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  • Dec 23 / 2018
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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.

  • Feb 22 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Story of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-30)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Story of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-30)

02.22.2015

02.22.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Rich Young Ruler

Matthew 19:16-30 (Pastor Heo)

The Rich Young Man

19:16-29pp — Mk 10:17-30; Lk 18:18-30

16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples,”I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.


 

We cannot receive Jesus as Savior without following him as King. He went to the cross, to the point of death (and beyond) to save us. So, do we have the right to escape suffering?

Here Christ shows the rightful demands he makes on his disciples.

This event is written in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Usually this is the “Story of the Rich Young Ruler.”

  • Only Matthew calls him Young,
  • Only Luke calls him Ruler,
  • But all call him Wealthy.

One good thing about this young man in this matter is that he had a big concern about eternal life – yes, this is the biggest concern we all must consider. Now, let me ask all of us: what is your first concern/interest/consideration.

Another good thing = he came to the right person in this matter of eternal life. He came to Jesus – the only giver of eternal life. Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

But, there are two wrong things as well:

#1: He came with the wrong question: “What ‘good’ thing must I do…?” This is the wrong question in the matter of eternal life. He is thinking in terms of actions – in terms of keeping the rules and regulations – by keeping the works of the Law. He thought he could get eternal life by DOING something that looks good – therefore it shows he knows NOTHING of the religion of grace. Romans “Therefore, no one will be declared righteous through the works of the Law, but it is by the Law that we are made conscious of how sinful we are.”

As long as we think we can be saved by doing something good, we can never be saved by the grace of God.

Jesus tries to lead him on to the right answer according to his own words that he’s spoken.

He lists the commandments.

Jesus did not introduce these commandments to show HOW to be saved, but to that THAT he needed to be saved (because keeping all these are impossible). Actually, at this point, he should have confessed his inadequacy – but sadly he said, “All these I have kept.”

The Law is a mirror that reveals what we are.

Even he is standing before the perfect mirror of the Law, he still did not understand who/what he was. After this (in Mark), Jesus “loved” this young man and continued to help him.

“What do I still lack?” i.e. “I lack nothing – I think I’m perfect.”

Jesus says, “OK, then, GO sell your stuff and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven – then COME follow me.” Wow.

Can you do like this?

In the Bible, nowhere are we told that a sinner can be saved by selling his possessions and goods and giving his money away. Jesus knew he was covetous and greedy and that he loved material wealth. By asking him to sell his material goods and give to the poor, Jesus was forcing him to examine his own heart and determine his own priorities.

This challenge exposed the barrier that could keep this young man out of the kingdom: his LOVE of money. (”The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.”) To this young man, money represented his pride, the root of his accomplishments – the very basis of his respect and security and identity.

Actually this young man did not love God truly, to him the material possessions were his god – that’s why he was unable to obey this commandment.

“When he heard this, he went away sad.”

Yes, he could have gone in great joy and pleasure. It is good to have the things money CAN buy IF we do not lose the things money CANNOT buy.

To him: money is god.

v. 23-26

Eye of the needle

“With man this is impossible – but with God all things are possible.”

How tragic to be possessed by possessions and miss the most important – eternal life in Christ. He lost what was eternal to keep what was temporary.

This is the real question we must consider: Who then can be saved?

Yes, some people that have EVERYTHING on this earth still lack the one thing that is eternal.

  • At that time, the Jews believed that material possessions were evidence of God’s blessing (Deut 26,27,28). Certainly, God gave the promise of blessing for man’s obedience and loss for man’s disobedience.
  • At that time (in man’s infancy), the only way that God could teach men was through visible rewards.

But the highest obedience is not dependent upon the promise of reward or the threat of punishment.

In Christ’s love, the material things of this world can give us no lasting joy or salvation.

v. 24

Eye of the needle

Jesus does not say “it is impossible” just “hard” – very hard, very very hard.

At that time, the camel was the largest animal in Palestine – so that means that salvation is absolutely impossible with man, but absolutely possible with God.

Salvation is the response of God toward man’s faith in Christ – it cannot be earned, it is a gift. There is nothing for us to do except receive it through faith in Christ.

Abraham was a very rich man materially, but also a man of great faith. This means it is good to possess wealth IF wealth does not possess us. We cannot follow our King Jesus and follow worldly wealth at the same time. We cannot serve God AND money, but we can serve God WITH money.

Money is not inherently bad, but 1 Timothy 6:10 “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil – some people have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

God bless us to possess much money – BUT DON’T let money use you, possess you, nor your heart.

v. 27-30

The last will be first, the first will be last.

At this moment, Peter was very quick to notice the contrast between the rich and themselves (the poor). “We have left EVERYTHING!” (well, not his wife) “What shall we have?”

This is Jesus wonderful promise of reward: Those who follow him to the end will share his glory, his victory, his throne together.

From this story, at least we can know 3 lessons:

  1. If we share his campaign on Earth, we will share his glory and throne.
  2. We will receive much more than we give up for Christ. What are you giving up now for Christ? (v. 29) These are not new material possessions, but new fellowship with men and God. A true Christian is never friendless, homeless. Are you really sacrificing yourself for Christ? You cannot say that because you WILL receive much much more than you are giving. You are not making a sacrifice, but rather an INVESTMENT. But still, we must always check our motivation in the service of God. (The first will be last, the last will be first) – In the world to come, the values of this world will be reversed. Those who seek status on earth will have nothing.
  3. Finally, there will be a big surprise in the final judgment. There is eternity to adjust the misjudgments of time.

This last verse will be amplified in the following chapter in the story of the workers in the vineyard.

From this verse we can know that it is possible for those on earth to be humbled in heaven and many who are humble now to be exalted in heaven.

The first will be last, the last will be first.

Let’s pray.

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

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

07.27

07.27.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

How Can We Make Our Old Treasures Into New Ones?

Matthew 13:44-58 (Pastor Heo)

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

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

The Parable of the Net

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

A Prophet Without Honor

13:54-58pp — Mk 6:1-6

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

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