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Testy Critics and Dull Disciples, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2021 7:05 am

Testy Critics and Dull Disciples, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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July 20, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Ministry: A Study of Matthew 14–20

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Few of us would ever discourage an earnest debate with someone who's honestly seeking the truth.

Sincere questions about Jesus deserve credible answers, but sometimes the questions come not in a spirit of genuine curiosity, but with a motive to dismantle and even destroy our faith. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll shows us how Jesus handled His biggest detractors. Through His example, we find a model for healthy conversations about God. Please join us in the 16th chapter of Matthew. Chuck titled today's message, Testy Critics and Dull Disciples, and we begin with prayer. Thank you, Father, for your daily delivery of our needs. You meet them day by day, and you are so faithful to do that.

Sometimes even before we call, you have answered, and while we are still speaking, you are hearing and responding day by day. We learn of faithfulness through you, Lord, because we are fickle by nature. Our emotions run hot and cold.

Our moods are high and low, but you are the same day by day. You are the truth. You deliver that regularly to us.

You've never once lied to us. Your word stands fast, even on the day when the critics attack it, and even scholars assault it. Even though the inspiration of your truth continues to be the watershed issue day by day, you were there to defend it, and you proved through the power of your Holy Spirit in ways more numerous than we could number that you've told us the truth, and your word stands fast. And so thank you, Father, on this weekend for those who gave themselves that we might have your word in our tongue, for their courage and their vision day by day to sacrifice, to work, to pour over your truth so that we might see it in our own language, how grateful we are for the Luther's and the Zwingli's and the Calvin's and the Savonarola's and the Noxons, for the Wesley's and the Who's, and those whose names live on, on whose shoulders we stand, even on this day. Your day has arrived and we give it to you. We come to learn. We come to change. We come to respond as we discover what you have preserved for us, tucked away in words on a page and in between the lines, truth to live by, to die for.

Give us this day, our Father, a fresh reminder that you are still the God of our lives and you still meet our needs day by day. These gifts that we give are really not ours to begin with. They belong to you. You own it all. So we give them with great delight through Christ, our Savior, our Master, our Lord, in whose name we pray.

Everyone said, Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living. To study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scripture studies by going to slash studies. And now the message from Chuck that he titled Testy Critics and Dull Disciples. So when we get to verse five, it will help you understand not the exhaustion, but the preoccupation that Jesus experiences when he's with the disciples. He's still thinking of what has gone on. He's still remembering the Pharisees and the Sadducees, which is why he moves quickly into that with the disciples. They don't get it.

They're thinking about something else and we're going to see it in just a moment. But now the move from the group of hostile opponents back with his disciples, verse five, they're crossing the sea of the lake and while doing so, remember Jesus thinking where he was, what's gone on, what's been said, and the disciples who forgot to bring any bread. Jesus hears bread and he says, remember, preoccupation, he says, watch out, beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And the disciples are like, what? Pharisees, yeast, beware? You see, back where they are, verse seven, they began to argue with each other because they hadn't brought any bread, they hadn't got any bread, and they don't have any way of getting bread and Jesus finally gets fed up with them.

And he says to them, since he knew what they were saying, you have so little faith. Don't you understand even yet, don't you remember the 5,000 I fed with the five loaves? Don't you remember the 4,000 I fed with the seven loaves and the large baskets of leftovers and you picked them up? Why can't you understand I'm not talking about literal bread? If you're hungry, say so and you'll be, well, up to your whatever, in bread on this boat. You'll have bread to let.

Get the spiritual message I'm trying to get across. Maybe it was when he raised his voice, if he did, and said, why can't you understand I'm not talking about, you know, loaves of bread. So again I say beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the sad you see.

Watch out for that. Every time yeast is mentioned in the scriptures, it has a reference to evil and it's clearly here they're deceptive teaching. And we read in verse 12, look at it, it's like at long last they understood. It was sort of like, oh, oh I got it. After all he had been saying and doing among them, it wasn't, it wasn't that they would not believe, it was that they they were so preoccupied with the everyday stuff of life.

Jesus finally had to spell it out. I've just described the life of too many of us, far too many. The question you see when you come to the end of this chapter or this story is, which one are you? You're one or the other. So let's put you in the garb of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

You may not like that but so be it. You're wearing those robes and you're looking all important with your questions, searching for more evidence, demanding more signs, determined that you you absolutely will not believe until enough evidence is provided. And you want further proof. You've been saying that for years and when you can't get the answers you go to someone else or you change churches and you try that. You keep the argument going because you're determined you're gonna you're gonna find God through the evidence. Faith is a foreign thought to you.

Giving yourself by faith to anyone? No, you weren't taught to do that. You certainly didn't learn that when you got your advanced degree in school. You're not about to respond like that and I might say to you at that point, I'm sorry.

I really am. I feel for you. Because even though you may not want to accept this, I will tell you, you are in for a rude awakening before you're gone. You're gonna get so sick there's no recovery possible or you're gonna lose that one that means more to you than you can put into words and they're gone suddenly. Or you're gonna go through a horrendous disaster that takes from you all of the creature comforts and right now you're not looking for evidence you're looking for survival and you won't know the one who can provide what you need when you're on that bed knowing you'll never get up again or when you're standing at that first grave site and you'll never see her again or him or you're looking at was once what was once your home now devastated by the flood or the fire or the tornado or hurricane. And I will tell you having cultivated this kind of resistant type mentality you're gonna die like that.

It's too late then. I don't mean to lack compassion when I talk this way but I I want to be realistic when you step from death into eternity you're on your own and without Christ you have nothing to face but a godless eternity. Like these Pharisees and Sadducees all of the religion of their lives would not prepare them for the last moment on this earth when they drew their final breath. All that religions out to lunch they didn't want signs they wanted to prove that they were right. Trust me if that's your mentality you'll realize one second after you've died that you have been wrong.

Wrong. It's too late. God's given you today and he's brought you face to face with a mirror of your own life and this is if the Lord is saying I have no more signs for you. Jesus Christ the way the truth and the life is there available to you you've had him presented in who knows how many ways frankly enough ways for you to believe but you won't believe. One day you will every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord but then it's too late. How smart of you to respond in humility and say my demand for more and more evidence has passed. I'm coming by faith to the one who died for me and has opened the door and sealed my future with a home in heaven and I accept him now I take him now. I'll let the evidence come and go and I'll let him deal with all of that in my life but right now I want to secure my future my eternity because apart from that it is hell plain and simple. Now that may not be you you may not be in the that group you may be like one of the disciples those who don't hear not won't hear you just don't hear it.

You've heard so much it no longer makes any difference. I ended my message on that last time you are overexposed and you know what you need I may you need a big bang you need somehow for God to get your attention and make you aware you need to wake up you're walking through life like a dead man on his feet like Elizabeth Barrett Browning once wrote Earth's crammed with heaven and every common bush of fire with God but only he who sees takes off his shoes the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries. I wonder if Browning at that moment didn't smile I wonder if that was that poets own testimony sitting around plucking blackberries preoccupied with your next meal your slice of bread your creature comfort and you're missing the spiritual lessons of life that God is hammering away to teach you to teach you to show you to deepen you. I love Richard Foster's comment about that today we don't need we don't need more intelligent people or busier people or richer people we need deeper people. Trust me the disciples were not deep. Oh there would be a day when it would all fall together their Savior would be gone and it would all rest with them. There may be a day in your life like that when you would really wish you had paid closer attention.

Cynthia and I looked at the face of a man on a magazine that we admire. His name is Sam Johnson. Sam is a prisoner of war held in a 4 by 9 foot cage for 70 plus days. Horrible existence. Sam has told me everything that moved into the cell was still alive I ate.

Everything. We had nothing we were starving. I remember Sam describing that there it was one or two among them who remembered their days when they had learned of Jesus and what it could mean. Sam reaches his end when the rains come and his cell begins to flood and he's certain that he's gonna drown. They had him in stocks. He cried out to God because he thought the best thing I could do right now is die. God had other plans the rain stopped his captors came and for some unrevealed reason took off the stocks.

The water receded with a matter of time they were liberated. Sam is a congressman. I don't know of anyone I respect more or would salute more quickly than I would Sam Johnson. You know why?

An awful awful experience that like shook him to the to the very bottom of his bare feet. Thank God for every reminder of a Sam Johnson. It could be you or me. We don't know what the future holds. These are the most threatening times I've ever lived in in my life and you know that's true in yours. We're at a crossroads nationally.

Our world is on fire at every turn and I will tell you to try to exist in this kind of environment without a knowledge of any working faith a working faith in Jesus Christ. I don't know how anybody makes it. I don't know how anybody sleeps through the night. I don't know how any marriage stays together. I don't.

I don't know how any family stays close. Earth's crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God but only he who sees takes off his shoes the rest sit round and pluck blackberries. Don't do that. Don't go there. You know better than that. I think these disciples heard for the first time a breakthrough in their thinking regarding regarding those deceptive teachers that had such an impact in their growing up years because they are the ones who taught their rabbis as they grew up in the synagogue schools. Now they're getting it. Jesus in this breakthrough moment says to them oh you of little faith when are you gonna ever learn I'm not talking about a piece of bread I'm talking about the leaven the evil that is in life and will deceive you all the way to the grave. I'm talking to you today and I'm here with you and where the future will take us not one person in this room knows though many will tell you they can take you there they don't know either only the living God who is the same yesterday today and forever can escort us in the way we should go let's go with him let's go with his son let's trust him for one day we may be in that cell one day it may be you and me and we'll need each other to remind each other of what God had said in a book we used to carry and we're free to read serious stuff folks serious please bow with me just sit right there you don't have any place more important to go than right here stay right here you've never believed in Christ really don't dare go out the door at this place until you've trusted in him don't risk a drive home don't risk thinking you'll live another week trust him now this isn't a scare tactic it's reality I bury them younger every year you don't know what a day will bring forth trust in Christ now believe in Jesus now set aside your demand for more evidence and come in simple faith like a child like the song nothing in my hands I bring simply to your cross I cling and if you're a disciple of Jesus I suggest you get off the fence you've been yawning your way through enough of life I suggest you begin to sit on the edge of your seat stand on tiptoe and realize this day may be among your last you really want to count for the Savior you don't want to miss what he's teaching you don't want to spend your time wasted in arguments over non essentials I warn you spiritual deception is at hand Pharisees and Sadducees are gone but the cults are here and false teaching proliferates turn to Christ open his word call on him in prayer lead your family in that way don't be afraid or ashamed they don't hear it from you who are they gonna hear it from get serious about your walk go deeper start now we learned from your son father that there are times it's necessary to talk straight and because we are not able to hear his voice and we were not there when he said what he did he spoke boldly to both groups to one group he called an evil and adulterous generation who demanded a sign and to another group he rebuked him for their little faith whatever reproof we need to hear may we hear it and heed it and may it make a difference and especially for those who've never come to your son Oh Lord bring them to their knees through Christ our Savior I pray this everyone together said amen amen Chuck swindoll titled today's study in Matthew 16 testy critics and dull disciples this is insight for living and to see what resources we have available for today's topic please visit us online at insight world org did you know that if you missed any portion of this two-day presentation you have a number of different options for listening to insight for living in addition to listening online you can hear this program on your radio station or catch up with any program you may have missed subscribing to the daily podcast from your favorite provider and then know that thousands of new friends have joined us this year by using the convenient insight for living mobile app so please feel free to take advantage of any of these listening opportunities and then to dig deeper into the book of Matthew on your own let me remind you that Chuck wrote a commentary on the book of Matthew so if you're looking to get better acquainted with the real Jesus the one writers like Matthew described then we highly recommend adding these two volumes to your personal collection they're called swindoll's living insights on Matthew to purchase this to volume set go to insight org slash offer or call us if you're listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 and finally we extend a word of profound thanks for all those who give generously to support insight for living your partnership means more than you know and we couldn't supply these daily Bible teaching programs without your consistent giving so thank you so much and as God prompts you to join the team and financially support this nonprofit ministry we invite you to give us a phone call if you're listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 that's 1-800-772-8888 your gift whether large or small will make a difference for those who rely on this Bible teaching every day so give a contribution today by going online to insight dot org you've heard him teach about the Holy Land using word pictures to make us feel like we're actually strolling through the old city learning about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure but seeing the land of Israel with your own eyes is life changing in fact it's absolutely magnificent and now you can see Israel with Chuck swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by insight for living ministries join us on an unforgettable 12-day tour march 6th through 17th 2022 at special sites along the way I will teach from God's Word we'll worship at the Mount of Beatitudes and share the Lord's table at the garden tomb in fact we'll sail the Sea of Galilee together and we'll visit places where Jesus walked and talked to learn more call 1-888-447-0444 just imagine walking along those sacred sites and seeing the Bible come to life before your very eyes mark your calendar from March 6th through 17th 2022 and make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to events insight for living ministries tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend what's the most critical question in all of life Chuck swindoll provides the answer tomorrow be sure to tune in for insight for living the preceding message testy critics and dull disciples was copyrighted in 2016 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R swindoll Inc all rights are reserved worldwide duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-21 11:24:44 / 2023-09-21 11:32:53 / 8

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