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

March 30, 2014

Book: Matthew

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


Sermon Notes

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.