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Grace mercy, peace speak to each of you from God our Father or Jesus Christ his only son and our only Lord and Savior a man in the interest of time because of your voters meeting coming up right after the service. I'm going to skip the little humor and give right into the topic at hand and everybody says you can tell that by the green apartments. We have hanging in the front if any of course means revealing or are manifesting and green horses the color of life and sojourning Epiphany. We are looking at the life of Jesus as he is being revealed and being manifested through his disciples and then to us, so the question I kind of want to explore with you today is what is it that we really know about the life of Jesus specifically his early life. We know a few things. We just got done a couple of weeks ago actually was a month ago yesterday. We just got done celebrating his birth or the fancy word for the birth of Jesus is Christmas Nativity, all right, then the tivity of Christ that was a month ago yesterday. We don't necessarily need to review any of those details, but I will say this that the biblical story is rather different than the popular version of his birth that we teach our children and that you see portrayed in the media, right? All right go. So for example, when did when did Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem? It was not on her due date. Okay, number one number two that you ride on a donkey or did she walk? We don't know because there's no mention of a donkey in the Bible. Did she stay at a Motel 6?
No, she did not because they are going back to their relatives and they were going to stay with your relatives and the relatives they are all had guest rooms, but there was no room in that guest room. So therefore they stayed in the part of the house where the animals were kept and that's where there was the manger. Okay, so stuff like that for some reason we don't teach that to our children. We don't see that in the in the media, but that's that's more of the biblical story. Right after the birth of Jesus than the next event. That happens is what is usually called The Escape to Egypt or the flight to Egypt which of course was piloted by Pontius Pilate. Okay, nevermind.
You guys have to kind of wake up. All right.
Are you never heard that joke before?
Okay, it's obvious that I read way too much religious literature. All right, but but very seriously though, these safety Egypt was the event that we heard about on December 29th here. When when King Herod killed the toddler Boys in Bethlehem, otherwise known as the Holy Innocents. Okay speak in Thailand temperature when this happened was what's around 425 BC. Jesus was born actually chronologically in history. And what we now call the year 6 BC give or take we know that King Henry died in the year for BC, which is a two-year Gap and then of course, he killed all the boys that were two years and younger for some reason that for the 5 to 4 BC inches is where this event took place. And so Joseph and Mary and Jesus escaped to Egypt. And then shortly thereafter. That was the return to Nazareth Nazareth, of course was the hometown of Mary the hometown of Joseph. That's where they met. That's where Jesus grew up as well and they were in the custom of going to Jerusalem for the Passover. And so would Jesus was 12 that magical age. He went to Jerusalem for the Passover with them with Mary and Joseph. So this is the visit to Jerusalem and we heard about that key ring on January 5th. It was a very unusual for the Passover were over. Mary and Joseph lost Jesus for 5 days. I don't know what you guys want to kind of put all the math together, but they left to go back to Nazareth and they traveled a day before they realized Hoops with her son. Okay, because they presumed that their son was with all the other relatives that had come from Nazareth to Jerusalem. Now, they're all going back Shirley Jesus the mature 12 year old was among them. That's what he wasn't. Okay. So if they win a Day's Journey out and then they discovered he was missing then they went a Day's Journey back to find them in Jerusalem Jerusalem the big town. So the Bible tells us that they were searching for him for three days. And then they finally found him guess where? In the chapel doing also a very unusual thing because this this trip was unusual for him because he was also amazing the older rabbis and Priests and scribes and teachers of the law with his grasp of Godly things the way he understood things the way he asked questions. Was unusual better than usual for a 12 year old boys. So he was amazed them. It says so then it goes back with Mary and Joseph to the Nazarene. The next time we see Jesus, he's already 30 years old and this is his baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. This was actually his annoying thing and that we talked about on January 12th. It's one of their roles in the Old Testament was to anoint their job was to anoint other prophets to anoint priests and to a king's they did that with oil the anointing with oil John. The Baptist is we consider him the last of the Old Testament prophets and he anointed Jesus not with or No Deal like that Jesus with water and the Holy Spirit. And what he anointed Jesus for was to be God's ultimate and final Prophet priest and King and that's what the baptism of Jesus was all about until his baptism. Jesus was just simply Jesus of Nazareth. Private citizen even though he was born to be the Christ. He was born to be the Messiah to be the Savior but up until his baptism. He was just a private citizen after his baptism now, he is Jesus the Christ. He is Jesus the Messiah that's when he enters into his public Ministry his public role. The first God the Holy Spirit leads him into the Wilderness to be tested. Why is Arch Enemy Satan? For 40 days, that should have been what we talked about last week, but we skip that part. Why would you do that? Why would God the Father take his one and only son and drive him into the desert? 440 days to be tested and to be tempted and to wrestle with Satan the devil.
well It's one thing to know and to learn and to understand God's word the way Jesus did when he was 12 and obviously all the long during his life. It's one thing to learn it.
It is something else to hold on to it for dear life. when there's nothing else when there's nothing left, all you've got is the word of God. All you've got is your relationship with God. All you've got is a Promises of God and you don't have anything else. That's a whole different kind of learning if you will. And that only happens that kind of learning only happens in the heat of hardship. That kind of learning and depending only happens in the heat of trial that kind of trust. Only develops In the Heat of trusting and so Jesus on Earth as a human cloaking his divine nature. Went into the desert for 40 days. That develop that kind of trust and that kind of dependence and that kind of learning that you can only get that way. Having survived it then having survived the testing and having been formed by that testing. We now arrive at today's Gospel reading. in Matthew chapter 4 It begins with the fact that John the Baptist ministry is is over. The Forerunner of Christ is done. The one who came sent by God to prepare the way of the Messiah. He's in prison. Remember how we got there? Put on Herman Antipas now, this is not Herod the Great who killed the boys in Bethlehem. This is his son Herod Antipas. He is a son of Herod the Great married rhodius who wants his sister-in-law and his niece.
Yeah, okay. So guess who spoke out against this kind of adultery. It was John the Baptist because John had the ministry of repentance and this was something to be repented of well, when you speak out against the powers-that-be for their illegitimate behavior in those days, you could put in prison nowadays other things happened to but you could be put in prison and eventually then this was the reason why John literally would lose his head. But now he's just in prison when Jesus was tempted and tested it was in the Judean desert, which is between Jerusalem and the salt sea this is why you're there on maps, Hopefully everybody's got one. If not, there's extras in the back. All right, I guess I could have done this on the screen, but I prefer if you got to have a paper copy of it. So you want to look at the side that says Jesus is Ministry. All right, you want to look towards the bottom where you see the salt sing We Now call that Dead Sea. All right, same thing and down there just a little yellow box that says baptism traditional sight by Bethany Beyond Jordan. And so the Wilderness of Judea was in this area than between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea that's what his testing was. That's what his trial was. So when he got done with that then he went back home all the way up top up here to Nazareth, which is to the left of the Sea of Galilee that little other kind of bigger body of water to the left you see Nazareth. Okay. And so when he went there more than likely he stayed with Mary his mom and then from Nazareth, he moved up the capernum capernum is on the very top of the Sea of Galilee. Do you see where that is? Okay capernum. This this area here Nazareth and compare them. This area is the land of zebulun and the land of naphtali mentioned by Isaiah in the Old Testament reading today. Okay. So for that we can flip the map over to the other side and I apologize for the poor color copy. But if you see that little blue body of water call the City of Kenner s that's actually also the same thing as a Sea of Galilee and right to the left you'll see Zebulon and you'll see enough probably a little bit up to the north okay to the north of that. So that's that's enough Tolley. That's the tribal areas of where the tribes of Israel settled when they moved into the promised land that was the designated area. So they blend the following same thing as Galilee in the time of Jesus. Alright, so let's go back to the first side where it says Jesus ministry and you look at capernum again. And what do you see else in Capernaum? That makes it important.
There's a red line going through it. You see little red line going through it. What is that? Open the key up in the upper left-hand corner. It says that is an international Transportation artery. You're putting two and two together why Jesus is in capernum to do his ministry why it's not in Nazareth why he's not in Jerusalem. There is an international Transportation order. It's like I-95 goes through capernum. Okay, as far as what the Romans had built and designed so when Jesus began to preach it says who heard him. Everybody passing through capernum on the international Transportation artery + all the people of zebulun and naphtali meaning Galilee the fisherman at the Sea of Galilee as well. Okay, I don't want to say this. God was very strategic in where Jesus minister. So that as much of that much news about him could get out as possible in the world of his day. Okay, it wasn't just simply he picked this place at random where you pick this place accidentally he picked it intentionally and strategically because the Romans had provided not only the Pax Romana remember that the Roman peace the Romans that also provided I-95 to go right through capernum.
What did Jesus preach because he began to preach? What did he preach? He preached to things good news and response. The good news is God's kingdom is here. The response is repent become different. The good news is everything promised and and prepared in the Old Testament for the Messiah for the Christ is now fulfilled in the world in the person in the presence of Jesus everything that the prophet that spoke and everything that God ordained through Moses and the law is now fulfilled The response is repent turn around come back to God become different. You can't live your life the same anymore because the world in which you live is not the same anymore because God's kingdom has come upon. It has come into it repent become part of it's okay. That's good news in this response. The people who are hearing this, of course as I just said were from all over the Empire and they were from all over Galilee and they included for fishermen Simon Andrew James and John. It is only natural after preaching for a while that Jesus could tell who was listening to him. Who was listening intently who was listening curiously? And it's also only natural after hearing him a while. At Simon and Andrew and James and John. We decide to follow him when he invited them to do that. All right. Today is the day was so absorbing in this Epiphany season the calling of the first disciples. It's kind of like what today's theme is It was a supernatural event. I grant you but folks can I also make you understand that it was on a magical event? you know like something hypnotic happened Jesus Kohl's and they follow as if nothing preceded that They did not follow him because they were mesmerising. They did not follow him with glaze. I Okay, they heard him for a while. I pondered what he said for a while. They took to heart what he said for a while they learned maybe or wanted to be may be included in this he saw the wheels turning in hitting their heads. He saw the wheels turning in their hearts cuz like he's God, you know, he can do that and then after the spirit brought them to the edge. He just simply invited them to come and they did. Okay, that's how the first disciples were called not by Magic. Not by hypnosis, but by the working of the spirit through the preaching of Jesus over the course of sometime and then they said yeah, we'll we'll come with you we will leave. In fact, we will leave everything and we will come with you. We want to be so much a part of this Kingdom Jesus that you're talkin about. That will not will trade our life our life good for your kingdom.
What's the takeaway point? Well, I take away points for us for today. I believe is this what are people pondering and they hear you preach.
Pastor I Don't Preach you do You may be thinking and my answer would be. Oh, yes, you do preach. and the reason why you don't think you preach maybe it's because most people think of preaching with one of two meanings either people think of preaching as somebody standing up there watching that finger and saying you showed you what you must you have to
Or they think of preaching at something that's officially and only done in church by the pastor. And there's no other meaning of the word preach out there in the culture and that would be a mistake because that is not correct. That is not biblical. To preach is just to Proclaim to preach is just to speak to preach is to share your faith to preach is to offer. Hope the people from the word of God. Okay to pretty much means what it says in Acts chapter 8 verse for those who had been scattered meaning from Jerusalem due to the persecution preached the word wherever they went. Now, what are you picturing when you hear this? When I'm picturing is they did not go around wagging their fingers at people.
And they did not go around sermonizing.
These were not the apostles. It was scattered these wear everyday Christians and Believers in Jesus and followers of Christ was scattered and these everyday Christian Believers preach the word wherever they want. Meaning. They spoke it. They shared it. They proclaimed it. They share their faith. They share the hope they had from the word of God. You did not go around moralizing or sermonizing.
So getting back to our take away question for the day. What are you preaching? Whatever you go because you go to a lot of places you go to a lot of people you have a lot of relationships. What are the people pondering? when they hear you when they hear your preaching your speaking your proclaiming.
Am I pretty to you would be that you're preaching as whatever you go would be about our King. Jesus that it would be about his kingdom said it would be about his love that it would be about his forgiveness that it would be about his freedom. That it would be about his Mercy that it would be about his hoe. That it would be about his comfort that it would be about his compassion that it would be about his joy that it would be about his new life that you are in the midst of eternal life. You are looking forward to in his presence let your preaching in my preaching wherever we go, whatever we speak while I'm at we Proclaim be about these things. So that people would hear us as those disciples heard Jesus. And be drawn to it. and say or think give me some of that. I'd like to have some of that.
amen, amen Let's continue our services.