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  • Dec 23 / 2018
  • Comments Off on What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming? (Matthew 2:1-11)
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming? (Matthew 2:1-11)

Download Notes in a .MD file

What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming?

Matthew 2:1-11 (Pastor Heo)

The Visit of the Magi

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ “

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were **overjoyed**. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.


Merry Christmas!

I wish you a Merry Christmas, yes, but I also want to ask you a question: to whom can Christmas become really Christmas? Is Christmas really a merry Christmas to you?

We know the spelling of “Christmas” = “Christ” + “mass”

  1. “Christ” = Greek christos (The Anointed One, the Promised Messiah, the offices of King, Prophet, Priest)
  2. “Mass” = Latin? mas or mista? (this means “worship”)
  • So, “Christmas” = “worship Christ”
  • “Merry Christmas” = “worship Christ merrily”

So, when you greet others, please let them know the REAL meaning of Christmas. Please, bless your neighbor with “Merry Christmas” from your deep heart.

Based on this story, not only at THAT time, but even today, there are 3 reactions of man toward Jesus’ coming.

When hearing these, consider: which is mine?

# 3 Reactions to Jesus’ Coming

1. Reaction of Herod

Hatred / anger / fear

He was a temporary king, and was so afraid of a “real” king that he gave orders to kill ALL the baby boys in that area under 2 years old. He was afraid that this little baby would interfere with his power, position, influence, etc. So, he wanted to kill the baby Jesus.

Even today, there are those who want to (spiritually) kill Jesus – even in their attitudes – because they wish to do whatever they like / want to do. But Jesus will not allow them to.

The man who only wants to do whatever he wants has no use for Jesus Christ.

The coming of Christ is the greatest challenge in this world.

Imagine if I say: “Change your job / hobby / health / hairstyle / weight / etc” – this may be a big challenge and he will be angry at me.

But Jesus’ coming can be the GREATEST challenge and attack to his life. This means: “Change your Lord / Savior / Master / life purpose / priorities / etc”

Please remember, the Christian in the one who has STOPPED doing only what he likes and has committed himself to doing what CHRIST likes and wants.

This is the true identity of a Christian in front of Christ.

2. Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law

Indifference / apathy

At that time, they were so engrossed in their own temple actions and rituals that they completely disregarded Jesus Christ. Jesus meant NOTHING to them.

This is a strange story.

The chief priests were the MOST religious leaders, so their FIRST concern should be God. But when God became man, they missed it.

The teachers of the Law were doctors and masters and professors in the matter of Scripture. The theme of the Scriptures is the Messiah to come – but when the Messiah himself CAME, they did not recognize it. How sad!

Imagine:

  • they spend their WHOLE lives studying Scripture and
  • the WHOLE topic of Scripture is Jesus Christ,
  • but they MISSED Christ.

This is also possible today:

Someone spends his WHOLE life and activity attending church, but he missed Christ.

Thus, a Christian’s FIRST concern must be Christ. Please, do not forget: A Christian’s FIRST concern must be Christ.

A believer’s first purpose, first interest should be Jesus Christ.

3. Reaction of the Magi

(wise men from the East)

Adoring worship = the purpose of the journey of the Magi

God bless you to be wise men.

  • Say, “I’m wise…”
  • Tell your neighbor, “You look so wise!”

Jesus says in the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7) “Anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. When the rains come and the winds blow, the house remains standing because it is built on the rock – with a firm foundation…”

Adoring worship = the purpose of the journey of the Magi

Yes, our life in this world is a journey. On coming to the house (3 or more? because there are 3 kinds of gifts), they saw Mary and Jesus (maybe Joseph as well) – but they worshiped Jesus ONLY.

Joseph and Mary are NOT the objects of our worship. Worship belongs to God alone – this means that we recognize that Jesus is God – the very nature God.

When we recognize the love of God IN Jesus Christ, we also should be lost in wonder and praise.

  • They came to worship Christ as their best gifts.
  • We must know that for our worship to be true worship, we must give Jesus our best gifts as well.

Gifts of the Magi

They knelt down and worshiped him with their BEST gifts. These are very symbolic gifts: characteristic of his ministry and person:

1. Gold = for a KING

Jesus was born to be King of the world

Whether he or she knows it or not, EVERYONE has their own king.

Jesus is to rule over our whole hearts and lives – he is our personal king. Before we can be best friends with Jesus Christ, we must submit to him. When we say, “Jesus is my King” it means we are totally ready to give our complete submission to him and to kneel down before him.

What is the gold you will give Jesus today?

2. Incense (frankincense) = for PRIESTS

This perfume was used in the temple.

We know the main job of the priest was to open the way for God to man. “Pontifax” = bridge builder = between God and man.

Because of sin, there is a big gap between God and man. This is what Jesus did. Jesus opened the way to God for us. But he did not say, “I made the way to God for you.” But rather he said, “I AM the way.”

“No one comes to the Father except by me.” He is:

  • Wonderful Counselor,
  • Mighty God,
  • Everlasting Father,
  • Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

3. Myrrh = to embalm the one who was to die (PROPHECY)

Jesus came into the world to live for us and then to die for us. He came to give his best for us, and his death for us.

He gave us his BEST gift, so it is only natural (our privilege) to also give OUR best gift to him. Isn’t that just logical?

Jesus: “I did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for all people.”

Remember, since the creation of the heavens and earth, Jesus is the ONLY person whose ancestry, birth time, place, manner, reception, rejection, suffering, persecution, crucifixion, resurrection was ALL prophesied – even hundreds of years before he was born.

This means that Jesus is the CENTER of the world’s desire, the keystone, the foundation, the cornerstone of ALL prophecy from the creation of the world.

So, the WISEST man is the one who gives his BEST to Jesus.

There is hope.

The WISEST gives Jesus his BEST.

To give to Jesus is the BEST investment, the best insurance, the best savings, the best deposit in eternity and for eternity.

How and for what do you spend your

  • Time,
  • Treasures, and
  • Talents?

Merry Christmas! (Really?)

Yes, I wish a Merry Christmas to all of us until we stand before Christ as Lord and God.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 20 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) – Christmas 2015
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) – Christmas 2015


12.20.2015

12.20.2015-PHeo

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  • Aug 23 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Immanuel (Matthew 28:18-20)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Immanuel (Matthew 28:18-20)

08.23

08.23.2015-PHeo

Download Sermon Notes

Immanuel (also see Christmas 2014 sermon)

Matthew 28:18-20 (Pastor Heo)

The Great Commission (Final will and command of our King, God, Lord, Savior – the command of a king is not optional, but absolute. We MUST obey this mandate.)

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


Our Lord Jesus is a King, the King of Kings. So, he has authority to use POWER.

Matthew stresses Jesus’ authority – shown through

  1. his teaching and healing –
  2. authority over Satan,
  3. spiritual beings,
  4. nature,
  5. ALL authority (in heaven and on earth)

So we can obey him without fear – in whatever circumstances and situations we find ourselves. By his death and resurrection, he defeated ALL enemies and won ALL authority.

He is a missionary king. Christianity is a missionary faith – God’s character demands it = “God is love and desires that no men perish, but all come to a saving knowledge of his Son…”

If we knew that, we would also want to go out and tell all the world this good news.

In this Great Commission, Jesus says, “Go out and make disciples.”

What is a disciple? Biblically:

A disciple is a Christian who is making disciples who can make more disciples… (Twitter)

  1. First step = commit my life to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
  2. This disciple who makes other disciples will be able to fully experience the 4 dimensions of Immanuel ( “God is with us” ).

The book of Matthew = the book of Immanuel.

  1. Chapter 1 “All this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and they shall call him “Immanuel” which means “God with us.”’”
  2. The final sentence “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age” is another view of Immanuel.

So, the book of Matthew = begins with Immanuel and ends with Immanuel.

The whole Bible is a book of Immanuel – a book of World Missions.

In the Bible, there are 5 kinds of Immanuel (Christmas sermon 2014 also explains these):

These are the same in human language, but different in meaning and effect:

In the WHOLE BIBLE, 5 types (many hours of study compressed into 25 minutes):

Immanuel = God is With Us / God is With Me

#1: One-dimensional = Immanuel applied to all Creation of God (living and unliving things – humans and non-humans) –

  • Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God is creator, sustainer, and keeper of ALLLLLLL Creation.
  • Eph 4:6 “There is one God” 

The Bible makes this clear “There is only ONE God who is over all, through all, and IN all.” He is omnipresent – he feeds the birds, he grows the plants. Not even one things falls to the ground without the permission of God.

Heb 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being – he is sustaining all things with his powerful Word.” Why is the SUN up in the air? Because Jesus is ACTIVELY sustaining it. (Sidenote: some of us may have too SMALL an understanding of God)

#2: 2D = Immanuel applied to ALL human beings (good and bad) – God is with ALL people Christian and non-Christian.

  • Psalm 139:7-9 “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the mountain, if I go to the depths, you are already there.”

God sends his rain to the Christians AND the non-Christians. Yes, even though the non-Christians do not recognize that God is with them, YET he is with them. This is the “General Grace” of God – to ALL human beings.

#3: 3D = Immanuel applied to Christians (children of God – believers – penitent humans who’ve confessed Christ as Savior and Lord).

Jesus himself says his nickname is Immanuel (John 10:20?) “I give you eternal life – you will never perish – no one can snatch you out of my Father’s hand.”

  • Heb 13:5 “Keep yourself free from the love of money – keep yourself content with what you have for God has (promised) “NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.””
  • “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Nothing in all Creation. In all these things we are MORE than conquerors.” (Romans 8:38~)

This is Immanuel given to only born again Christians – the children of God. This is:

  1. salvation,
  2. eternal life,
  3. justification,
  4. sanctification,
  5. peace,
  6. joy,
  7. intimate fellowship/relationship with God,
  8. perseverance of the saints.

We are safe and secure in Christ based on not what I did, but based on what Christ did on the cross.

#5 (skip 4 for now) = Cannot be experienced in this world – this is YET TO COME.

This is the Immanuel (God with us) which true Christians will experience in the literal heaven with God for eternity.

  • 1 Thes “The Lord Jesus Christ will come down from heaven with the cry of the archangel and a loud trumpet sound and the dead in Christ will rise first, and then those who are alive in Christ will be caught up with him in the air and we will be with him forever more.”

This is the FIFTH dimensional Immanuel which we will enjoy in heaven eternally.

What is the meaning of this Immanuel?

We will SEE God face to face, we will reign with Christ as co-heirs with him, we will share his victory. Absolutely we cannot experience this kind of Immanuel with these physical bodies – so we will be changed into heavenly bodies with him.

There is no more crying, no more troubles, pain, cancer, suffering, death.

#4: 4D (*What time is it now?) = this is the promise and guarantee that Jesus is mentioning in this final verse “And surely I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS to the very END OF THE AGE.” (this is not the eternal 5D Immanuel)

This type of Immanuel is only available in THIS world. He will no longer be available to us in the next age (heaven).

So, you can see how this one word “Immanuel” is the same in language, but TOTALLY different in meaning.

  1. God is with Creation
  2. God is with humans
  3. God is with believers
  4. God is with disciple-makers (functional, conditional)
  5. God is with believer IN HEAVEN
  • #1,2,3,5 are immutable, unconditional
  • #4 = conditional – make disciples and THEN I am with you

Remember Moses and Joshua?

Already, Moses had been enjoying Immanuel with him – then God called Moses to free the Israelites in the Exodus “I will be with you”

Before this, he was afraid (and 80 years old) “No, no, who am I that I should do this? I can’t.” God promised “I will be with you.”

Not only in the OT, but also the NT, the BEST BLESSING AND GUARANTEE is “I will be with you.” (Immanuel)

Joshua = Moses’ successor

God was with Joshua at least 40 years. Joshua was enjoying Immanuel God with him but when God called him to conquer Canaan, God gave him the promise of Immanuel again “I will be with you. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you through ALL the days of your life.”

So, what is the difference?

THIS promise of Immanuel is for:

  • Mission, ministry, service

This is the promise of Jesus in Matthew 28, the Great Commission.

To Moses = the promise that “you will be like a god” before Pharaoh, before the people, before your brother = you will be MY agent (as long as you carry out your mission, my power will be manifest through you and shown outwardly) THIS is the 4D Immanuel.

“All authority has been given to me. THEREFORE, go and make disciples of all nations.” (And MY authority will be manifested through you).

Moses performed at least 10 miracles before coming out of Egypt – then he made the sea part, then water came out of rocks (twice).

Who performed these miracles?

  • God performed the miracles through Moses.
  • Moses performed the miracles BY God.

“Go and make disciples of all nations and surely I AM WITH YOU to the very end of the age.”

Thank you for coming today. Now, GO – make disciples.

This is the Great Commission (the Great Command) of our King.

May God bless all of us with this 4D Immanuel. Let us all recognize further, more and more, how GOD IS WITH US.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 09 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Why is the Resurrection of Jesus so Important? (Matthew 28:1-10)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Why is the Resurrection of Jesus so Important? (Matthew 28:1-10)

08.09.2015

08.09.2015-PHeo

Download Sermon Notes

Why is the Resurrection of Jesus so Important?

Matthew 28:1-10 (Pastor Heo)

1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; HE HAS RISEN, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”


The first four books of the NT are “gospels” = “good news”.

All four end with the story of the crucifixion and resurrection. Therefore, this is the CORE message of the gospels – no doubt.

Before today’s topic, review last week’s “What does the cross say?”

Four things from last time:

  1. If a man was on the cross, he was TERRIBLY SINFUL and GUILTY. Jesus’ cross said, Jesus was innocent and blameless.
  2. A man was POWERLESS, Jesus was totally POWERFUL.
  3. A man was HARMFUL and SELFISH, Jesus was SACRIFICIALLY GIVING.
  4. A man was a MAN, Jesus was FULLY GOD.
  5. A man going HIS WAY – ALONE – separated from his loved ones, his family, his friends, relatives, neighbors. No one could be his company. Jesus EMBRACED ALL SINNERS in his heart, bringing ALL MEN to him.

Please see these spiritual truths now.

  • Heb 1:11 “Faith is being sure of what we do not see.” Faith is power to see the invisible reality of the past, present, future. Ex: The sun rises every morning and sets every evening. Yes, it looks like this is true. But in the invisible reality, the sun is there ALL the time, in its place, fixed, and unmoving. Like this, in the spiritual world, in the sin phenomenon, we started to BE from our physical birth – yes, this is true – but spiritually speaking, we started to BE in the heart of God from the Creation of the world. 
  • Eph 4:1 “God chose us from the Creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

Like this, invisible phenomenon, when Jesus was crucified 2000 years ago, we were not there, but in the unseen, spiritual world, WE WERE THERE WITH HIM – in his heart, when he died on the cross. 

Yes, we know he was sinless, guiltless, blameless. Then, WHY did God forsake him? Jesus himself cried out in this manner. WHY? Because all sinners were gathered IN Jesus, and were punished. In the physical world, the Romans crucified Christ, but in the spiritual world, GOD crucified Christ.

  • Gal 2:21
  • Romans 8:6-8 “If we died with Christ, we believe we will live with him as well in his resurrection.”

The RESURRECTION

What’s so important about it? (It’s the crux of our faith…)

This is THE central fact of Christian history. On the resurrection of Christ, the church is BUILT. Without this resurrection, there would be NO church today – none whatsoever.

Yes, there are other religions, they have their own ethics, doctrines, ideas, concepts about paradise. But only Christianity has a God who became human who became man, died for his people, and rose in glory to rule his people in power today.

The theme of Matthew = Kingship.

If ANYTHING proves the Kingship of Christ, it is his resurrection. The final chapter of Matthew is the Record of His Victory.

Two Mary’s came. Actually, they were not permitted to travel on the Sabbath, so they had to wait until after the Sabbath. These two had been there at the crucifixion AND when he’d been put into the tomb. And as dawn approached, they came to the tomb to anoint Christ’s body with perfumes (this was a sign of love, devotion, and respect). This would be like us bringing flowers to the tomb today. They were the FIRST to see the joy of the resurrection.

You remember, three days ago, there was an earthquake.

Wow, again on this morning, there was another VIOLENT earthquake. The angel came from heaven and removed the HUGE stone from the entrance of the tomb. (Why? – Not for Jesus to come out – he didn’t need that – but for the people to go IN – to SEE – he was risen).

“Good news of great joy!” once more:

4 messages:

1. “Don’t be afraid.”

(Jesus also said this to them at their FIRST meeting)

Are you afraid of something? We must remember the empty tomb. The reality of the empty tomb brings JOY, not fear.

33 years ago, there was the announcement of “good news of great joy” and this first message was “do not be afraid” – “TODAY a Savior has been born to you.”

2. “He is not here; he has risen – just as he said.”

Jesus was not to be looked from among the dead because he is alive with his people.

3. “Come and see.”

The tomb still is empty. This is a historical fact – if it were not empty, it would be a huge tourist spot – just like all the other prophet’s tombs.

4. “Go and tell.”

If we see that Jesus is resurrected, we must tell others. This is the normal course of a Christian’s life.

“Come and see; go and tell.” 

Come to church, come to God, come to Christ, and SEE (many meanings – 30 meanings in the English language – understand, grasp, enjoy, believe, witness with your eyes, experience with your life).

Then, go to the world and TELL.

WHY is this resurrection SO important? There is MUCH to say, let me give you 4 points:

1. It is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity.

Without this, there is no church. Even today, many admit the necessity of the DEATH of Christ even if they don’t agree with his resurrection. Yet, this is VITALLY important – there is abundant evidence for it.

1 Cor 15 “The resurrection chapter” – shows that EVERYTHING in this world stands or falls on the resurrection. “If Jesus has NOT risen again from the dead, then ALL my preaching is a LIE – and we are ALL still in our SINS – and our faith is in VAIN – and all who have fallen asleep in Christ have PERISHED. So of ALL men on earth, we should be the MOST pitied IF Christ has not risen.” Also, if Jesus has not been raised, then the entire New Testament is worthless. The entire thrust of the book of Acts is emphasizing his resurrection.

2. It is important in the application of salvation.

Are you saved? “There is no other name under heaven be which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) “God exhalted him to the highest place that Jesus might be the head of his church.” It was absolutely necessary that Jesus rise before he could baptize his believers in the Holy Spirit. All these are preparatory for his bestowing gifts on mankind.

Romans 5:10 “If when we were God’s enemies, we have been reconciled to God through the death of Christ, then HOW MUCH MORE shall we be saved through his LIFE.” His death saves us; His resurrection PERFECTS our salvation.

3. This is an exhibition of the divine power. (miracle) –

This is the performance of God’s power. In the OT, the standard of the divine power was often expressed in the way that God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt.

In the NT, the standard of the divine power is expressed in the way that God brought us out of slavery to sin through the death and resurrection of Christ.

Phil 3:10 “I want to know Jesus Christ and the POWER of his resurrection, and the fellowship with sharing in his suffering…”

Remember, still today, this kind of power revealed in the resurrection is AVAILABLE for us to experience through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

4. The resurrection GUARANTEES our resurrection.

(He is the first fruits of many). Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life, whoever believes in me will live even though he dies.” (John)

Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you, he will also raise you and give life to your mortal bodies.”

Jesus is the FIRST fruit. So we expect second fruit, third fruit, continual fruit. This is very logical and natural.

Last time, in #5, when Christ was crucified, we were WITH Christ. Our OLD self DIED with him on the cross. So when Christ ROSE, we also ROSE with him.

  • Eph 2:5 “God who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in our sins and transgressions. He has seated us (already) with Christ in the heavenly realms – so that he might show the incomparable riches of his grace expressed to us in Christ.”

Jesus resurrection body = a model of our own resurrection body we will receive someday soon.

  1. It will be REAL, tangible, touchable, recognizable as the SAME person.
  2. It will be a heavenly, imperishable, immutable, powerful, glorious, eternal body.

This is the power of the resurrection we can enjoy and experience even now and here in the name of Jesus Christ.

God bless us all with the power of the resurrection of Christ, now and in our daily lives.

Let’s pray.

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

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

10.12

10.12.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Saving Faith is Confessing Christ

Matthew 16:1-19 (Pastor Heo)

The Demand for a Sign

16:1-12pp — Mk 8:11-21

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

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

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

Peter’s Confession of Christ

16:13-16pp — Mk 8:27-29; Lk 9:18-20

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


 

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

This whole chapter is all about Faith.

4 Kinds of Faith

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

Sadducees and Pharisees came together and challenged Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3: Saving Faith – Confessing Jesus Christ

At least we must reach THIS level of faith

(v. 13-19)

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

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

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

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

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

Who do people say Jesus is?

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

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

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

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

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

3 offices were anointed by oil in those days:

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

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

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

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

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

Who/what is the Rock? NOT Peter himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless us with his blessing upon the church.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 24 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Matthew is The Book of the King! (Matthew 1:1-17)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Matthew is The Book of the King! (Matthew 1:1-17)

03.24

03.24.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

There are two lines concerning the coming of the Christ:

  1. He was to come as a savior from sin.
  2. He was to come as a king with a kingdom.

He came as a double role.

We studied John for about 2 years.

  • John emphasizes Jesus as SAVIOR.
  • Matthew emphasizes Jesus as KING.

In Christian’s life, faith and work, mission and life, privilege and responsibility go together.

  • If we have faith – we have fruit.
  • If we are sons of God – we are to live as princes and princesses of God.

Sonship and kingship go together all the time. 

This is the gospel according to Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, a bridge from the OT to the NT. It starts with a family tree.

In the OT, after the Fall, one of the themes was the geneaology of Adam. The NT starts with Jesus (the Second/Last Adam).

The OT gives the history of Adam’s family – that is a sad story – Jesus came to save the generation of Adam. Through the story, from no choice of our own, we were born as Adam’s family – but by our own choice, through faith, we can be born into the family of Christ.

Why is he introduced as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham? Because in the OT there was a covenant with David and Abraham

Genesis 12 – God promised a son and line through Abraham – his own son.

God promised he’d make Abraham into a great nation, all people were to be blessed through him. This covenant is being fulfilled by Jesus Christ – God sent his one and only son, and left his home and came into this dark, dirty world as his mission field. Whoever denies Jesus will be cursed, whoever believes in him will be blessed.

God gives him the name above all names, so that all knees will bow and worship him. So that all peoples on Earth can be blessed by Jesus.

That’s why Jesus is introduced as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham.

This (boring) story still has 3 points – even MORE! (But we’ve only got like 30 minutes):

  1. Look at the names of the women (important)
  2. See the stage of generation divisions
  3. Look at the keywords in this story

#1: The names of the women

(WOAH! women? In the geneaology? Who is the author? Not a typical dude of that generation)

Women were not counted in number at that time (census, when Jesus fed 5,000, they were regarded as property – to use as a man wanted)

So, in a Jewish man’s prayer, he used to say, “Thanks God that I’m not a Gentile, a slave, nor a woman!” Wow!

So this is shocking, exciting, surprising.

These must have been amazingly GREAT women, right?

Nope…

5 women:

  1. Tamar – dressed like a prostitute to get her father-in-law to get her pregnant – her husband was killed, and her father-in-law Judah said, just wait a bit until my son is older, but he didn’t do his duty, so she lured him in to make a baby with her.
  2. Rahab – prostitute
  3. Ruth – Gentile woman – according to Deut 3:23? No Moabites, no Amonites could enter into the assembly of the Lord, yet here she is.
  4. Bathsheba – King David raped her, and killed her husband in battle, then he took her as his wife, and his first son was killed by God in punishment – but he eventually got Solomon from her
  5. Mary – was a virgin, but when she was found with child…people talk

So, this is a very shocking geneaology. Nobody can judge these women – if you judge them, you also will be judged.

Jesus came to destroy all barriers

Galatians 3:28? Neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, but all are one in Christ – he himself is our peace, he has destroyed and broken down the walls of hostility between all men (and women).

There is no sinner who cannot be forgiven in Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: That is Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom, I’m the worst (the chief).”

“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John?)

#2: The stage of generation divisions.

verse 17:

  • 14 generations Abraham -> David
  • 14 generations David -> Exile to Babylon
  • 14 generations Exile -> Jesus

Each stage has 14 generations.

It is very good for us to memorize this thing.

Sometimes, the number 7 = perfect in the Bible – so here 14 = double perfect.

Now here, these divisions show us something symbolic.

  1. Stage 1: Up to David. He unified Israel into a nation and made them a power in this world – he was one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history.
  2. Stage 2: The Great Depression – Destruction, Ruin, Tragedy – they lost EVERYTHING
  3. Stage 3: Renewal in Jesus

They are liberated and rescued from their slavery. He turns their mourning into dancing, again..

This shows the spiritual reality of man’s world.

  1. Stage 1: Man is created with greatness! With power, with blessing, in God’s own image. Fill the Earth, subdue it, be fruitful and multiply. Man was given dominion over ALL things and designed for fellowship with God. God’s dream for man was a dream of greatness. If man were a servant of God at that time, God would be king over all Creation. If man loved him, feared him, worshiped him, then ALL Creation would follow along.
  2. Stage 2: Man became a slave of sin rather than a  servant of God. So, man lost his hope, fellowship, life, blessing from God.
  3. Stage 3: Man can regain his greatness through Jesus Christ. God didn’t allow man to be destroyed by his foolishness. That’s why God sent his one and only Son to restore our communion and blessing and relationship with God.

This is our spiritual story with God.

#3: Keyword (Father of)

….sooooo many (39 times – and actually, coincidentally there are 39 books of the OT).

King James says, “Abraham begot Isaac”

begot = 39 times 

The King James version is better to be close to the original Greek.

Begot = pregnant and produce new life.

If we see the genealogy in Genesis 5, we see, “his son lived XXX years and then he DIED.” (Keyword = DIED)

In the genealogy of Jesus (BEGOT).

What does this mean spiritually? 

This is why the Bible says, “In Adam, all die and in Christ, all can be alive.”

  • Adam became a living being from the dust of the Earth, but lost his life through sin.
  • Jesus came as a life-giving spirit to undo what Adam had done.

In our first birth, we automatically belong to Adam. We are dust, sinners, we will die. Adam’s destiny is our destiny – nobody can escape.

That’s why Jesus came to give us new life, eternal life. That’s why we must be born again. To accept Jesus as our life.

One more lesson from “begot”

There are so many people involved:
kings, priests, shepherds, carpenters, beggars, prostitutes – but there is only one common thing that is essential and necessary to be involved in this genealogy of Jesus.

Who could be involved in this?

Only those who “begot” new life.

Matthew 25 “This gospel will be preached to ALL nations and THEN the end will come” (so don’t get your hopes up earlier)

Revelation 22 “Behold, I’m coming soon.”

King James “Behold, I’m coming quickly!” 3 times repeated.

In heaven, another genealogy of the Second Coming of Jesus is being written, not on paper, but in God’s heart.

Whose name can be written in the genealogy of the Second Coming of Christ? 

Pastor? Deacon? Elder? Brother? Sister? Christian? Korean? Westerner? No, no, no.

Only those who “begot” new eternal life, continually, continually, will be written in this new genealogy of the Second Coming of Christ.

***If we “get” eternal life in our Savior, we MUST “beget” eternal life for Christ in others.

God bless us all.

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