Something Old, Something New

Jesus answered the critical question of the scribes and Pharisees with three parables: the parable of the bridegroom, the parable of the patch on the cloth, and the parable of the wine and the wineskins.  The first parable introduces the concept of Jesus as the bridegroom, and the second two parables illustrate the idea of something old and something new.

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Calling All Sinners

The holy Rabbi of Nazareth invited the unholy and ungodly tax collector to be His disciple.  The disciples who were already with Jesus must have gasped, and the people in the crowd probably began to whisper in disbelief, but the most surprised person at that moment would have been Levi.

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Easter: The Grief and the Glory

And with that, sometime between 3 and 4 p.m. on a Friday, Jesus won the victory over sin.  He was the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God without spot or blemish who takes away the sins of the world.  But Jesus did not come only to defeat sin, He also came to defeat death.  To do this, Jesus had to fully experience death, so the spirit of Jesus descended into Hades, and into the realm of the righteous dead to lead captivity captive. 

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Palm Sunday: Which Messiah Do We Worship?

But by the end of the week the multitudes would turn on Christ and cry out, “Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!” (Lk. 23:21).  He came into Jerusalem hailed as a king, but a week later He was taken outside of Jerusalem and hung on a cross like a common criminal.  This would be a dramatic and decisive turn of events in the span of only seven days, but each point in the process was fulfilling prophesy concerning the coming Messiah.

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ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT!

Once people realized how special Jesus was, everywhere Jesus went the people crowded around Him. Eventually some of the religious elites began to worry that Jesus might challenge their positions or their authority, so they also began to show up in order to critique and criticize Jesus.  They were constantly watching with a critical eye and listening for something with which to accuse Jesus of, such as, fraud or blasphemy.  Sadly, in process of their criticism, they likely deprived themselves of the ministry that could have been for them.  People who come to church only to pick apart the sermon and criticize the preacher are rarely blessed.

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Jesus Has Left the Building

JESUS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING Mark 1:29-45 29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and...

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The Beginning of Big Things

At the age of 30, Jesus emerged from the small village of Nazareth in the region of Galilee; He was baptized by John; tempted in the wilderness; and then came to Galilee preaching that the coming kingdom of God is near. Jesus was one man from the obscure town of Nazareth, walking along the banks of the Sea of Galilee, calling only twelve men to follow Him, yet His message would change the world.

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From Temptation to Proclamation

However, in the middle of the wilderness, fasting for forty days, with the dangers of wild beasts ever present and Satan (the adversary), tempting Him, Jesus overcame and “the angels ministered to Him.”  The first Adam fell and the angel stood with a flaming sword to keep Adam and Eve out of the Garden and away from Tree of Life, but Jesus prevailed and has become the way, the gate, and the door to eternal life.

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It Isn’t Church Until Jesus Shows Up

We thank God when the preacher shows up, and I’m always glad when the musicians and singers show up. I’m overjoyed when I see you coming through the doors on Sunday, but it isn’t until Jesus shows up that the healer is in the house. It isn’t until Jesus shows up that worship is more than songs, sermons are more than noise, and prayers are more than words. Jesus makes the difference. In His name prayers are answered, lives are changed and hope is restored. It just isn’t church until Jesus shows up.

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IF YOU LOVE ME

God sent His Son—His one and only eternally begotten Son—into a sinful fallen world to tell us and to show us that He loves us. In fact, God loves us unconditionally. We don’t have to be good enough for God to love us; instead, God’s love shows us that if we have value in His eyes, then we should have value our own eyes. Apostle Paul said, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Ro 5:8). He loved us in the middle of our mess, in the face of our failures, and in spite of our sins. God’s love moved Him to make the ultimate sacrifice, a sacrifice with the power to pull us out of sin and into grace.

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