Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 12:15-37
Last Sunday’s Bible passage ends like this: “But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.” Why did they try to kill Jesus? What did Jesus do? Who is Jesus?
When we want to know who Jesus is we have to examine his actions because actions speak louder than words. If someone says that s/he loves someone, s/he would do something for the other!
First, we can see that when Jesus became aware of the fact that the Pharisees tried to kill him, he ‘departed’ (anachoreo). Here, the Greek word, anachoreo, is a key theological word. Instead of having counter-strategy, Jesus departed. It is not an act of running away as a coward but “divine self-giving.”
The act of divine self-giving is going to be culminated on the Cross. After that when many crowd followed him, Jesus cured them all and ordered them not to make him known. This shows the meek and humble nature of the Messiah. It is already written in the book of Isaiah as a prophecy.
Because Jesus was humble and meek he listens to our prayers. When people brought him a demoniac who was blind and mute, he cured him (Matthew 12:22). Then Jesus said it was the work of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28). That means that the reign of God had already started through the ministry of Jesus. When we do not know how to pray, Jesus knew our hearts’ yearnings and answered them. It was an important part of the “ministry of Jesus.”
However, even through Jesus was meek and humble; still he was powerful because he was the King, the Messiah, and the Son of God, who ruled over the creation with the LORD, God the Creator! Jesus did not counter attack the Kingdom of Beelzebul but kept loving and healing people to expand the Kingdom of God. Jesus demonstrated the contrasting characters of the two kingdoms. Those who belonged to the Kingdom of Evil tried to destroy lives and those who owned the Kingdom of God strived to save lives (John 10:10). Even when Jesus prayed at the garden of Gethsemane with his humble obedience, he was still the king and he knew the final victory. Likewise, even though we struggle with our daily challenges in our own garden of Gethsemane, we know that we shall overcome. “We also know the answers.”
Lastly, Jesus said that we have to learn and confess who Jesus was by the fruits of his ministry. He said, “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and the fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:34). Jesus said, on the Day of Judgment, we will have to give an account for every careless word we utter (Matthew 12:36). So, we will make careful words and confession as we prepare for “the Kingdom of God.”
1. What are the things that have proved to you that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God?
2. Who is Jesus to you? Write down your own answer!