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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday morning coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Robert will help you get your week started. Right? We look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 2:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for Monday, November the 22nd. It's three days till Turkey day, and I am holding an amazing cup of Papa new Guinea coffee that comes from Louisville, Kentucky. When I was there in a meeting a week or so ago, some really good friends brought me some coffee from a coffee shop in LaGrange , Kentucky, shout out to them. This is certainly a marvelous pour over that. I'm working this morning as I'm looking at my sermon notes from yesterday, sermon on the Mount sermon. Does that even sermon on the Mount sermon? Can you even say that my sermon about the sermon on the Mount and I have some great stuff in Bible reading that will help us as we are pushing to the finish line in the gospel of Matthew, lots to do today. Lots to start the week in the very best possible way. Grab some coffee, grab your Bible. Let's get to it yesterday. I continued the preaching theme for the year by working through Matthew seven, verses 13 to 23 in Jesus's famous sermon, the sermon on the Mount. And I'll share with you here. A wonderful, wonderful quote from one of my favorite writers, a fellow named R Kent Hughes. He says this about this section that I'm preaching from yesterday. Our Lord begins a lengthy conclusion to his magnificent sermon in effect. He was saying, that's it my friend now, what are you going to do with it? There is no point in listening to the sermon. If you're not going to do anything about it, I think he is precisely on target there. That's exactly right. Jesus is working towards a conclusion, which is why yesterday. We talked about installing that sermon into our lives. And there's three keys to doing that. First. You have to make a choice, the choice of the narrow way, the narrow gate, and then you need to be careful. You need to watch out for false prophets verses 15 to 20. Those that are going to trick you and fool, you deceive you into getting back onto the Broadway and then finally verses 21 to 23, we to obey and we need to do more than saying Lord Lord, without ever actually getting around to doing the will of the father. There is in the kingdom, no substitute for obedience. Now I'm not going to add a lot to the sermon from yesterday. Adding to Jesus seems like the kind of thing that isn't really a very good idea, but I do want to give you an additional note from verse 15 about ravenous wolves. As we've done our daily Bible reading this year, we've talked a lot about the old Testament connections that Matthew builds in his gospel. And the idea of wolves is just rooted heavily, particularly in the old Testament prophets. So Jeremiah, he talks about those false prophets who say peace, peace when there is no peace, Jeremiah six in verse 14, but it's a Zeke Yule that talks about wolves tearing the prey and shedding blood and destroying lives to get dishonest gain is equal 20 to 27. And Zephaniah even talks about officials who are roaring lions and judges are evening wolves that leave nothing until the morning. Her profits are wanting faithfulness faithfulness, men Zephaniah three and verse three. And of course, Paul warns the elders and aphesis in acts 2029. That fierce wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock. And Jesus himself told his disciples that he was sending them a sheep out in the midst of wolves, Matthew 10 and verse 16, and says that the good shepherd would protect the wolves, protect the flock, rather from the Wolf with his very life , John chapter 10 and verse 12. I give you all of that to say that wolves is our really strong metaphor here that Jesus is using. And as he's using that, that would be evoking in his audience. A lot of thoughts of chaos and leadership fails and prophetic fails, nothing is good about wolves in the scripture. And so Jesus is putting together the strongest possible warning. These false teachers, they're not liking to rats or spiders or snakes. There are other animal images that are used in scripture, and there certainly are other animals that are dangerous to man. I understand about that. And you do as well, but by talking about false teachers, in terms of being wolves, Jesus is using something that would immediately cause his audience to shrink back in fear, take that threat extremely seriously and be very, very concerned about that. And that is exactly why Jesus is using that particular metaphor. That's why he calls them ravenous wolves. And that's why you and I need to be aware and watch out for false teachers, false prophets, who would teach us error and who would lead us astray. That's a genuine danger. It's a real danger. And we ought to take that seriously. I'll let that stand as my extra thoughts as we think about the sermon yesterday, maybe just read those verses again to start your week and keep thinking about how do I install these trues in my life. I need to choose. I need to beware and I need to do I need to obey and do what Christ has called me to do in his kingdom. That's our thoughts from the sermon on the Mount yesterday. Now we turn our attention to our daily Bible reading for the week we are reading in Matthew chapter 21. We will complete that chapter. And then on Thursday begin in Matthew chapter 22. This is the last week of Jesus's life. And I realize of course, that this is a very busy week for all of us, with the holiday on Thursday and all kinds of preparation being made for that people coming in, all kinds of things going on. Let me say a couple of things in that regard. Remember we have five readings for the week, five readings spread across six days. So if you need to take a day Thursday, for example, and not do your reading on that day, that's going to be okay. We're going to be able to move some things around here. I wouldn't encourage you to Josh read it all in one big shot. We're just going to sit down on Monday and get the reading done for the week. There's a lot to be said for being exposed constantly to the word of God in a steady way across time. So I wouldn't urge you just to binge it all in one big reading session, but I would urge you to be wise and to make good decisions and to realize this is a very, very full week. And I may need to move some things around a little bit. I'm going to have to get up a little bit early so that I can get my reading done. Before I start a busy day, I want to stay in contact with God's word. I want to get my , my reading done. And our schedule is flexible enough. And the readings aren't that long that you're going to be able to do that. So let's get to daily Bible reading starting in Matthew chapter 21 in verse 12. So our reading for today Monday is Matthew 21 verses 12 to 22, where Jesus cleanses the temple and curses a fig tree. This is we're reading this on Monday and this is what Jesus did on Monday of the last week of his life. And I want to emphasize to you, this cleansing of the temple is so significant because Jesus is pushing out all the selling of animals and the money changing and so forth. That's going on in the area of the temple where only Gentiles could worship. This is the place where Gentiles could be in the temple. Um, beyond this, there were several courts in the temple area. She moved up closer and closer to the actual physical structure. Then it was only Jews. Then it was only men . Then it was only the priest. Well, this area where Jesus is, is called the court of the Gentiles. It is the place where Gentiles could lawfully be. And their worship is being disrupted by this livestock show and all the other business that's going on and being transacted here, how can they possibly worship God in the middle of all of that? And Jesus says, I'm not having that. I'm not having that. That's wrong. Verse 13, you've made my house into a den of robbers that let me give you an old Testament connection. Here is scraped out of Jeremiah seven verse 11, where the worshipers were guilty of all kinds of evil deeds, like having idols in the temple itself. But they thought that going to church, having the temple of God made everything okay, God will never bring judgment on us. Hey, we have the temple and Jeremiah preaches a long sermon in Jeremiah seven to say, that's crazy. God is going to bring judgment on this wicked generation. And Jesus borrows a phrase out of that sermon and applies it to the generation of people right there in front of him. That must have been a pretty salty thing for Jesus to say to them. But Jesus was fed up with this kind of nonsense that was obstructing the ability of people to worship and to do what they ought to be doing in the temple, serving God Bible critics then have a field day with this cursing of the fig tree business, especially because the parallel account in mark chapter 11 verse 13 says that it wasn't the season of figs. And so here, Jesus, apparently having a little temper tantrum because he's hungry. There's no figs. And he just Withers this tree. How awful is that? Well, of course that has no basis whatsoever in any fashion in what's actually going on here is not a fit of anger against a tree. What needs to happen is the fig tree needs to be fitted in with what just occurred, the cleansing of the temple. And what this is about is how the fig tree often associated in the prophets, Micah seven verses one to six, Jeremiah chapter eight and verse 13, the fig tree often associated with the judgment of God, becomes an object lesson of what Jesus sees in the Jewish nation. And it is so that it has nothing but leaves on it. And it wasn't the, the season of figs, but fig trees put leaves out first, then comes the fruit. So the fig tree advertised, I have fruit, I have fruit and Jesus went up to it with the expectation that he could get fruit from it. There was no fruit Jesus at the end , curses that tree symbolic of God's judgment on the Jewish nation for not bearing fruit. They look like they'll have fruit. They have leaves. They have a temple, they are going through the motions, but they are not really serving God. What happened to the fig tree here serves to powerfully say, Hey, this, this is what's going to happen to the Jewish nation. And that probably the cursing of the fig tree probably moves us into Tuesday all the way. The events here in Matthew are going to be working on Tuesday all the way through probably about chapter 26 in verse five, the timing and chronology of this last week of Jesus' life is always a little difficult to pin down. But in the morning, Matthew 2118 tells us we're starting another day. So this would be Tuesday when Jesus curses the fig tree. And, and does that to say something about what's happening to a nation that has the promise of serving God, but has absolutely failed to do so for Tuesday, we will read Matthew 21, 23 to 32, where Jesus has authority is being challenged. And Jesus tells some parables to try to help the religious leadership. One more time, see if they can't get on board with the Messiah and what the Messiah is doing. This is our reading for Tuesday. And as I said earlier, this is Tuesday in Jesus's last week of his life. And there is this challenge here, verse 23, about what authority are you doing these things? And of course, Jesus responds by asking what about the baptism of John and the irony here is if they can answer that question, they can also answer their own question. If they'll just say John was from heaven, what did John say about Jesus? He said, he's the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. If they all answer truthfully about John, then they'll know where Jesus comes from. Then Jesus tells three parables, right in a row that just caught into that Jewish leadership. This first parable about repentance is only in Matthew. And it is about who does the will of God, who does the will of his father. Still thinking about that in light of the sermon on the Mount sermon, where Jesus responds to some people with a big religious profession, by saying you haven't done the will of my father, part of the will of the father here in Matthew 21 is repenting repenting and doing what you're told that has heavy implications for the religious leadership that Jesus is facing on Wednesday. We keep reading in Matthew 21 verses 33 to 46, the parable of the tenants such as sharp, sharp parable, where the imagery is very, very clear. The land owner is God. The vineyard is Israel. The servants here are the profits that were sent to collect the harvest. And then finally, of course, the son is the Messiah himself. And this comes heavily out of Isaiah five, where Israel is God's vineyard and the stone symbolism in verse 42 is so important in the new Testament church acts chapter four, Romans chapter nine first, Peter chapter two, all of those passages use this stone rejected passage to talk about why Jesus wasn't accepted by the Jews and how he is the Messiah. He's the one that God has anointed to be his chosen. One to be the Messiah, the savior of the world. And even though he was rejected by the religious leadership, that does not mean he was rejected by God. This is powerful, powerful stuff. And it helps us see the escalating tension here between Jesus and the Sanhedrin council . Jesus is on their turf. He's in Jerusalem. He's teaching the people he's gaining a greater and greater following. Think about the triumphal entry that was on Sunday. People are swelling to him and the religious leaders. They are taking Jesus more and more seriously as a significant threat. Something has to be done about Jesus Thursday's reading, then starch Matthew chapter 22, the first 14 verses. And I really wish that we were reading that Tuesday so that I could work with this in the zoom Bible study and prayer session or on Wednesday . So I could talk about it a little bit in Bible. Talk really, really wish that I had a better crack at this on, in front of the whole church or in front of more people. But I'm very pleased to have you the podcast listener here, because this is the third of these three parables that Jesus tells here that is very confrontational right up in the face of the Sanhedrin council. And this parable just has a lot of hostility in it. And he is really working kind of a stupidity theme who would resist a king. How dumb do you have to be to do that? And then what about this guy who comes in and he's inappropriately dressed who would go to a banquet of a king inappropriately dressed? There is some failure and some dumbness going on in this parable. And like I said, there are some active hostility, verse six, the rest seized his servants and treated them shamefully and killed them. And so the king was angry and he verse seven burns their city. So things are really, really escalating here. Now the kingdom of heaven is said to be a marriage fee. So that's an apt metaphor for Jesus to employ uses that in chapter 25 and verse 10. And it is used in revelation 19 in verse. And if you are looking for old Testament connection, just go read Isaiah 25 and verse six, or go back and read Exodus 24 verses nine, 10 and 11, where the elders of Israel, along with Moses and Aaron, they go up and feast in the presence of God. I try to always remind folks how significant eating was in the new Testament world in culture to eat with someone was to receive their endorsement and to say, I agree with you and I'm in fellowship with you. And , and I think you're okay. So, so to eat with God, well, that's just the ultimate, isn't it? Jesus uses a banquet or a feast to , to push the idea of being in relationship with God. Now what about this guy who shows up verse 11? He doesn't have a wedding garment. What's the deal with that? That guy ends up being punished and people are a little uncertain about that to get a little queasy about that because they just went out and got a bunch of people and drug them into this banquet. And of course this guy isn't dressed appropriately. What's the deal with that? Well, there's a couple of options. Some have said that proper attire would be provided for the guests. So as you're coming in, they'd be handing out wedding robes so that you could be dressed appropriately. And this man has just set up. Nope, not for me. I'm not going to wear that. And that is certainly possible. He's just saying my own robe is good enough. I don't need what you're offering me. The other option, many scholars say is that even as the king of sent his servants out to gather in whoever they find verse 10 so that they can fill the wedding hall, people would know I need to go home and put on the right thing to go to the King's wedding. Uh , go to the King's banquet. You don't just go to a King's banquet dressed in any old thing. And so the man would just know better either way, wherever you're going to get with that. The idea here is that there is some needed care and preparation on our part to be ready for the kingdom of God. And we're not in position to say to God, Hey, I'm not going to do that. If you act that way, you're going to know judgment and punishment. Instead of the blessings of getting to participate in the King's banquet. There's the message that Jesus is pushing. As he tells the third of these three very sharp parables to the religious leadership, who of course are not making that preparation. They're refusing the invitation. They're refusing the blessings of God. They won't come to the feast that takes us to Friday's reading Matthew 22 verses 15 to 22. And this is the question about paying taxes to Caesar. Verse 16 says the Pharisees are in league here with the Herodians. And we don't know a lot about the Herodians except to say that they seem to be in support of Rome. And of course the Harrods boy, what's strange bedfellows opposition to Jesus makes here and this tax paid at since this time it was paid by everyone enrollment currency and the Jews hated it. They hated the money that had an inscription to the divine Augustus on it. They hated the image of Caesar. They hated paying the taxes. They hated all parts of it. And there may not be anything that they have a better shot of causing Jesus to alienate himself from his growing popularity, with the crowds than asking the question, Hey, do we need to pay these taxes to Rome? If Jesus says, no Romans are gonna come and get him. And if Jesus says, yes, the crowds are gonna hate him. And Jesus is way ahead of all of that. And Jesus just says, you need to pay to the Caesar. What is owed to the Caesar? And you needed to pay to God, what is owed to God. And of course in that, he is saying you live in the Roman empire and you enjoy the benefits of the Roman empire and you ought to pay what is due for walking on Roman roads and being kept safe from the barbarians by Roman armies and all of the other benefits of being in the Roman empire, but more so you need to pay attention to God and you need to give God what you owe him, what he is do . That's our Bible reading then for the week. Thank you for listening to the Monday morning coffee podcast. And I hope this week for you is a blessed week. I'm certain, like I said, that it's going to be a little bit hurried and there's a lot going to be going on, but I especially hope that on Thursday, you'll take a few moments to count your blessings and to be thankful for them. Let's use Thanksgiving day as a day to be exactly that let's be thankful. And of course our prayer service on Wednesday night will help us in that direction. I hope that you're already planning to be part of that. It's just a wonderful tradition. Here was side for us to have our Thanksgiving Eve prayer service. This year. We're going to focus on Jesus as we have in our daily Bible reading and be thankful for him. That'll be a great way to start our Thanksgiving holiday. Won't it. Well again, thank you for listening. If you love the Monday morning coffee podcast , we'd love for you to follow rate or give a review on iTunes or whatever app you're listening on, or simply tell a friend about the show that would help us out as well until next time, then may your coffee be delightful? May your Monday be short and may the Lord be with you today all day. I'll see you next week.Speaker 3:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with Mark, for more information about Westside. You can connect with us through our website, just christian.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from uppbeat.io. That's upbeat with two P's UPPBEAT where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a cup of coffee, of course, on next Monday.