Sermons

Summary: Julianne thinks family time each sunday is more important than attending church. And her family’s well being is much more important than what any minister could possible say in a sermon! Find out why.

West Greeley Baptist Church

September 2nd 2001

“Like a rock”

Matthew 16: 13-18

By Pastor Mark Hensley

Introduction: Julianne 37, store owner, married, mother of three, Arizona. Life is so hectic for us. Sunday morning is the one time my family doesn’t have to get up early and rush out the door.

I guess I’m one of those family-values advocates, although I don’t believe in spending family time in a religious setting. The five of us need quiet time together more than we need to be with other people, which is where we are every other day of the week.

I think our time on Sunday mornings—having brunch, laughing, talking, sharing, maybe even going somewhere special together—is more important to my family’s well-being than whatever a minister could say to us from a pulpit.

We attend special services as a family—mostly Christmas and Easter. So we do want to incorporate the Christian traditions and beliefs, but we feel those occasions are enough.

Transition: Would you venture a guess as to what objection Julianne makes that bothers me the most? If you guessed: “having brunch, laughing, talking, sharing, maybe even going somewhere special together—is more important to my family’s well-being than whatever a minister could say to us from a pulpit.” You would be right!

Julianne is pro family and anti church! Not completely anti-church she will allow time for the church at Christmas and Easter! Today we will look at the church this wonderful and complex creation of our Lord.

More important than the church, we will look at the foundation of the church that the Lord Jesus Christ said was like a rock! Matthew 16: 13-18

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ,[1] the Son of the living God." 17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,[2] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[3] will not overcome it.”[4]

The foundation of the church is like a rock! From the Gospel of Matthew 16: 13-18 we will listen to the:

Opinions of others

The Declaration of a disciple

The Assurance of our Lord

I. Opinions of others: “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets”

The city of Caesarea Philippi was on the southwestern slope of Mount Hermon and the northernmost extent of Jesus’ ministry. Here, about 25 miles north-east of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus could be alone with His disciples — outside the domain of Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, and within the area of Philip the Tetrarch. The population was not Jewish, so Jesus could teach the twelve in peace.

With Caesarea Philippi as a backdrop we have a dramatic picture of Jesus of Nazareth, a penniless Galilean carpenter, surrounded by twelve ordinary men. The Jewish leaders were already plotting and planning on destroying Him as a dangerous heretic.

Jesus was standing on a road in an area littered with the temples of the Syrian gods, a place where the Greek gods looked down, a place where the most important river in Judaism sprang to life, a place where the white marble splendor of the home of Caesar-worship dominated the landscape. And here, of all places, He stands and asks men who they believe Him to be. David Padfield.

"Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets”

Opinions, ideas conclusions. Everyone seems to have there take on any given topic. In our Lords day it was no different than today. Jesus asks the disciples who do people say the son of man is? It wasn’t idle curiosity on our Lord’s part; he knew that human nature is often shaped by what others think.

Opinion polls play an important part in strategy be it political or business. Jesus wanted to listen to how the disciples were being shaped by the thoughts and opinions of those they would meet from day to day.

Julianne, the 37 year old store owner from Arizona states: “We attend special services as a family—mostly Christmas and Easter. So we do want to incorporate the Christian traditions and beliefs, but we feel those occasions are enough.”

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Danny Brightwell

commented on Feb 18, 2014

Mark, this is an excellent lesson. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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