Category Archives: Preaching
This is the sermon I will be preaching at Hopewell today
Luke 7:36–50 (ESV)
There are several examples in the bible that just give the most beautiful picture of Jesus’ love for us. The woman at the well from John 4 is probably one of my favorites. It was actually the one I intended to preach on this morning. But as I was reading, I read this passage and the beauty of it just struck me, so that I wanted to preach on it. The visual image that this scripture, the woman at the well, and the paralytic being lowered through the roof of Simon Peter’s house, it is the image of us coming to Jesus humbled and needing Him. And through nothing but our faith, He saves us. He forgives our sin.
When you read a passage like this and stop and see the symbolism and how your very own life could be represented here; how Luke could tell this same kind of salvation story about you and your life. It just makes you stop and say, “ Wow!” God really does love me that much! It’s just amazing how God can love the unlovable.
The Woman at the Well
I’m going to go back to the woman at the well for a minute to kind of give us an opportunity to compare these two women and to look and see if we can see us in either of them. The scene in John 4 is of Jesus going to Samaria specifically to meet this woman in need. He went were no self respecting Jew would go because a woman there needed Him. Now she didn’t know she needed Him. She didn’t even realize she was looking for Him, but she was.
Anyway this woman is going to the well in the heat of the day. That tells us a few things. It was common for women to go and gather water from the well, but they did it in the morning and the evening; when it was cool.
They would also use this as a time to socialize. But this woman wouldn’t come when the other women were there, because she was looked down on. She was living with a man that was not her husband. Not only that, but she had had 5 husbands. This is the woman that allowed gossip columns to thrive. She has made mistake after mistake in life and allowed it to lead her down a road that has left her alone, looked down upon, and without hope.
But Jesus had other plans for her. He shows up in a place that has distorted who God was. A place that has mixed who God really is with whom they wanted Him to be. Keep in mind Samaria is the place that the Assyrian king had placed several different peoples and religions in, in an effort to change their culture and keep them from rebelling against him. These people then intermarried and their religions mixed. On top of that, the Jews racism built up a hatred in them for the very people of God and their ancestors. But Jesus goes to this place to meet this woman and tell her about the gift of salvation.
Before we move on I just want to make sure you are seeing the themes here.
- This person was the exact opposite of the type of person religion teaches us that God loves. (Keep in mind I’m see religion as something very separate from Christianity)
- This person was so far in sin the idea of forgiveness would seem impossible.
- This person was lonely, depressed and hopeless.
- This person is the person that Jesus specifically went to meet and save.
- This is the person He died for.
- This person is me
- This person is you
Now let’s get back to Luke. Chapter 7 verse 36.
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table.
As Jesus went around preaching crowds would follow Him. Now the Pharisees were skeptical of Him, but they realized that many people were following Him and listening to Him. So they would go and listen to Him often asking questions in an effort to trap or trick Him.
The Pharisees were really religious. They put forth the effort to make it appear they really loved God, but they loved the attention and power that their piousness got them. These were the rich and powerful rulers of what we would refer to as the church at that time. Men whose decisions were based on what benefited them, but they would twist the scriptures to make it appear they were humble servants of God. Remember these are the men who felt they should turn God’s temple of worship into a place to rip off his worshippers.
So this Pharisee has invited Jesus into his home for a feast. At a feast in this time period there would be a table and the people would lean with their left elbow on the table and their body stretched out.
The Woman, The Sinner
So Jesus is sitting there and in verse 37-38
a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.
A woman who was a sinner heard Jesus was there and she went in with a flask of ointment stood behind him and weeping she wiped His feet with her hair. Kissing and anointing His feet.
I want us to take a minute, close our eyes and picture this. This woman who knew when she walked into this Pharisee’s house was going to be judged. She goes in and as a servant put oil on Jesus feet. Overwhelmed for her love of her saviour and burdened by her sin she weeps. The tears fall at Jesus’ feet. She takes her hair and wipes the tears. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.
- She knows this is the saviour.
- She knows He brings salvation.
- She knows He is here to deliver her.
And she weeps.
Is this not a beautiful image?
Have you come and wept at Jesus feet? Have you come and overcome by your love of Jesus wept? Have you cried over your sin?
If not are you putting yourself in the place of this Pharisee?
Are you staring at sinners and saying, “If Jesus was really that great he would know who this unworthy sinner that is begging for mercy is?” Because you are one or the other. You are the judge or the judged. And no matter what you may think you are; to God; you are the judged.
Look at what happens in verse 39
Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
This scene makes me think of Luke 18. Are you praying, “God, thank you I am not like other men,” or are you praying, “God be merciful on me a sinner.” 
If you have been a Christian for long it gets easy to become a Pharisee. You start sinning less and you don’t notice your little sins, but you definitely see those enormous sins that everyone else is committing.
When we allow ourselves to become a Pharisee, God has to humble us. We forget we need Him and He has to remind us. Sometimes that isn’t pleasant. But God disciplines those that are His. But when we are the humble sinner; God exalts us. He uses us to show his glory.
As a son one of the greatest things was for my dad to recognize a strength of mine and call me to come and help him. It was an honor for him to use me. To know he was proud that I was his.
As a father I realize how often I fail at letting my children know how proud I am of them. But God is a much better father than any of us can be and He loves to use His children’s strengths. He loves to exalt them and show them off. When we are the humble servant; God will exalt us. God will let us know how proud He is to call us His.
Onto verse 40.
And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Jesus tells Simon a story. There are two men one owes a moneylender about two years wages. The other owes about two months wages. They fall behind and can’t pay. It’s time for the bill collector to come and start taking possessions and placing the debtor in Jail, but instead he comes and forgives the debt of both.
I heard a story from a woman; she said about fifty years ago her husband got injured at work. I think she said he broke a leg. Back then you didn’t have disability and FMLA. When you got hurt and couldn’t work your employer had no need for you. This person was fired for being unable to perform their job. It didn’t take long that they fell behind and now they were in default on their house payment. The woman told the story of seeing the bank president pull up and come to the door.
They knew he was there to evict them and there was nothing they could do. The bank president knocked on the door and asked if he could come in. He told the man he had heard what happened and was very sorry for him. But as he knew they were behind on their payment and it was to a point that action needed to be taken. The bank president told him that he knew they had been good customers and always paid their debt on time. He knew that the man hated that it had come to this. Then the bank president pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to the man. He told him this is the deed to your house. As of this day the debt is settled.
Can you imagine the relief the man felt. He had let his family down. This is back in the time when men had honor and if you couldn’t care for your family, you lost that honor and it bothered you. (Isn’t it amazing how quickly values can fade?) This man was about to lose everything and suddenly his debt is forgiven. Can you imagine how grateful he was?
This is the same story Jesus is telling. One man owes two years worth of salary and it is due today. The other owes two months and it is due today. They are freed from that debt. They both would be grateful but think about it in your shoes. Take your monthly salary; double it and imagine if I told you that you owed me that much and yesterday was your last day to pay. I’m here to collect. Now imagine I say; don’t worry about it I have personally taken care of it.
Now picture the same thing with your yearly salary doubled. You will be grateful either way, but I know I would be even more amazed being forgiven two years salary. What is even more amazing though is this debt is sin. It is the things we have done against God. The things we have done to hurt God. Jesus is not only saying your debt is forgiven but I have personally taken care of it for you.
Simon appears to agree with me in verse 43.
Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 
No matter who you are. No matter what you have done. You can be forgiven. Jesus loves those who are grateful and love Him. I said early it’s easy if you have been a Christian for a while to become a Pharisee, but it’s also easy to forget that Jesus meets you were you are. You don’t get over your addictions and then come to Jesus. You come to Jesus and He removes your addictions. He gives you something else to live for.
Look at this woman. She has come to Jesus and she is so grateful that she has been saved that she is wiping His feet with her hair. The woman at the well completely forgot that everyone in town thought she was a disgrace. She went to those people that looked down upon her and said I have found the savior. Come and meet Him to. Understanding what the gospel means truly changes you. You are no longer living for yourself. You are living for Jesus. Not because you have to, but because you understand who you are compared to who He is and realized that it doesn’t matter. That He saved you and wants you to be His. You are living for Him because He is wonderful.
There is nothing in this world I could ever do to make up for the sacrifice Jesus made for me. Luckily I’m not called to do anything. Look at verse 50 “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
That’s it your faith has saved you. You either look at these two women and say, “Lord have mercy on me”; or you look at them and say, “Thank you Lord I’m not like them.” If you say thank you I am not like them the question becomes, Has you faith saved you.
If your response is Lord have mercy on me then the good news is mercy is freely given. Jesus is here and He is going to meet you wherever you are at. This woman knew he was there to forgive her and she loved Him for that. He is here to forgive you are you ready to love Jesus like that.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, Lk 7:36–50. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001.
 Luke 18:10-13
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, Lk 7:43. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001.
I want to start and say what an honor it is to be here preaching to you on Good Friday. A very special day to be worshipping and what a great honor to get to be a part of worship with you. This day is a day of remembrance of what our God did for us. A day of remembrance of the punishment that set us free from sin and death.
As I prayed and prepared for this lesson I thought of the common verses used to talk about the cross, but did not feel led to them. I was leaning toward Deuteronomy 21: 23 “his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.” And the theme I have tonight comes from there but I’m going to start in the beginning, because to truly appreciate the cross we have to see its purpose.
(Holding up a cross on a necklace) Everybody knows what this is. Some of you may have one around your neck right now. A cross is one of the most popular and cultural divisive symbols there are. You see it around peoples necks, tattooed on their bodies, hanging on the walls of their house. People see the cross and regardless of whether they are a Christian or not they immediately think that it is the symbol of where Jesus died. They may even know that the cross represents forgiveness of our sin. I remember a popular song on the radio when I was a teenager and a line in it said, “She wears a cross around her neck…” A line later it finishes,”…And the cross is from someone she had not met.”
A lot of people cling to the cross for salvation but they do not understand the cross. They do not know the Man, the God that hung upon it for the salvation of His people. The cross should break us down every time we think about it.
An example; my father passed away a couple of years ago. My mom keeps pictures of him everywhere, but the one that I want to use as an example of the cross is the one she has on the dash of her van. Every time she checks her speed or gas level or anything that makes the vehicle go she sees the picture of my dad. She is then reminded of the man that gave 42 years of his life to her. This can lead to a smile as she remembers him, or tears as she misses him.
The cross should be that picture for us. We should smile as we think of how much God loves us. We should smile when we think of the things He has done for us, and tears should come when we think of the sacrifice and pain our sin placed upon Him. The cross should represent something that tears us apart.
Two of my favorite verses in the bible are Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… And John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
These two verses bring me to my knees when I think of what they mean. Colossians 1:16 kind of finishes up this thought. …all things were created through him and for him. You see Jesus was there in the beginning where it says God created the Heaven and Earth. And when God said Let us make man in our image. It was Jesus He was talking to. Okay that is simple and not so overwhelming, but Jesus is the Alpha and Omega he knows the end from the beginning. So when God said let us make man in our image Jesus knew about Genesis 3. It wasn’t a surprise when Eve ate the fruit. And He knew the consequence and He knew what He would have to do to fix it.
So Genesis 3 God places Adam and Eve in a garden tells them this is all for you but in the middle of the garden are two trees. One is majestic it brings life it allows you to forever walk in my presence but the other tree is horrible. It brings with it death and evil stay away from it.
So what is the first thing they do, of course eat the forbidden fruit. So this brings sin into the world, a curse and death. Just like Adam we will sin given the first chance.
Now we jump forward several thousand years. Jesus comes to the Earth as a man with a mission. From the day he was born He was heading straight for the cross. All of Jesus life was spent heading to the cross.
As Jesus preached and was persecuted He knew the cross awaited him so that he could bring about forgiveness for the ones that were persecuting Him. Jesus stepped down from heaven to take His place on the cross to pay our debt.
So when we see a cross what should we see. Over a100 years ago preacher named J.C. Ryle did a sermon entitled Freedom. In it he mentions 8 things Christ accomplished on the cross. I’m going to use his list as the basis of what I’m going to say.
On the cross Christ stood in our place. Christ did not sin against God. You and I did. We were the ones in rebellion against God. Only one sin on our part is necessary to send us to hell. We have committed more than one sin against God. So we stand condemned to die
But Christ died on the cross in our place. I don’t think we fully grasp that we have a fear of dying; we mourn those we lose to death. We don’t fully understand what it means that Christ died in our place. If you are a Christian you will not die. Christ has already done that for you. Death here is just the beginning. A caterpillar was not born to be a caterpillar but to be a butterfly. He just has to wrap himself in a cocoon to get to what he was truly meant to be. If you are a Christian this is not what you were meant to be this is just preparation for something much more beautiful that Christ made possible for you.
Because of our sin we were meant to suffer. Because of Christ taking our place on the cross, we do not have to suffer. Our happiness should not depend on anything in this world our hope and happiness should be placed solely on the work Christ did upon the cross.
There was a curse upon us. It was placed there when Adam sinned in Genesis 3. But Christ removed that curse. Deuteronomy 21:23 said that a man hung upon a tree became a curse. Christ hanging on the cross became our curse. He took it from us and removed it.
He paid the debt we owed God and made restitution for our sin. There is no way we could have accomplished that but because of the cross and Christ we do not have to. Our sin is removed when we truly trust in Christ.
The cross became our guarantee. Because of it we have hope in a promise. A promise of eternal life; of life in the presence of God. When you look at a cross that should bring a smile. That is your deed of entitlement. Everything you owed God was paid right there. Your freedom from sin was paid. Your fear of dying was removed, because now you have the guarantee of eternal life.
The last thing is Christ on the cross became the representative of his people. Christ humbled himself to die for your sin. Christ humbled Himself to make eternal life with the Father possible for you. The cross should remind us to humble ourselves for others. It should remind us to make sacrifices to bring others to see the cross for what it is.
The cross should remind us that that everything we do should be part of our mission of heading towards eternity. That we have a promise and hope that nothing can take away from us. The cross should be a reminder of how much God loves us.
1 Kings 19:11–21 (ESV) —11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.
Tonight I’m going to talk about two men, Elijah and Elisha. Throughout this sermon I will refer to men, but ladies when I say the word men, that doesn’t get you off the hook. This message applies to the women as much as the men. So if you are a man or still a boy you better listen up. If you are a woman or a girl, just replace the word man with woman and stay with me.
We are going to look at this section of scripture that talks about the calling of Elisha, but I think it’s important that we look at it in light of the message God sent Elijah first.
To help set up the context I’m going to refresh our minds on the story that has preceded this calling. Elijah has set up a contest with the prophets of Baal. He succeeded in proving that our God is the only true God by calling down fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice. Then Elijah proceeded to slaughter the prophets of Baal, all 450 of them. This has made Jezebel very unhappy and she has made a vow that he will die.
Elijah realizing that Ahab isn’t scared of his wife for no reason runs. He heads to Mt. Horeb and there he hears the voice of God.
Let’s start reading in Luke 5:1-11
What I’m going to do tonight is try and paint a picture. I want you to use your imagination and try to go back in time with me and picture what is going on. I want us to leave here tonight with a picture of Peter that is truer than what we may have imagined. I want us to leave here with a glimpse into Peter’s heart and mind so that we can better peer into our hearts and minds, but more importantly I want us to see who Jesus is.
Deadliest Catch Galilee Style
Everybody remember the felt board Peter you played with in Children’s Church and Sunday School? Alright, let’s wad it up and throw it out. Peter was a fisherman. How many have watched the show The Deadliest Catch? Okay, you know the little scrawny guys they have on the boats pulling in the nets. You know the ones that are clean shaven and
The morning service is from John 3:10-21 and titled The Love of God in it I talk about God showing His love for us through sending His son to be lifted up on the cross.
2 Timothy 1:8-12
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
The letter to Timothy is written by Paul to Timothy. Paul calls Timothy his spiritual son. Paul had known Timothy’s mother and grandmother and thought a lot of them. The men at the churches in Lystra and Iconium thought a lot of Timothy. So Paul took Timothy along on his 2nd missionary journey. This letter is much later and Paul is in a Roman prison awaiting death. This is a goodbye letter to Timothy.
So with this background let’s get started. The first seven verses are just an introduction and hello, but in verse 8 Paul gets to why he is writing So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. Do not be ashamed to testify about Jesus. Paul realizes that it is going to be hard for a young Timothy who is seeing his mentor about to be executed.
Timothy has to be asking himself is this my same fate. Paul has given him this warning, so when it gets hard he will remember not to be afraid to testify about our savior. In verse 12 Paul says defiantly from his prison cell I am not ashamed because I know in whom I have believed.
So with this first exhortation of Paul are you willing to say I am not ashamed to testify about Jesus. Last year at this very campground one of the saints of our church was going around and inviting people to come worship with us and he had a man become irate with him. It’s getting where people will get offended if we tell them about Jesus. They feel that religious freedom means they have a right to not hear about religion and we do not have a right to testify. So are you ashamed to testify about Jesus?
The gospel we proclaim is offensive. If you are a Christian it’s a glorious thing. God loved you so much that He chose to save you even though you have done nothing but rebel against Him. But if you are not its offensive. I’m supposed to tell someone that no matter how good they think they are, they are not good enough to please God. And I don’t care how much someone claims to not believe in God. They do. If atheist didn’t believe in God they wouldn’t get so fighting mad when we mention it. So I’m telling them God is real! He is watching you! You are not good enough and you are going to Hell which is also real! That’s offensive to someone who feels that they are a good person and they do not need to rely on anyone for anything.
Then I’m going to tell them that they have to rely on Jesus dying on a cross for their sin and then rising from the tomb as was prophesied in advance.
I want to try and illustrate this if you were out by the lake and you see a man start to drown. It’s obvious he has swam too far and is too tired to make it back. You are inches a away from him in a boat and you are trying to hand him a life preserver. But this man is proud and does not want to admit he can’t make it, so he will not take your life preserver. You continue trying to tell him he is not going to make it to shore but he continues to swim until he goes under once. He comes up and you miss him with the preserver. He goes under and comes up again and you manage to get the life preserver around him and you drag him to the shore where he proceeds to cuss you out because he would have made it. Some of you may have been in a situation like this. You had to help someone that did not want to be helped. You may have suffered for it, but you did it anyways.
We are talking about someone’s eternal life. Whether they spend it in heaven with Jesus or hell in torment. Is it not worth being uncomfortable? Is it not worth a little persecution? I am not ashamed of the gospel.
Verse 9 says God has saved us and called us to a holy life. A holy life means one dedicated to God. Some legalist will try to say that a dedicated life means a perfect life with no drinking, or smoking, or sinning in any way, but we are at war with our flesh and can’t succeed in a perfect life. Now that is not to say we should not try to avoid sin, but we should not feel that we blew it and God doesn’t care anymore. A life dedicated to God means putting God’s will before your wants or comfort. What is God’s will? That all would be saved and come to knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4)! And that is done by sharing the gospel. Romans 10:14 tells us that belief comes through proclamation.
A holy life, a life dedicated to serving God is one that goes out and tells others about Jesus Christ. Let’s look back at Paul’s suffering. What is Paul suffering for? The Gospel. How is he doing that? Paul ends the letter to the Philippian church saying that the believer’s in Caesar’s house greet you. He also references that he has preached Christ to the palace guard. Paul also preached Christ to King Agrippa, Festus and Bernice. All this while in prison.
You say Paul was called to be a herald, apostle and teacher, but no we all were called to be a nation of priests. We are all called to be the feet that carry the gospel to a lost and dying world.
I am not ashamed of the gospel the power of God to save. Why would you be ashamed of such good news. Another illustration and I’ll be done. How many have had cancer or know someone who has? What did they do when they finished their treatments? They celebrated ad told everyone they had defeated the disease. When they see someone else fighting that dreadful disease what do they do? They encourage them! They tell them about their fight with the disease and how they overcame.
We have defeated the disease of death through the power of God and our savior Jesus Christ, let’s tell everyone about our struggle with the disease of sin and death and how we are made well in Christ. If you are still fighting that disease this morning, there are many here that will be happy to help you find the cure. Just come up and talk to us as we finish this last hymn this morning.
Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)
Salt and Light
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 6:19–24 (NIV)
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
I woke up really early one morning a couple of weeks ago and the verse from Matthew 6 about storing up treasure in heaven was in my mind. I sat there for a while thinking about those verses and why did God wake me up this early to think about them. When I was asked to preach this morning, those verses were the first to come to mind. So I read and reread this section thinking about what it meant and then I backed up and looked through Matthew up to this point to get the context.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
We are going to be in John chapter 2 today. As you are turning there I’m going to set up the context of this section. John was the last gospel written and it was written John the son of Zebedee and he refers to himself as the disciple that Jesus loved.
John starts off Jesus ministry with a wedding. Theologically this is symbolizing the new covenant and how the church is the bride of Christ. We could spend hours just looking at the symbolization of the wine and blood of Christ and the wedding and the church. I will touch a little on the symbolization but I’m going to concentrate on the text and what is happening here.