Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew–interpretation

  1. Four signposts of Easter (Matthew 28.1-10) [Easter 2019]

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    April 21, 2019 by jmar198013

    The “Great Commission” in Matthew 28.18-20 is usually treated as an evangelism text, but it’s also an Easter text–it’s the risen Jesus’ words to his church, to tell us our mission. It’s what we do because Jesus is risen. Matthew’s Easter story presents us with four “signposts” that point us in the right direction as we do the work our risen Jesus has given us to do: “he is not here” (he’s at the Father’s right hand with all authority); “he has been raised” (his resurrection promises our resurrection); “go and tell”; and “don’t be afraid” (because he is with us always).

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  2. Turning over tables (Matthew 12.12-17) [sermon 4-14-19, Palm Sunday]

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    April 15, 2019 by jmar198013

    On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. After he got there, he went to the temple, where he famously turned over the tables of merchants and money-changers, and chased people away. What does this story mean for us? Are we called to imitate what Jesus did, in our churches or in the world? In order to apply this story in a faithful, responsible way, we need to remember three things: 1) Who turned over the tables; 2) Who he chased out (and why); and 3) Who he let in. If we don’t keep these three things in mind, we’ll just make a mess!

  3. The story of the valuable coins (Matthew 25.14-30) [sermon 4-7-19]

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    April 9, 2019 by jmar198013

    Jesus once told a story about a man leaving on a journey who divided his wealth between three employees, entrusting it to their care. When he returned, two of them had doubled the investment he had left them, but one had buried it in the ground and gained nothing. This story teaches us that God has set us up to succeed. So we can work creatively to build up and beautify his Neighborhood without living in fear of failure.

  4. The last will be first … : a visit in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe (Matthew 20.1-16) [sermon 3-17-19]

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    March 17, 2019 by jmar198013

    Jesus once told a story about day-laborers who were offended by their boss’ generosity. He told this story to show us that, in God’s Neighborhood we do not earn our way. We receive gifts from God. The Bible word for this is grace. And grace is completely countercultural to dominant mindsets, like entitlement and meritocracy.

  5. The seventy-seveners: a visit to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe (Matthew 18.21-35) [sermon 3-10-19]

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    March 17, 2019 by jmar198013

    Jesus told us to forgive “seventy-seven times.” This wasn’t a hard number–his point is that, in God’s Neighborhood, we can never write anyone off completely. In God’s Neighborhood, forgiveness is one of our most precious supernatural resources. We are often stingy with precious things, but forgiveness is meant to be shared freely.

  6. Transfiguration (Matthew 17.1-8) [sermon 3-3-19]

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    March 5, 2019 by jmar198013

    The Transfiguration (Matthew 17.1-8) isn’t just a cool story about a glowing Jesus and two long-dead Bible heroes making an appearance. Instead, this story reveals to us who Jesus really is, and the wrong and right ways to respond to him.

  7. Jesus carries us through the storms (Matthew 14.22-33) [sermon 2-24-19]

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    February 27, 2019 by jmar198013

    The story of Jesus walking on the water is famous–as is the story of the apostle Peter walking on water, too–and sinking! But many forget that they made this journey across the water in a storm! Walking on the water wasn’t just a neat trick they did to impress. This story teaches us that Jesus carries us through the storms of life–even when our faith is “little.”

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