Distinctively a Disciple, Part 3, May 18, 2014

Matthew 7:15-23, 12:33-37, 23:1-39

 

We Are going to look at this scripture exegetically and not just topically and see what kind of disciple Jesus does not want us to be.

 

1. (v. 1-4) They lay oppressive burdens on others.

 

 

“The true target of the whole discourse is the crowds and disciples who need to break free from Pharisaic legalism.” (France)

 

“Perhaps a year earlier Jesus had begun to denounce the Pharisees (Matthew 15:7). Subsequently he warned his disciples of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:5-12). Now his warning and denunciations are public.” (Carson)

 

According to William Barclay, the Talmud  (The Talmud is a central text of Rabbinic Judaism.) describes seven different types of Pharisees; six of the seven are bad.

 

– The Shoulder Pharisee, who wore all his good deeds and righteousness on his shoulder for everyone to see.

 

The Wait-a-Little Pharisee, who always intended to do good deeds, but could always find a reason for doing them later, not now.

 

The Bruised or Bleeding Pharisee, who was so holy that he would turn his head away from any woman seen in public – and was therefore constantly bumping into things and tripping, thus injuring himself.

 

– The Hump-Backed Pharisee, who was so humble that he walked bent over and barely lifting his feet – so everyone could see just how humble he was.

 

– The Always-Counting Pharisee, who was always counting up his good deeds and believed that he put God in debt to him for all the good he had done.

 

– The Fearful Pharisee, who did good because he was terrified that God would strike him with judgment if he did not.

 

The God-Fearing Pharisee, who really loved God and did good deeds to please the God he loved.

 

Whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do: Jesus said that respect was due to the scribes and the Pharisees; not because of their conduct, but because they sit in Moses’ seat. They should be respected because they hold an office of authority, ordained by God.

 

 “Let not the law of God lose its authority with you because of these wicked men.” (Poole)

 

 Moses’ seat: “Synagogues had a stone seat at the front where the authoritative teacher [sat].” (Carson) “The Jews spoke of the teacher’s seat as we speak of a professor’s chair.” (Bruce)

 

They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders: The scribes and Pharisees were bad examples because they expected more of others than they did of themselves. They set heavy burdens on others, yet they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

 

Heavy burdens: The burden of the religious leaders contrasts sharply to Jesus’ burden. His burden is light, and His yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30). These religious leaders were burden bringers; Jesus was a burden taker.

The first accusation against these religious leaders could apply to many religious leaders today. Many teach as if the essence of Christianity were a set of burdensome rules to follow.

 

The early church rejected this legalism when it insisted that obedience to the Mosaic Law is not a foundation for the Christian life. Peter told the legalists in Acts 15:10: “Why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Ways to Love the Mothers in Your Life, May 11, 2014

Ways to Love the Mother’s in Your life

 

1.     Love Her Verbally

 

 

 

Esp. men have the philosophy—I don’t have to say I love you, you already know it. I have told you before, if I change my mind I’ll let you know!

 

Or, I SHOW love, not just say it…and that may be true, but a woman needs to hear those words, “I Love You!”

 

Children need to hear it…and saying it makes you more of a man, not less! And spouses need to hear it too…

 

DEAR ABBY: I enlisted shortly after Pearl Harbor. Thirty-six days later, I was on my way to the Philippines. En route, the Philippines fell to the Japanese, and we were routed to Australia. Eleven days after we landed, I met the most beautiful girl in the world.

On our first date, I told her I was going to marry her. I did, 18 months later, while on a 10-day R-and-R leave from New Guinea.

After more than 57 years of marriage and two children, my beloved “Mary” died five days before Christmas. Although we agreed that our ashes were to be scattered over the mountains, I found I could not part with hers.

While Mary was alive, she would frequently say, “You don’t know how much I love you.” I’d reply, “Likewise.” I never said, “I love you.” Now her ashes are on my dresser, where I tell her several times a day how much I love her, but it’s too late. Although I wrote poetry to her, I could not bring myself to say the three words I knew she wanted most to hear.

As my dearest was dying and we thought she was comatose, I told her, “There aren’t enough words to tell you how much I love you.” A few hours later, she whispered, “Not enough words” and died.

The reason I’m writing is to urge men to express their feelings while their loved ones are alive. I don’t know why, but many men are reluctant to express the depth of their feelings. — MISSING MARY IN COLORADO

Our spouses need to hear it, our children…our mothers also!

 

            Some men would say, I’m just not turned that way…then turn around! “I’m just not comfortable”…then be uncomfortable!

 

2.     Love Her in Her language

 

Talk in their mother tongue:

 

Quality time?

Meaningful Touch?

Gifts?

Acts of Service?

Words of Affirmation?

 

Fill in the blank. “I Feel most loved when ______________________”

 

 

3.     Love her patiently.

 

Mothers have an incredible job w/ no pay. No position in the business world compares to the physical, emotional, and spiritual commitment she has in motherhood.

 

 

Don’t ever make the mistake of asking a lady, Do you work, or stay at home? The only thing worse you can ask is when she’s due if you’re not 100% sure she’s expecting! And many ladies today have to work on top of the full time job they already have.

 

Here’s the point, in spite of all she does for us, we often become impatient with her…we get so used to her taking care of things we come to expect it and are outraged that “those clothes are still dirty?” / that’s not ironed? / you’re out of my favorite cookies? / you know I like that over rice, where is it?

 

She’s picking you up at school because you don’t like to ride the bus, but she’s scolded for being 5 minutes late!

 

Love her patiently. Because she’s tender to your needs is no reason to take advantage of her, it’s reason to be patient and to love her all the more!

 

Teens & Jr.Highers, Middle Schoolers: it is unfair for you to be more kind, considerate, patient w/ your friends and your friend’s mothers than your own mother!

           

If you treated your friends like you treat your mom you wouldn’t have friends, and if you treated their mom like you do yours their mom wouldn’t let their kid have anything to do with you! Your mom deserves better…she’s not a rug to wipe every negative thought on!

 

 

Letter from 80 yr. old woman on her birthday:

 

 

To all my children:

I suppose my upcoming birthday started my thoughts along these lines…This is a good time to tell you that what I truly want are things I can never get enough of, yet they are free. I want the intangibles.

I would like for you to come and sit with me, and for you to be relaxed. We can talk, or we can be silent. I would just like for us to be together.

I need your patience when I don’t hear what you say the first time. I know how tiresome it is to always be repeating, but sometimes I must ask you to repeat. I need your patience when I think too much about the past, with my slowness and my set ways. I want you to be tolerant with what the years have done to me physically.

Please be understanding about my personal care habits. I spill things. I lose things. I get unduly excited when I try to figure out my bank statements. I can’t remember what time to take my medication, or if I took it already. I take too many naps. Sometimes sleep helps to pass the day.

Well, there you have it: Time, Patience, and Understanding. Those are priceless gifts that I want. Finally, in his letter, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I know I can, too! It’s a wonderful feeling to know His eye is on the sparrow and I know He cares for me. I guess being old isn’t so bad after all!

Love,

Mom

 

4.     Love her honorably.

 

Exodus 20:12

12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you.

 

This is binding as long as your mother lives. Another command says children, obey…non-binding when you leave home, but “honor” is different! If the husband is the head of the home, then the mother is the heart…don’t break her heart!

 

“Yeah, but my mother wasn’t honorable!” Well, the Bible says nothing about that qualification…it only asks, is she your mother!

           

By the way, it’s the only one of the 10 commandments which includes a built-in promise of blessing!

 

Do you live in such a way that your mom is proud of you? Nothing honors your mother so much as seeing you and your children as godly believers, fully devoted to Jesus Christ. Show her that the seeds of love she has planted in you have resulted in a wonderful harvest for the kingdom of God.

 

5.     Love Her with Forgiveness

 

Eph.4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.  32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

 

The truth is, there’s never a legitimate reason to hold a grudge

against your mom.

 

 If you ever begin to feel angry over some past hurt, remember how many times both she and God have forgiven you. Think about all the sacrifices she has made for you, and show her forgiveness and compassion.

 

There is no perfect mom and there never will be.  Forgive as You have been forgiven.

Distinctively a Disciple, Part 2, May 4, 2014

Jesus said this in Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing

     them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

     Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have

     commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of

     the age.”  

 

THE WORD “DISCIPLE”…

1.         The word “disciple” literally means A LEARNER

2.         According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary Of New Testament

           Words, it denotes “one who follows another’s teaching”

3.         But a disciple was not only a learner, he was also AN ADHERENT

4.         For this reason disciples were spoken of as IMITATORS of their

            teachers.

 

THE GOAL IN BEING A DISCIPLE…

1.         Stated by Jesus himself:  to be like the teacher –

Lk 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

2.         To be Christ’s disciple, then, is to be like Him!

3.         According to the apostle Paul, this coincides with God’s goal

           in the redemption of mankind, that they be conformed to the

           image of His Son

 

 

 

Jesus laid down three conditions for discipleship:


 

Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 

 

1.  You Must Deny Yourself

 

Deny means:

 

A. to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone.

 

B. to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests

 

2.  You must Pick Up Your Cross Daily

 

To deny yourself is to die to self and to crucify the flesh

 

3.  You Must Follow Him

 

Following Jesus means:

* walking closely after Him

*going where He goes

* doing what He does

* It means making His will your will

*It means not creating your own path, but putting your feet into the footprints of Jesus. And His footprints will lead you up Calvary’s hill.

 

4.  You Must Love As Jesus has loved you

 

John 13: 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 

 

Those words of Christ had such a profound impact on the apostle John that he made them his life’s message. He repeated it in:

 

1 John 3: 11 “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

 

As believers in Christ, we have a new God-given capacity to love. The love of Christ is shed abroad in our hearts

 

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.  9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,”  “You shall not covet,”  and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

 

This tells us that love eliminates the necessity of a legal system. Because of love, we simply do not need to live by a set of rules and regulations.  Genuine love makes all those rules superfluous.

 

What kind of love marks a true disciple? Jesus said, “Love one another, even as I have loved you.” That sets the standard high, doesn’t it? Jesus’ love is selfless, sacrificial, indiscriminate, understanding, and forgiving. Unless your love is like that, you have not fulfilled the new commandment.

 

If the church existed in that kind of love, it would absolutely overwhelm the world. Unfortunately, that isn’t the way the professing church operates. There are factions, little groups, splits, and cliques. People gossip, backbite, talk, and criticize. The world looks, and they don’t see much love. So there is no way for them to know whether those who call themselves Christians are real or not.

 

One reason pseudo-Christian cults and false doctrines have so much influence today is that not many Christians are definitive disciples. It is often virtually impossible to distinguish a true disciple from a false one, for there isn’t a lot of visible manifestation of God’s love. Thus the world doesn’t know to whom to go to find the truth. When the average person looks at the spectrum of “Christianity” and all that goes with it, he is baffled. Those around him who claim to be Christians seem to have no identifying marks, and if anything, they often seem to be more lacking in love than in any other character quality

 

5. You Find a Towel and Serve

 

John 13:12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

 

6. You Walk the Talk

 

Luke 6:46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?  47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.   49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.  And the ruin of that house was great.”

 

7. You Produce Fruit

 

John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot  bear fruit of itself unless  it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless  you abide in Me.  5 “I am the vine, you are the branches ; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing .  6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.  7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever  you wish, and it will be done for you.  8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples