Summary: Jesus cast a vision of a better kingdom, now and future.
A DREAM COME TRUE
Matthew 4:12-17; 23-5:12
S: Celebrate Jesus
Th: Kingdom Living
Pr: JESUS CAST A VISION OF A BETTER KINGDOM, NOW AND FUTURE.
?: What? What kind of kingdom?
TS: We will find in our study three changes that Jesus introduced with the announcement of the kingdom.
The _____ change that Jesus introduced was that the kingdom…
I. ARRIVED (12-17)
II. ARRIVED WITH POWER (23-25)
III. ARRIVED POWERFULLY UPSIDE-DOWN (1-12)
RMBC 2/27/00 AM
1. Are you afraid of change, or do you look for it?
Sometimes, we can be so set in our ways that we miss how it could be better.
Take for instance…
In 1870, the Methodists were having their annual conference in Indiana. The presiding Bishop was asking a group for an interpretation of current events, when the president of the college where the conference was held volunteered his input: "I think we are living in a very exciting age. I believe we are coming into a time when we will see wonderful inventions. I believe we will fly through the air like birds!" Bishop Wright, visibly disturbed by this scientifically based comment proclaimed, "This is heresy, this is blasphemy; I read in my Bible that flight is reserved for the angels. We will not have such talk here in my area." Bishop Wright then returned home to his two young sons, Orville and Wilbur.
Well, here is a lesson about vision and change.
So often, we are afraid of what change might bring.
On the other hand…
2. When we look at the world as it is, we often long for it to be different than it is.
I glanced through the paper yesterday.
I read the following articles:
One was about the four NYC policemen acquitted for shooting an unarmed man.
Another was about a funeral for the man that hit the wall on the Scajaquada.
I read another about the woman found guilty for murdering a visiting psychiatric worker.
I also read a letter to the editor by Tom Bauerle defending the new sports guy on WGR in the evening.
As I looked through the paper, there was a spattering of positive stories, but they were the minority.
In fact, when I open the newspaper or the news magazines, they are filled with reports of murder, rape, child abuse, war, corruption, students killing peers, massacres, AIDS, cancer, starvation, adolescent sexual activity, adultery, and divorce.
These matters dominate the pages.
It is evidence, I believe, of an intrinsic evil in our society.
We are not becoming more moral or better as some believe.
This is a truth that the Bible surely confirms.
On our own, we make the wrong choice.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish things could be different?”
1. During Jesus’ time, people were tired of physical and spiritual oppression.
Even then, people were tired of the bad news.
For years, they had been living under severe Roman oppression.
The desire to be from this tyranny ran strong.
For they were also living under spiritual leaders that either compromised their heritage to get along with Rome or under spiritual leaders that were so strict that the enjoyment of life was taken away.
It was all so oppressive.
But Jesus came to offer something better.
2. When Jesus came on the scene, he offered hope by saying that, “Things can be different.”
“Things can be different.”
“Something good is here.”
And in offering this hope…
3. JESUS CAST A VISION OF A BETTER KINGDOM, NOW AND FUTURE.
In casting this vision, Jesus’ aim wasn’t to entertain the multitudes.
Instead, his goal was to cause them to encounter the living God.
His aim wasn’t to impart information alone, but to make a significant change in the lives of his hearers.
So then, our question this morning is, “What kind of kingdom was Jesus speaking about?”
4. We will find in our study three changes that Jesus introduced with the announcement of the kingdom.
I. The first change that Jesus introduced was that the kingdom ARRIVED (12-17).
(12) When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. (13) Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali (14) to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: (15) “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles (16) the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (17) From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Isaiah had looked forward to a time when the great light had dawned.