Matthew 12-13

Matthew 13:53-58 Family and Friends

Sun, 09/04/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Why would anyone reject Jesus?

He seems so wonderful. He healed the sick, raised the dead and fed the hungry. He came as God on earth, to rescue us from our selfishness, and bring us back to God. To know him is to have God as your Father, and to have millions of fellow Christians as your brothers and sisters. He came to bring true and lasting rest to all of us who are weary and burdened.

Who would not want to know a Jesus like this?

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Matthew 13:47-52 Fish and Heirlooms

Sun, 26/03/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Why do more people not follow Jesus?

That’s been the question we’ve been tracing through this chapter of Matthew’s gospel, chapter 13.

Today, Jesus has two final parables for us – one to put the final piece in the puzzle. One to give us the chance to step back and look at the chapter as a whole. We’re going to ask what all this means for our response to Jesus.

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Matthew 13:44-46 Treasure and Pearls

Sun, 19/03/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

The cost of following Jesus

Verse 44: “He sold all he had”. Verse 46: “He went away and sold everything he had”.

To many people today, that is unthinkable.

The idea that we might give something up in order to follow Jesus – it’s madness.

The idea that we might give up everything we have in order to follow Jesus – well that’s just insanity.

Many people today are glad to be involved in church. Come along on a Sunday. Maybe even take some responsibilities and make themselves helpful. Maybe even give some money to support the work of the church.

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Matthew 13:31-43 Mustard and Yeast

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Why are there so few Christians if Jesus is as wonderful as he is?

That’s the question running through the chapter of the Bible we’re looking at this spring, Matthew chapter 13.

So far in the chapter, we’ve had two answers.

Answer number 1 came from the parable of the sower. Why are there so few Christians? Because not everyone responds to Jesus in the right way. For some, the message doesn’t go in at all. Others are distracted or give up when life gets tough.

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Matthew 13:24-30 Weeds and Wheat

Sun, 26/02/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Do you ever wonder why God doesn’t fix the world faster?

You watch the news, you see acts of violence and terrorism. You see civilians trapped, starved and killed in Syria. You know people who have suffered as the victims of crime or abuse. Do you ever wonder: Why doesn’t God fix the world faster?

He has a really good reason for the delay. We’re looking this morning at part of Matthew chapter 13, a chapter we’re working our way through this spring. The chapter as a whole is asking why more people don’t follow Jesus.

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Matthew 13:18-23 The Sower

Sun, 19/02/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

If Jesus is so great, why do more people not follow him?

It’s a good question. The Jesus we read about in the Bible certainly is great. He could heal the sick. He could raise the dead. His teaching kept the crowds spellbound.

And yet, even in his own day, only a very small group were his genuine followers. And today, the number of Christians is growing all the time, but you’d expect more wouldn’t you, if Jesus was for real.

It could put you off sharing your faith with others. It could even make you question your own faith.

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Matthew 13:1-17 Ears

Sun, 22/01/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Why doesn’t everyone follow Jesus?

If Jesus is the person we believe him to be. If Jesus is the person he claimed to be. If Jesus is the person the gospel-writers portray him to be. Then surely everyone would follow him!

He could heal the sick, control the weather, and raise the dead. He could hold vast crowds for hours, spell-bound with his teaching, while the boffins wondered how he hadn’t been to school.

Sure, Jesus could pull a crowd. They loved a miracle But he had precious few followers.

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Matthew 12:46-50 Why follow Jesus

Sun, 15/01/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I don’t know what your experience of family is.

Some people have the most wonderful family life. Others have proved all too painfully that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. In fact, maybe some of you feel that family is overrated.

When you get married, you find you’re part of two families, and that can make for even more fun. Join a church, and you’re in another family.

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Matthew 12:38-45 Why not follow Jesus

Sun, 08/01/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

We’re one week into the new year. How are your resolutions coming along?

People plan all kinds of things. Giving up alcohol or chocolate. Getting up earlier. Exercising more. And 101 things that are very specific to you.

There’s one more. Many people plan to give church a bit more of a go in 2017. And maybe you’re one of them.

That’s a good thing. But you want to keep your resolution, so it’s worth thinking about why so many people choose not to follow Jesus.

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