Sermons from March 2017
The Jews had been expecting a hero to save them from subjugation by other countries. They were looking for a military leader – someone who could vanquish their enemies. Instead, Jesus came to save them in a different way.
Holiness has been described as something very personal. Often it is a set of avoidances. In Old Testament times holiness was sought by avoiding certain foods or contact with unclean things. In early Christian times it was sometimes sought by avoiding physical comforts or thoughts of physical pleasure. But Jesus gave holiness a completely different frame. Teaching that what a person says or how a person treats others is what defiles him while what he touches of eats does not defile him, he explained that holiness comes from positive action rather than personal sacrifice.
Jesus fulfilled the three-part role of Prophet as described in the Old Testament: they brought God’s word to the people, they warned the people regarding their behavior, and they performed miracles. He did all of these things and so much more.
Jesus was a special kind of teacher. I try to show this by comparing him to a college professor. To have a professor teach a student, the student must first jump through hoops, grades and recommendations and the like. Jesus accepts us with no prior accomplishments. The only qualification Jesus requires is that we ask. So also we teach and minister to others without demanding that they jump through hoops before we act.