Formations Lesson for March 21- A Question of Destiny
March 10 2010 by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church

Focal Passage: Matthew 23:29-39  

New Orleans’ victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV was destiny according to Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Brees, who joined the Saints during the city’s struggle to recover from Hurricane Katrina said of the upset victory: “It was all meant to be, it’s all destiny.”

Destiny is often understood as a fixed sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable.

Another thought is that individuals choose their own destiny by the decisions made in life. In our text today, the Pharisees seem certain of their destiny, but Jesus calls their destiny into question.

In this passage we see a feisty Jesus. He speaks boldly to “the crowds” and “His disciples” (Matt. 23:1) to show the disconnect between the religious leaders’ profession and practice.

The scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat (Matt. 23:2), the chair in the synagogue reserved for the authoritative teacher of the law in a Jewish community. From this position they expounded the meaning of the law to the worshipers.

The problem was not with the Pharisees’ teachings or beliefs, but with their behavior. They did not apply their teachings to their own behavior. Hypocrisy is talking about God’s will, but failing to do it.

In Matthew 23, Jesus condemns the scribes and Pharisees for their sins in a series of seven woes. Jesus predicts that the Jewish people will continue the pattern of rejecting the messengers of God just as they did in the past.

Jesus reveals a kind of logic of the kingdom: those who are sent in Spirit will act as witnesses. We recall from a previous lesson that the only unforgiveable sin is the blasphemy of the Spirit. Jesus says that what is done to those who act in truth will bring judgment.

In this passage Jesus clearly alludes to the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in 70 A.D. He speaks of His great love for Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37). Our openness to receive God’s love depends on our willingness to live in His truth. You can’t demand a person’s love and reject all that they are at the same time.

This passage comes in sequence just before Passion Week and Jesus’ betrayal. Jesus has strongly condemned the religious hypocrisy of those who claim they would not have condemned the prophets, but now reject Jesus.

In verse 39 we see that Jesus will someday return, and at that time all people will recognize Him for who He is. How will you respond to Jesus now? It is a question of destiny!  
3/10/2010 8:55:00 AM by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church | with 0 comments




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