Journey Through Matthew: Never Satisfied
Good morning and welcome back!
This morning start turning in your Bibles to .
In just a few moments I will be reading from , but first we need to back up a bit in our Journey Through Matthew.
If you will recall last Sunday we looked at chapter 9 and ended up on Sunday night going quickly through chapter 10.
And our focus on Sunday morning was The Healer’s Touch, looking at the touch of Jesus and being IN TOUCH with Jesus.
And that was very important to understand because as much as we desire to be touched and healed by Jesus we have to understand that we must first be in touch with Jesus.
Then on Sunday night we asked the question Where are all of the workers? Looking at Jesus’ sending out of the disciples to begin to do the work of the ministry.
If you will recall Jesus tells his disciples that . . .
37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
And then immediately after that . . .
1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
And chapter 10 is really this long discourse of all the things that they would be encountering as they went out.
Jesus was preparing them for the hard work that was ahead of them.
But that wasn’t the end either.
Jesus didn’t just send out the 12 and go home and wait for them to report back.
After all Jesus was their leader and not their boss.
Anybody know the difference between a leader and a boss?
A leader is one who is out front doing the work with you, showing you how to do it.
A boss is one who is good at giving instructions but when the work starts they disappear.
They don’t want to get their hands dirty.
Jesus wasn’t like that.
He led, and he led by example.
Chapter 11 actually starts out . . .
1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
He kept going, kept pushing forward.
Which is exactly what we should do.
Sometimes, we have a tendency to pray for something, maybe for someone to be saved.
And after that happens we think the work is done and we can go and sit down somewhere.
Well, that’s not the case.
It will never be the case.
As long as there are people in this world, who need to hear the gospel, we have a responsibility to share the gospel.
And as long as people are being born into this world, there will be a need to share the gospel with people.
So, don’t think just because that one you’ve been praying for was saved, that your work is over.
The work is never over!
Jesus realized that and so did his disciples.
And also, as a sort of secondary event, by this time John had been locked up in prison, but John also burned for the work to continue.
And he became excited, and out of his excitement . . . .
2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples
Is it really you?
Is this really happening? Now? In our time?
And Jesus responds . . .
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
So, Yes! It is really me! Yes! It is really the time!
But Jesus also uses this as a springboard to call the people out on some of their inconsistencies and, honestly, their lack of faith.
They were expecting the Messiah to ride in on a white horse.
They were expecting the forerunner, the announcer of the Messiah to blow a big trumpet.
A lot of pomp and circumstance.
However, what they got was Jesus and John the Baptist.
Jesus tells them . . .
7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written: “ ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears, let him hear.
The road to eternal life has not been an easy road.
It has been a forceful advance and it has been done by the least likely of people.
The people that the world had no use for, but God did.
The people that the world rejected, but God accepted.
And the same way God used John the Baptist and all the others God desires to use us.
However, just like the children of Israel, we have a problem.
Which is what Jesus addresses in our Scripture this morning.
So, if you have found in your Bible, turn with me to verse 16.
Matthew writes this . . .
16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the market-places and calling out to others: 17 “ ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’
16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the market-places and calling out to others: 17 “ ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners”.’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”
So, Jesus starts out here and his description of the current generation of believers was not too flattering.
He didn’t call them “faithful servants” or “great saints of the faith.”
No, rather Jesus, in calling them out compares them to children sitting in the market-places and call out to others.
And this whole part about them calling out to others, is Jesus’ way of telling them that they are not satisfied with anything.
Nothing he did could satisfy them.
Nothing that John the Baptist did could satisfy them.
They were like a bunch of spoiled children sulking when they didn’t get their way on things.
He went on to say that . . .
17 “ ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
In other words, “when we were happy and called you to express joy, you refused”
“When we mourned and called you to mourn as well, you refused.”
“It didn’t matter what we said, or what we did; you were going to do the opposite.”
And Jesus then gives them a perfect example … .
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners”.’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”
And this all goes back to that conversation Jesus had with them about why John’s disciples fasted and his did not.
John fasted and instead of embracing John and following his example, what did they do?
They said he was possessed by a demon.
Well, okay, when Jesus came he and his disciples came with joy; eating and drinking, surely this would satisfy them.
Nope, they just accused him of being a glutton and a drunk.
Not only that but because Jesus had compassion on people and tried to help everyone, he was labeled as a friend of those dirty old tax collectors and sinners.
And really it all boiled down to the fact that the people did not want to repent.
They did not want to give up their sinful lifestyle.
They didn’t want this carpenter’s son and his ragtag group of followers telling them to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.
And they definitely didn’t want sold old wild haired, dirty, bug eating prophet telling them to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.
They didn’t like what they were hearing and they didn’t like that feeling of conviction deep in their soul, so instead of doing the right thing, they just made up their own narrative.
They couldn’t really explain all of the miracles and things that Jesus was doing.
They couldn’t really explain all of the fulfilled prophesies of John, so instead they made something up.
They convinced themselves that their lies were true.
Satan was feeding them lies and they were buying into those lies.
And our society today is not that much different.
Sure, John the Baptist is dead, but his message lives on.
Sure, Jesus has returned to the Father, but his work continues; the message is the same.
The message of repentance.
The message of hope.
The message of salvation.
The message of the ONLY WAY, which is through Jesus.
It continues today, but people also continue to be the same as they were 2000 years ago.
They refuse heed the message.
They refuse to give up their sin.
They refuse to repent.
They refuse to follow Christ.
Paul told Timothy . . .
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
They were already doing it in Jesus’ day, and the problem has just been compounded over time.
People just absolutely refuse to hear the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But what about us this morning?
Are we listening?
And it doesn’t just have to be to the call to come and receive Christ.
Many of us have done that, but there is more.
There is the call to actually follow Christ.
Luke records that . . .
23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
It is a decision as to whether or not we are actually going to follow Christ.
If we are going to give in and allow the Holy Spirit to lead in our lives.
Or, are we going to continue to refuse and continue to believe the lies that the world is spilling out there.
We have a choice to make, and Jesus issued a stern warning to his detractors.
The last part of verse 19 says, wisdom is proved right by her actions.
In other words, God doesn’t have to prove Himself with a bunch of words.
Time will tell.
In time all things will be told.
And in the next section Jesus tells them exactly what time will tell.
Cites of Death
Cites of Death
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
Let that sink in for just a minute.
Sodom was completely destroyed.
Wiped completely off the map because of it’s sin.
They can’t even find it today.
That is how complete the destruction was.
And Jesus is saying that in the day of Judgement thing would be more bearable for the citizens of Sodom than for the citizens of these cities who have rejected Him.
And think about where we we are now, over 2000 years later.
2000 years of preaching the Gospel.
2000 years of history behind us, proving the things of God.
How much more will the judgement be on us who reject?
And I don’t say that to scare anybody, but I say it so that maybe we will realize the truth of things.
Because the world will tell us not to worry about it.
That all that Bible stuff doesn’t matter.
That as long as we are good people we will be fine.
That hell doesn’t exist.
That Jesus wasn’t really the Son of God.
That Christianity wasn’t real.
Well, I say this morning that wisdom is proved right by her actions.
That time will tell.
And that the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that people are feeling right now is real.
And the wisest thing we can do right now is give in to the Holy Spirit.
And respond to the Holy Spirit.
The wisest thing we can do is give ourselves to Christ.
Because deep in our soul’s we know what the truth is.
Now, we must respond.
Will you do that today?
Will you respond to the Holy Spirit?
Will you make a wise decision or continue to do the same old thing the same old way?
Today is the day.
Now is the time.
What will your decision be?