Are we really ready to follow Jesus? Or are we simply enthused about the wonderful things he has done for us or our family? Jesus is really asking for total commitment: to follow where he goes; to go where he sends us; to put him before our families, our clan, or clubs, etc.
We come to the second event which St Matthew records with the purpose of showing his readers that Jesus is indeed the King of the Kingdom of God, and that he has the authority to dispense his mercy, his power, his pleasure on whomever he wishes, and how he wishes. This would have been shocking to the Jewish readers as well as to those Jews who were following Jesus when this event happn
St Matthew’s gospel tells the story of Jesus from the perspective of God’s Kingdom. Matthew wants his readers to see Jesus as the promised king, who would establish and rule of the Kingdom of God. In chapters 8-11 St Matthew demonstrates how the promised king will actually solve or correct all that is wrong with the world as it is, and return the world to how God intended it.
The Holy Spirit plays a much more open, visible role in the New Testament as opposed to the Old. The Holy Spirit is key in regeneration- bringing to life the spiritually dead part of people. He is also involved in changing a follower of Jesus to more and more exhibit traits that mirror or reflect the character of a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
Today was Pentecost Sunday. The day Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit in the 1st Century. Our Elder, Martin Rossol, talked about Pentecost last week; this week the subject is The Holy Spirit more generally. What or who is the Holy Spirit and what else important might we know.
Pentecost is very underrated in much of Christianity. Little did Jesus followers know, but starting on that Pentecost day, there would be a “new normal” for the world. Jesus was no longer physically present with his followers, but God was not absent. God now came to be with and in individual believers as He had only done in isolated instances prior to this. And this would change the world.
What does “True Worship” actually consist of? What kind of worship is pleasing to God? Elder Martin Rossol takes a shot at that question in his talk today based on Isaiah 58.
There is a parable in Matthew’s Gospel that addresses the question of opposition to the Kingdom or opposition to the Gospel of Jesus. It is good to remember that when the church, or a mission, or a Christian ministry of some kind, or if you as a believer, face opposition, that this is not a surprise and that it is something we can respond to in a positive way.