Summary: Lent 4(A)- Jesus gave his life as a ransom. The Son of Man served to save. Christians are saved to serve.

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March 14, 2010 -

Lent 4 -

MATTHEW 20:17-28

INTRO: The mission of Christ while living on earth was to obey his Father’s will. Jesus was the King of kings even while living on earth covered with human flesh. Jesus also came to earth to live as God’s Servant to save sinners. Here is the kernel of the Christian faith. Jesus, true God and true man, gave his life as ransom. By this ransom payment Jesus carried out his Father’s will. By this redeeming work Jesus brought glory to his Father’s name. "No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him--the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough--that he should live on forever and not see decay" (PSALM 49:7-9). We are saved by grace – God’s free, undeserved love. God’s ransom through Christ frees us from slavery to sin and Satan.


I. The Son of Man served to save.

II. Christians are saved to serve.


A. Verse 17. The end of Jesus’ visible, earthly ministry was quickly drawing to its fulfillment.

1. Verse 18a. Jesus was preparing his disciples for his coming betrayal to the church leaders.

2. Verse 18b. Jesus would be betrayed. The church leaders would condemn Jesus to death.

B. Verse 19a. The Gentiles = Roman government in charge would carry out the church’s death sentence.

1. The soldiers would mock Jesus. The guards would beat Jesus. Jesus would be crucified.

2. Verse 19b. Jesus would rise again. No one could stop Jesus’ resurrection. His life = ransom.

C. Verse 28. Jesus obediently served his Father’s will. Jesus saved mankind by his death + resurrection.

D. Here is the King of kings and our Lord of lords living as a servant. This was hard for the people of Jesus’ day to understand. They wanted Jesus to be that King who drove out the Romans. The greatness of Jesus was not in the absolute, divine power that was his. Instead the greatness of Jesus was in his humble, obedient attitude that was needed to save mankind. "(Jesus) made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!"(PHILIPPIANS 2:7,8). Jesus’ dieing for us would remind us of his great sacrifice on our behalf. The death of Jesus was on a cross. This was terrible torture to hang for hours – dieing. Such was the ransom required to pay for our sins.

E. Every time we study closely the life and death of Jesus we are more and more amazed. God sent his Son to do all of this for us. We do not deserve such a display of unconditional love. God displays love. Jesus lived on earth and “hid” his divinity in human flesh and blood. Just think about how much effort it took on behalf of Jesus to keep all of his divine glory and power from being seen. Moses’ face glowed after seeing the back parts of God. It is this same glory of God that lived in the man, Jesus. Rather than rule as king Jesus served as a servant to save mankind. "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (ROMANS 5:7,8). Still sinners – God shows love.

F. There is not one of us who are exempt from sinning. We are conceived in sin. We begin our lives in sin with our birth into sin. Sin corrupts our daily thoughts, words, and actions. Out of his great love for us God does not leave us to perish. Out of his great love for us God saves us from our own destructive, sinful actions and lives. "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (ISAIAH 53:6). On our own we would wander away and be lost – forever. Out of his great love for us God provides the Good Shepherd to serve his sheep. With his death Jesus, the servant-Shepherd, saves sheep forever. Jesus life is the perfect ransom.


The Son of Man served to save mankind.


A. Jesus takes his disciples aside to explain coming events: betrayal, mocking, death, and resurrection.

1. Verse 20. Jesus’ suffering approaches. A mother comes with misguided love for her two sons.

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