Sunday, April 26, 2015

Jesus, Lord and shaper

• 4th Sunday of Easter
With Matthew 16:13-20

• People have always been drawn to caves. They are full of mystery, intrigue, darkness. Some even have underground rivers.
One of the headwaters of the Jordan River is a cave spring, celebrated as home of the Greek god Pan. When Jesus was a teenager, governor Philip II claimed this cave spring for Caesar, named it Caesarea Philippi.
Jesus chooses this place to “come out” as the Christ, the Son of God.
It is a source of life flow.
• David and Debbie got married last month (there’s a video on the church facebook page). When a couple says “I take you as my wife / husband” they are agreeing to order their lives by that relationship.
It means they’ll make decisions together, or with their partner in mind, decisions about finances and activities. It means they’ll control their urges and desires and take care to be in frequent communication with each other. They will live as representatives of each other.
They commit to each other.
Peter makes a similar life-changing commitment calling Jesus Christ and Son of God. LORD!  Re-read the above paragraph, substituting disciple and Lord…
I give myself to you, I give control to you.
• And Jesus responds with I will build my church on you…
Not because you’re so solid, Peter, (three times betrayal, anyone?) but because you have allowed me to mold and shape you. That’s a disciple. A disciple yields self to God, lets God shape.
• And then Jesus hands Peter the keys… not even the realm of the dead will be able to stand against it (and remember where we are? Source of life Caesarea Philippi).
Jesus hands Peter the keys, with a warning… I’m building the church through you because of that part of you that says “I commit myself to You, Lord,”
and the warning is this: the church you build will be like you.
If you look like you, the church will look like you.
If you look like ME, the church will look like me.
Take care to be like Jesus.
• Will your church be known for who it hates, or who it loves?
for who it serves or who it declines service to?
Will you use the keys to keep people out or to let people in?
• Finally, Jesus did not look to the Pharisees and Sadducees to build the church on, he passed ’em by (and not without condemnation!)…they lacked the living yielding faith that Peter and the disciples were beginning to demonstrate.
• Will you be shaped by Jesus?
faith to be shaped/used by God
• Hymn 385 Let Us Plead for Faith Alone

Matthew 16:13-20        (CEB)        Fourth Sunday in Easter        04/26/15
13 Now when Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi,
he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
and still others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 He said, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Then Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because no human has shown this to you, rather my Father who is in heaven has shown you. 18 I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I’ll build my church. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it. 19 I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. Anything you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered the disciples not to tell anybody that he was the Christ.

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