to pray, to love each other. If in this room, we are not kind, hate, ignore, despise, then we are no better than they are. Sometimes in this room, we need to look around and see the person next to you. If someone next to you looks lower than you, don’t ask, “Hmm, is THIS guy worthy to worship in here?” NO. Be kind, be merciful. He is created in the image of God – he is worthy.

Jesus questioned the Pharisees in response.

Mark (same story) – Jesus says, “Is is more lawful to do good or do evil? To save life or kill life?”
Doing good fulfills the intention of the sabbath. If we do not do good (as children of God), it is evil.

If they were truly children of God, they would have said, “Lord, have mercy on him! He needs your touch, your healing!”

Let me say more about this story next time.

Jesus wants mercy, not just ritual sacrifice.

May God bless all of us with his wonderful promise and covenant.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 30 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Are You a Degenerate Generation or a Regenerate Generation? (Matthew 11:16-30)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Are You a Degenerate Generation or a Regenerate Generation? (Matthew 11:16-30)

03.30

03.30.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF File>

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: 17 ” ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

Woe on Unrepentant Cities
11:21-23pp — Lk 10:13-15

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Rest for the Weary
11:25-27pp — Lk 10:21,22

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. 27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


Q: What is your view of this generation?

Good or bad? Righteous or unrighteous?

Many opinions of Jesus about this generation:

  1. v. 39: “Wicked and adulterous generation”

  2. 17:17 “Faithless, unbelieving and perverse generation”
  3. Peter Acts 2:40 “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”
  4. Paul “Blameless and pure in this crooked and depraved generation”

We can see the diagnosis of Jesus about this generation.

“To what can I compare it? Like children in the market places and calling out – we played a glad song, you didn’t dance – we played a sad song, you didn’t mourn.”

This generation = unresponsive and critical
Jesus is sad to see the perversity of this generation.

Kids on the playground.

  • Group A: “Let’s play happy games!”
  • Group B: “No, we aren’t happy today.”
  • 
Group A: “Let’s play funeral songs!”
  • Group B: “No, we don’t feel sad.”

Whatever was offered, they found fault and criticized everything.

  • John the Baptist, for example, was isolated from people and they called him “crazy” 
  • Jesus came and mixed with all kinds of people – sharing joy and pain and they called him “a glutton” and “friend of sinners.”

They called John’s introversion “craziness” and Jesus’ extroversion “ridiculous.”

  • John moved men’s hearts to God as they hadn’t been moved for generations.
  • Jesus is the only one through whom we can find new access/power to God.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this [generation], but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. Then you will be able to test and approve what the will of God is. His good, and pleasing, and perfect will.”

So, for us:

In this DEgenerate (horrible) generation, we must become a REgenerate (reborn) generation. How?

  1. Repentance
  2. Confession
  3. Confession of Jesus Christ & Acceptance of Him

Woe on Unrepentant Cities

Then Jesus began to denounce MOST of the cities in which he’d done miracles…

What an unusual word on the lips of Jesus: WOE.

  • Woe = judgment for sin – not with hatred, but with pity and sorrow.
  • Woe = expression of sadness and grief.
  • Jesus judgment = holy judgment and wrath – but not angry, with a broken heart.
  • Man’s anger is followed with hatred.
  • God’s anger is followed with a broken heart.

Old T.

  1. Sodom (and Gomorrah) – destroyed with fire from heaven for wickedness and adultery
  2. Sidon – destroyed by Assyrians
  3. Tyre – destroyed by Alexander the Great

Their destruction came through God as penalty for their sins (especially Baal/idol worship).

“If these three WORST O.T. cities had seen these miracles, they definitely would have repented and still be here now. It will be more bearable for THESE than for you New T. cities on the day of final judgment.”

What is the problem? Why? What is the sin of these three? How is it more wicked?

New T.

  1. Korazin
  2. Bethsaida
  3. Capernaum

4 Sins

Romans 4:15? “Everything written in the past, was written to teach us – to give us a lesson.”

We must apply these in our own practical lives.

#1: Sin of neglect of responsibility/privilege

All three cities were in Galilee – the main place where Jesus did his ministry, miracles, signs, wonders.
John 21:25 “Jesus did other many things as well. If all these things were written down, I think even the whole world would have not enough room for the books that would be written.”

Wow. Jesus did SO MANY signs here – they received a wonderful privilege/blessing.

Lesson: The more privilege, the more responsibility. The more blessing, the more we are to bless others.

If we are really saved – only salvation alone is enough to say “we have privilege” – to become children of God, blessing.
Responsibility = response to our ability

#2: Sin of indifference

This is a generation of indifference… ( “Who cares…” )

  • These three cities didn’t attack Jesus.
  • They didn’t love Jesus.
  • They just said, “eh.” and ignored him.

Indifference is a sin.
All the time, I thank God for all of you for your listening to the word of God – especially in the sermon time. Thank you very much.

But, here are 4 cases:
If anybody shows indifference to the word of God.

  1. Makes God unhappy
  2. Makes Satan (enemy) happy
  3. Makes the speaker disappointed
  4. Kills/condemns him or her who disregards the word

#3: Sin of doing nothing

There is the sin of nature, attitude, deed, and action. There is also the sin of NO action.

If we are saved, we are saved to work – to serve others. This is a spiritual rebirth.

Yes, we are not saved by works – it is through grace by faith we are saved.

Being saved and not doing good is MORE wicked than NOT saved and doing bad.

  • Ephesians 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship created in Jesus Christ to do good works which God prepared for us in advance.”
  • James “If you know the good you must do and DO NOT DO IT, you sin.”

#4: Sin of unbelief/disbelief

Unbelief = unrepentance
The sin of sins (the greatest sin which cannot be forgiven is the sin of no repentance – the sin of unbelief)
NOT believing in Jesus is the greatest sin – which cannot be forgiven – in this world.

v. 25-27

This is a prayer to God the Father out of his own experience. The wise men, religious men rejected him – only simple people accepted him. The intellectuals didn’t welcome him – only the humble welcomed him.

Jesus doesn’t condemn intelligence or intellectuals. But he condemns pride that comes from that. Spiritual understanding is not a matter of the head, but a matter of the heart. It is a gift of God. God hides himself and reveals himself as he wants – because he is sovereign.

John 14:7-9 “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father in heaven…”

If you want to see what God is like, who God is like, the nature, heart, attitude of God = “look at me” Jesus says.

Only IN Jesus, do we have a clear picture and understanding of who God is. But only the humble and faithful will see and understand.

Jesus’ Wonderful, Gracious Invitation to Us
Imagine if you receive an invitation from the Blue house, White house, etc, how wonderful. But this is an invitation letter from our KING.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

3 commanding verbs summarize this invitation:

  1. Come
  2. Take
  3. Learn

#1 – Come

Come = Trust in Jesus, believe in Him, live/eat with Him
All other religions say DO, DO, DO! Do something! Jesus says, not “do” but “come!”

No matter who it is, the soul without Christ is a restless wanderer. True freedom, true peace, true deliverance from fear and frustration, true promise of help and guidance, true happiness is found only in Jesus Christ.

From the Creation of the world – only one person – God in flesh, Jesus Christ, can say like this “COME.”

#2 – Take

Take = deeper experience.
Yes, he gives salvation – eternal life. When we follow him as our Lord as his followers, we will experience a deeper safety, security, obedience. His yoke = well fitting – the most suitable for us.

#3 – Learn

Learn = Process. A continual deeper fellowship and experience with him.
As we commit more and more, follow more and more, our lives will be more and more purified, sanctified around Christ, and glorified in Christ.

  • To gain Christ = to gain ALL
  • To miss Christ = to miss ALL – here, and after death.
  1. Jesus is the Savior of the world.

  2. Jesus is the Savior of each individual person.

You cannot worship 1000 gods, nor 100 gods, not even 2 gods. There is ONLY ONE. Trust him – he will take hold of your life and carry you into eternity.

May God bless us with this wonderful promise, covenant, and blessing.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 16 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and I (Matthew 11:1-15)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and I (Matthew 11:1-15)

03.16

03.16.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. 2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

10 “This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears, let him hear.


Do you have ears? God bless us with our hands, ears, eyes, feet, mouth. 

As we know, in Chp 10, we studied 3 times – Jesus called his 12 disciples (apostles) and gave them authority and power to go on mission. After that, he didn’t take a rest – he went on to do his mission continually: Preaching, Teaching, & Healing.

At that time, JB was in prison by Herod – because he’d publicly rejected Herod’s adulterous relationship and marriage. JB was very active, he was sent as the forerunner of God to testify to Jesus so that through him all men might believe in Christ. Now, in prison, he cannot speak outside publicly anymore. He thought more and more about Jesus, and the more and more he thought, the more and more he was convinced that YES Jesus was the Messiah. So he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask him – and he put all his hope in this one question. “Are you the One who was to come?”

This question may look like a doubtful question – but it can also be seen as a question through which the light of hope is shining. 

Jesus’ answer = v.4-6

This answer of Jesus is a quotation from Isaiah 29, and 35:4-6. In two places in Isaiah, these same words can be found. So, Jesus reminded him of the OT prophecies about the works of the Messiah. He pointed him toward his acts of healing, his preaching, and his teaching. YES! With so much evidence, Jesus’ identity should have been obvious. In this answer, we hear the accent of confidence. He didn’t say, “Tell John what I’m talking about.” He said, “Tell John what you SEE.”

Jesus’ answer is the same today. SEE what I can do for you. SEE what I have done for others. 

The very things Jesus did 2000 years ago in Galilee, he is doing still today.

  • The truth about God and his works can only be seen (eyes opened) when you have faith in Christ.
  • Feet that are not strong, can be strengthened in Jesus.
  • Those contaminated by the disease of sin can only be purified by Jesus Christ.
  • Those who are deaf to the voice of God can only hear in Christ.
  • Those who are dead in sin can be raised to the newness and liveliness of life in Jesus.
  • Those who are poor in spirit can receive the richness of the love of God only in Christ. 

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

His invitation is, was, and will be the same. Give your life to me and see and experience what I can do with your life. 

The supreme argument for Christ is not intellectual debate, but the experience of his life-changing power.

v. 7-10

After this, Jesus talks about JB.

This is a quotation from Malachi 3:1 “I will send my messenger ahead of you…”

Jesus asks and answers 3 questions about JB:

What did you go out to see in the desert?

  1. A reed swayed in the wind? NO. – A reed was a kind of grass on the banks of the Jordan River – symbolizing the most COMMON of things to see. Another meaning = a weak vacillator – he never takes a stand on anything – always tossed about by various opinions (flip-flopper). We know they did NOT go to see this – JB’s fiery preaching was not like a reed.
  2. A man with fine clothes? NO – John’s clothes = camel’s hair. If they wanted to see a rich man, they should have gone to a palace. Such a man would be a courtier. He was not a courtier. He was an ambassador of God – not a courtier of King Herod.
  3. A prophet? YES – The prophet is a foreteller of the truth of God. He had confidence in God and the wisdom of God in his mind, the truth of God in his mouth, the courage of God in his heart. The job of the prophet was to show the true Messiah to man. JB was the LAST of the OT prophets – and he saw the Son of Man with his own two eyes. This made him more than a prophet.

Today, what do you come to church to see in Jesus Christ? Yes, we worship God, but what do you come to SEE in Jesus? Entertainment? No. Luxurious clothes? No. 

Why do you come to church? What do you come to see? “I come to see my personal Lord, Savior, God, in Jesus Christ and to worship him together with my brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Jesus continues to talk about JB in v. 11 (much meaning).

“I tell you the truth” = “listen well, this is SUPER important…”

First Jesus exalts JB to the highest place among all human beings “He is THE greatest among all born of women.” Yes, he is the greatest, biggest man in the history of the world. 

But then, Jesus lowers JB to the lowest place in the kingdom of heaven. How can these two opposites both be true? 

Yes, JB is THE greatest in human history. Before sharing this, let’s have one question: Who is greater, JB or you? Before God? (Silently)

Your personal answer to this question is the correct answer…to you.

Yes, he was the GREATEST in history – the only one who baptized Jesus in the Jordan, the only prophet to see and point people DIRECTLY to Jesus. In this sense, JB is the greatest in all of history. Yes, in this world.

BUT, in the kingdom of heaven, the least is greater than JB. It means, if we are truly in the kingdom of heaven by believing in Jesus, we are greater than JB. What did John lack? It’s simple and fundamental. He’d never seen the cross. Therefore, he never understood the FULL revelation of the love of God manifested through the cross.

The love of God, the holiness, the judgment, the warning, the penalty of God he preached, but he never FULLY understood the love of God because he died before Jesus died (and rose again to inaugurate his kingdom). 

No one ever fulfilled his God-given purpose better than JB, but he never saw the cross with his eyes.

It is an amazing thing for us to know more about God than the greatest of the great OT prophets. 

Yes, in his coming kingdom, we have a greater spiritual heritage than JB, because we have known and seen the FINISHED work of Christ on the cross. We can have greater privilege than JB.

Yes, JB is great, greater, the greatest – in that his FIRST message was the same as that of Jesus Christ “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is near!” And Jesus came as the king of his kingdom. It means, Jesus is the REALITY of the kingdom of heaven – this is Jesus’ dominion as king. Wherever Jesus is in control as King, that is the kingdom of heaven. How can we receive this? 

ONE WAY: by believing in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sin and rose again for my salvation – and accept him as my personal Lord, King, Savior, and God. We receive by believing in the truth of Jesus’ substitutionary attonement. This is the gospel message. 

JB did preach a powerful and wonderful message, BUT it wasn’t the gospel – because there was no story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

We can be greater than JB in this sense. He had no opportunity to preach the message of the cross – the message of the gospel. But we have this wonderful blessing to preach and share this very message of the cross. 

IF you and I preach and share the message of the gospel – the death and resurrection of Jesus – then we are greater than JB in God’s redemptive history. 

That’s why this passage says “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

v. 12-15

Jesus continues to talk about JB. 

Let’s see two verses:

  1. Malachi 4:5 (last book, last chapter, almost last verse of OT) “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day when the Lord comes.”
  2. Matthew 24:14 (prophecy of the last day of the last days) “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and THEN the end will come.” (This is the prophecy of the last day of the last days.)

v. 12 “Forcefully advancing – forceful men” 

Yes, the kingdom of heaven was started with the death and resurrection of Jesus, but the consummation of the kingdom of heaven is YET to come. The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of this world now stand AGAINST each other – because Satan is the king/prince of this world/age. So, until the consummation of the kingdom of heaven is finished, there is fighting between these two kingdoms. 

From when JB was imprisoned wrongly, the kingdom of heaven has experienced violence and persecution. So, if we accept the kingdom of heaven, we need violent devotion – forceful attitude, assertive action – to keep the kingdom of heaven safely and peacefully. 

“John is like Elijah”

JB came in spirit and power of Elijah – he also dressed like Elijah and ministered like him – and had a message of judgment for the apostate nation of Israel. 

The last book, chp, almost verse – it prophesied the coming of Elijah again before the last day. Jesus regarded the coming of JB as the fulfillment of that prophecy. 

How about us? Yes, we can be greater than JB IF we are used in fulfilling the prophecy of the last days in Matthew 24:14. “This gospel will be preached to all nations and then the end will come.” (And then I will come.)

If we are used in fulfilling this prophecy, we will be counted, regarded by God as greater than JB in God’s redemptive history. 

“He who has ears, let him hear. She who has ears, let her hear.”

God bless us with our hands, feet, ears, and mouth. 

Let’s pray. 

  • Feb 16 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Discipleship is a Blessing to Others (Matthew 10:32-42)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Discipleship is a Blessing to Others (Matthew 10:32-42)

02.16

02.16.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF File>

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

40 “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”


Today’s verses are heavy.

Last time, Jesus encouraged us to “Fear not!” Do you remember?

  1. Because he suffered for us.
  2. Because our God will bring everything to light.
  3. Because we fear God alone. (The fear of God removes all other fears.)
  4. Because God cares for his children (even a sparrow doesn’t die without his knowing – and all our hairs are numbered).

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”

One more “Fear not” today.

  • Because Christ honors those who honor and acknowledge him. (v. 32-33)

To acknowledge, confess Jesus = MORE than just saying “Jesus is king.” We must show it with our lives also. Walk and talk must go together.

In heaven, Jesus has 2 ministries:

  1. High Priest: gives grace, continual grace to keep us from sinning.
  2. Advocate: forgives and restores us when we sin.

He is faithful even if we aren’t faithful. The benefit of his heavenly ministry = benefits of his sacrificial work on the cross.

Double loyalty of the Christian life:

  1. If we are loyal now, he is loyal then (eternal life)
  2. If we are proud to confess him as Lord now, he will be proud to confess us as his servants then.

Historical Fact: if there were not BOLD, PROUD servants who acknowledged Jesus before men in the past, there would be no church today.

Warning:

  • Disown Jesus, ashamed of Jesus now, he will be ashamed of us before the Father God in heaven.

Paul “I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God for everyone who believes.”

How can we deny/disown him before men?

3 Ways we deny/disown Christ:

1. Our Words

Someone asks you “Do you believe in Jesus?” We say, “Yeah… I go there, but I don’t really care about it. You guys are better. Don’t worry about it.”

2. Silence

There is a threat of things unsaid in the Christian life. Many times, this life gives us an opportunity to say something against evil, to defend doctrine, to take a stand, to show what side we are on. But, if we keep silent again and again, such a silence is a DENIAL of Christ before men.

3. Actions/Attitudes

Do something before men that Jesus doesn’t like.

So, Jesus offers a SWORD. (v. 34-36)

Strange. This looks very strange.

Yes, in the Bible, it is very clear that Jesus has come to give us peace.

  • Isaiah (700 years earlier) “A son is given to us, the government will be upon his shoulders, and he will be called: Everlasting Father, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace.”
  • Luke “Peace on earth to men on whom his favor rests.”
  • Paul “We have peace with God through Christ based on the grace on which we now stand.”
  • We have peace with God through the cross.
  • Before his crucifixion: “Peace I give you, my peace I leave with you.”

So…. what’s up with the SWORD?

To give us TRUE peace, Jesus must destroy FALSE peace.

True peace can only be found in Jesus.

The Christian life is a spiritual war. Once we have confessed him and identified with him, we are part of the war. If we deny him, or remain silent, that is sin.

The sword is to FIGHT.

Ephesians 6:12 “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities of the spiritual realm.”

We are IN spiritual warfare.

Sword also means DIVISION/SEPARATION.

Among humans, there are already many divisions in this world (Olympics). One day, ALL divisions will be destroyed – race, nation, language, sex, age, etc. One day, there will be only ONE division: Christ acceptors, Christ deniers. This will be an eternal, everlasting division.

(v. 36) Did you experience this among your own family members?

In Jesus’ time, in the early church time, if a Jew became a Christian, he wasn’t cast out by the Roman government, but he was excommunicated from his own synagogue, from his own people.

Even today, if a man converts to Christ truly, the greatest persecution happens to him from his own immediate family members: Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Secularists, etc.

There is a basic principle we must keep in our marriage:

  1. Marry the OTHER sex (this is biblical)
  2. Marry the SAME faith

2 Cor 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. What do righteousness and unrighteousness have in common? What fellowship have light and darkness? What connection is there between the temple of God and idols?”

This means, a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.

Jesus offers a CHOICE: v. 37

Can you accept this verse by faith truly?

The discipleship road is a continual choice, a resolution, determination. This road is not only the FIRST day of the new year, or new life, but EVERYDAY throughout the year, we must make our resolution. We must make our singular loyalty to Jesus Christ.

When Jesus met Peter after his resurrection, he only asked one question: “Do you truly love me?” (3 times) “Feed my lambs; take care of my sheep; feed my sheep.”

  • If we believe in Jesus, he will save us.
  • If we love him first, he will give us a great commission to save others.

We know he doesn’t want our family love to be broken – he wants us to love and help each other. But the secret is: if you love Jesus first, then when you love your wife.

  • If you force your wife to obey, she will obey less.
  • If you encourage your wife to love Jesus more, she will love you more.

Jesus offers the cross (v. 38)

Christianity = the religion of the cross

There is ALWAYS some cross.

During Jesus’ time they knew what the cross was. A Roman general (Barrus) crucified 2,000 Jews and strung their crosses out along the entire road to Galilee. And those people had to carry their own crosses to the place of their own execution.

Taking the cross is a symbol of utter humility. It doesn’t mean just wearing some jewelry. It means to do Christ’s will, to preach the gospel, to follow Jesus.

To “follow Jesus” doesn’t mean “walk behind.” It means “take the SAME road of sacrifice and service Jesus took.”

1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, that you would follow in Jesus’ steps.”

Jesus offers Adventure (v. 39)

Christian life = a paradox. A positive and negative statement of the same truth. If we cling to this life, we will lose the best life in this world and the world to come.

There are only 2 choices:

  1. Spare our life
  2. Sacrifice our life

True work = selfishness vs. sacrifice

  • Matthew 16:25 “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life will find it.”
  • Mark 8:38? Same
  • Luke 9:24 Same
  • Luke 17:33 “Whoever tries to KEEP it, loses it…”
  • John 12:25 “The one who LOVES his life will lose is. Whoever HATES his life will keep it for eternal life.”

The more we love this earthly life’s rewards:

Honor, Glory, Recognition, Worldly success, Money, Popularity, Fame,…

The more we will find how empty they are really.

The best way to find true life is to LOOSEN our greedy grasp on this life, and be FREE to be a blessing to as many others as possible.

We receive blessing from God, we are to give that blessing to others.

This chapter is the Missionary Chapter. (Not the Baby Christian Chapter.) v. 40-42

Not everyone will accept our message, nor will everyone reject our message. Those who receive it will receive a reward. We are the ambassadors of Christ, his representatives. We know why God called Abraham (Genesis 12)

  1. To bless him
  2. To save him
  3. To send him
  4. To bless others
  5. To save others through him
  • “I will bless those you bless, I will curse those you curse.”
  • All people, all nations on earth will be blessed through you.

Jesus calls us, saves us, to send us, to bless others, to save others through us.

If this is true, that Jesus is God, become Man, to die on the cross for our sins, and was raised again, and is coming again soon…how is it possible to be ashamed? If we truly believe this. He’s still alive with us. What a Savior! What a Lord! He is coming soon!

God bless us.

Let’s pray.

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