Sermons on Matthew
Matthew 1-2 The four Sundays of Advent begin the church’s annual liturgical calendar. It is a season of longing and hope. We look back and remember Israel’s hope that God would come to save his people. We look forward in our own hope that Jesus will come again. During these four Sundays we will look at how the four gospels begin their story of Jesus in very different ways, beginning this Sunday with Matthew. Can the way Matthew tells the story of Jesus help us make sense of our own story?
Luke 2:8-20, Matthew 2: 1-12 During the Christmas season, I look forward to singing Christmas carols, giving and receiving gifts, and lots of food in a large family gathering! This year, however, Christmas will look very different for many of us. Perhaps this will cause us to re-examine what we really hunger for during this season. Christmas is, after all, a celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ, and what better time than now to focus on Him, encountering Jesus in a special way in our prayers, devotions, and activities? This Sunday, we are going to meet two groups of people that truly encountered Christ on Christmas. These people sought for Jesus purposefully and with excitement because they were hungry and thirsty for the right thing – a genuine relationship with God. They were transformed by the encounter and were filled with great joy. This Sunday, we’ll visit the story of the shepherds and the Magi on their journey of faith to meet Jesus. See you then!
Luke 1:26-55; Matthew 2 This Sunday we will continue our advent series focusing on four pairs of people in the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke. While our world continues to fixate our attention on the rich and powerful, the focus of God’s kingdom is upon the poor and the marginalized, who through their suffering have become humble and hopeful, waiting for the kingdom of God. Last week Bernard spoke on Zechariah and Elizabeth, who received the news from the angel Gabriel that they would bear a son even in their old age. This week Gabriel is sent to Mary and Joseph with even more remarkable news, but it comes with a price few would be willing to pay. Will they hesitate, waver, or ask for sign like Zechariah? Though you already know the answer, their obedience is designed to galvanize our faith and draw us into the wonder of Christ being formed in us.
Matt 2:13-23 For God so loved the world, he sent his son… into the harsh reality of a fallen, dark, violent and suffering world. In the incarnation, we see the unbelievable depth of God’s extravagant love. He so extravagantly loves us that he enters into our reality in all of our pain and struggles and sorrows. He lives our reality which means we can trust him when he will eventually grow up and teach us. He really is the only hope “far as the curse is found.”
Matt 2:1-12 On this, the third Sunday of Advent, Matthew answers the third question concerning the birth of the Messiah through the voice of the Magi “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” The question is fraught with political overtones as it was addressed to one who claimed to be king of the Jews. Matthew’s portrayal of the Magi and Herod set in bold contrast two differing “ways” and “destinies.” One leading to life, the other to death and their is no third. Which one are you?
Matt 1:18-25 How can Jesus be born of Mary if Joseph is not the birth father? When Joseph found that his betrothed Mary was pregnant he pondered these things. How can this be? An angel gave him the answer: “that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” The same Spirit that hovered over the waters prior to the first creation, had now overshadowed Mary’s womb. God sends the same Spirit into us to birth a new creation. How can our broken pots be repaired so that they are even more beautiful than the original? It is the same answer: from the Holy Spirit.
Matt 1:1-17 Over the four Sundays of Advent we will follow Matthew’s account of the birth story of Jesus (Matthew 1–2). We’ll find answers to four questions about this newborn child. Who? Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. How? From a virgin through the Holy Spirit. Where? In Bethlehem. Whence? From Egypt to Nazareth. In each case this is in fulfillment of the Scriptures.
Matt 7:13-29 We come to the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount this week, where Jesus essentially asks us what we’re going to do with it. It’s not enough just to read it and hear it. Jesus desires us to live it. So what will you do with it now?
Matthew 7:1-12 We return to the Sermon on the Mount this week and encounter one of the most breath-taking and brilliant statements that has ever been said, what has come to be called “The Golden Rule.” Everything comes together in this one brilliant statement. But, notice that it begins with “therefore.” That means the things that come before it feed into it. What comes before it? Do not judge others, help others and pray for others. Jesus invites his disciples to become “Golden Rulers” by doing these things.
Matt 6:19-34 This week, in our continuation of Jesus’ famous words in Matthew 6, Jesus gives us some hope for the day-to-day anxiety that we all deal with. He essentially invites us to do three things: look, examine and seek. Look at the birds of the air, examine the flowers of the field and seek his purposes for the world with our whole heart. When we do these things, we will find that our good Father is good and wants to care for us. Ultimately, we learn to take the focus off of ourselves and trust him for our daily bread.
Matt 6:19-34 In our text for the next two weeks, Jesus seems to touch on many different themes, including treasures, visions, masters and anxiety. However, the single theme throughout this passage is anxiety. In other words, our anxiety, the day-to-day anxiety that we all deal with, is rooted in the choices we make about treasures, visions and masters. Come this Sunday as we explore this well-known passage.
Matt 6:12-15 This week is the last week in our journey through the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that has been called a compendium of the Gospel, most likely because of petitions 5 and 6. Those are the two petitions we will explore this Sunday as we continue to ask the Lord to teach us to pray.