Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

  1. I am baptized (Matthew 3.1-17) [Sermon 1-13-19]

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    January 16, 2019 by jmar198013

    Matthew 3 tells the story of Jesus’ baptism. That raises an interesting question: If Jesus never sinned, why did he need to be baptized? He was baptized for us; because we need him to baptized. He was plunged into us before we are ever plunged into him. Because Jesus was baptized, our baptism gives us everything we need.

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  2. The magi’s star, and us (Matt. 2.1-23) [sermon 1-6-19]

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    January 9, 2019 by jmar198013

    Long ago, God placed a star to shine in the sky, to lead strangers to Christ. Now God has placed the church in the world, to shine and lead other people to Christ.

  3. Jesus’ family quilt (Matthew 1.1-17) [sermon 12-30-18]

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    December 30, 2018 by jmar198013

    In a family quilt, each square remembers an ancestor. Matthew began his story of Jesus by showing us his family quilt. Jesus’ family quilt is full of foreign women and notorious sinners. They are all sewn into his family quilt by God’s grace. We are also squares sewn into Jesus’ family quilt by grace. Jesus didn’t disown his ancestors, and he will not disown us, either.

  4. Real talk on generosity (2 Corinthians 8.1-15) [Sermon 06-26-2016]

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    June 22, 2016 by jmar198013

    There’s a feedback loop between fellowship and generosity. That’s how the Jesus model of generosity works. And that’s what Paul hoped the Judean Poor Relief Fund would accomplish: bonding the Jewish and Gentile churches together as a family. A big, diverse, messy, rich, robust family that shows the world how generous God is.

    When we follow the Jesus model of generosity—the self-giving way, the way of sharing-as-fellowship—it changes us. It transforms our hearts, our worldview, our values. We discover that our most valuable treasures are found in each other. And, like the man said: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

  5. Real talk on forgiveness (2 Corinthians 2.1-10; Matthew 18.21-22) [Sermon 05-29-2016]

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    May 27, 2016 by jmar198013

    The church just isn’t the church without forgiveness. After all, we Christians understand ourselves first of all (or at least we should) as people who need to be—and have been—forgiven by God. But then what does forgiveness mean? Does it mean, for instance, that once an apology has been offered and accepted, everything goes back to how it was before? Is forgiveness a reset button? Must we forget what we have forgiven? Or do victims get a say in setting future boundaries? Are there conditions that need to be met in order for forgiveness to take place? If we insist that victims extend unconditional forgiveness, isn’t that grace for the offender, and law for the victim?

  6. Stand up for Jesus? A communion homily from 3/29/2015

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    April 4, 2015 by jmar198013

    If there ever was a time to stand up for Jesus, it was when that rotten scab Judas turned Jesus over to the posse of temple goons. And one of the disciples did stand up for Jesus. He cut off some dude’s ear. But Jesus told him to knock it off before he hurt himself. Funny thing is, Peter – the disciple who stood up for Jesus – is also the disciple who pretended not to know Jesus a few hours later. The lesson is this: when Christians get to standing up for Jesus, we often find ourselves – like Peter – forgetting who Jesus is.

  7. The Beatitudes: the world turned right-side up

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    November 12, 2014 by jmar198013

    The text of a sermon I preached at Cordova Church of Christ Sunday, November 2, 2014. To encourage the church to receive the Beatitudes as gifts rather than commands or recommendations.

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