How to Follow Jesus

Rev. David Bast Uncategorized

READ : Matthew 16:21-24 What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? Another word for Christian is “disciple.” Another word for disciple is “follower of Jesus.” In a key verse from Matthew 16, Jesus explains exactly how to follow. Chapter 16 marks a turning point in the gospel of Matthew. This is the moment, shortly after feeding the multitudes, when Jesus undergoes a reversal of public opinion, as many in the curious crowds begin to turn away from …

Jesus' Continuing Work

Rev. David Bast Uncategorized

READ : Matthew 16:16-19 What exactly is God doing in the world today? Jesus Christ came into the world with a special work to do—the work of salvation, which he accomplished once and for all on the cross. But that doesn’t mean he’s now retired. Would you like to know what Jesus’ continuing work is? Caesarea Philippi was a gentile city situated in what today is southern Lebanon, due north of the Sea of Galilee. It’s mentioned just once in …

The Great Confession

Rev. David Bast Uncategorized

READ : Matthew 16:13-16 Who do you say I am? It’s the most important question you will ever answer: who is Jesus Christ? If you need a hint about the answer, stay tuned. In Matthew chapter 16 we find Jesus traveling with his disciples to a place called Caesarea Philippi. Jesus has taken his followers outside Jewish territory to an area north of the Sea of Galilee where they can have an uninterrupted conversation on a very important topic. He …

The Pharisees' Leaven

Rev. David Bast Uncategorized

READ : Matthew 16:1-12 What sort of warning do you think Jesus would give to the contemporary church? In a cryptic comment about the conduct of his enemies, Jesus told his followers to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Within that ancient figure of speech lies an important warning for us today. “We want to see a sign from you; show us a sign from heaven.” For the second time in the Gospel of Matthew Jesus’ critics, the …

The Persistence of Faith

Rev. David Bast Uncategorized

READ : Matthew 15:21-28 Why would Jesus ever deny someone who begged him for help? One of the most troubling stories in the gospels describes an encounter between Jesus and a Canaanite mother that seems to show him rejecting her in her time of need. Of all the many virtues Jesus displayed in his life, none is more attractive, I think, than his compassion. Jesus spent so much of his time and energy reaching out to the poor, to needy …

A Question of Authority

Rev. David Bast Uncategorized

READ : Matthew 15:1-20 Where do you go for your ideas about God and religion? Few things are more traditional than religion, and that’s good. But Jesus warns us that tradition can also be bad. We need a higher authority for our beliefs and practices – the Word of God. In the opening scene of Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, a humble Jewish milkman from the Russian village of Anatevka, explains the meaning of the film’s title. The year is …