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Revealed to Little Children - Matthew 11:25-26

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Sermon presented on July 31, 2021 - Sermon presented by Anthony Garside - "Revealed to Little Children" - Matthew 11:25-26 (Video Conference)

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Sermon 07/31/21 - Revealed to Little Children – Anthony Garside – South Bay Christian Church This morning we’re going to look at a scripture that shows Jesus openly rejoicing with the Holy Spirit in prayer to His Father. The Three In One God was exuberant. Jesus, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, was ecstatic over something. What was it? I’m reading in the ESV Matthew 11:25-26 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Luke 10:21 adds the Holy Spirit to the celebration Luke 10:21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. PRAY Thank you Father for the gift of your Son and thank you Holy Spirit for opening our minds to God’s Grace. Thank you for the loving gift of repentance that brings us rest for our souls. Please help us to live in celebration of the Gospel the Good News of Salvation. Please help us to share it with others around us. I’m going to read the verses that surround this passage in the NIV so that we can understand why Jesus said what he said and why he was both troubled and jubilant. Read Matthew 11 Verses 25-26 are in the context of Jesus’ rejection in 3 cities where Jesus had taught the people and where he had performed great, compassionate miracles but the general public was unrepentant. What does it tell us about stubborn humans like us? What does it tell us about Jesus? How does God reveal Himself to humanity? Is it to the wise and learned with doctorate degrees? We will not have time to answer all of these questions in depth but this passage is wonderful news for US, and portrays how WONDERFUL is our God. Matthew the writer of this Gospel is an outcast, he was a collaborator with the Romans, a traitor according to Jewish standards. The Holy Spirit loads the Gospel of Matthew account with a narrative that brings us to Christ. Matthew Chapters 5,6,7 The Beattitudes and the Sermon on the Mount bring us to the conclusion that we are sinners in desperate need of a loving Savior. Matthew Chapters 8-10 describe the miracles of healing a leper, a centurion’s servant (in Capernaum), a paralytic (Capernaum) a demon possessed man, a woman with a hemorrhage problem (that would have prevented her from entering the Temple), a blind man (Bethsaida), a mutant, Peter’s mother in law (Capernaum) and not to forget the calling Matthew himself an outcast. All of these would be unworthy of approaching the inner courts of the Temple. Now getting back to Matthew Chapter 11 Matthew 11:18 – 19 describes the accusation against Jesus for ‘eating and drinking’—labelling him as a drunkard. Yet his purpose is to save the lost and befriending tax collectors and sinners was the first step. Jesus came to us ‘while we were yet sinners’ Romans 5:8 Each of the 3 cities Jesus denounces are in ruins today. We need to focus on God's character: grace, mercy, love, etc. but His grace, mercy and love are properly understood in the context of His holiness, and righteous judgment. His love covers our sins, but ignoring God’s call to repentance is SERIOUS AND DANGEROUS. The Bible presents a balanced view of God and its understanding should lead us to appreciate the love and grace of God even more. Sin and non-repentance are offenses against a just and righteous God who reigns supreme in perfection. Jesus had just visited Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum many of whom had failed to believe in Jesus even with all of the miracles that He performed. 1. The calling of a Christian – REVEALED TO LITTLE CHILDREN –called to repentance. John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. This is how we were called. Most of us are not wise according to the world’s standards. BUT WE WERE CALLED TO REPENTANCE. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 “Therefore I will judge you. O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” Ezekiel 18:30 “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; REPENT, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Revelation 2:4-5 Psalm 51:17 King James Version 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise The centurion says that he is not worthy of Jesus coming under his roof, and by saying that he is not worthy he is made worthy in the sight of God. On one occasion a scribe says in effect that he is worthy and by considering himself worthy he becomes unworthy! It is only Jesus our God and Savior who is worthy Revelation 5 2. REVEALED BY THE GREAT GOD IN HEAVEN Let’s take a look at how God reveals Himself to humanity. ‘These things’ in the case of what Jesus has just been talking about in this chapter, they are things that seemingly should be obvious. If Jesus displays power that can only come from God—power to raise the dead and heal impossible illnesses and cast out demons with a word—then He must be the Messiah. Why would anyone not believe that? 3. Who are the wise and understanding that Jesus describes in this verse? We see in Jeremiah 8:9 that ‘wise men’ can reject the word of the LORD. Jeremiah 8:9 The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them? 4. Who are the little children that Jesus describes? Mark 10 New International Version 13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. What is it about the little child that is so vital—it is teachable humility and total reliance on the parent in our case GOD. REPENTANCE Jesus is teaching us here that it is a very serious matter to ignore His Call to Repentance. We were always totally dependent on God we just have to recognize it and hand over control of our lives to the GOOD God. Blessed are the poor in spirit=poor in our spirit but rich in His. Not my will but Thy will. Jesus volunteered to serve us by dying, being rejected Blessed are the meek—they have no power of their own. Matthew 5:11 blessed are you when others revile you and insult you. 5. What is the true wisdom that we should pursue? How does it ‘flesh out’? James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. Going back to I Corinthians 1—not many wise men. On June 18th Jory Fleming wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled: The Faith of an Autistic Man. Most people consider autism as a mental defect that stops them from becoming authentic normal human beings. We don’t realize it but a lot of us have some sort of mental frailty. I can certainly identify with asperger syndrome which is a form of autism but Jory displays a surprising source of strength—the strong faith that God has given him. Tongue tied and awkward an autistic person has difficulty expressing emotion. Listen to what he says: “Yet the Christian faith spoke to me through one word: LOVE. I often feel as if, by relying on one a single word, God designed this message for people like me.” Jory goes on to say that emotion can derail faith. Disappointment, pain and frustration can lead many to turn from God. FFBruce writes: “The revelation of God cannot be properly known apart from the cultivation of brotherly love within the Christian community.” 6. How did Christ handle rejection? When many rejected him Jesus forgets the negative and remembers the positive! Jesus called to mind the many who had labored in their weakness, frailty, and sickness. Peter, James, John Andrew followed him immediately—all unlearned men. The blind man of John 9, the woman at the well in John 4 all followed as soon as Jesus talked with them. 7. How do we handle rejection? We need to remember God keeps in perfect peace the one who stays his mind on God Isaiah 26:3-4. The next time you feel rejected or an outcast or ‘sent to coventry’ remember Jesus was also rejected. 8. Are we supposed to remain unwise? No remember James 3:17. We are to seek his wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. 9. Do we have a part in revealing ‘these things’ to the world? Every Christian has a part in proclaiming the Gospel, proclaiming His LOVE by how we live, BY how we forgive, and by how we love in word and deed. 10. Before we leave this passage let’s remember what Jesus is rejoicing in! It’s you and me sitting here today. Jesus had great joy set before him Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. So what do we learn from this passage? 1. REVEALED TO LITTLE CHILDREN We are sinners saved by Grace. Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” If you have not gone to Jesus with your burden, your sin now is the time. 2. REVEALED BY OUR GREAT GOD. God is Love. God enacted a plan to accept us no matter how lowly our status IS in the eyes of the world, no matter how wretched is our sin. The greatest thing that we all need to remember is that far from rejecting us Jesus came to lay down his life as a ransom for many as the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. Forget rejection accept Jesus today as your Savior! How great is our God!!! PRAY: thanking God for this priceless gem that we rejoice in! Please help us to rejoice that you reveal yourself to us and you call us your little children! Please help us to live in that celebration and share it with others around us.
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