Summary: Every one has a dream team...see how Jesus developed His
The world is full of competing messages, some in harmony some in disharmony. A good example is commercials on television. Last week advertisers shelled out on average $2.1 million dollars for a 30 second spot. In 55 ads we saw Tobacco giant Philip Morris advertised against teen smoking, Master Card advocating leaving dead presidents at home (cash) and charging everything. Of course they didn’t tell you your cash doesn’t charge interest. Fed-X delivered a package from a shipwrecked island promoting company honesty…the package had a cell phone and global positioning device, Quiozno’s chef Jimmy can’t remember to feed his bird, mow his lawn, wash his car, or put on his pants but he does make a great hot sub sandwich and on it goes with about 50 more. Each advertiser, working throughout the year with top ad agencies, to produce the one message that is going to spark interest in consumers to buy their respective products. The advertising dream teams, now being rated by the consumers on how well their efforts pay off.
Advertising has its dream teams, sports have their dream teams, people charged with criminal offenses assemble dream teams if they have the cash, and on it goes.
I want to look at a Christian dream team…the first assembled and how we can assemble such a team right here at New Hope. From our study in Matthew, today, chapter 4:12-21, I find three keys that are necessary to put together a successful, productive dream team.
I. Having the Right Message.
12Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested and put in prison, He withdrew into Galilee. 13And leaving Nazareth, He went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the country of Zebulun and Naphtali--
14That what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be brought to pass:
15The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, in the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles [of the peoples who are not of Israel]- 16The people who sat (dwelt enveloped) in darkness have seen a great Light, and for those who sat in the land and shadow of death Light has dawned. 17From that time Jesus began to preach, crying out, Repent
(change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
What every advertiser at the Super Bowl was trying to achieve was a message that would last. Jesus, in Matthew 4, gave us such a message, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. You might want to underline that in your notes. It is a timeless message, not a fad. While advertisers try to tickle your ears, Jesus came out with a message that does anything but.
Repent is a strong word. It is not a suggestion, it is a command. Repent. What does it mean to repent?
a. It deals with sin. Jesus is speaking to mankind concerning their nature to sin, to do what is wrong.
b. It deals with the heart. Sin is not something that happens by accident. It springs from the heart. It starts as a thought. Our minds are filled with them, and thoughts come and go unless we entertain them and then act upon them.
c. It deals with making a complete turnabout. It is a change that starts first inwardly, with the heart and then is expressed outwardly by walking away from the sin and the temptations which causes one to sin.
Jesus message is good medicine…it may not taste great going down but it sure makes you feel better once you have taken it.
So if you are going to have a great dream team, you need the right message. So let the message from New Hope be, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Not only do you need the right message, the best dream team involves…
II. Having the Right People.
Look at verses 18, 19 and 21 18As He was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, throwing a dragnet into the sea, for they were fishermen.
19And He said to them, Come after Me [as disciples--letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!… And going on further from there He noticed two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets and putting them right; and He called them.
Imagine all the people Jesus could have selected to form His dream team. There was the Pharisees, Sadducees, the rulers of the law He could have went to. There were people of political position and importance, key leaders of the community. Instead He chose some common people, fishermen, and businessmen, people who knew how to work for a living.