Matthew 7:28-29

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Matthew chapter seven now through chapter seven, I’m going to look at the verses that Mike mentioned earlier, verse 28 and 29.

As you turn in there. I want to tell you a story. It’s a story of a young preacher and the preacher had really not had many opportunities to speak. And he was given the opportunity to preach at his church and he was all excited. He, he was confident that God had given him the message. He was confident how God was going to use it, who he was.

He was just filled with zeal and fire for how this was going to impact people’s lives. And he literally bound up the steps to the platform and got there and preached and. As soon as he was speaking, he totally flamed out. I mean, he lost his words. He lost where he was in the sermon. Uh, he began to question the co press the sermons, clarity.

I mean, it was a disaster. And by the end of the sermon, he just sort of staggered down the platform steps. As the music director came up to close the service, uh, with a song and an agent man in the church, a beloved Saint of Christ who loved Jesus, came alongside of them. And he made the statement to him.

He said, if you had gone up the steps, the way you came down, you might’ve come down the way you went up. I’ll give you a chance to think about it. The reason I mentioned that is you may have seen the title of the sermon. It is entitled and astonishing Sterman. And I wanted to address that quickly and just say, if that has raised expectations for this sermon, I want you to know you will surely be disappointed.

Secondly, if it has led to the conviction that today’s preacher is a total narcissist, I hope to dispel it at least minimally to say the title is not referring to the sermon. You’re going to hear over the next 35 minutes. It’s referring to the sermon that we’ve been studying these last weeks, the sermon on the Mount Jesus, most thorough presentation of what it means to live as members of his kingdom.

We’re going to be looking at this in a moment, highlighting some things from it. But I do want to read the texts that Mike read Matthew chapter seven, verse 28 and 29. And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching. For, he was teaching them as one who had authority and not as describes let’s pray,

Lord, we want to come to the feet of this same Jesus and ask that we too would be staggered as we think of what it must have felt like to be in that crowd with these people and why it was that they were astonished not only what he said, but how he said it. Lord, show us what that means to our own lives today.

I pray in Jesus name. Amen. The word astonished here in these verses is actually the word that is translated the new Testament to smite or to strike literally these people. We’re punched in the mouth by the teaching ministry of Jesus in the sermon on the Mount. And what I’d like to talk about in the next few minutes is just why, I mean, why did this, this sermon of Jesus hit him right, right.

Between the eyes. Why was it so profoundly astonishing to them? That’s what I’d like to look at together. First of all, what, what is it that astonished people in his teaching? And certainly it is, it is what he said. As we’ve seen in this sermon, there is the blueprint of the lifestyles, the attitude, and the responses that Jesus anticipates that that members of his kingdom will have as they live their lives.

But, and there are things in it that are, that are radical, even shocking, but there’s also stuff in here that is some truth that people that would not embrace these principles as a lifestyle. I mean, he’s talked about the golden rule. That’s where the golden rule is first summarized do to others. What you would like them to do to you.

He talks about the value of being peacemakers. He talks about the value of showing mercy to people. He talks about, uh, being faithful to your marriage partner. He talks about, uh, telling the truth. Let your yes. Be yes. And you know, be no, I mean, be honest, be a person of integrity. I mean, everybody would say, yeah, I get it.

Those are commendable characteristics of doing human life. But he also says stuff here that is just shocking. He talks as he talks about the commandments and any, and he talks about that the commandment don’t commit murder. And he says, you know, this principle that this, this law, this commandment is not just talking about killing somebody.

It’s talking to me, says, I, you, you know, you’ve heard him say don’t that said, don’t commit murder. I tell you what that means is. Don’t treat people with unbridled, anger and harsh words, because you are destroying a part of their personhood. He talks about, you’ve heard, it said don’t commit adultery. I’m telling you that means if you look at a woman with lust, you have committed the AA, an act of sexual unfaithfulness to your spouse.

He talks about religious acts that it’s not only that you do. Praying fasting, giving, uh, arms to people. He says, it’s a spirit. It’s the motivation. As a matter of fact, if your motivation stinks, he says, it’s actually a sinful act for you. He talks about the fact that money can become the ruling reality in our lives.

And in many people’s life, does it in a way in all of our lives, at some point or another, it does that. It can become a common form of idolatry where we trust in money when we make money central to us. And then he talks about stuff like forgiveness, and he says, you know, you don’t just forgive the person that comes to you and says, you know, I’m so sorry I get it.

I’m sorry. Would you forgive me? He says, no, you forgive the jerk that keeps doing it and doing it and doing it. And he says an innumerable time. You forgive them. That doesn’t mean you necessarily stay close doing life so they can beach every moment. But the idea is there’s a continual pattern of forgiveness that is manifesting itself in the member of this kingdom.

We’ve called this series, the upside down life, because it turns our normal way of looking at life on its head. We live in a world of me first, be strong, and self-sufficient where in God we trust on the dollar actually should really say in this God we trust and Jesus points to an others centric life, a life of dependence on him, a life of implicit trust in his care and Lordship Jesus teachings in Matthew five through seven.

Feel at times unrealistic, it’s just too much. And we are struck with our own insufficiency in our own lacks. Ultimately this sermon, these chapters point us to the reality that we need someone else to empower us to live this life. The sermon is intended to compel us to live in the principle that Paul lived.

When he says in Galatians two, it’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and the life. I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. The sermon was shocking in its content because it presented a life that no one could actually live apart from the supernatural intervention of God, through his spirit continually in their life.

What he says is shocking. Different demanding, but that’s not actually what caused these people to be as astonished as they are. It’s not just what Jesus said that blew their minds, punched him in the face. It’s how he said it. And whereas we street in this word in verse 29, he taught as one who had authority, not like one of the scribes.

Now we got to unpack this and hang with me here. As we do this. He didn’t teach like the scribe who are the scribes. So the scribes actually, uh, found their, their first person identified as a scribe in the scripture. And Jewish history was, was a man named Ezra. He was a priest and scribes were of the police Lee Levitical line.

And basically a scribe was an individual. That certainly was the one that, that meticulously recorded the scripture. You know, they didn’t have printing presses. They were the ones that wrote it out. There were many holy, uh, standards and guidelines of how you do that even to this day. But the scribes wrote the law, but maybe even more importantly, the scribes interpreted the law.

They were the primary voice. When the Sanhedrin had questions about how do we apply the, the civil, uh, standards that are presented in the, in the Torah and the law of God, they called to the scribes. They said, you know, how do we interpret this, this law? And how do we, how do we handle this case? Even secular authorities in Israel would come to the scribes.

Very famous one at this time of year was in Matthew chapter two when the wise men showed up, Herod called together the scribes. And he says, where is this king of the Jews supposed to come from? And they say immediately met Micah chapter five. Verse two says, it’ll be, he’ll be born in, in a little town called Bethlehem, which people hardly even knew anything about.

They passed on most importantly, the oral tr traditional interpretations of the scriptures. Now this is where it gets really. These oral laws put in six different categories, had hundreds of descriptions of how you lived out the law. How far you actually could walk on the Sabbath day and not be working, whether you could light a fire to cook your meal on the Sabbath day, or if you could, what you could light at four and what you could not light it for.

There’s there’s hundreds of these oral laws that were passed down and the people that hold held onto them and reminded people of them where the scribes they continually held on to the oral tradition and throughout the history, these oral traditions had come by rabbis and teachers of the law that would say, well, this is what it means to, to not work on the Sabbath.

That means this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and it was. These previous teachers that they see, they cited and they quoted, it was the rabbinical tradition, the oral tradition. It was like legal precedence. When rabbis taught or scribes taught in Jesus’ day, they would take precedence in illegal cases.

When you’re, you know, you’re trying to figure out what do we do in this case? When we look at legal precedent, what did the courts say? In other cases, similar to this and lawyers cite them and courts turned to them. This was similar. This is how they taught by quoting those traditions. Two weeks ago, uh, our church staff visited a local synagogue.

Pastor Mike had lined it up for us, was a fantastic experience. The rabbi was incredibly gracious to us, gave us time, uh, tour. Uh, the best part was he brought us in to the, to the auditory. And we all, he brought us rack up on the Baymont to the platform and he showed us at the back of the, the alter. There, there was a, um, a beautiful metallic structure.

That was a picture of the burning Bush. And to our surprise, the thing opened and it was locked. He had to unlock it because in there on these shelves were the scrolls. The scrolls were the Torah, the scripture, there were five of them. The oldest was 300 years old, big, massive thing. And it was meticulously written on the appropriate animal skin.

All of these are by rabbinical law by scribes. And he graciously brought it out for us, brought it there on the altered, laid it out. He told us if I drop this and he was serious, he said, if I drop this, which I never have done and don’t plan on doing it. I am responsible to fast for the next 40 days. He says it means a rabbinical fast, which means I can eat at night, but still I’m not, I’m not excited, so I’m not planning on dropping it, but he put it there.

And so he says, and he talked about how in their services, he would read the scripture reading for that day. He would read it in Hebrew and then he would translate in English and he would, he talked about how he would give commentary on it. And he talked about how he had studied and really a brilliant guy and a really pleasant guy.

And he talked about how he regularly studied the Talmud. Now this is where stay with me for two more minutes and I’m going to bring all this together. The Talmud is actually the written record that was put together in 78 D and it, and post that. And it is combined of two. The Talman actually, when, when Jerusalem was destroyed and now the center of Israel of Judaism was destroyed.

They said, we need more than the oral traditions that we’ve had for centuries. We now need it written down. So they wrote it down in what is called the Mishnah and the Mishnah are, these are these records, these, these volumes that record all of the oral traditions of those centuries, uh, before Christ of old test, basically old Testament commentaries.

And they wrote them all down. Then after that, in the next handful of years, they also put together a thing called the Gamara and the Gomorrah is actually 38, large volumes long where they even added the oral tradition to the oral traditions. And today the Talmud. The Jewish rabbis go to, and he talked about how he studies the Talmud every day.

It is basically studying these, these record of the scribes throughout history who have taught, how do we interpret the Torah? How do we look at these principles and all these volumes and volumes and, and he, they speak. And he says, as a rabbi, I speak, certainly I, I use my mind and process. And, but he said, I also speak out of the volume of understanding of the ages, how to interpret these passages and, and how to see these laws.

That’s what they did in Jesus’ day. The scribes would be the ones and they would say here’s a passage. Here’s what it means. Rabbi so-and-so said this rabbi so-and-so Hillel and Shammai were the two most famous in the two centuries before Jesus. And he says, this is how they interpret it. This is how they interpreted.

This is how they interpreted. This is, this is ways we can look at this passage. They interpreted things by taking the volume of, of oral tradition. And there’s a sense in which it’s, it’s a very close knit, historic interpretation. It is revered.

And when they presented their teaching in Jesus’ day, as well as today, they are honoring those teachings that have come and interpretations that have come through the years. Now. Here’s why Jesus teaching a stunning. And why it auto astonished you, Jesus came and taught very differently. The first thing he did, he spoke like his words were of greater weight than the ancient rabbis.

He spoke with authority. Now, what does the word authority mean? Authority? You can meet a couple of things. It can means he he’s an expert in the field. Well, I think that’s what it’s talking about. That Jesus was an authority because we’re plenty of rabbis and scribes that taught with they were experts.

We also talk about authority would be an individual that is, um, that speaks with confidence and passion. Like a preacher man, man, he speaks with authority now. I don’t think that’s where there were rabbis and teachers that taught that way. Well, what did he mean? The authority, which Jesus demonstrated was that of someone who knew.

That what he was speaking was absolutely true. So let’s leak. Look at how Jesus talked. He opens the passage, he begins to talk about passages and he speaks with authority. Here’s how he talks. He says it this way in Matthew chapter five, the first chapter six times, he says this you’ve heard that it was said, but I tell you, what’s he saying, you’ve heard with this rabbinical tradition, this oral tradition.

This is how we look at this, but I tell you it was astonishingly arrogant. Look, you have the volume of the, of the Mishnah, uh, of, of all of the oral traditions of all Gmail, Hillel and Shammai, and, and now chameleon, who is the primary teacher in Israel of the day. All these. They say this, but I’m telling you, it was a statement where Jesus is it.

I’ve tried to imagine it like this. I’ve tried to imagine Jesus showing up to temple Emmanuel at a Sabbath. And again, I, we all came away with the highest respect and appreciation for the graciousness and the intelligence and the seriousness of this rabbis work and life. I’m not addressing anything of what they do or believe or anything.

I am just trying to say how it must have felt to his listeners and trying to give a present day context. It would be as if Jesus showed up at the Sabbath meeting at temple Emmanuel and did this.

Let’s turn to Deuteronomy 24, because he actually does this in the sermon on the mountain. And what, no, I’m not saying you do that. We’re in the synagogue. And he says, go to chapter 24 of Deuteronomy, where it talks about divorce. And he says, you have heard that it was said, give her a certificate of divorce.

And basically that was the summary teaching. There were two religious leaders that were the primary teachers who led schools of rabbinical thought. One of them was a guy named Shammai, excuse me, Hallel and Hallel took a little more liberal perspective. And he basically say, you can get a divorce from any, from your spouse for anything.

And his famous illustration was if she burns your dinner, this is the literal statement. If you’ve she burns it in, you can get a divorce. There’s nothing too trivial. If it just doesn’t work. Silver Shammai was a little more, uh, he put a little more restrictions in it, but basically, you know, he says, well, you ought to be a little more careful, but basically what he said was the same thing.

He says, look, if you’re dissatisfied in the marriage, if it’s not working out for any reason, get a divorce. So Jesus comes in Matthew chapter five and he says, this you’ve heard that it was said, but these rabbinical teachers and scribes and, and, and, and th the oral tradition just given a certificate of divorce, but here’s what he says.

But I tell you that everyone who divorces his wife on the sec, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Here’s what Jesus was saying.

The traditions are wrong. The interpretations are wrong. I tell you, do you feel this? This was so offensive. This was so seemingly brazen in its arrogance to say, yes, you’ve got all these volumes and, and all this you have, you have carefully kept as your oral interpretation, the orally verbally through the centuries.

I want you to know what I’m telling you here in the sermon on the Mount, what they had is wrong. What I have is truth. One of the reasons these people were shocked, nobody ever talked like this. Nobody stands up and says, you know, all those God, nah, there’s not really anybody there you can. Nah, I tell ya.

This is what it means. And he does it on item after item, after item of key spiritual living stuff, the Mishnah the Talmud, the Gamara they say this, I tell you this second thing he does. He spoke like God’s words and his words were of equal weight. Matthew chapter seven, verse 27, the word, the passage, just before this, Jesus summarized this way.

Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. I mean, CS Lewis is right. This man is either a liar or he’s a nut job. He’s a lunatic. Or he really is the Lord. He says, my words are what you build your lives on. Not the traditions, not the interpretation by words, he chairs.

He declares equal authority with God’s teaching. The third thing he does is he spoke like he had the right to give them commands. This is the basic concept of authority. It’s interesting, the right to excuse me, rule or command. It’s affirmed the next few chapters of Matthew. Just look at Matthew chapter eight, verse nine, the Centurion comes.

Jesus says I too am a man under authority with soldiers under me. And I say to one go and he goes into another comm and he comes, he says, this is. I have the ability to command my soldiers, what to do. Come, go. When I say it, they do it. This is what authority means. Next chapter two chapters later in Matthew, chapter 10, verse one, Jesus says this and he called to him and his 12 disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to cast them out.

He says, you guys have now have the authority to command demons, to come out of people. The idea of authority that they heard in Christ was he is speaking as someone who feels he has the right to tell us what to do, not just to say, here’s the rabbinical traditions and the, and the oral Stan. Now he said, I’m commanding you to do this.

I have the authority to tell you how to live your lives. I have the authority to tell, you know, this is what it means. And these people are sitting there and he said, nobody ever taught like this. Nobody ever dare teach like this. It’s no wonder the Pharisees and those who turned against him, who refuse to embrace his teaching and the beautiful story in the book of acts.

As we’ll see, when we get to that series in late January is how many of the Pharisees and priests did embrace Jesus as their savior after the resurrection. But at this time, they’re just thinking, they say, he’s a, blasphemer why he’s acting like this. God, he’s talking like, he’s God, he’s talking like hasty authority to command us what to do with our lives.

Not just teach us as the scribes do, which is to say, this is what has been the understanding through the ages. So if that’s how Jesus taught the sermon on the Mount, what does that mean to you? Me three quick things. Number one, what this means to us is to be citizens of Jesus’ kingdom. We must be utterly surrendered to the kingship of Jesus in our lives.

We must seek his will. Matthew six, 10 describes the prayer. We are to pray in response to the Lordship of Jesus. God, your kingdom come your will be done praying for his kingdom to come and be developed on earth, follows parallel tracks to praying Lord your will be done. Most importantly, in me, in my life.

I want to know your will. I want to hear your will. Maybe the most, the eight most important words in the Christian life are simply this Lord. What do you want me to do recently had conversations with my financial advisor and, uh, you know, there’s all kinds of things you’re asking, processing, thinking about and planning and, and, and all that stuff.

Directions and guidance and skills that I don’t have and perspectives that I don’t have and questions that I don’t know to ask. But the bottom line is I don’t want to make my decisions just on what my financial advisor says. We put in, we had, we have a cement pool in our back back of our house and baby’s 50 years old and it was showing it in about a year ago.

Uh, we, we found a guy that repairs pools, and we couldn’t even use it because of the pipe was messed up underneath. So we, and he came on, he just looked at our pool and he basically did this. And he basically said, oh my goodness. And he was gracious and good old Emilio became a good friend, but, but you know, he’s saying you got to do this and a, okay, you can get it working, but come on.

I mean, this is nice house and it, you gotta, you gotta do coping. You gotta do pavers. You gotta, you know, Now we did a lot of what he suggested, but I can tell you when he told us that we didn’t say, okay. Yeah, sure. You know, we must, we must need to do that because that’s what a pool guy says. We must need to do this because that’s what a finance guy.

No, we said, God, here’s what we’re hearing. What do we do? What do you want us to do? What do you want us to do? Because our money, isn’t ours, this pool, isn’t ours, this house, isn’t ours. We belong to you. And it’s all yours. The child of God says, Lord, what do you want me to do? Now? You can look at this and say, well, that’s, that’s a whole lot easier when Jesus is there.

Right? So Jesus, you know, got a meeting tomorrow and go, you know, what do I say? How do you know you come with me and sorta, you know, as you hear me talking and, but Jesus isn’t here, right? I mean, he’s, we don’t see him. We can’t. One of the most exciting things that you’re going to experience when we study the book of acts together is one of the most exciting things has been impressing me about when you read through the book of acts and those of you that were scripted have scripturally written through it.

I’m sure this has stood out to you and if you haven’t done it, or if you haven’t noticed that, go through the book of acts, get it on paper and circle. Every time the holy spirit has mentioned. It’s crazy. I mean, you think a few weeks before the book of acts is really taking place. You read the gospels, it doesn’t say anything about the holy spirit.

I’m in the last few days that Jesus is alive in John 14, through 16, he starts talking about the holy spirit is going to come and all it’s going to have. And then you get to the book of acts and these guys don’t have any other reference point. Everything it’s the holy spirit led me to do that. We saw the, it was demonstration of the holy spirit and power of the holy spirit came upon them.

You know, the holy spirit came among us. Where did this come from? And it struck me as I was reading this one day to these guys. In the book of acts, the presence of the spirit of God in their life was as real to them. As the physical presence of Jesus had been when they walked with him, that he was just as present with them to have the second member of the Trinity reproduced, uh, replaced for the third.

They didn’t lose a beat. You have him, you have him, the spirit of God lives in you. The spirit of God is willing to direct you. We have his spirit to guide us. We can look to him to lead us and find out the will of God. Secondly, we must obey and surrender to as well. We live as people under authority, we’re called to obey.

We’re called to bend our wills to the will of God. Jesus modeled. He says in the garden the most acute. Painful moment of his life. He says, Lord, not my will, but yours be done.

When we talk about living out the sermon on the Mount, Jesus is not just saying, you know, here’s some cool principles. He’s saying, I’m saying this with the 40. If you’re a part of my kingdom, this is the guiding reality of your life. I’m commanding you to live this way. During world war II, the Nazis had the, the Italians who had been associates with the Nazis, basically bagged the whole thing.

Mussolini stepped down. It was, and they had been fighting the allies and they had a bunch of British soldiers, uh, us, Australian soldiers. In their prisons. And now the Italians has said we’re out. And what happened then is the German swept in? And all of a sudden these GIS and British soldiers and Australian soldiers are wandering around literally the streets, particularly of Rome freed, but were with nowhere to go.

And that the Nazis are sweeping in to fill the power vacuum and take over. And certainly are looking for these former soldiers or the soldiers that are now free. At the same time, there are Jews who have not really been ostracized and persecuted to the degrees that Nazis would, and they’re wandering around Rome and the Nazis are coming and there was a man named Juan Sr, Hugh a flight.

Who chose. And I believe he’s absolutely a born again, believer, chose to actively live out the principles of the sermon on the Mount. And he began to, he formed a network to hide these GIS, these soldiers, these Jewish people. And over the course of time, he personally was responsible for getting out a little over 6,500 individuals, a handful at a time at a time during that time.

And it took place over two years, the Gestapo leader was a man named major. Herbert Kepler and Kepler was a tiger. His office was in Rome and it didn’t take him long to find out that the head of the operation was this month senior. And so. Not wanting to alienate the church who is in this difficult situation.

But what he eventually did was he began to take people that were associated with the Monsignor who, oh, flattery to torture them. He killed a number of them, women, families, close associates, beloved, lifelong friends. He even sent two guys in as, as masquerading, as Jews. And they were actually there to assassinate fewer flattery, but he got wind of it.

And just at the last minute, his life was spared. This man did horrible barbaric, brutal things. He hated the Monsignor. He did everything to break him and his organization and killed and destroyed the lives of many people, precious to hue off lottery. And then the tide turned and the allies came up through Sicily, into Italy and they were marching on.

And he flattery was called once again to the office of major Kepler. And this time, all of the associates of Kepler were lovable, put out of the room and Kepler turned to him and he says, we both know the allies are coming. And he brought out a picture and he said, I know that you have an organization that gets people out.

This is my wife and children. I want you to get my children out of Italy. You are flattery looked at this guy sitting there. And of course the visual of all the people that this man has destroyed, that this guy had left. He all flattery did it, his children and his wife got out, but that isn’t all of you, a flattery.

Your flattery, not only chose to overlook what this man had done. And you might say, well, of course, because that, you know, this family they’re victims, they’re innocent, but here’s also what he did. Kepler was put into a lockdown facility. And for 12 years after his arrest, he only had one visitor and he was, he was visited every week.

He all flattery showed up every single week to visit Kepler sometime during the 12th year of this man, visiting him, looking out for him, loving him with a love only Christ could give Kepler bow the knee to Jesus Christ and was baptized by. QR flattery

to live as members of the kingdom means that we bow the knee. And we say, Lord, now that I know what you want me to do, because you’ve laid it out in Matthew five through seven, I now choose to obey and to live in a way that I can’t live on my own, but you’ve told me I can forgive through you. You’ve told me I can.

Grace people that have wronged me horribly through you. And the last thing we find that I think is involved, if Jesus really is the authority, then we respond to his Lordship in our lives, by glorying in his will.

Sometimes the Lord brings into our lives. Things we really don’t understand. And our hard, right? And the one who says he’s the Lord, the king, he allows things to come that are very confusing. And he says, will you trust me with this? Will you love me with this? Will you serve me? Well, will you bow the knee handful of years ago, we had a young couple in our church who had tried prayed diligently for four years to have a child during the last two years of that, they had started fertility treatments and nothing had.

And then finally, just before Christmas time, they found out that she was pregnant and.

As they went for their 20 week ultrasound, they were overwhelmed with joy to find out that they were going to have a girl, but the ultrasound also revealed some abnormality. It revealed a thing called skeletal dysplasia, which means the bone structure would not grow. And if it didn’t grow, it, couldn’t protect the organs and enable them to grow.

And so they told this young couple, if your baby is allowed to live, she will not live more than two hours. It will probably be minutes. And so this couple left with this decision determined two things. One, they would bring this child to life because they felt that was in the hands of. But secondly, they contacted me and they said we would like to dedicate our baby.

So always been our goal to dedicate any children. The Lord gives us, we want to dedicate this job, but we need to do it before the birth. If things go as it is designed. So on a Sunday morning, and I have their permission to share all this, Jason and Shannon Newcomb stood with me. She was pregnant carrying their little child in order to say, we’re dedicating this child to the Lord and his will.

And I just wanted to read this and I’m going to wrap it up here. I ask people that are dedicating a child. Why are you doing it? And this was their response in letter. I said, why do you guys want to do the dedication? And what are you saying in it? This is what they wrote. We want to dedicate our daughter because we are fulfilling the promise we made before God, when we found out we were expecting, even though this situation is not how we wanted everything to turn out, we desire to honor our commitment, like many other families.

We want to outwardly express our faith. In our knowing of God’s sovereignty. We’re not doing this at home or in pastor Mark’s office, but in front of our church family, we need the love prayer support and accountability from everyone to stay Christ centered through the grieving process and our continued growth as Christ followers.

In addition, we also desire for God to be glorified. We want to make a public statement saying we don’t understand, but we have a God who does. We only see a four by six picture you’d got is working on the full mural. He’s working in orchestrating events to further his kingdom, to make his name known, to draw people to himself and through it all, he’s using our little girl to somehow accomplish his plan.

A plan. We don’t understand, we don’t think we’re called to understand his plans, but we are called to trust him and lay everything in his feet. We take great comfort from the fact that God is going before us and his love knows no end there. A little girl was born. They had her for about an hour and Jason wrote to me after it.

And he said this, we saw her enter this world and saw her enter the next sequel to the story by God’s mercy is they have two other little children. Doing great.

If Jesus is the authority, there can be no sane response except to say, yes, Lord, I want to know your will. I’m willing to do your will. I want to glory in your will. That’s what it means. If Jesus really is who he’s claiming to be in Matthew five through seven, he’s saying I’m for you. I’m with you. I love you in a way I’m safer than any human being you’ll ever do life with, but I am the Lord.

So we look at this passage then, and we look at the sermon

and it reminds us us of what it was like to live. And what it is like as members of Jesus’ kingdom, let’s pray together. Lord Jesus, we’ve been studying about your kingdom, Lord, you’re the king where your people, if we have named your name is Lord and savior, you’re worthy of our seeking your will. You’re worthy of our doing your will.

You’re worthy of her, glorifying you for your will. So Lord, with the words of the song, we say, God, build your kingdom here. Rule and reign in our hearts, set our hearts of blaze. Oh, holy spirit, come and invade us. Now do it. We seek your kingdom,

your kingdom here in us in Jesus name. Amen.