Dangers of Indifference | Week 23

What’s the most common response to Jesus’s life? Indifference. Jesus addresses this issue to the crowd that He has been ministering to for a while in Matthew 11. Even after all he had done and revealed in Israel, Jesus saw that their hearts weren’t really for him. Jesus exposes the dangers of being indifferent to the gospel and offers the solution of rest to those who come to Him.

We have been in a worship series that we’ve been calling the Ministry of Jesus. We’ve been in it for the better part of six months. It has just been a time where we have just walked through every interaction that Jesus has. We started back in January and I want to give you a super quick review of where we’ve been so far just to kind of set up the moment that we have today. We started out in our introduction of Jesus on the banks of the Jordan River. We were somewhere down here on the banks of the Jordan River.

 

I don’t know if this clicker thing works. It doesn’t. Okay. On the banks of the Jordan River where Jesus was being baptized by John the Baptist. You might remember that we did that a couple of months ago, I guess all the way back in January. And in that moment the heavens open up and God speaks and says, this is my Son in whom I am well pleased. And John the Baptist echoes those ideas by saying this is the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the earth. Jesus at that moment is shown to us as the Son of God. By his nature and his character and his substance, he is God. And immediately after that story, the Bible says that God is taken by the Spirit, or Jesus is taken by the Spirit into the wilderness where he is tempted. Satan tempts him for 40 days and 40 nights. And we talked about this idea that he was tempted in the same way that our ancestors had been tempted. He was tempted the way Adam and Eve had been tempted. And in this temptation, Jesus proved himself worthy of the mantra of the Son of God becoming for us kind of a model of humanity that the world had been waiting for since the very beginning, the one who could fully and finally overcome Satan and the serpent and his lies.

 

And then we followed Jesus from that kind of wilderness area back to the Jordan banks where he gathered some followers. Eventually he made his way all the way up to the area that we call Galilee, which is up here, and to a wedding in Cana where he performed his very first public miracle, where he turned water into wine. Jesus then kind of kept a low profile for a few months. But when passover time was ready he went all the way back from Galilee, all the way back to Jerusalem. And he went there and he saw that the Temple was a little bit in dismay that the people had made the Temple into a market. And Jesus, the gentle Jesus turns over the tables and tells everyone, drives out the money changers. And really it should have started a riot. But instead of starting a riot, it produced some intrigue by the religious leaders. The religious leaders were kind of wondering, what is going on with this man? And so the next couple of days, there was a visitor. Someone knocked on Jesus door at night. It was Nicodemus. And Jesus speaks to Nicodemus. In that famous interaction, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he was born incorrectly.

 

He was born by the flesh, but he needed to be born by the Spirit. He needed to start his life over again. That interaction kind of ended Jesus’ time in Jerusalem for a little bit as he headed back to Galilee. Galilee again up here. And normally what would happen is that people who are traveling from Jerusalem to Galilee would go by this road that followed the Jordan River. But instead of following the Jordan River, the Bible says Jesus had to go through Samaria. And he interacted with a Samaritan woman, a woman despised by the culture but certainly loved by her Savior. And he brought her grace and freedom. And that would start a revolution in Samaria for the ministry of Jesus. Jesus would eventually land back in Capernaum, where he would set up his home base there. In this small little town on the northwestern coast of the Sea of Galilee, he would preach and he would teach and restore. He did great wonders. He gathered Himself a bunch of disciples where he stood on a mountain and called them to Himself. But more important than any of that for our discussions and our purposes today, Jesus, while in Capernaum, gathered a large number of spectators who would watch every single moment of his ministry.

 

We call that group of spectators the multitudes. We call them the multitudes because there are multitudes of them. They are the spectators watching the Savior from a distance, wanting to be healed of their diseases, but kind of keeping Him at arm’s length. We’ll come back to that in a moment. But for a year, Jesus goes from town to town in this little area of Galilee, village to village on the coast again of the Lake of Tiberius or the Sea of Galilee, helping anybody who had need teaching about the kingdom that was to come, ushering it in. Jesus would obliterate some cultural norms calling Matthew the tax collector to himself and also healing one of the servants of Rome. Jesus showed compassion to the poor and the suffering population of Capernum. He gives the great sermon on the Mount. All of this grace and all of this compassion and all the love that he showered on his community. And after being kind of the perfect missionary for these people and bringing them Savior. And bringing them the message of a Savior and weeping over them and bringing them truth and offering them salvation. At this point in the lesson or at this point in the ministry of Jesus, Jesus turns for the very first time to the multitudes. Not to an individual. But to the crowds who had been watching and who had been the recipients of much of his grace and in love, he explains to them the dangers of their indifference. If you want a title for today’s message, it’s this the Dangers of Indifference. Today, Jesus is going to show us how he feels about those who had seen his miracles, who had seen lives changed, who had heard his message, and yet were not willing to be changed by his words. Today, Jesus speaks to the crowds, the spectators, the people on the sidelines, the uncommitted. And he explains to them that the Gospel can either be glorious or be very, very dangerous. It could be eternally enriching or internally ruining that the Gospel has the power to compound joys everlasting, but it also has the power to compound your sorrows. And here in Matthew chapter eleven, starting in verse 16, that’s where we’re going to be. You could turn there. We find the most common response to Jesus and his message. We find indifference. After all that had been revealed, after all that he had put on display before the men and women of Israel, these men and these women, Jesus looks at who he had been ministering to for the better part of a year.

 

He looks at them and he notices that their hearts are not really for Him. And what he does is this again, the gentle, lowly Jesus, the kind, compassionate, grace-filled Jesus. What he does is he lights them up. I am not kidding. Some of what Jesus says here is the most intense stuff in the New or the Old Testament. This lesson from Christ is a crowd clearer. So as I begin, as is my custom, let me tell you who this lesson is for. This lesson in one way, is for all of us. It’s a general warning against our temptation to take God and his teachings lightly. And then specifically, it’s to those who have been coming for a long time but have yet to make a commitment to Jesus, or for those who have been Christians for a long time who now treat Jesus commands as suggestions. Let me just add a couple of caveats here. As I was preparing this lesson, I attempted multiple times to make it slightly less hard hitting. I legitimately would go through my notes and go, I can’t say that and try to figure out maybe I could put a joke there.

 

I don’t even know. I’m not kidding. I was tempted to minimize the intensity of Jesus words to keep you, my friends whom I love, comfortable. But you know how this works. The Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart that that would just not work. And so today I’m going to let it fly. So here goes. I’m just going to let it fly. I admire Jesus because he was just willing to say stuff that’s just whoa. And I hope that I could be a model of him this morning for all of you. So enough about me. As a matter of fact, John Brush, while I was in the room before the room so I was in that room before the room. It’s dark while we’re singing songs, right? And John Brush came up to me and was like, I know you have been struggling about what to say. You can just say it. So on the advice of my elder, I’m just going to say it. Matthew eleven, verse 16. Matthew, chapter eleven, verse 16 is where we’re going to start. Hang on to your hats, y’all. In traditional rabbinical fashion, Jesus begins with a story. It’s a story he makes up.

 

This is what he says.To What can I compare this generation? He’s looking for a simile or a metaphor. What are these people who have been around me like? They’re like children sitting in the market and calling out to others, we played the pipe for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not mourn. Jesus says this generation is a little bit like a group of kids in an open marketplace, just hanging around. And what are these kids doing in the marketplace? Well, what all kids do in any open area, they’re playing games. And the games that they’re playing are the games that mimic adulthood. These two ideas are basically ways of saying two games that children would play. The two games that these kids are playing, are they’re playing funeral and they’re playing wedding. It may seem a little weird to us to play funeral, but that’s what these kids are playing, funeral. It’s the song of the dirge or the game of the dirge. Somebody’s probably the dead body. Some other people are the mourners. Some of the group and the kids are also they’re not just playing funeral, they’re also playing wedding.

 

Someone’s a bride, someone’s a groom, someone’s the best man, someone’s the maid of honor. And in that game, the pipe is being played. It’s the traditional song of the wedding, of dancing and of celebration, and everybody has a role to play. Wedding is the exciting game. It’s the music of dancing, right? It’s awesome. And so there’s music being played. But what happens is the kids are not willing to dance. They’re playing the game, but no one is really willing to participate. Okay, so maybe we’ll play the game of the dirge or of the mourning. They’re singing the song of the dirge again, the funeral song, but no one is willing to mourn. In both cases, Jesus is describing a picture that his first century audience would have immediately understood. He’s saying, in my interaction with all of you, you aren’t willing to engage. You aren’t willing to play along. You’re indifferent. It isn’t that you’re hostile. It’s not like you’re telling us to stop playing. It’s that you don’t want to engage in what we’re talking about. You’d prefer to be a spectator. You want to be a part of the crowd. You don’t want to be in the game that he applies the message for John came.

 

This is John the Baptist we talked about last week, neither eating nor drinking, and they said, you said he had a demon. The Son of man came eating and drinking and they said, you said, here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Jesus explains that John comes in the fashion of a funeral. Think about it. He is pretty horrible. He’s not horrible, but eating wild locust and wearing and eating honey and wearing crazy clothes. He’s not social. He’s in the middle of nowhere. He’s isolated. And do you remember what his message was? His message essentially was repent or perish. John was the doomsdayer. He’s the old country preacher. He his ministry is a dirge. So he came with the message of mourning, but you didn’t want to play along. You didn’t change when he spoke. You didn’t want to be a part of what he was saying. Instead, what did you say about him? Oh, he has a demon, aka, that guy is deranged. He’s a little over the top for me. I don’t want to go to a place or a preacher where the guy’s that intense all the time, he doesn’t truly understand grace.

 

He’s saying the song of sorrow, but all of you wanted to be spectators. So Jesus comes and how does he come? He comes in the form of the song of joy of the pipe. Jesus is the opposite of John. John was isolated. Jesus went from village to village to village to village. He’s in the middle of everything. He’s in parades, essentially, and parties and weddings. He’s eating with people. He’s enjoying time that no other preacher would have enjoyed. He’s hanging out with tax collectors and sinners. And in fact, that difference between John and Jesus was obvious. In Matthew chapter nine, it says this John’s disciples came to ask him, how is it that we and the Pharisees fast often? John’s disciples are like, why are we always fasting, but your disciples do not fast? Jesus answered, how can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with him? You see the point? Jesus is like, hey, I’m the bridegroom. I’m the party guy. John’s disciples are like, hey, we’re all sad and your guys are all happy. That’s the difference, right? Jesus’s message is joy. John’s message is sorrow. With Jesus, it’s wedding time. It’s celebration time. But Jesus comes and what do the people say about Jesus? Oh, he’s a glutton, a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Oh, this guy, he’s not the real deal. He’s too open minded, you know? So what’s the point? What is Jesus saying? No matter how we present the message, you are choosing to ignore it. Don’t you come up to me and say, if only you had done this or done it that way, then I would have responded. Don’t you come to up to me and say, if only I’d said such and such then you would have responded. If I’d only been a bit nicer, if I was only less rough around the edges, if I was only a little bit, maybe more intense, if I had a more intense message, if I pound the podium when I spoke, then I would have changed. No, don’t you dare. We brought you a message of grace and we brought you a message of condemnation, and you chose not to care. Then Jesus responds with a true-ism. What does he say? Verse 19. But wisdom is proven right in her deeds. Aka we will be vindicated, our words will be vindicated by just the way in which we live. You saw us. And on the heels of that comment, Jesus begins to pronounce devastating judgment on these people. All the way up through the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, you have never seen anything like this. But starting in verse 20, there is a turning point. Something has changed. Listen to what Jesus says. Then Jesus began to denounce. The word denounce there is the word for like, holy anger. He is angry at them. This is where the compassion has run out. And what is replaced is fury. Or what replaces it is fury. Who are the targets of his fury? Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of the miracles had been performed. Why? Because they did not repent. Jesus’s fury is pointed at these people who had seen his miracles, who had seen lives changed, who had seen eyes opened, who had seen people’s hearts being cured. Who had seen salvation be brought in, who had heard the message. Jesus begins to say, hey, look, my anger is upon all of you. And I also believe Jesus’s holy anger is towards anyone who has ever heard the message but has refused to change.

 

They were unwilling to repent. They saw and they heard but they were unwilling to change. Why is he angry? Because if you constantly reject the Savior in the Gospel, day after day after day and week after week after week and month after month after month, at some point Jesus turns to you and basically says, I am not to be trifled with. This is not a joke. This isn’t some self help seminar. This isn’t a suggestion. Jesus is the author of life, and you can only belittle him with your indifference for so long before his patience runs out. The Bible says God is slow to anger. By the way, that means that God is slow to anger. If you’re sitting here and you’ve been sitting here for years without changing, Jesus is talking to you. And if you’ve been sitting here for 25 years and now you think you can act like you can act in a way that shames Jesus and his church because you’ve retired on to better things, Jesus is talking to you. Jesus says you’ve seen and you have heard. You have been with me, you have heard my message, and you are still refusing to respond.

 

And I’m going to tell you how horrific the judgment is going to be for you. Woe to you, Chorazin. Woe to you, Bethsaida. Woe is the word of damnation. And his first two targets are these two cities whose inhabitants have been exposed to the gospel. They’ve been exposed to the gospel again and again and again. And he says, Woe. Woe, by the way, is like saying you are damned. That’s like what it’s saying. In other words, he’s saying you are going to hell, Chorazin. That’s Jesus’s words. Why? For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre or Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack cloths and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you. This area was for much of the Lord’s ministry, ground zero. They had seen miracles, they had heard sermons. And what was the problem? They refused to change. And so what is Jesus saying? Chorazin and Besaida are going to be judged more severely because they have been exposed to Jesus.

 

And here’s something that all of us need to understand. The greater the gospel exposure, the greater the guilt. The greater the gospel exposure, the greater the guilt, the greater the knowledge of the reality of Christ and His Word and his works, if you don’t repent, the greater the guilt. And the greater the guilt, the greater the punishment. That’s just the way it works. It would be better for you to have never attended the Broward Church in your entire life than to come here and never change. It would be better for you to have stayed home and never walk through those doors than to come here and just go, who really cares? Privilege brings responsibility, and increased privilege brings increased responsibility. I want to say this again because I cannot overstate it. If you’re sitting here today, you are held to a higher standard than if you had never come through those doors. And every single time you sit in one of those seats or you participate in your small group or even you open your Bible and read or you listen to someone preach from the book that we call the Bible, you are held more accountable. So I’m not trying to be mean. I’m just trying to be honest.

 

If you are unwilling to repent. Seriously, I’m looking at you all. If you’re unwilling to repent, if you’re unwilling to change, if you’re unwilling to come to Jesus with your whole heart, if you’re unwilling to turn over a sin, if you’re unwilling to repent, and you want to sit here and play a religious game I’m just saying it’d be better for you not to come. That is just the truth. It would be better for you, if you’ve been here for 20 years, to resign your membership and go, Look, I can’t do it. Because what’s going to happen is all you’re doing if you stay here, all you’re doing is compounding judgment. If you’re unwilling to repent. It’s worse for these guys than Tyre and Sidon. Tyre and Sidon are adulterous, baal-worshiping, immoral, wicked people. The Bible talks about their destruction. Amos, Isaiah, chapter 23, Joel. It’s worse for Bethsaida than it is for them. And then Jesus continues. Oh, you didn’t get it? Oh, you want another illustration? You didn’t get it? And then he doubled down. Verse 23 is wild, and you Capernaum. We’ve been talking about Capernaum. This is home base. This is where everything’s happening.

 

Will you be lifted to the heavens? No. You will go down to hell, to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, you know, Sodom, Sodom, and Gomorrah, Sodom? It would have remained to this day. But I tell you, listen to Jesus words in verse 24. Do not just write me off. Listen to the words. I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you. Here’s a question. Which is worse? To be a person from Sodom or to be an indifferent church attender? Which is worse according to Jesus, trying to rape angels in Sodom and Gomorrah and trying to rape little children in Sodom and Gomorrah, or being an indifferent church attender? Hell is hotter for the indifferent church attender who rejects Jesus than for the Sodomite who the Bible says rapes little girls and tries to rape angels. And why? Because judgment is connected to how much revelation you have received. You have the death of Christ. You have the resurrection of Christ. You have the holy word of scripture in your hands. You have access to it twenty four/ seven. You can look at the Bible as often as you want. You can understand Jesus. You can sit in church without being persecuted. You can listen to music. You can go on YouTube and listen to the best preachers who have ever lived. You can listen to God’s Word over and over and over and over and over again. And Jesus is saying, hey, you have received so much that if you reject and you refuse to change, condemnation is worse for you than for the Sodomites. I don’t want to lie to you. I don’t want to tell you that you can treat Jesus however you want and get away with it and say, he’s just your pal, he’s your friend. Pat him on the head and call him whenever you need him. When you’re really mourning, then you can pray to Him, but other than that, you can just treat Him however you want. I don’t want to lie to you. Don’t be indifferent. If you’re unwilling to change, if you’re unwilling to submit to Jesus, if you’re unwilling to bring into the light the sin that is destroying you and those around you, then you have a real problem.

 

It’s better for you not even to come, honestly. What’s the goal of Jesus words? Take Him seriously. Take Him seriously. This is your soul we’re discussing. This is your life we’re discussing. Again, there’s no evidence that these people ever ridiculed Jesus. They didn’t try to kill Jesus. That happened in Jerusalem, not Capernaum. What was their major sin? They didn’t take Jesus seriously. Oh, they were amazed at his teachings. They were amazed by the miracles. They were very impressed with his works. They thought, this is just so amazing. They were respectable, but they were unmoved. They thought, I could just keep living my life. And Jesus turns to them and says, you better take me seriously. And some of us today, we have to take them seriously. Who cares if I have an outburst of anger? Who cares? It’s not that big of a deal. Who cares if I overeat? Who cares if I overspend? Who cares if I’m self righteous and I look down at other people? Who cares if I’m not generous? At least I come to church and I read my Bible. Who cares? I’m not hurting anybody. And Jesus looks at them and goes, hey, the respectable religious person who exposed to the truth of the Gospel will receive the severest punishment in hell if they don’t take his words seriously. It will be worse for them than for Sodom. This is Jesus’s warning. It’s intense, it’s sobering. I think you should sit in it for a second.

 

And then Jesus shifts. At that time, Jesus said, I praise you, Father, lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those whom the Son has chosen to reveal Him. What is happening here? I think Jesus is giving us a good model to follow for all of us who have preached to people who then reject Jesus, this type of sermon is like a crowd clearer, right? I don’t know how many people are here, but probably 30% less will be here next Sunday. That’s just kind of the way it works, right? And I think at that point, my heart goes, what should I do here? I think Jesus gives me some comfort.

 

I praise God. I give it to God, right? I praise God for those who accept the message. And we grieve for the world, certainly, who reject Jesus, but our sovereign God is all knowing, and we just praise God. Hey, thank God for the people who remained. And then just this is so strange, right? He has this intense lesson, and then the language of condemnation is turned into a compassionate plea. Read verse 28. And now this is the verse that’s like stitched on your grandma’s pillow. And your grandma doesn’t know the context in which it comes, but I’m going to read it to you after having heard the context. Come to me, come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble and hard, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. How could he say that with no hesitation at all? No caveat, no explanation, no self-conscious contradiction? He just has no problem moving away from condemnation to compassion. And it happens like this.

 

What does he say? Hey, now that I got your attention, please, would you come? Who is Jesus calling? The weary and the burdened, the burnt out, the tired, those who are aching to be saved, those who have been sitting on the sideline but have kind of a pull in their heart to be brought back in. Hey, come to me. You’ve been crushed under a load. You’ve been crushed under the weight of sin. You’ve been buried under your own guilt and your own fear with no relief. Hey, I want to give you rest. I want to give you rest. Have you had enough of your life or have you had enough living your life however you want? Don’t be indifferent anymore. Don’t write me off. Come to me and take my yoke. A yoke is an interesting thing, by the way. A yoke is like a rabbi’s form of teaching. It’s the way he understands how to live human life. And so what is Jesus saying? Hey, come and learn to live the way I teach people how to live. How is that important? Well, before we were talking about the idea that these guys were spectators on the sidelines.

 

He’s like, don’t do that anymore. Instead, come learn from me. Be on my team, come under my teaching. Let me teach you how to carry your life’s burden. Let me teach you. Don’t cross your arms, don’t cross your hearts. Instead, do the work that’s required to come and learn from me. There’s a really great quote by Dale Brunner about this. It gives me great insight. It says this sorry for how many words are here. A yoke is a work instrument. Thus, when Jesus offers a yoke, he offers what we might think tired workers need least. They need a mattress or a vacation, not a yoke. Jesus realizes that the most restful gift he can give the tired is a new way to carry that life, a fresh way to bear the responsibility. Realism sees that life is a life of succession of burdens. We cannot get away from them. Thus, instead of offering escape, Jesus offers equipment. What is he saying? Hey. You have lived your life and it has not gone the way you thought it was going to go. I want to offer you a new way to live. I don’t want to take away all your problems.

 

I want to teach you how to carry the load that you bear. I can show you. I can do it. Come acknowledge me. Come play the game. Come be a part of what I’m doing here. Be my [?], my students, my disciples. And you’re going to love the relationship, because why? I am humble and gentle in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. To end, I want to spend just 1 minute trying to persuade you of something, especially for those who have been coming for a long time. Let me give two caveats to this point of persuasion. Number one, what I’m about to say is not a line in the sand. It’s just a warning. And number two, I don’t want any of you who I’m not talking to to go on a witch hunt to find people that you think I’m talking about. Okay, I want to talk to the people who have been coming for a long time here. I know some of you. I could literally name names. I won’t. You are my friends. I love you very much. And I want to invite you and ask you, please allow Jesus to lead your life.

 

Please. You’ve tried to lead your own life, and much of the patterns of your thinking have made the burdens of your life heavier. And you’re here because you have watched Jesus from the sidelines for a long time, and maybe you have an interest in his teachings. Maybe you kind of are thinking, wow, this is really good for my wife, but not for me. Or this is good for my husband, but not for me. But I want to encourage you to make a commitment to him. Decide today. Seriously. You know who I’m talking to. Literally, you can decide right now. Take on his yoke. Learn from him. It’s easy. It’s light. How do you do this? Well, get with somebody. Pull in someone. Say, hey, I want to dive in and study the Bible. Get with an elder. Attend the discover class after class, whatever it is that sort of as a first step, decide to do it. But here’s my warning if you are unwilling to change, first off, I want you to seriously consider the condemnation that is coming your way. And secondly, I think you have to decide whether or not it’s good for you to come to church, because all you’re doing is heaping burdens on your own head.

 

Now, I don’t want that to be your story. You can change, of course you can. But you need to make a decision. Don’t treat Jesus like a pet. He does not like that and it’s not good for your soul. That’s number one. Now, can I just also address the disciples who have been in our church for a long time? I want to ask you, and this is with all respect, are you still committed to Jesus and his church? Is Christ still your life? Or have you retired to the position of a spectator? If you have, if you retired to the position of a spectator and you’re like, look, all that intense discipleship stuff is for past generations, I want to encourage you to come to the yoke of Christ again, to take it on, to wear it, to hold it. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. And a lot of your disgruntled frustrations are coming your way because you have replaced the yoke of Christ with the yoke of the world. And that joker is heavy. So take the yoke of Christ again. But if you’re unwilling, if you’re unwilling to repent, unwilling to change again, if you need some time to do this, I mean, headed towards the direction of repentance, with all respect and the compassion, I want you too to also seriously consider the condemnation that is coming your way.

 

Seriously consider it. And if you can’t commit your whole life to Jesus, it is better for you not to attend. Look, in some ways I’m not going to say any of this. You’ve heard me. You understand the picture. This is kind of the picture of an honest gospel message I think. It’s a compelling warning, but also a compassionate plea. Let us be the people that take on the yoke and not live spiritually indifferent lives. Amen? Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Father, we come before you humbled by your words. Jesus, we know that what is before us is serious. And there’s certainly like a tension between the compassion of your message at the end of verse 28 there and the condemnation in the earlier verses, Father, and I feel that tension in our heart, God. And I pray, as I prayed earlier, that those of us who are living a constantly accused lives will receive this lesson not as death, but as life and as an encouragement. Lord, but at the same time, if there are those of us today who actually need to repent, I pray that they’ll receive what I said today as a stern warning for their souls. God, please do what you do with your Holy Spirit in all of us, God, and convict us and challenge us. Let your Holy Spirit impress upon us what it is we have to do. Dad, don’t let this be just another Sunday morning that just we hear the lesson and then we go home and have a nice lunch. But let’s think about this. Let’s make a commitment or a decision, whatever decisions we need to make. Father, I want to say thank you for the cross as we transition here to communion, as we take the bread that represents your body and the juice that represents your blood, I pray that we’ll think about all the things that we talked about here today. Thank you Lord for your sacrifice. Thank you for the atonement that you’ve given us in the blood of your son, for the fact that we can be justified, we can live a pure life because we have responded to your gospel.

 

Dad, I love you. I thank you so much for this time. It’s in Jesus name, amen.