Posts Tagged 'Jesus’ words'

Prelude to the Passion: Fruitless Frustration

Prelude to the Passion: Fruitless Frustration

Matthew 21:12-22

When was the last time you had a goal blocked? Often, we think of that in sports terms: wanting our team to win, and watching as the points needed can’t be gained because the other side is playing better defense than our side is playing offense. But the games we watch aren’t as important as the life we live. What happens when our goals IN LIFE are blocked?

What are the foundations of our frustration?

* Putting the Wrong Things in God’s Place ~ Matthew 21:12-13

  • 12 court of the Gentiles: the largest area of the Temple was reserved for those who weren’t very religious
  • 13 Jesus was upset because the religious elite of his day would rather use that space for making money with animals than making space for people

* Refusing to Credit the Work of God Around You ~ Matthew 21:14-17

  • 14/5 the religious elite were offended by the presence of the needy who saw God at work
  • 16/7 important to remember: children weren’t valued in the 1st century like they are now; they had ZERO STATUS; when the lowest of the low praised Jesus, the elite were offended; kids didn’t have the **right** to say anything at the temple

* Not Seeing Expected Results in Your Life ~ Matthew 21:18-22

  • 18/9 Jesus EXPECTED fruit to be there, and was frustrated when it wasn’t
  • 20/1 disciples focused on the PROCEDURE; Jesus concerned about the POTENTIAL

Answer frustrations with a choice of joy (Hab 3:18),
and shared prayer (Mat 21:22)
prayer requires 1) recognition of God [GOD answers prayer];
2) reception of God’s faith [God GIVES faith];
3) release of mistrust
(we can’t hold on to our own agenda and expect God to conform to IT; we’re supposed to conform to HIS)

Prelude to the Passion: Woe Warnings

Prelude to the Passion: Woe Warnings


Regarding the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster:

Two engineers performed an unauthorized experiment. In order to perform the test they were interested in performing, they had to override manually six separate computer-driven alarm systems. One by one the computers would come up and say, ‘Stop! Dangerous! Go no further!’ And one by one, rather than shutting off the experiment, they shut off the alarms and kept going. You know the results: nuclear fallout that was recorded all around the world, from the largest industrial accident ever to occur in the world.

The instructions and warnings in Scripture are just as clear. We ignore them at our own peril, and tragically, at the peril of innocent others.

Why Know The Woes?

* Woe Means Warning ~ Luke 11:37-44

  • 37/41 setup: the Pharisee and the Rabbi; Pharisee all about controlling outer activity; Rabbi Jesus concerned about inner life
  • 42 Warning: don’t focus on holy minutiae and ignore everyday faith
  • 43 Warning: don’t love the important at the expense the crucial
  • 44 Warning: don’t hide your brokenness to trip others up

* Whoa Means Stop! ~ Luke 11:45-52

  • 45/6 STOP weighing others down with what YOU’RE unwilling to carry
  • 47/51 STOP putting others down while pretending to lift them up
  • 52 STOP misleading other’s understanding;

The point of the Law isn’t the Law itself: it’s Living IN PARTNERSHIP with the LawGiving God.

Pastor Ed Backell

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