Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 23:16-28

Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 23:16-28

Last Sunday we examined the difference between the God created institutions and the human made organizations. I will summarize them for our review.

Institutions that God created Organizations that Humans made
Home Church
Profit org Non profit org Distributors
Blood,

Memory,

Parental Love

Faith,

Hope,

Divine Love

Profit,

Product,

Survival

Good Cause,

Training,

Service

Power, resource, opportunities
Justice, Mercy, and Faithfulness Competition and Achievement
Forgiveness and Acceptance Reward and Punishment

 

Home was created before the Original Sin and Fall of humans (Genesis 2). Church was created to save us from the sinful world (Genesis 12).  Three organizations that humans made help us to get by in this sinful world. Which of the following questions do you ask in your life situations?

  • How can I win this game? (Self-centered, Win/Lose paradigm)
  • How can we live together? (Relationship building, Win/Win paradigm)

Home and church focus on relations building. Relationship with God, relationship with others, and relationship with self are the main concerns. When these relationships are healthy, we can have meaningful life. We can provide peace, rest, and purpose to the (church) family members.

However, when home and church are following the ways of the human organizations, these relationships are getting sour and we cannot function properly. That is why Jesus was rebuking those Pharisees and the religious leaders. They acted like leaders of the secular institutions. They loved to be served and recognized. They demanded services. They paid attention to the winning and outer appearances. Instead of leading and guiding the secular institutions, they followed them. They loved gold more than the temple. They loved gift more than the altar. They emphasized the tithe of spices but ignored justice, mercy, and faithfulness. So Jesus commanded them to clean their hypocrisy and wickedness first.

Today we remember all the saints who went to our heavenly home ahead of us. They reminded us of the priority of our lives. What should we value more in our lives? We want to make God’s reign as our first priority in our lives. Today, we also have Holy Communion to remember that we are one in Christ. When one member of our body suffers we all suffer. Today, we also have Healing Service. We want to be cured and healed from our selfishness and sinfulness. We want to restore our purpose and identity. O, Lord, have mercy! Cleanse us! Heal us! That is our prayer. And our prayers are answered already. Jesus died for our sins and shed blood for the forgiveness of our sins. We are forgiven and accepted by God. Let us celebrate our salvation and praise God whose love knows no limits! Let us spread this Good News and invite others to come to our community of love!

  1. What is the priority of your life now?
  2. How would you apply your confession to your daily life?
  3. Whom are you going to invite to our family for their benefit?
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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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