Summary: Proposition: In preaching His first sermon, Jesus gives us this wonderful formula for creating authentic worship services; Five elements 1. Holy Scripture 2. Sacred space 3. Sacred time 4. Holy Spirit Anointing and 5. Full Salvation
Theme: Authentic Worship
Proposition: In preaching His first sermon, Jesus gives us this wonderful formula for creating authentic worship services; Five elements 1. Holy Scripture 2. Sacred space 3. Sacred time 4. Holy Spirit Anointing and 5. Full Salvation
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world! Good morning!
Two of the greatest quarterbacks to play in the NFL will meet this afternoon in Denver, Colorado to help determine which AFC team will play in Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016. It will be the 17th time that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have faced each other as opposing quarterbacks. It may well be the last time that they suit up against one another in such an important game as both of their careers are winding down.
Who will win? I don't know, but I do know that both men are highly skilled at managing a team and understanding how to win. Manning and Brady are excellent examples of what it means to be a star quarterback. Both are winners and both men are assured of a place in Pro Football's Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio after they retire.
Most of us enjoy watching people at the top of their game, whether it's a Steve Curry in basketball, a Serena Williams in tennis, a Gordon James Ramsay in cooking or a Jennifer Lawrence in acting. There is something wonderful about seeing someone being able to perform at their best.
This morning, Luke shares with us a picture of Jesus at his best. He is taking center stage in his local synagogue. Even though it is early in Jesus' career, Luke shares with us the five elements that Jesus used to create an authentic worship service that brought glory and honor to His Heavenly Father. Let's look this morning at those five elements this morning in no particular order.
I. Jesus shows us the Primacy of Scripture
It is important for us to see what Jesus does in this service. We must understand that what Jesus says and does is inside and not outside the worship of Judaism and the traditions of his people.1 Jesus is not an opponent of his heritage. Instead, Jesus embraces the spiritual heritage of His people and that is clearly seen in the way he views and uses scripture.
Reading and understanding scripture is fundamental to Judaism. Jews believe that the Scriptures are one of the major sources of communion with the LORD. The Scriptures provide an insight into how God communicates with them as His People. It is through scripture that they believe one learns how to live a fulfilling and spiritual life. Our other two readings, Nehemiah 8 and Psalms 19 attest to this foundational belief. Listen again to the words of the Psalmist in describing God's words:
"They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:10)
Jesus embraces this same belief. He was a man founded in scripture. By picking up the scroll and reading from it, Jesus was doing more than simply going along with local tradition. Jesus was telling all of us that the reading of God's Holy Word, the reading of scripture is an essential part of worship.
He is wanting us to understand the primacy of scripture in our services. We don't simply read Scripture out of tradition or ritual. We read scripture to hear and communicate with God. We read Scripture to understand how to life a full and spiritual life. When the WORD is read, it is a call to discontinue all activity. We are to pause whatever we are doing and make sure that we can hear and obey God's Word. To not listen to God's Word is to grieve the Holy Spirit.
Many of you may have at one time or the other received a little Gideon Bible. We thank God for the great work that the Gideon's International has done over the past 117 years. They have taken on the challenge of placing God's Word in as many places and hands as possible. Just recently, they have passed the 2 billion mark. Think about that for a moment. Over 2 Billion Bibles have been handed out by Gideon's all over the world. Praise the LORD!
Have you ever read the words that are printed in the front of their little Bibles? If you haven't, listen to the words that are printed there:
The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. CHRIST is its grand subject, our good - the design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a wine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.