- Sermon Notes
More Like Jesus
1.First impressions matter.
ILLUS – I often get asked to see pictures of what I looked like with hair…
1 Samuel 16:7, God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
2.God looks at the heart. What does He see when He looks at our hearts?
3.Tonight, we will study an important passage in Matthew where Jesus called twelve of His disciples to be His apostles. Here we will discover what it means to look more like Jesus.
1.When we come to Matthew 8-9, Jesus had just finished His Sermon on the Mount in which He told the people of Israel that to enter the kingdom of heaven, they must be transformed in the inner man, a transformation that happens when a person has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
2.After the Sermon on the Mount, we’re told that the crowds were amazed by His teaching because “He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes”. (7:29)
3.In Matthew 8-9, Jesus revealed His power and authority, His credentials for being Messiah, by performing ten miracles. He spoke with authority and then He demonstrated His power and authority over creation.
4.The end of chapter 9 serves as a transition in Matthew’s Gospel. Here Matthew gave us a glimpse into our Savior’s heart and who Jesus would use to spread the good news about the kingdom of heaven.
I. Jesus Loves the Lost (9:35-38)
- Matthew 9:35-36 is a summary of Jesus’ three-fold ministry.
- He was teaching in the synagogues, an exposition of God’s will.
- He was proclaiming or preaching the gospel of the kingdom, an application of God’s will because He preached with authority.
- And He was healing every kind of disease and sickness, an illustration that the kingdom of heaven is at hand because only Messiah could do such things.
- Jesus ministered with purpose, focus, and diligence! Why?
A. Jesus is the Shepherd our lost world needs
1.“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” (36)
2.The word “compassion” speaks of a deep sympathy which results in showing kindness, of being gracious, of having pity, or extending mercy.
3.“Distressed” speaks of one who is harassed and suffers trouble.
4.“Dispirited” speaks of one who is helpless and bewildered, thrown down and demoralized because they have no leader and are unable to care for or defend themselves.5.Israel was in survival mode, but they did not know how to survive on their own. They were in a sorry state because they needed a True Rescuer, a Savior, a Shepherd.
a.They had shepherds, the Pharisees, but the Pharisees were like wolves in shepherd’s clothing who preyed on the weak and devoured the helpless. The kind of shepherds described by Ezekiel…
Ezekiel 34:2-6, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.’”
b.There is a Shepherd that God desires for His people and God promised He would come from the house of David!
Ezekiel 34:23, Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.
APPL – God sees the condition of the world and His heart is touched with compassion because all of us are shepherdless without Him.
- But God is not sitting by, doing nothing.
- God is willing and able to do something about it and He has in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, so that the world might be reconciled to God, have hope in this world, have everlasting life, and have fullness of joy that comes from a relationship to God even now.
- The truth is, Jesus is the Shepherd we all need!
John 10:10-11, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
B.May our hearts be moved by what moves God
1.In verses 37-38, Jesus directed the attention of His disciples to the world’s need for a Shepherd. He said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
2.In the Old Testament, the harvest is a reference to God’s judgment in the last days.
Joel 3:13, Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.
3.John the Baptist proclaimed the same message stating that with the coming of the kingdom of heaven, Messiah would separate the wheat from the chaff.
Matthew 3:12, His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.4.There is urgency in Jesus’ words. He looked at the lostness of our world and declared the harvest is plentiful which means the hour of decision has come because the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
5.The image carries with it a positive and negative promise.
a.Positive – entrance into the kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ (wheat).
b.Negative – entrance into eternal suffering because of a rejection of Jesus (chaff).
6.Jesus declared that the workers are few, meaning more help was needed so that the world may know their Shepherd has come.
7.“Beseech” means to “urgently plead or beg”.
8.The “Lord of the harvest” is Father God. He is the Lord of the harvest because all creation belongs to Him and He has set a time for judgment (harvest).
a.At the harvest, the wheat and chaff will be separated and sent to their eternal destinies.
b.One’s response to the Gospel reveals what they are, wheat or chaff.
9.Jesus wants none to be lost for God does not delight in the death of the lost.
Ezekiel 33:11, “As I live!” declares the Lord God, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways!”
John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
APPL – Jesus wanted His disciples and us to see the lostness of our world, that their hearts and our hearts may break over that which breaks His heart. That their hearts and our hearts may be moved by what moves our Father’s heart.
- He asked them to pray because prayer changes us. As Pastor Rich has said, “We are changed in the presence of a holy God.”
- When we pray, God moves on our hearts so that our hearts are moved by what moves Him.
- He asked them to pray for more workers to be sent into the harvest.
God could do it all without our help, but He chooses to use us so that we may experience the joy of witnessing souls be born again, that we may be rewarded for doing the kingdom work, and that we may have a sense of purpose in life, because we are part of a mission that is the greatest mission in human history.
ILLUS – Baptism service testimonies…
Romans 10:15, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!
APPL – God wants people to meet Jesus through us!
II.God Calls Us to be His Ambassadors (10:1-4)
- In Chapter 10, Jesus gathered twelve of His disciples and sent them out to the lost sheep of Israel.
- Here Jesus gave His authority to the twelve so that they may do what He had been doing.
A.Discipleship is the first step
1.In verse two, we read for the first time that the twelve were called Apostles, which means, “one who is sent”.
2.But before they were called Apostles, they were first called disciples in verse one.3. Before Jesus sent them out, they must first become His disciples, which means, “one who is being taught.”
4. This means more than simply being a student.
ILLUS – I can take one class at the University of Washington and be called a student …
APPL – But a disciple of Jesus Christ is someone who lives according to His teachings. This requires a humble and teachable heart so that we recognize our need to be taught and our need to be transformed. A teachable heart desires to receive the Lord’s instruction.
Psalm 25:14, The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant.
APPL – God wants to send us to make a difference in other people’s lives, but before we can lead, we must first learn to follow. If we try to instruct others too quickly, we may be of no help at all.
ILLUS – Can you imagine what it would have been like if Peter or James and John, the “sons of thunder”, had been sent out too early?
1 Timothy 5:22, Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.
ILLUS – When Matthew was first called to follow Jesus, he invited his sinner friends to come and meet Jesus. He didn’t presume to instruct them, for him it was simple, they just needed to meet Jesus.
APPL – As we spend time with Jesus and apply His teaching to our lives, we change, we mature, our lives become useful in the hands of our Savior.
B. God qualifies the unqualified
1.When you look at the list of Apostles and know who they were when they were called, and then realize who they became, it’s truly a story of radical transformation.
APPL – We all need radical transformation.
- One of the criticisms that the world likes to level against Christianity is that it is a crutch for the weak.
- The underlying assumption behind the accusation is that if you were stronger you wouldn’t need Jesus.
- But our problem isn’t just weakness, it’s death.
- I don’t need a crutch. I need a new heart. I need something much more radical than just a crutch to lean on, I need a heart transplant.
Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?
- God promises us a new heart in Ezekiel 36:26…
Ezekiel 36:26, Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
2.The men Jesus called weren’t first round draft picks! Three we know a lot about. We know a few things about three others. And six we really don’t know anything about.
a.Peter was a fisherman with a foot-shaped mouth.
- When he corrected Jesus, Jesus rebuked him and said, “Get behind me Satan!”
- He cut off a man’s ear with a sword!
- He even denied the Lord three times.
- But Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter and declared, “Your name will now be called Peter, which means, ‘Rock’”.
b.James and John were brothers and called, “sons of thunder” because as they were traveling through Samaria the people didn’t receive Jesus, so they wanted to call down fire from heaven.
Luke 9:55-56, But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
c.Matthew was a tax collector, considered a traitor by the Jews.
d.Simon the Zealot was part of a group of patriots who plotted against Rome. Can you imagine how Simon would have felt about Matthew?
3.With the exception of Judas Iscariot, these men were radically transformed into great men of God and used by God to make a difference in our world. They were called in the frailty of human weakness but were changed in the presence of Jesus.
APPL – God qualifies the unqualified, even the disqualified!
1 Corinthians 1:26-29, For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.
- And though we don’t know much about most of them, God knows their works and honored their faith for all eternity.
Revelation 21:14, And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Psalm 139:23-24, Search me, O God, and know my heart;
try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.
Matthew 9:35-38 NASB