Matthew: Jesus, a King's Response
Open your Bibles if you would to the book of Matthew. The title of the message is "Jesus, A King's Response." I'm going to be preaching through the entire book today. I preached a series through the Old Testament, and that was a wonderful experience. Every single book of the Old Testament you can hear on our website, and we're looking forward to preaching through the entire New Testament this year. If you need a Bible, there's one under your seats, you can turn to page 807.
Picture the scene. It's Christmas time in London. You are sitting in a beautiful church listening to Handel's Messiah, with a full chorus singing about the day when the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. You've spent the morning in museums viewing remnants of England's glory, the crown jewels, a solid gold ruler's mace, the Lord Mayor's gilded carriage, and looking over you see the auditoriums royal box where the Queen and her family would sit. There you catch a glimpse of the more typical way that rulers stride through the world with bodyguards and trumpet fanfare, and a flourish of bright colors and flashing jewelry. It reminds you of the time when clean Queen Elizabeth the second head recently visited the United States, and reporters delighted in spelling out the logistics involved. Listen to what she brought with her 4000 pounds of luggage, including two outfits for every occasion, a morning outfit in case someone died 40 pints of plasma and certain seat covers that she might need to use. She brought along with her her own hairdresser, two valets and a host of other attendants. A brief visit of royalty to a foreign country can easily cost $20 million dollars. In meek contrast, God's visit to Earth took place in an animal shelter, with no attendants present, nowhere to lay the newborn king except the feed trough. Indeed, the event that divided history and even our calendars may have had more animals at the birth than humans. He had every right to be celebrated like royalty, but he chose a humble birth. Why would God choose specifically to have such a humble entrance into the world? It was for you and me. Jesus chose humility, out of love for us. His life was not so that he could be set apart by his wealth or position or so that you feel more distant from him his life was about bringing you closer to him in every way, yet he was unmistakably born for a king's purpose.
Open your Bibles if you haven't already to the book of Matthew. And we're going to see, to the author of this work, he is going to set out to prove the royal purpose of our Lord Jesus Christ. It starts in the first chapter, section one we could call the royal birth of Jesus that will be chapters one through three. And it we are introduced to his lineage to his birth and to his baptism. To understand the significance of Jesus's royal birth, though I want to read for you just a couple of verses out of 2 Samuel 7:13-14. If you're fast at flipping the pages or getting there you can turn there if you like, but let me read to you actually, starting in 2 Samuel 7:12. This is God. Speaking to King David he says this, "When your days are fulfilled, and you lie down with your fathers. I will raise up for your offspring after you, who shall come for I'm your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever."
So when it says he's going to stablish, his kingdom, that's a king, ruling in a place; and when it says he's going to establish his throne forever, that signifies that this king is going to have the ability to rule like no other king. The Jews should have had in mind something beyond a mere mortal man who could take over the powers of the world. Even from the days of Samuel, this was clear. God promised a king would sit on the throne of David, forever. As you can see, there is an Old Testament impact on the very first words that we have, in Matthew in the New Testament. See, if Jesus was not born in the line of David, if he did not come from the line of David, there's no reason to write the Gospels. There's no reason to write about Jesus because he would not have the right to be the king, the Messiah, the the one who had to who was told to rule forever.
But as you see, in Matthew 1:1, look there with me, if you would, please, this is out of the ESV. "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham." Now, there are a few big genealogies in Scripture, and I know you love them and love to read over them repetitiously. But they are important. And this one traces the line of Jesus, 14 generations at a time and three sections, but it traces it through the line of Joseph. His, as scripture said, his suppose it earthly father, and Matthew, it says, Joseph, the husband of Mary, so it traces the line from Abraham, the one they revered, all the way down through Joseph, his earthly caretaker. Jesus was indeed of in the line of David and it gave him royal opportunity. But his birth goes way, way beyond just a royal birth.
And you're thinking, well, that'd be a pretty good start, right? Yes, it would. But it goes beyond that. In Matthew, chapter one looked down in verse 20. We see after he gives the genealogy, here, Joseph has a visit. And an angel speaks to him and says, "Joseph, son of David," notice how it's starting with Joseph, the genealogy went through Joseph, this account is focused on Joseph and the other one, and Luke is focused on Mary. So now we're talking to Joseph. "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary, as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."
Men, would you be able to hear anything past that? The woman your betrothed to, to which is more than our engagement, but less than our full marriage. That woman is pregnant via the Holy Spirit? At that moment, you know, if you believe in the God of the Bible or not. He would have to decide, okay, are we moving forward with this, or am I running out of here? Scared. The point here, though, is to add to his royalty, the virgin birth promised from Isaiah 14. This has been promised from long ago - 700 plus years before before. So add to his royalty, the virgin birth, verse 21, "She will bear a son, and you shall call his named Jesus." You don't get to name your firstborn son. We're naming the baby for you. "For he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet." Verse 23, "Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us." The virgin birth of Jesus was profound and fulfilled scripture. That's not all we learn about from these verses. Matthew is a torrent of Old Testament fulfillment, and it comes in rapid succession and and if you can believe what is written just through the first chapter, you are then in a unique position in history to understand Christianity as a whole. This is no ordinary child. The child will do two things no of other child has ever done. The first, the child in verse 21, will save people from their sin. This child has the ability to permanently set aside the wrath of God.
Now as a Jewish person, you're thinking, okay, from Leviticus on we've got all these rules and lots of animals to slaughter daily, all kinds of rituals, but but this, this baby is somehow going to fulfill and accomplish all of what our Jewish history has tried to do repetitiously throughout the centuries. This baby, yes, this baby is going to save people from their sin. The second thing that that shows this baby is no, no ordinary baby. And I'm sure all you ladies who have had children have had just beautiful babies. But verse 23, says "he will be called God with us." This baby literally was God's gift to humankind. So this is quite a stack of truth. That that's in fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6-7, "A child is born and his name shall be called Mighty God." Mighty God. This is not just some religious leader pointing you to God. This is God. It is unmistakable, what Matthew is trying to claim here. So by the time we get to just the end of chapter one, you have Jesus being in the royal line of David. You have him fulfilling the prophecies that God would give someone in the line of David to rule. You have him being born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, bringing salvation from sin and is God in the flesh. Simply put friends, there is no one, no one like Jesus. And Matthew gives us just a banquet on this man, fully God and fully man.
Chapter two keeps going. And don't worry, we're not going to spend all this time on every on all 28 chapters, you will get home before dinnertime. But we need to set this up well, chapter two keeps the fire going by adding yet another unique aspect to Jesus Christ. And this is the one that the religious leaders could not get over. They could not get beyond this. This is the one that every false religion out there stumbles on. This is the one that unique aspect of him that that nonbelievers cannot choke down. Okay, this is the main area, the main aspect. Matthew 2:1, look there with me if you would. "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wiseman from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to..." what? "To worship him." Jesus is worshipped. This is what separates the sheep from the goats. This is what separates real Christianity from all the fake ones tied to it. Jesus is God; God with us, and he will be worshipped, and even before he could speak a word, other people knew it. We should expect that from the very moment, but we shouldn't have expected it just from Matthew. We should have expected it from Isaiah chapter nine, where it says, "For unto us a child is born and a son is given., and he shall be called Mighty God." Their greatest prophet, the Jews greatest prophet pointed them to a baby who would be God with us that should have blown their minds. And while they look for a Messiah, they should have looked for something beyond just a man. You see, simply put, people could deny his royal lineage and say, Ah, you got that wrong. The virgin birth, it's just a myth. We don't we don't believe in that kind of stuff. He's bringing salvation. I don't think so. Truly, God...you're crazy. But what they could not deny, and what people cannot deny is the reason why you and I come to church every single week. And that's why we say it every single week. We are here to worship Jesus Christ. I love the book of Matthew. It was the discipleship manual for the early church. It is prominently put in the canonical order, because of its prominence as Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament of the law and the prophets and all that he would come to do. It is the defining mark that sets him apart from every other religious leader, and Matthew is just getting started and going on to prove that. Jesus grew up and began his ministry; and let's look at the life of Jesus, and see if we agree with Matthew. The second section that we'll talk about here, begins in chapter three. It's from his baptism on the second section is that Jesus was a divine king. Jesus is a divine king. My family and I last night watched a service of a friend of mine who's a pastor. Out in Arizona. One of my kids brought it up on the TV, and so by the end of the service, we were all sitting around watching. And at the end, they had some baptisms, and the there were three people baptized, and the last person was 80 who got baptized. It's really cool to see. And I baptized some of you, and it is very special. I baptized all three of my children. And I loved it. But Jesus, baptism was a little different. Matthew 3:17 says, "And behold, the voice from heaven said, This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." We did not have a voice from God, happen at our last baptism service, you guys are very precious to me. But that did not happen. Nor at my children's baptism, which I'm grateful for that would have been a new revelation, right, if that would have happened. And when we think about Jesus's baptism, a lot of times the main question we think of is, well, why did he get baptized? Is that really what Matthew is trying to say here? Is why did he get baptized? I mean, Scripture is explicitly clear that it was, quote, to fulfill all righteousness. He wasn't getting saved. He was demonstrating the righteous life that those who do get saved should fulfill. So but what what was the significance of his baptism? Well, God spoke. And when God speaks, we, we dial in, and what did God say when he spoke at the baptism? "This is my beloved Son." Matthew is telling us, God, the Father has confirmed the identity of Jesus Christ. That's the full significance of his baptism that yes, he came. Yes, John the Baptist prepared the way and that was a prophetic fulfillment. And yes, Jesus was demonstrating what you and I I'm supposed to do and submission to God. But there's this addition. This is my son and, and with him I am well pleased. In other words, Jesus has the same nature as God. Jesus is divine, and God confirmed it himself. So we have Jesus being in the royal line of David, the virgin birth, he brings salvation, is God in flesh, is worshipped, which Scripture does not correct. That's why we have the wise men on the cover. Now, I don't know how many Wiseman there were, but there's three on there just for your benefit. Okay. In addition to that he has a divine nature approved by God, the Father, Jesus is unique. There's no one like him, no one even close. Then he starts his ministry. Most of the time when people start to preach or teach or take a church, if they're doing the traditional route, they will go to a school or a seminary and be trained and adequately equipped, which they should do. Jesus didn't come from seminary, He came from heaven. That's another level. And we need not see Jesus as just someone who had a great story that we we sing about. We cannot even at this point, just into Chapter Three of Matthew, claim that Jesus is just a nice guy, or it will be a nice profit, or you can't claim that the Bible gives you that option. He is the Son of God, and you're in his kingdom or not.
Matthew is going to drive this home. Well, preaching as he starts, his ministry is prominent, as you would suspect, and as you know, he went about preaching significantly. And as you've heard me say before, and Matthew 4:17, it tells you what he began to preach. Now, if you look at all the common things that pastors are told to preach, this ain't it. But Jesus thought this was a good idea. Matthew 4:17, "From that time," right? Now he's, he's, he's of age. He's, he's been recognized. "From that time, Jesus began to preach saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." And he's going to largely do his ministry in life, not exclusively, but largely, we call this the Galilean men. Okay. You can see that in your chapter overview inside that's chapters, 1 through 18. So that's up north by Galilee. He's going to do a significant amount of his ministry there and then come to Jerusalem, for the combination of everything. So he's, he's, he's in his Galilean ministry, and he's just starting that. So he lays it out there. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In other words, I'm here. The King is here. And the king is looking for people to be in His kingdom. That's what every king does. When Jesus didn't just come to preach, though, as you know, he came to make disciples. And so in verse 18, to 22, there in chapter four, he calls his disciples starting with Simon, who we know better as Peter, Simon Peter, and his brother Andrew. Yes, brothers can get along and the 12 had a couple sets of them. Then James and his brother, John, and Jesus would go on to call all 12 of his disciples whom he would call apostles, capital "A" apostle, sent one a messenger. So he would gather together these but there was a huge crowd of disciples, little "d" or little, "a" little followers, so to speak, those who are not recognized as the inner 12. Those would also follow him so, Jesus has a group of people following him already. As he began to preach about repentance, and salvation, he added yet another aspect to his ministry...This is, this is part of his ministry that infuriated them as well. There are a couple of things that were undeniable. One is his worship, and the others are His miracles. Look in chapter four, verse 23, if you would with me. This is just like an overview verse. These couple verses, Matthew 4:23. You wonder what Jesus did in his ministry, here it is, "And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria," that's a giant northern region, way higher than just around the Sea of Galilee, so "spread all throughout Syria. And they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains and those oppressed by demons, those having seizures and paralytics, and he healed them." Jesus was undeniable. And unlike all the faith-healing churches who were themselves crippled during COVID, Jesus healed every disease. How do we know that? The Bible says he healed every disease, and he healed every affliction. Not just your third cousin removes big toe who hurts in some other state; not just a migraine that may or may not go away with four hours of thumping music. Jesus's power was never limited to a controlled environment. It was never limited to just people who had a certain amount of faith, although he repeatedly said, Your faith has made you well. But notice here in just this, just this little section, he healed every disease and affliction among the people do you think there were only true God-fearing Jesus worshipping people among the crowds, the mass crowds all throughout Syria, a giant range? That would be a very hard claim to substantiate now, Jesus healed the believers. He healed the non-believers. He healed everyone who came to him. Compare that to what we see today. It's quite different. And it really showed who Jesus was. Those who claim to have the gift of healing do the Word of God, a disservice to God's power, when their gifts cannot be verified, or only discussed when it's time to take an offering. Yes, that's just cleared up. If you get to Matthew chapter four. We need to not be afraid of God's miraculous power, he can still heal if he wants to. And if you pray for somebody, God can answer that prayer and heal them. But that doesn't mean you have the ongoing gift of healing that is supposed to be used for the edification of the Body of Christ and made as a sign to point to Jesus. See, his enemies couldn't even deny His power. That's why they hated him. What do we do with this guy? He's got so many followers already. He's healing people. And the power is undeniable. No one ever had a problem verifying the power Jesus possessed. And when Jesus saw the crowds, he didn't take an offering. He offered compassion. Look for that phrase compassion, that Jesus's compassion on people, it's over and over again. And we need to be compassionate on others as well. On those who are sick and we might pray for them, they might be healed. They might not. We need to be compassionate on those who don't believe as I think Scripture clearly teaches that those gifts aren't for today. We need to show compassion and love and mercy. And Jesus you can see his, his love just spread to all the people. Well, he knew that people needed more than just physical healing. They needed eternal life. So he preached truth. Look at Matthew chapter five, if you would. The men are studying this on Wednesday nights. We have one more to go. We are studying the Sermon on the Mount. This, I think is by far the greatest sermon ever preached. Jesus Himself gave it. That's a pretty good start. Matthew, 5:17. Look there, if you would with me, please. Jesus explains himself, why he came, that He is no ordinary man. Quote, "do not think that I have come to abolish the law, or the prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For truly as I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot will pass from the law until all is accomplished." It was now clear. Jesus told us why he came, and he reviews his purpose statements for us periodically in the Gospels. Here he says, I came, I came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. This one man himself claims to be the fulfillment. It's not just as some get really riled up about all of Paul's letters, the 13 letters he wrote. I mean, from Matthew through the end of acts that 60% of our New Testament, but a lot of people get really riled up about Paul's letters, making all kinds of claims about Jesus and who he was. But Jesus says, I came to fulfill all of the law and the prophets. That is, in his day, a huge statement, and could be verified by those who were talking to him. They could simply ask him, well, how are you doing that? Which is like, you know, lobbing a softball pitch to a great player. He loved that kind of thing. But, but there's more about substantiating Matthew's claims.
Jesus wasn't just a good preacher with big claims. He preached with authority. He preached with authority. He did not preach like others. So you look for this phrase, when you're you're going through the book of Matthew, and you and you see this phrase, specifically, Matthew, chapter five, "you have heard it said, but I say..." You've heard it said this. But I'm telling you this other thing. So at that point, when anybody says that, you say, okay, either we're following this guy specifically in his teaching, or we're following just what we thought we knew. See, he is trying to start spreading and separating out the sheep from the goats here. Who's, who's really following me? Right? That's what he's, he's aiming at here. So look in, if you would, in Matthew, 5:21. "You heard it was said to those of you shall not murder, and whoever murderers will be liable to judgment." That's true, right? Verse 22, "but I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment," and everyone just, you know, oops, he got us all right there. "Whoever insults his brother will be wild liable to the council." It's like, Oops, got us all again. Do we still like this guy? "And whoever says, You fool, will be liable to the hell of fire." You fool pronounces a judgment on someone. Judgment is only God's full position. You don't know their heart. He's not not saying you're acting foolish. He's saying you as a person are a fool. Whoever says that judges the whole person so that person will be liable to the hell of fire. Jesus said that. Do we still like Jesus now? That's the question. Then we still like him. He just nailed us three times do we still think Jesus is compassionate? He hasn't fed anyone yet. He hasn't walked on water yet as and then fed him again. Right? He's done all kinds of amazing things so far and his lineage is unparalleled. But do we like him? Well, he doesn't stop there in this most amazing sermon. Let me just tell you a few of the topics that he, he brings about, fasting, prayer, money, he says, You can't serve God and money. Notice there's no middle ground there. Marriage, anxiety, and this is an incredible message about anxiety, he ties a person's view of God, to your struggle with anxiety. Okay, you're gonna have to go and read that one on your own. He talks about judging others, talks about how to treat others with the golden rule. He talks that and says there's going to be a limited number of people who are saved. He talks about who the false prophets are and what the life of a true Christian looks like. You see, the idea that some people talk too much about submitting their lives to Jesus and not enough about Grace is an idea that is foreign to Jesus himself. See, if you're just preaching scripture, and you're just giving him what's in Scripture, you're going to be talking about hell, all these topics, unless you don't like the preaching of Jesus. How do you think the greatest sermon ever preached ended? How do you know you're cheating? You're looking? How do you think it? How do you think it ended? Yes, let's look, Matthew 7:24.
"Everyone," that's that that means everyone." Everyone then who hears these words of mine," and what, "does them... does them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock and like, I want to be a wise man. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine, and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against the house and it fell, and great was the fall of it." The end. That's Jesus. You see, Matthew doesn't sugarcoat the God of the universe. Matthew doesn't sugarcoat the words of our Lord. And as I already said, he is incredibly compassionate, and loving, and kind and forgiving. And he is merciful. And his grace is abundant. It says in Ephesians one he has lavished his grace on us, which is also a comment on how much grace we needed, but he has lavished it on us. Some people don't like to have so many sermons about obedience. They simply would not like Jesus's sermons. Jesus goes on here, and chapter's eight and nine and, and he has this masterful way of giving them the real goods and then kind of healing them and taking care of them and then giving them a hard phrase and then taking care and taking care of them. And so chapters eight and nine Jesus goes on like this massive healing spree. It's just everybody around who's crippled or lame or has a disease or is sick. I mean, they're, they're just all getting healed. The doctors are going out of business. Why? Why does he do this? Is it just to make people listen to him? Will do miracles make people listen to Jesus, or are they just a sign, authenticating what the real truth is? He's going about healing them because his compassion is unending. His compassion is overflowing out of himself. So in Matthew paints this picture of what the truth is where the the the narrow road and there are a few who find it and then the wide is the road to destruction and, and all of these topics about marriage and judging and things. He also shares just the the The great mercy that Jesus has on us as humans. And then he expands his healing ministry. He wants it to be even bigger. And so in chapter 10, he calls the 12 apostles, and he sends them out to preach and to heal people. So now you've got these, you know, double units going out all over the place, and they're preaching and they're healing, and they're giving the truth. And this is amazing.
But then he comes back in chapter 10, verse 37, and he always wants to clarify, "Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of me." You think we're in a family centric society, they had three or four generations living under the same roof. "And whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of me. And whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Those are some tough verses. Like come on Jesus, can you just soften this a little bit? This is one major way you can spot weak preachers, teaches...teachers and churches. They do not preach on those things. There are a lot of verses in Matthew, we could just skip from one happy thing to the next all the way through and you would have gone home singing happy, happy Joy, Joy. Weak churches skip the hard stuff. Why? Because they don't think the truth is enough. They don't like Jesus of the Bible. They like a Jesus of their own making.
He goes on in chapter 11. He rebukes entire cities of people. Woe to you Corazon. Woe to you Bethsaida. He's rebuking and not just entire families, but entire cities. You see? Then, then he really now they're, now they're all peppered and softened up and you know, it's like, well, we hit every button, I had that that was really rough. And I'm from that city, and you're calling down woes on me and everything. And then he gives you the real truth. And this is a truth that still lots of churches choke on. They can't stand this truth. They don't like it. And when you discuss it with churches who have different views, people get angry and upset. And they call you unloving and, and, and, and someone who lacks compassion, anywhere to what truth of the Bible does that? Matthew 11:27. "All things have been handed over to me by my Father," and we're like, that's, that's good. We're good with that. "And no one knows the Son except the Father. And no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom he the son chooses to reveal him." See, Matthew doesn't tame the message. Revelation says if you alter it, you will not go to heaven.
For centuries, the message of Jesus Christ, friends, has been toyed with, but we should never toy with his words simply because it's it's a lot to handle. Jesus is saying you can't know the Father without me. And I actually have to reveal him to you. That is what we call sovereign grace. That is the preeminent reformed teaching. No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom what? The Son chooses. Who chooses? The son chooses whom to reveal the Father to I said, I thought he chose everyone. No many are called but few are chosen. You can't find God without Jesus. You can't see him on his own Romans three, no one seeks after God. No one is righteous. No, not one. But do you remember how I told you he was compassionate? He'd give you like a right hook and then catch you as you fall. Right? That's what he does here. And we are incredibly familiar with what he says next. Verse 28, "Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Have you ever been told how unloving that doctrine is? What does Jesus himself say about that doctrine as he follows it up, he says, I am gentle, and lowly in heart. He says, if you learn for me, you will find rest for your souls. Said no one ever who's argued about that with someone else on this. And if you're if you're not there yet, that's okay. The rest that he will give is you trying to go to God on your own? Why? It's futile. There's no way to do it on your own. That's what that verse means. I will give you rest the rest you couldn't find. rest for your souls. Rest so that you might know God and stop doing all of these things that you think you're going to earn your salvation with? Well, maybe like you are, or maybe like friends that you have are they were furious with Jesus now. You're You're telling me even if I wanted to, I couldn't come to God without you. It's not what we've been doing for centuries. Now you've been looking forward to me if you've just read. Jesus is saying I am the hinge of everything spiritual. So in Matthew 12:14, we see this shift. The Pharisees have had enough. And it says, But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him, right? If you can't beat them, join them. Nope. If you can't beat them, destroy them. That was the Pharisees. And they would soon reveal their own theology about Jesus in Matthew 12:24, they would say that Jesus is doing his works by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. And then Jesus, lays into them a little bit more, and condemns them in verse 32, of chapter 12. And then Jesus goes on to feed thousands of people like how are we going to argue with this guy? He, he walks on water, and remember, it says he fed the 5000 men, plus women and children. Then he fed the 4000 men plus women and children. So these are crowds of 15, 25,000 plus. And in Matthew 16, he narrows it down for his disciples because he wanted to make sure the disciples got it right. Matthew 16:15, this is the question. "Who do you say that I am? Who do you say that I am?" That's a question we all need to answer. We don't get into heaven from our parents, from our lineage, from any of that. It's this question and Peter replied correctly for once. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah." Now, where did Peter get that idea? Was he just smart that he figured that out on his own? "For flesh and blood has not reveal this to you but my Father who is in heaven." Jesus revealed the father to Peter. Peter understood, and Peter repeated back what he now believed, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. It was profound. And it's the answer that all believers give that that confession that establishes the foundation of the church, that on this rock, I will build my church. That's the confession. Peter's confession, verse 16:18, "I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." If it was on Peter, he would fail miserably, because in just a few verses, Jesus is going to call him what? Satan. That's a rough start, right? I mean, "Get behind Me, Satan." I thought you just said you're gonna build your church on me know, Peter didn't ever think that it was on his confession? Well, from that time forward, Jesus kind of transitions and he starts to repeatedly tell them that he's going to have to die, Matthew 16:21. "From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day, be raised." So we transition chapters 19, to 28, to his Judean ministry. That's around what you would consider modern day Jerusalem, that area now. And we have the triumphal entry. This is Jesus's path to the cross. When you think about the triumphal entry in chapter 21, is that what you think of everybody's cheering? Jesus knows, by the end of the week, he's going to be on the cross. The triumphal entry is that the king has arrived, prepared, ready to save people from their sin. That's what makes it triumphal. That's what makes it joyful. That this Jesus with all these hard sayings, he's doing this, because He loves you. He's doing this so that you can have a new nature and a new heart. You can't give yourself a new nature just by making some decisions. Yes, you have to turn from your sin to Jesus. Yes, you have to, to receive this grace, by which you are saved. You can't earn it. That's what his rest is all about. You're turning to him as a work of grace. You're following him as a work of grace. And they should have known this all the way back from Isaiah. For he will save his people from their sins. Sometimes, sometimes our our will and our desire goes against what seems to be what should happen. Sometimes we think this should happen. And that that's what God wants. But But this other storm is brewing, and God just lets the storm take over. And I think that if you and I were present, when Jesus was brought in fulfilling scripture after scripture after scripture, we would have tried to convince him No, Jesus, You can't die. You're our leader. You're supposed to sit on the throne forever. How can you sit on the throne forever? If you're going to die? And we forget about the sin part? Do you think his mother will have to watch him die? Do you think his disciples and followers wanted to watch him die? What about the thousands of people that he healed? Do you think they wanted to watch him die? You see many times our ideas about God are not actually in line with God's plan. And so we have to continually submit ourselves to the revealed word of God. But you know, who wanted this to happen? God did. And that's why we read in Matthew 1:22, when we first started, All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet. Matthew was very keen to say that all these things that are happening are part of God's plan.
In Matthew 26:47-56 when they arrested Jesus, that was part of God's plan. And Matthew chapter 26:66, wHen they spit in his face, and struck him and slapped him, that was part of God's plan. And Matthew 27:9 when Judas betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver, that was part of God's plan. When the crowd shouted to Pilate, let him be crucified, that was part of God's plan. And this is an incredibly stirring and powerful portion of Scripture. So if you just hang on with me for a few more minutes, I just want to let these words sink in so that we can hear God's plan. Matthew 27:26. "Then he released for them Barabbas, having scourged Jesus delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters. And they gathered the whole battalion before him," as I've told you before, that's 500 soldiers, "and they stripped him and they put a scarlet robe on him and twisting together a crown of thorns. They put it on his head and they put a reed in his right hand and kneeling before him, they mocked him saying, Hail! King of the Jews." They spit on him, and they took the reed from him and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put on his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. And that was God's plan. Down in verse 45. Jesus is on the cross. "Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani, that is my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" That was God's plan. But do you know what else was God's plan? Friends, it started immediately upon Jesus's death. Do you know what started to happen when Jesus died? Centurion was the first example. Verse 54, of chapter 27. Truly, this was the Son of God. Confession that Jesus is indeed who he said he was. Immediately the truth about Jesus began to be proclaimed. And that was part of God's plan. Chapter 28 verse one. "Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb and behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the LORD descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. Its appearance was like lightning as clothing, white as snow. And for fear of him, the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the woman, do not be afraid for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." This too was part of God's plan. He rose from the dead, as he said, That was God's plan. And then people began to worship him once again. Chapter 28 verse nine, and behold, Jesus met them and said, Greetings. And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshipped him. When they came face to face with the risen glorified Jesus, they knew exactly what to do. His followers know what to do. They worship Jesus Christ. Chapter 28:16, and 17. Jesus has gone ahead to Galilee and the disciples went there too. "Now when the 11 disciples went to Galilee to the mountain yo which Jesus had directed him, directed them. And when they saw him, what did they do? They worshipped Him, but some doubted. This too was God's plan. God's plan is good and loving, and full of compassion. God's plan is all about this Jesus.
This this royal yet compassionate Jesus. This this Jesus, who would literally get his flesh ripped off his back, just so that he could pay for sin. He is divine and loving, and worthy of our worship. Then, in a profound closing to the book of Matthew, he reveals His final plan until his return, Matthew 28:18-20. "And Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you, always, to the end of the age.'"
Friends from his birth, to His ascension. He is the one who is worthy of our worship. But he is also a king with a plan. He came for a purpose. And he came to call those who were his own, to be part of His kingdom, and to be part of his plan. What's the plan? To go and make disciples, teach them everything, and teach them to obey all I have commanded you. If you haven't submitted your life, to Jesus today, I beg you. Ask him for the forgiveness that only his grace can bring. And you will be saved and you will be changed immediately. If you've already done that, or maybe you just did that. This is one of the greatest promises and all of Scripture. For all of you who are part of God's plan to worship and follow Jesus, this is one of your greatest promises and all of Scripture. Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Always, let's pray.
Lord God, you are so wonderful to send Jesus Christ to pay for our sin. You sent him as a royal king to bring about the kingdom. You have made a way for us to enter that kingdom through Christ. Lord God, I pray that you just put it on the hearts and minds of all who are here and all who are listening Lord God. That they may serve Jesus Christ in Jesus alone. That they may withhold nothing, Lord, withhold nothing back in their lives but to give all to Jesus. My friends let's just take a moment and ask God to help us to be faithful worshipers of Jesus Christ.
Lord God, you have given us such a wonderful account of the life of Christ in the book of Matthew and yet there is so much more. We pray that you would prepare our hearts to think about what we have heard and to prepare our hearts for what is to come. We love you and thank you for these things. It's all for your glory. Amen.
other sermons in this series