If you read the gospels, you'll quickly learn that Jesus anticipated his crucifixion. He knew his death was coming. That being the case, could he have then sought to escape the cross? Could he have gone into hiding after that fateful supper with the disciples, when Judas went off into the night to betray him? Of course, Jesus did not do that because he knew that his death was necessary. But why was it necessary? What does Jesus' death accomplish? That's what Jasmine will address in her sermon as she takes a closer look at the 15th chapter of Mark's Gospel.
Jesus clearly tells us not to practice our piety before others in such a way that draws attention to ourselves (a very strong temptation in the age of social media). However, Jesus ALSO tells us to let our lights shine before others so that others see our good works and give glory to God (Matthew 5:16). So which one is it? Are we to practice our faith privately or publicly? Jasmine addresses this question in her Ash Wednesday sermon.
The Gospels tell many stories about how Jesus healed the sick. However, in his earthly ministry, Jesus did NOT heal every last soul in Galilee, Judea and the surrounding regions. In fact, on at least one occasion, Jesus left town BEFORE everyone had a chance to see him. What does that have to say about Jesus and his mission? That's what Jasmine focusses on in her reflection on Mark 1:29-39.
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.
We’re often tempted to cheer for the team that’s most likely to win. Perhaps that’s why Jesus had so many people rooting for him at the height of his ministry. He cured the sick, rebuked the rich and powerful, and announced the imminent coming of God’s kingdom. In short, he looked like a winner— the long promised Jewish Saviour. But Jesus was most certainly not a “winner” in any conventional sense of the word. After all, what great hero and saviour dies as a condemned insurrectionist on the cross? A strange one, surely.
What does it mean to follow a Saviour like this one? If Jesus suffered, what does that mean for all those who have pledged their life to serving and obeying him? That’s what we’ll be exploring in today’s sermon on Matthew 16:21-28.
"No matter how much stuff we have, no matter what our house is like, no matter what food we eat, we will always have this sense of dissatisfaction in life. There will always be the sense that we're not quite there. Something isn't right. And the good news is, we're supposed to feel that way!" The Christian message promises us something more. What is that "something more?" That's what we'll be exploring in this sermon on the 8th chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans.