Faithlife Sermons

Advent #4 2017: Prepare to Serve

Prepare!  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 4 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Prepare to Serve

Big Miracles vs. Little Ministries
“The services are all so basic. As Chrysostom first point out ,we do not hear, ‘I was sick and you healed me,’ or ‘I was in prison and you liberated me’… Big miracles aren’t happening here; little ministries are. And yet is precisely in these little ministries that the miracle of the big mystery- eternal salvation – occurs. The services should not be too quickly spiritualized. No other text in Scripture honors social services as much as this scene. He makes his kingdom accessible not to the great doers of in the world…, but to all the little doers in the world. Bruner 568
“The services are all so basic. As Chrysostom first point out, we do not hear, ‘I was sick and you healed me,’ or ‘I was in prison and you liberated me’… Big miracles aren’t happening here; little ministries are. And yet is precisely in these little ministries that the miracle of the big mystery- eternal salvation – occurs. The services should not be too quickly spiritualized. No other text in Scripture honors social services as much as this scene. He makes his kingdom accessible not to the great doers of in the world…, but to all the little doers in the world. Bruner 568
· Three ministries: Feeding ministry, sheltering ministry, visitation ministry. 570
· Listen to John Foreman’s song! I Hate all your show.
· Listen to John Foreman’s song! I Hate all your show.
· : If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard.
· : Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but one who turns a blind eye will get many a cruse.
· : The good wife ‘opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.
We don’t need to fix, we simply need to serve. Last week, but too much emphasis on fixing. This week, emphasis is simply this: get your hands dirty.
“Not hand out or hand up, but hand across”
Home is our engine
From metaphor to future history
unconscious service. automatic
There is surprise that who they served was righteous. How different that is for me! “evil righteousness”
Christians are bad at reading this list.
This is what we ought not do. But it’s also about what we need to do.
Titus 2:11
Titus 2:11–14 ESV
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Introduction:
I was like, what? That’s such an amazing thing!
Who are the least of those?
Introduction:
We don’t need to fix, we simply need to serve. Last week, but too much emphasis on fixing. This week, emphasis is simply this: get your hands dirty.
“How can I offer greatness to you?”
I was like, what? That’s such an amazing thing!
Jesus offers greatness here in this passage!
Background:
“This is one of the most vivid parables Jesus ever spoke, and the lesson is crystal clear- that God will judge us in accordance with our reaction to human needs.” Barclay 325
Big Miracles vs. Little Ministries
unconscious service. automatic
“The services are all so basic. As Chrysostom first point out, we do not hear, ‘I was sick and you healed me,’ or ‘I was in prison and you liberated me’… Big miracles aren’t happening here; little ministries are. And yet is precisely in these little ministries that the miracle of the big mystery- eternal salvation – occurs. The services should not be too quickly spiritualized. No other text in Scripture honors social services as much as this scene. He makes his kingdom accessible not to the great doers of in the world…, but to all the little doers in the world. Bruner 568
There is surprise that who they served was righteous. How different that is for me! “evil righteousness”
· Three ministries: c
· Listen to John Foreman’s song! I Hate all your show.
This is Jesus’ last public word before his death!
From metaphor to future history
Argument #1: Brothers and Least= Compassion towards lowly followers
Bruner: “Damnation of Nothings”

5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Argument #1: Brothers and Least= Compassion towards lowly followers
Brothers=Disciples

40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41

46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

Little Ones=Disciple

42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Argument #2: Ministry to the Poor in General:
This is about all the Lost: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

In either case the test is the way people behave toward needy people whom they do not suspect of having any great importance

What they did for those who are needy they did to Jesus.
Story about Nicaragua and Sandi: beeds

5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

18  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

· : Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and will be repaid in full.
· : Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and will be repaid in full.
· : If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard.
· : Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but one who turns a blind eye will get many a cruse.
· : The good wife ‘opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.
Bruner: I was a fetus and you brought me to term, I was conceived and you brought me to birth… I was bullied and you
Story of Dante’s reaction to guy on the street
“Not hand out or hand up, but hand across”
Regardless…
Does our Sheep and Goats text, as interpreted above, teach salvation by works or by means other than by Christ alone? Answer: In the wrong hands, yes. But rightly interprested: no. For Jesus Christ himself, here at thevery end of his publich ministry in his probably most provacative lesson, teaches that it is only by accepting him that anyone can be saved. What is provovative is his sayin that Judgment his ‘him’ will be found to have been made accessible in even needy people… This teach is both very dangerous and very relieving: dangerous because in undisiplined hands it leads to a Christless universalism; relieving because to disciples concernd about those who have never heard the gospel it shows one more time the amazing breadth of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sum: It is an unsurrenderable part of Matthew Gospel.
Ontological difference between sheep and goats
unconscious service. automatic
There is surprise that who they served was righteous. How different that is for me! “evil righteousness”
We can’t tell the difference between the two
This is just what sheep do, and this is just what goats do. Greatest of all time, isn’t the case.
The sheep were oblivious to what they were doing. They didn’t realize that what they were doing was serving Jesus.
Conservative Christians tend to go with the former
Liberal Christians tend to go with the latter
Each one thinks their argument is ridiculous. I’ve struggled with how to deal with all this. How could you serve all the poor all the time?
How can you just serve those in house? Isn’t that selfish?
Was Jesus intentionally ambiguous? He’s unclear here, but he’s clear in other ways.
Was Jesus intentionally ambiguous? He’s unclear here, but he’s clear in other ways.
Sins of Omission
Saved for works?
Christians are good at reading this list:
Christians are bad at reading this list.
Bruner: “Damnation of Nothings”
USE GIFTS
Related Media
Related Sermons