The Kingdom of God 8 - 14

Are you building the Kingdom of God or your own Empire?

An Offensive Faith

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We are currently looking at the topic of the Kingdom of God

Speaker: Pastor Harry Colegrove
Series: The Kingdom of God 8 - 14
Date: May 1, 2016
Download: An Offensive Faith
Scriptures: Matthew 8:5-13
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An Offensive Faith

We are currently looking at the topic of the Kingdom of God

As I have previously mentioned the Kingdom of God is one of the primary topics in Scripture

Yet even with that being said, there is still a lot of confusion over what exactly the Kingdom of God is

In my opinion the Kingdom of God is basically us surrendering ourselves totally and completely to God’s rule

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is … righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

In Matthew 6:33 we are told to “seek first” the Kingdom of God

In our look at the kingdom of God – or kingdom of heaven as it is sometimes called – we are going to be taking a look at some of the teachings of Jesus

Often times we see Jesus making statements such as “the Kingdom of God is like …”

We are currently looking at some of these passages

In these passages Jesus is taking something that was familiar to his audience and relating it to what the Kingdom of God is like

Our passage today is found in Matthew chapter 8

Matthew 8:5-13 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.  "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."  Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."  The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 10  When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 13  Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.

This is quite an interesting story, especially as it relates to the Kingdom of God

What Jesus said and did would have caused quite a stir among the people that were listening

In fact, I am certain that most of the people were shocked and many were even offended

Does it surprise you that Jesus would have said something that would have caused offense?

All too often we have this image of Jesus as this wimpy, peace at all costs, non-confrontational kind of guy

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Although I do not believe Jesus was an “in your face” kind of person that was always stirring things up, He was also not afraid to tell it like it was

Often times the truth causes offense!

So, what was so offensive about this story?

Let’s take a look at what is happening here

Matthew 8:5-13 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.  "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."  Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."

We have three main players in our story – Jesus, a centurion, and a servant

A centurion was a Roman soldier that was in charge of 100 men – kind of a middle manager

This centurion was almost unquestionably a Gentile, which kind of makes this story a little more interesting

Why do I say that?

Because if we skip ahead a few chapters to Matthew 15 we read about a Gentile woman who came to Jesus

She told Him that she had a daughter that was demon possessed and asked if Jesus would help her

We read that Jesus totally ignores this woman, yet she persists in calling out to Him

Jesus finally speaks to the woman, and it’s not all that kind

Matthew 15:24-28 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." 25  The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. 26  He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." 27  "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." 28  Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

So in light of this passage Jesus makes it abundantly clear that he was sent to minister to the Jews, and with only rare exception that is exactly what Jesus does

So here comes this centurion – not only a Gentile but a leader in the army of Rome, the enemy of Israel

 

What is it about this centurion that makes Jesus even want to give him the time of day, let alone agree to go heal the man’s servant?

This story is also mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, and that version sheds a little more light on the topic

In Luke’s version of the story some of the Jewish elders were also there and spoke on the centurion’s behalf

Luke 7:4-5 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this,  because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue."

So this centurion was apparently a Godly man, or was at least extremely sympathetic to the Jews.

He was also apparently a wealthy man because he built their synagogue.

Here’s another interesting tidbit – all of this took place in the town of Capernaum

Capernaum was Jesus’ home base during His ministry

He spent a LOT of time there and often taught in the synagogue

It is highly likely that Jesus knew exactly who the centurion was and also the fact the he built the synagogue

So the elders were not giving Jesus new information, they were just reminding Jesus “hey, you know what a great guy this centurion is and that he has done a lot for us”

I’m sure this played a huge factor in Jesus’ decision to agree to heal the servant

But what about this servant?

What do we know about him?

Absolutely nothing other than the fact that he belonged to the centurion

It is certainly possible, even probable, that the servant was Jewish

That fact causes this story to make even more sense – the centurion was most certainly a gentile, and therefore not part of Jesus’ earthly ministry

However, if the servant was Jewish he was definitely part of Jesus’ ministry and it would have made sense for Jesus to go heal the servant.

In fact, Capernaum was a small village so it was even possible that Jesus knew the servant

So Jesus, at the urging of the Jewish elders, agrees to go heal the servant

Here is where things get interesting!

 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

The centurion realized his position in that society

He knew that Jews did not typically associate with gentiles and would rarely, if ever, go to their house

The centurion also recognized Jesus’ power and position

“Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof” is great humility from a man who was certainly in a position to demand that Jesus do whatever he wanted Him to do

The centurion also recognized real authority and responded to Jesus as a soldier typically would

“I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me”

He is saying that he receives orders and must carry them out, but he also gives orders and expects them to be carried out

As a centurion there would be no question that whatever order he gave would be followed

He never wondered “gee, are those soldiers going to do what I asked?”

He was saying “Jesus, I know You are under the authority of God, and that whatever You say will be done – just say it and I am confident that my servant will be healed”

One of the problems in reading a story is that we can sometimes fail to realize the significance of what is being said

Up until this point everything that Jesus did had been done in person – He was physically there and had a direct, hands on part in the miracle

But now this centurion tells Jesus that he has so much confidence in Jesus’ authority that all he wants Jesus to do is give the order and it will be done

This is a huge statement!

So much so that it blows Jesus away

I don’t know about you, but I think it would be pretty hard to greatly impress Jesus, but this centurion certainly did it!

10  When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Here is where Jesus really rocks the boat

Jesus makes the statement that He has never seen someone with such faith in all of Israel

Imagine being one of the Jewish elders that were there

As a Jew you knew that your nation Israel was chosen by God – you are part of God’s chosen people and should be the very definition of faith

But here is Jesus saying that the faith of a gentile, and a Roman to boot, was greater than any He had seen in Israel

To get the full impact of how Jesus’ audience would have received this statement we must remember that the Jews of the day were extremely racist

It was common belief among the Jews that unless you were born Jewish, or unless you converted to Judaism, were circumcised, and followed the Law there was absolutely no hope for your soul

With this in mind imagine how those Jewish elders and the rest of the Jewish people listening to Jesus would have felt

“Hey Jesus, that was kind of harsh!”

But Jesus wasn’t done yet

Jesus says something else that would have made their blood boil

“ I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”

When we read this our reaction could easily be “Oh cool, more people get to enter the Kingdom!” – this is true, and this is great news for us

But to the Jews listening to Jesus who knew they were God’s chosen people, and set apart for Him it was an entirely different story

Jesus is saying to them that people other than Israel would get to enter the Kingdom

People that the Jews would have considered unredeemable would get to partake in God’s eternal kingdom – not as unworthy servants but sitting at the fest on equal footing with them!

This went against everything they had been taught – everything they believed and held dear

It would have been beyond comprehension for them

And if this statement riled them up Jesus’ next statement would have totally hacked them off

Not only did Jesus say that other nations – the despised Gentiles – would enter God’s Kingdom He goes on to say

“But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Jesus is saying that “the subjects of the Kingdom” – in other words the nation of Israel – would be cast out of the Kingdom into the darkness where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”

In other words, they would be cast into hell

Again, imagine being a Jew and hearing this

Jesus was a very popular and highly respected Rabbi

There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that what Jesus was done through the power of God

Yet here He says something that goes against the very core of everything you had been taught and believed

Is Jesus teaching heresy?

Is He preaching something contrary to what the Hebrew Scriptures taught?

Not at all – Jesus was not speaking against the Scriptures, He was speaking against the distorted interpretation that the Jewish people had

What do I mean?

The Jewish people lost sight of the meaning of the covenant God made with Abraham

Yes, they were to be a nation set apart from the rest

Yes they were God’s chosen people, but not so they could boast and brag to everyone else

God did not want them to establish some “us vs. them” elite club

God told Abraham that He was establishing the covenant and that through Abraham and this covenant all the nations of the world would be blessed

God wanted Israel to be the kind of people that would bless the other nations, not treat them like scum

They lost sight of who they were and what God had called them to be

I think that we, as the Church (capital C) have done the same

We are not under a covenant of Law and exclusion, but one of grace, mercy, love and inclusion

Let me ask you – who in your opinion is beyond hope? Beyond the love and grace of God?

{heroin addicts}

I am not a universalist, I do not believe that everyone will make it

But I do believe that anyone can be saved

[that is what some of you were!]

This passage ends with a great statement

13  Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.

The faith that the centurion had in Jesus and His authority was well placed

Jesus followed through on exactly what He said he would do

So, what do I want you to take away from the message today?

1) Don’t lose sight of the covenant we have with God

Just as Israel lost sight of the covenant God established with them so too can we lose sight of the covenant that God established with us

2) Welcome all who seek

Nobody is beyond the grace and redemption of God

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”

3) Trust that Jesus will do exactly as He says He will do

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Pastor Harry Colegrove
2018-07-08 12:00:00

Creed part 9 - The Church

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2018-07-01 12:00:00

Creed part 8 - The Holy Spirit

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2018-06-17 12:00:00

Creed part 7 - The Return of Jesus

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2018-06-03 12:00:00

Prayer Series 7 - 13 (Click to toggle)

Prayer pt 13 - Praying in the Spirit

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2019-08-18 12:00:00

Prayer pt 12 - Supplication

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2019-08-11 12:00:00

Prayer pt 11 - Intercession

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2019-08-04 12:00:00

Prayer Pt 10 - Divine Intervention

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2019-07-07 12:00:00

Prayer Pt 8 - Wisdom & Understanding

Associate Pastor Michael Getgen
2019-06-30 12:00:00

Prayer pt 7 - Resting in the Lord

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2019-06-23 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Series 1 - 8 (Click to toggle)

Life According to Jesus Part 8

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-03-15 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 7

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-03-08 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus pt 6

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-02-23 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus pt 5 - What do we do with the Old Testament?

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-02-16 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 4 Salt & Light

Associate Pastor Michael Getgen
2020-02-09 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 3

Associate Pastor Michael Getgen
2020-02-02 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 2

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-01-27 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 1

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-01-19 12:00:00

The Book of James (Click to toggle)

Patience 

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-03-23 12:00:00

The Problem with Wealth

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-03-16 12:00:00

The Will of God

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-03-09 12:00:00

Opposed by God

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-03-02 12:00:00

Taming the Tongue

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-02-16 12:00:00

Real Faith

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-02-09 12:00:00

The Dangers of Favoritism

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-02-02 12:00:00

Hearing and Doing

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-01-19 12:00:00

Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-01-12 12:00:00

Trials and Perseverance

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2014-01-05 12:00:00

Joshua Series (Click to toggle)

The Rewards of Faith

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2015-10-25 12:00:00

Unlikely Hero

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2015-10-18 12:00:00

Accomplishing the Impossible

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2015-10-11 12:00:00

On God’s Side

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2015-10-04 12:00:00

Making It Mine

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2015-09-27 12:00:00

A Step of Faith 

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2015-09-06 12:00:00

The Kingdom of God 1 - 7 (Click to toggle)

Something Better

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-02-28 12:00:00

Entering the Kingdom Part 4 

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-02-21 12:00:00

Entering the Kingdom Part 3

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-02-07 12:00:00

Entering the Kingdom Part 2

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-01-31 12:00:00

Entering the Kingdom Part 1

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-01-24 12:00:00

What is the Kingdom?

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-01-17 12:00:00

Kingdom vs Empire

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-01-10 12:00:00

The Kingdom of God 8 - 14 (Click to toggle)

An Offensive Faith

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-05-01 12:00:00

Small Beginning

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-04-24 12:00:00

Kingdom Change

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-04-17 12:00:00

The Faith of a Child

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-04-10 12:00:00

The Cross and the Kingdom

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-03-27 12:00:00

Open to the Kingdom

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-03-13 12:00:00

Heretics and Hypocrites 

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2016-03-06 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Series 9 - 16 (Click to toggle)

Life According to Jesus Pt 16

Associate Pastor Michael Getgen
2020-05-31 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 15 - Fasting

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-05-24 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 14

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-05-10 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 13

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-05-03 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 12

Associate Pastor Michael Getgen
2020-04-26 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 11

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-04-19 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 10

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-04-05 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 9

Pastor Michael Getgen
2020-03-29 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Series 17 - 19 (Click to toggle)

Life According to Jesus Part 19 - The difference between Real and False Followers

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-06-28 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 18

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-06-14 12:00:00

Life According to Jesus Part 17 - Worry

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-06-07 12:00:00

The Coming Battle (Click to toggle)

The Coming Battle - Helmet of Salvation

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-10-18 12:00:00

The Coming Battle - Shield of Faith


2020-10-11 12:00:00

The Coming Battle - Shoes of Peace

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-10-04 12:00:00

The Coming Battle - Breastplate of Righteousness

Associate Pastor Michael Gitgen
2020-09-27 12:00:00

The Coming Battle - Belt of Truth

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-09-20 12:00:00

The Coming Battle -Spiritual Armor

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-09-13 12:00:00

The Coming Battle - Strongholds

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-09-06 12:00:00

The Coming Battle - Lies of the Enemy

Associate Pastor Michael Getgen
2020-08-30 12:00:00

The Coming Battle Spiritual Forces

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-08-23 12:00:00

The Coming Battle

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-08-16 12:00:00

0:03 / 58:23 The Coming Tsunami

Pastor Harry Colegrove
2020-07-26 12:00:00