The Compassionate Jesus Cares for His People

God cared for Israel in the wilderness, and He always met the needs of the multitudes. Jesus also provided and cared for the people listening to him and the people He met in His earthly ministry. In the miracle of the loaves and the fish, Jesus multiplied the amount of food so that He could feed all who were present hearing His teaching. (See Matthew 15) He also met the needs of Peter and Himself when they owed the temple taxes. He tells Peter, “Cast in a hook and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money, take that and give it to them for me and you.” (Matthew 17:27) Jesus can always meet our need. In Matthew 6:25-29, Jesus teaches, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Jesus' Words from the Cross

The Lord Jesus uttered seven phrases from the cross. The middle phrase was the shuddering cry of desolation and devastation, spoken in a loud voice: “My God, my God why hath thou forsaken me?” (See Matthew 22:46 and Mark 15:34) It is significant what precedes and follows this cry. The first phrase Jesus uttered was, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus’ final statement, spoken again in a loud voice was, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit.” (Luke 23:46) Between these two cries there is Emmanuel crying out, once again loudly, to his Father: “My God, my God.” The apostle John is actually the only author of the Gospels who mentions Jesus adding here, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

The Transfiguration

Understanding the Transfiguration:

How was Christ transfigured before them?

1. In the glory of his person (Matthew 17:2).

It was a metamorphosis - a change from within. The glory of his eternal Sonship shone through the veil of flesh so that the disciples might see who he really was- both God and Man in one Person (see John 1:14 and John 1:18).

2. In the splendor of his countenance (Matthew 17:2).

“His face did shine as the sun.” When the face of Moses shone after conversing with God, it was borrowed radiance. However, Christ's glory and splendor, like the sun’s, was underived. That which was already there shone forth in unexcelled splendor. Consider Acts 26:13, “At midday, Oh king I saw in the way a light from heaven above, the brightness of the sun shining around me.”

My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

Matthew 27:46

In the well-known poem, Cowper’s Grave, written by renown poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the thirteenth stanza elaborates on the scene of the cross and Jesus’ cry: “Deserted! God could separate from His own essence rather; And Adam's sins have swept between the righteous Son and Father: Yea, once, Immanuel's orphaned cry His universe hath shaken—It went up single, echoless, ‘My God, I am forsaken!’” Martin Luther actually set out to study this profound cry of Jesus. He studied for a long time, in solitude, without food, and in deep meditation. At last he rose from his chair and was heard to exclaim in amazement, “God forsaken of God; who can understand that?” Beloved, our familiarity with these words has robbed them of their stark tragedy. Truly, “God forsaken of God” is a concept so tragic and mysterious, how can we understand it?

Matthew 25:1-13

Describe an Eastern Wedding. The Lord took this well-known custom to illustrate an important spiritual truth (i.e. The kingdom of heaven is likened to...). Describe the bridesmaids – the foolish and the wise. The foolish took their lamps, but took no oil. The Lord said to them “I know you not.” The wise had oil in their vessels. The spiritual truth found in this parable is that one had the Holy Spirit, while the other did not.

The Parable of the Marriage Feast

Matthew 22:1-14

The Lord’s earthly life is almost finished. He spoke this parable shortly before going to Gethsemane, the Judgment hall, and finally to the Cross. The parable is actually a dispensational outline of how God is dealing with men and women in this age. It is another parable of the kingdom of heaven. It has to do with the sphere of profession and portrays conditions in Christendom during our Lord’s absence.

The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain king, which made a marriage feast for his son (see Matthew 22:2):

1. The king is God.

2. The Son is Christ Himself.

3. The marriage is the union of believers with Christ.

4. The marriage supper is really the Gospel feast.

The Parable of the Leaven

Matthew 13:33-35

In this parable, the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a woman hiding leaven in a meal. [Explain the kingdom of heaven]. The picture presented to us here is of a woman baking. She is seen inserting leaven into the meal. This is fine if her activities are confined to the kitchen. The issues here, however, are far wider, more complicated and much more important. This woman hid leaven in three measures of the meal. Eventually all the meal became leavened. This shows the history of the kingdom on into the Tribulation. The Lord compared this to conditions which would prevail in the kingdom of heaven.

Christmas Message - 1990

Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:1, 12

The first Christmas was the sweetest, greatest, most profound, and stupendous event ever recorded. There are great days mentioned in the Bible, but none of them can ever compare with the birth of Christ. Some of these great days and events consist of: The Passover, the Red Sea, the water pouring from the rock, the crossing of the Jordan, the manna, and the day the sun and moon were stopped. These all pale in significance in comparison to the day God came to earth as a babe of Bethlehem. The world has mutilated Christ’s birthday and it has become a time for family reunion, a time of revelry, and a license for intemperance and indulgence. It has been commercialized beyond recognition.

The Parables of the Kingdom and Treasure and Pearl

Matthew 13:44-46

The Introduction

These two parables present a very different picture to us than the preceding ones. As we review the preceding four we are inclined to ask, “Is the kingdom of heaven a failure?” The picture drawn by the Lord up to this point is a dismal one. What commenced as a magnificent and majestic movement gradually became corrupted as tares appeared among the wheat, as professors sheltered in the branches of the mustard tree, as the professing church hid the leaven in the meal which climaxed in the denial of the fundamentals of the faith. The result of all this is Christendom on the professing church in its present state of doctrinal chaos, worldliness, divisions and errors.

The question now naturally arises, “Is the kingdom of heaven a failure?”

The Parables of the Kingdom

Matthew 13:1-23

The subject of the chapter is the beginning of a new revelation, the introduction to the mysteries of the kingdom. In the preceding chapters, Israel has refused her king. The Lord said to them as He turned from them nationally, “I have piped unto you, but you have not danced; I have mourned, but you have not lamented” (see Matthew 11:17). At this point in His ministry, the Lord introduced a new message. In Matthew 11:28 He says, “Come unto Me all ye that labor…” He no longer bids His disciples “to go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (see Matthew 10:6). The sphere of their service is expanded to the world.

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