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September 20, 2021 7:05 am
Today on Insight for living from Chuck Swindoll.
Jesus in his earthly ministry attracted critics and as time passed it became increasingly more caustic and intense, and downright ugly.
And we realize as we read further into this story. Matthew records they were determined to get rid of has fallen a natural tendency to romanticize. We love the idea of stepping into the limelight fighting glory and notoriety with all of its perks and privileges.
That's not the way it works with fame comes criticism. In fact, Azure platform grows, so will your detractors today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll reminds us that Jesus during his earthly ministry was no exception. He seems to attract critics in droves and some of them quite hostile.
Chuck is teaching from Matthew chapter 21 is titled today's message slugging it out with caustic Matthew on Rutgers pace. We come to the last section in Matthew chapter 21 in this series, please turn to the 23rd verse of Matthew 21 I read for you from the new living translation excerpts of these verses. Since there are so many are just a quick word about context.
Jesus is face-to-face with those who hate him. Those who want him dead and he's ministering openly unafraid and has decided to take off the gloves if you will, and face these caustic critics fearlessly. He does so with wisdom. However, as we shall see. As he tells them to stories that disarm them and not until the end of the stories they realize he was actually talking about them in both of the stories 21.
I began reading at verse 23 and then will move to various sections of this last section of Matthew 21 2123 when Jesus returned to the temple and began teaching the leading priests and elders came up to him, they demanded by what authority are you doing all these things. Who gave you the right, I'll tell you about what authority I'll be these that I do these things if you answer one question, Jesus replied did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human. They talked it over among themselves. If we say it was from heaven he will ask us why we didn't believe John but if we say it was merely human will be mopped because the people believe John was a prophet so they finally replied. We don't know. And Jesus responded, then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things, but what you think about this. A man with two sons told the older boy son go out and work in the vineyard today. The sun answered no. I won't go but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son you go and he said yes sir I will but he didn't go.
Which of the two obeyed his father. They replied the first verse 33. Now listen to another story a certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice and built a lookout tower then release the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country at the time of the grape harvest. He sent his servants to collect his share of the crops, but the farmers grabbed his servants meet one killed one and stoned another. So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same. Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking surely they will respect my son. But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming.
They said to one another. Here comes the heir to his estate, all this killing and get the estate for ourselves so they grabbed him and dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him. When the owner of the vineyard returns. Jesus asked what you think he will do to those farmers the religious leaders replied. You put the wicked men do a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop.
After each harvest verse 45 when the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable they realized he was telling the story against them. They were the wicked farm they wanted to arrest him but they were afraid of the crowds who consider Jesus to be a product Insight for living the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scripture studies by going to inside world.org/studies another message from Chuck that he titled slugging it out with caustic critics. There are many colorful names that we could give Jesus during his earthly life and ministry, especially during the last week he was on this earth before they nailed into across the name I would choose is probably not one that would come to your mind immediately, but I think you will agree. It fits is the descriptive title lightning rod lightning rod just as a soft honeycomb attracts flies Jesus in his earthly ministry attracted critics and as time passed, they became increasingly more caustic and intense, and downright ugly. At first they failed their comments listed look like they were as bad as they really were. But as time passed, they took off the gloves and they got after it. And we realize as we read further into this story. Matthew records they were determined to get rid of it.
Criticism was there main tool and the end it will wear on most people are before I go any further as it relates to Jesus.
I want to say a few words about that, about criticism, but since it is the occupational hazard of those in ministry. It seems as though it ought to be addressed from time to time, for there are those who live under the gun criticism to the point of its being merciless.
As a result, it ultimately robs them of their joy and it erodes their will to serve some impact because the criticism becomes so intense besides simply to give up and leave the ranks of ministry. I have a friend who has a serve Christ faithfully over the years and in recent years for reasons other than that one has chosen to step aside.
He now has a mentoring ministry in a writing ministry and and is a dear friend that I've loved and known for for for decades name is David Roper and among the books. David is written that have meant much to me and many people is a little book titled a burden shared and in that little book, there is the best piece written on criticism just about the best that you could read rather than reading much of it out. I want to simply lift from those lines. He writes these four characteristics of criticism that are worth my repeating and worth remembering these four things are true of criticism, number one criticism always comes when we least needed number two criticism seems to come when we least deserve it freely. Criticism comes from people who are least qualified to give it, and for criticism frequently comes in a form that is least helpful to us. All four of those were true open. Jesus became the verbal whipping boy of the Pharisees and the scribes and the leading priests of his day.
Their hatred of him grew beyond the bounds so there criticism of him got hotter and hotter uglier and uglier. I feel the need to clarify something before I go any further because some of you might think that this is a personal testimony that I'm giving today so to put your mind at ease.
I don't know that a man could serve a more enviable position than I serve at Stonebraker Community Church. This is a magnificent place to serve Christ. Your criticism has been rare, and you have been far too kind and loving to me but not all of you, but I mean most of you most of you really the great majority of the series now was jerking you around little I nobody is perfect. Okay and you've allowed that to be true in my life and you've overlooked things I've said and done and you've not taken me to task and I'm very grateful. Like I said, I genuinely am grateful some criticism is absolutely deserved and should be stated.
How would state it is important where it is stated is equally important and the goal of doing so is again important, but you have graciously over all of these years that I've served since we began this church, you have very kindly allowed me to lead ministry as I believe God would have me do it and I am grateful I have some dear friends who are not in ministry today because they were not. I would use the word, though it is deeper than that.
They are not as fortunate as I am, and they have served churches that were pastor killers and they have endured awful awful words and actions from people who should've known better and I regretted that they in leaving the ministry left wounded scarred broken. It is a pleasure to ministry here at Stonebraker and I mean this with my whole heart.
I want to thank you for knowing how to love a guy and knowing how to give him room to be who he is and delete as I feel this church should be led thank you for that.
You're the reason I'm still around. Something about it. Well course got a little bit to do with it also.
But, humanly speaking, I wake up every day excited about what's in front of me. I look forward to every elder meeting that I have with our brothers when we meet once a month sometime for special meetings. I look forward to everyone. The meetings I don't. I do not dread. One of them. I've known churches were. I dreaded the elder meetings I've been in churches where will I remember being in one and we just were seeking the Lord's mind on how to how to be able to go to another place serving and we got a phone call and it came from a good church that was interested in the possibility of my considering serving their and since you knew who was on the phone. We knew that some of the people who were calling in. And so when I was offered the opportunity to go in candidate. There she overheard my words. This is classic Cynthia and and I I'm saying well I tell you what I will really I really pray about this. She said you pray while I pack so she packed and we left and I I am never look back. I would never say that here now and I mean that. What's there to leave some of the finest people on the planet and I'm privileged to have a party's. Unfortunately, as Jesus reached age 33.
The pressure mounted in the hatred of those around him grew to where virtually every word was questioned and every act was doubted it wasn't a miracle from God. It was a phony act. He doesn't speak for God speaks for itself and more and more and more reset in the crowds however didn't believe that sword was this voice of small group of critics who were interestingly leadership over the religious world and the great number of people who were following Jesus who loved him and believed in him, so they were in a delusional knowing that if they move too quickly to arrest him. They would be mocked by the people he believed in it or it was this give-and-take was really Jesus was really the punching bag in this verbal flight and I use words that are used in a boxing ring on purpose because that's the kind of sitting. It is by the time the final week arrived.
Enough was enough. No longer time to turn the other cheek he needed me as firm and as aggressive as they and he became that and we admire them for it. Never what happened the last time we were together in the seas of Matthew. He came in and he turned over the tables of the money changers and he drove out the animals that were beings sold for an extortion kind of amount of money and those who were exchanging money for an incredibly high rate.
He got rid of those people and set the doves free and and it became best to turn over.
I mean there were there were animals running there were people running there were tables turned over and and it was really, really seen held there and that court of the Gentiles. Well, the Pharisees, who were the target of his attack.
They were like the Mafia and the leading high priest was like the Godfather and elevated because of what he was doing that hated him all the more so they came to him regarding his authority in verse 23 of Matthew 21 you will now get the context over Jesus return to the temple this worry turn over the tables of chairs and driven amount. He began teaching again. I notice you showed up. The leading priests and elders came up to him and they demanded by what authority do you do these things you think you are. Who gave you the right to come in and take over like this that's the idea.
Who gave you the right to questionable foreign Jesus rather than bowing before them or letting them have their say decided it face off with. He took off his gloves is not judge about what authority I do these things if you will simply answer a question so they say was the question verse 25. Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven or was it merely human.
You answer that, referring to John the baptizer and they thought as the verses say if we say it was from heaven.
Then they'll ask what it will you believe in because they made life miserable for John but now John is been beheaded, we can say you spoke from God. But if we say it was from man will be modeled because the people believe John was a prophet so they were impaled on the horns of a dilemma. So the answer whatever schoolchild knows whenever he gets pushed in the corner didn't quite know we don't know the answer. At the end of verse 27 or the middle of it. We don't know. They knew with a ward man enough to say so. But Jesus took him at their word and turn the tables on them that is that I won't tell you about what authority I do these things. I love that turnabout is fair play. We would say today, however, I have more to tell you, Jesus would say I will tell you a couple stories and by the way stories that's a wonderful way to communicate because stories always have a plot and there's always a little touch of mystery are most often a little touch of mystery in the story and somewhere in the story to fit you fit in that story that's being told you, you see yourself funniest story turns into a mirror and and and he starts by telling them this first story.
Look closely. Verse 28 what you think about this. A man with two sons told the older boy son go out and work in the vineyard today. The sun answered novel go, but later he changed his mind and he went anyway, I called the sun the I won't, but did son.
His first response was no, but later he decided to go and work in the vineyard. So the father told the other son I'm in verse 30 when you go and he said yes sir, I will, but he didn't go. I called him the I will but didn't son so we got two sons. The first one was turned off. At first, but he later went the second son was turned on. At first, but he didn't know later as he changed his mind. He would never go this is about sons and vineyards. This is about those who are hearing the story look closely.
Jesus said 31. Which of the two obeyed the father. They replied well the first look at Jesus answer, explain the meaning I tell you the truth corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes would get into the kingdom of God before you do for John, the baptizer came and showed you the right way to live but you didn't believe in you for that second son you acted like he would listen in your ropes of hypocritical righteousness, but down deep inside you didn't listen. The stories told by Jesus often carry a bit of mystery in them, and what were running out of time for today.
I'm glad to say that we set aside several more programs to deal with this passage in Matthew 21 Chuck Swindoll titled his message slugging it out with caustic critics. To learn more about Chuck in this ministry. Please visit us email@example.com.
There's much more to explore. From this 21st chapter of Matthew.
Maybe today's teaching has inspired you to dig deeper into the book of Matthew on your own.
If that's the case, let me remind you about the searching the Scriptures. Studies are easily accessed online. Feel free to print out the PDF and use the notes in your personal quiet times and pastors and leaders can use these notes for teaching a class or repairing a sermon to access the searching the Scriptures guide for Chuck's daily teaching go to insight.org/studies as we conclude today's program I'm inviting you to become one of our monthly companions study financial support from our monthly companions is accelerated our pursuit of an audacious God sized dream that is to bring insight for living to all 195 countries of the world refer to this mission is vision 195 by becoming the monthly companion, you can have a ministry of your own by participating in vision 195 to sign a breakdown. Call us if you listing in the United States, call 800-772-8888 that phone number. Once again, is 800-772-8888 four. Go to insight.org/monthly companion. Thanks for your generous support of this nonprofit ministry insight. The preceding message slugging it out with caustic critics was copyrighted in 2017 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