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Summary: When it comes to your life, only the opinion of Christ counts.

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An Audience of One

Matthew 11:16-19, Luke 7:31-35

November 07, 2004

Matthew 11:16-19 (NLT)

"How shall I describe this generation? These people are like a group of children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, [17] ’We played wedding songs, and you weren’t happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren’t sad.’ [18] For John the Baptist didn’t drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, ’He’s demon possessed.’ [19] And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, ’He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it."

John The Baptist

- Followed a Nazarite vow

– Dietary restrictions

– Hair was not cut

- Desert preacher – Matthew 3:1-2

Matthew 3:1-2 (NLT)

In those days John the Baptist began preaching in the Judean wilderness. His message was, [2] "Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near."

John The Baptist

- Followed a Nazarite vow

– Dietary restrictions

– Hair was not cut

- Desert preacher – Matthew 3:1-2

– Message of repentance

- Lived a little differently – Matthew 3:4

Matthew 3:4 (NLT)

John’s clothes were woven from camel hair, and he wore a leather belt; his food was locusts and wild honey.

The Ministry of Jesus

- Jesus went to where the people were – Matthew 4:23; 9:10-11

Matthew 4:23 (NLT)

Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues, preaching everywhere the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed people who had every kind of sickness and disease.

Matthew 9:10-11 (NLT)

That night Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. [11] The Pharisees were indignant. "Why does your teacher eat with such scum?" they asked his disciples.

The Ministry of Jesus

- Jesus went to where the people were – Matthew 4:2; 9:10-11

– Meeting others at their point of need

– Looking for opportunities to touch lives

- Jesus message was simple – Matthew 4:17

Matthew 4:17 (NLT)

From then on, Jesus began to preach, "Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near."

The Critics

- Had their own ideas of what true “religion” should look like

– Dress

– Actions

– Associations

- Their fault finding was inconsistent

– Their issues with John contradicted their issues with Jesus – Luke 7:33-34

Luke 7:33-34 (NLT)

For John the Baptist didn’t drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, ’He’s demon possessed.’ [34] And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, ’He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!’

The Critics

- Had their own ideas of what true “religion” should look like

– Dress

– Actions

– Associations

- Their fault finding was inconsistent

– Their issues with John contradicted their issues with Jesus – Luke 7:33-34

- They did not examine their bias in light of scripture

Important Truths

- John and Jesus were faithful to their individual calling

– Each was unique

– God used their uniqueness for His glory

- Their message was a message of repentance

- The criticism of the Pharisees was based on personal preference and comfort

So What???

- God has made each of us unique in our own ways

- God’s call on your life may not be the same as God’s call on someone else’s life

- All methodology and teaching should be evaluated scripturally – Acts 17:11

Acts 17:11 (NLT)

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth.

So What???

- God has made each of us unique in our own ways

- God’s call on your life may not be the same as God’s call on someone else’s life

- All methodology and teaching should be evaluated scripturally – Acts 17:11

- Don’t base your service on the opinions of others, you are called to dance for an audience of one!!!

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