Sunday, 19th September 6.30 pm Order of Service

Evening Services are resuming in the Church Building from this week. The church will be disinfected between the morning and evening services.

WELCOME

HYMN All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ Name!

  1. All hail the powr of JesusName!
    Let angels prostrate fall;
    Bring forth the royal diadem,
    And crown Him Lord of all!
  1. Ye chosen seed of Israels race,
    Ye ransomed from the fall,
    Hail Him Who saves you by His grace,
    And crown Him Lord of all!
  1. Let every kindred, every tribe,
    On this terrestrial ball,
    To Him all majesty ascribe,
    And crown Him Lord of all!
  1. Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
    We at His feet may fall!
    We
    ll join the everlasting song,
    And crown Him Lord of all!

PRAYER

READING Matthew 22 : 34 – 46

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

37 Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 ‘What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?’

‘The son of David,’ they replied.

43 He said to them, ‘How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him “Lord”? For he says,

44

‘“The Lord said to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.’”

45 If then David calls him “Lord”, how can he be his son?’ 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

SERMON When all the questions have been asked

I wonder what you would consider the most important question in the world? Matthew 22 is a chapter full of important questions ! The Pharisees ask Jesus firstly about MONEY ! Should we pay taxes or not ! Next in line were the Sadducees. As the old joke goes – they were the ones who didn’t believe in life after death – that was why they were so SAD-YOU-SEE! Back came a Pharisee – an expert in the law. His question was the best of the lot – the most penetrating. “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”. This was just the kind of question which the Pharisees loved debating. Surely THIS is THE question which stands above all others. How will Jesus answer, well apparently without hesitation, says : Love God and Love your neighbour. What is the sum of the whole’s Bible’s teaching? Drawn from Deuteronomy and Leviticus, the answer is LOVE! But notice that our first love must be GOD – only in discovering a love relationship with Him do we stand any chance of loving our neighbour! Now, I suspect we would want to delve a little deeper and ask what quality of love Jesus is speaking about. And the answer is ALL-CONSUMING love : ALL your heart ALL your soul and ALL your mind. This was the final public question to Jesus by the religious authorities – and what a question it was ! More importantly – what an answer! At the end of this chapter we read that “from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions “. Jesus took them right to the heart of their Bible – the Torah – and showed them that God is not a god of rules and regulations – at His heart is LOVE – His greatest desire for us is not to follow instructions but to LOVE Him. The Pharisees were legalists – they majored on minors. The form of religion was EVERYTHING to them – where you sat, when you bowed, how you washed, how much you gave to the poor : but they missed out on the very best bit – GOD HIMSELF! Jesus is saying that God is LOVABLE and KNOWABLE – we can KNOW Him and LOVE Him and that is what Biblical faith is all about! Now, it is hard to imagine getting beyond that great climax – but JESUS DOES. He has listened to, and responded to, all these questions – now He asks one of His own.

To the Pharisees, it was an easy one – they knew their Bibles. “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?“. Almost in one voice they reply with a smug look on their faces “The son of David”. Quite right ! says Jesus – but how is it that David calls His son LORD ?! This notion of great King David’s greater Son starts in 2 Samuel 7:12-14 – and the verse Jesus is quoting is from the great Messianic Psalm 110. What was Jesus getting at ? Well, if David calls his descendant LORD – it must be because He is very special. Now, Jesus is trying to show those blinkered Pharisees that the Messiah WAS indeed to be descended from David – a real man. But MORE than a mere man – the Messiah was also to be the SON OF GOD ! Hence David calls Him LORD.

Well, we can, perhaps, begin to understand why the Pharisees were so ANGRY when they heard people calling JESUS the Son of David (Matthew 12:23,24 and 21:15,16). And astonishingly, Jesus does NOT forbid them calling Him by this Messianic title. What seemed like a simple and innocent question was actually the most important question in the world. “What do you think about the Christ ? “. When the disciples were asked the question – how did THEY reply ? The bold Peter trumps up : You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. They were right – not just in theory, but in their hearts.

There is a story told of the great Dr Graham Scroggie. After preaching on the theme of “Seek first the Kingdom of God“, a young lady, professedly a Christian came up to him – obviously troubled. “And why don’t you yield to Jesus Christ ?”, he asked.

She replied that she felt sure that if she gave herself utterly to Christ, she would have to do two things. “And what are they ? ” asked the preacher . “Well, I am a concert pianist, and I feel I would be compelled to give that up !”. “And the OTHER ?” ” I am sure I would be called to be a missionary in China“. Dr Scroggie opened his Bible at Acts 10:14, where Peter responds to God’s call: “Surely not, Lord“. Dr Scroggie pointed out that those two notions cannot come together – saying “NO” – and THEN calling God “LORD” ! He handed her the Bible and a pencil and asked her to cross out the words “surely not “; or else she was to cross out the word “Lord “. It was two hours later he returned and looked over the girl’s shoulder to find a tear-stained page, and the words “Surely not“, were scored out. The young lady went home repeating the word “LORD” – no longer was she going to dictate to God – truly now she was ready to serve a new master.

What do YOU think about the Christ?. Jesus poses the question of each of us this evening. We can fool some of the people some of the time – but we can never fool God for an instant. There will never be a better time for you to bow before your LORD Jesus. Some people imagine themselves Christians for years and years – and sadly, by the time some of them realise that they have been deluded, it is too late for them – they find they have absolutely NO DESIRE to hand over their lives to another. I earnestly hope that each of us here tonight will have the guts to be honest with God – and from this moment on, give ourselves – with ALL of heart and soul and mind to loving and serving Him, Who alone is worthy of all our devotion.

PRAYER

Hymn There is a Redeemer

There is a redeemer

Jesus, God’s own Son

Precious Lamb of God, Messiah

Holy One

Jesus my redeemer

Name above all names

Precious Lamb of God, Messiah

Oh, for sinners slain

Thank you, oh my father

For giving us Your Son

And leaving Your Spirit

‘Til the work on Earth is done

When I stand in Glory

I will see His face

And there I’ll serve my King forever

In that Holy Place

Thank you, oh my father

For giving us Your Son

And leaving Your Spirit

‘Til the work on Earth is done

Thank you, oh my father

For giving us Your Son

And leaving Your Spirit

‘Til the work on Earth is done

Benediction

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