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Showing posts from April, 2017

A Tax-Collector Meets Jesus: Matthew 9:9-13

In the previous paragraph (vs 1-8), our Lord demonstrated his authority to forgive sins.Now it was never a question that sins needed to be forgiven.But there were two mistakes made by people in Jesus’ day about the forgiveness of sin.The first was who could forgive.Recall that the scribes were shocked that Jesus claimed to have the power to do it.That misunderstanding was cleared by the miracle of healing that he performed on the paralytic.The second misconception was who could be forgiven.The confusion concerning the objects of forgiveness is dealt with in our text.Another way to put it would be: who is the intended audience of the gospel, this message of forgiveness?And the unequivocal answer of our text is that Jesus receives and calls sinners to embrace the gospel.
Now it is especially important in our day to come to grips with the message of this text for two reasons.One is that one of the mistakes the church has made many times throughout its history is to retreat from the world.…

Our Greatest Need: Matthew 9:1-8 

Your greatest need, and mine, is for God to forgive our sin.Now that statement is so counter-cultural that many people today will immediately write it off.And not only so, but they will also accuse anyone who says it that they are out of touch with reality.“Come off it,” we are told, “People don’t need religion, they need food, medicine, and education.We don’t need to worry about the world to come, we need to worry about the here-and-now.”Actually, many go further and say that religion is, as Karl Marx put it, the opiate of the masses.In other words, not only is religion unnecessary, it is an impediment to solving the world’s real problems.
The sad thing is that even religious people – including Christians – today seem to have jumped on the bandwagon of social activism and marginalize the gospel of grace.One of the ways you see this done is when people decry theology.Of course, they do this to sound pious and humble.“We don’t want to be dogmatic,” they say, “We just want to serve the p…