Being a disciple of Jesus means more than just believing in a set of doctrines or trying to imitate the example of Christ. Rather, as Paul says in his portion of his letter to the Galatians, to be a Christian is to live at one with Christ— indeed, to have the very Spirit of Christ abiding within. It is to die to the law, die to self and live a new life with Jesus at the centre.
In chapter 22 of Matthew’s Gospel, the Jewish religious leaders surround Jesus, asking him one controversial question after another, all in an attempt to embarrass him in front of the crowds. After handling three particularly tough questions, Jesus then turns to the religious leaders and asks them: “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” (Matthew 22:42). It is a question that is directed, not only at the Pharisees and Sadducees, but to us, too. What do we think of Jesus?
In today’s sermon, Jasmine will take a closer look at this question along with all of the other tough questions that the religious leaders have for Jesus.
It is in God’s character to show mercy. Jesus— as God in the flesh— perfectly manifests this aspect of God’s character. He does so in our gospel story (Luke 17:11-19) by restoring ten leapers who implore him for healing. However, out of the ten leapers who receive the gift of healing, only one of them returns to give thanks to Jesus. What can we learn from this one, Samaritan leaper about the importance of gratitude? This is what Coralie explores in her sermon today.
Roughly two decades after his initial conversion experience, Paul travels to Jerusalem to meet with what he describes as “pillars” of the church— Peter, James and John, all Jewish Christians who were with Jesus from the very beginning. Here, Paul and the Jerusalem apostles discuss many important things. In the end, these pillars of the church give Paul the right hand of fellowship. This means that they recognized the validity of his calling as an apostle and affirmed that gospel message that he preached. The gospel message is this: that one is saved by the faith of Christ and NOT by obedience to Torah.
In the Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Jesus likens Israel to a vineyard- a vineyard that is naturally expected to bear fruit. However, the "fruit" that this "vineyard" is supposed to bear isn't grapes. Rather, Israel has been called to bear the fruit of righteousness and peace.
But what if Israel's leadership- the Pharisees and the chief-priests- refuse to hand over this fruit? What will God, the owner of this "vineyard," do to them?