"Jesus' Authority is His Sovereignty" - Matt. 11:20-30

This Week’s Core Belief: Salvation By Grace. I believe a person comes into a right relationship with God by His grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Scripture: Matthew 11:20-30

20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” 25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” General Idea: God is a loving God, who gives us grace, comfort, and rest. He is also a Holy and righteous God, and a God of judgment. All too often we forget His holiness, righteousness, and right to judge. We forget we are responsible for our actions. There is a tendency to live our lives from day to day with little thought about the opportunities that we have or the consequences of certain decisions. We know that our God is a God of grace and what an amazingly comforting truth. At the same time there is a danger to allow ourselves to neglect the fullness of God’s character.

When we do that we begin to live our life based on our agenda not God’s plan, and that is never a good idea.

The other danger is that we may put ourselves in the judgment seat, passing judgement and imposing our will and agenda onto others. We may even be correct in our opinions or assumptions, but, we cannot see the hearts of others, or the facts, we only see things through our own personal perception of reality. We don’t see people the way Christ sees them. Only Christ knows the hearts of individuals. Because of that we must leave the judgment to Christ; He is perfect and all knowing, and we are not. We need to be willing and able to wait and rest in Him, His plan, and in His ways, not ours. Even in times when we are stressed or confused, when life doesn’t happen the way we expected, or when we fail, He is there, holding us, loving us, and giving us grace, comfort and guidance. When we surrender our agenda (yoke)--that is, our Will and plans--over to His perfect will and plan, how much better life seems to go and what an impact we will have on those around us.

Personal Reflection:  

Use the following questions to help review the application of God’s Word to our Head (What does God want me to know?), to our Heart (What does God want me to desire/value?), and to our Hands (What does God want me to do?).

  • Where and when do you like to take a rest…a room, place, chair, etc.?  

  • Have you ever been a victim of someone's judgment? If so, was it correct, or not? How did you feel? 

  • All too often, Christians only see God's Grace. How does knowing that God is a God of judgment, as well as a God of holiness and righteousness affect your faith and obedience?  

  • What happens to a Christian's growth and faith when all they acknowledge is God's grace, and not the rest of His attributes?  

  • When, and how have you judged others? If you do not think you have, what about when you passed your Will and agenda onto others? What was the effect? What would have been a better decision and or action?  

  • God is the only One who is capable and sufficient in knowledge, wisdom, justice, and mercy to dispense wisdom and life. Why then do most people feel they are qualified to do this for themselves and others?