“I desire mercy” is the theme for our December sermon series. It answers a major part of the question of Why Jesus? Mercy is of paramount importantance because the real competition against the real Jesus in Doylestown is not atheism or other religions. The real competition is a version of Christianity that is really not New Testament Christianity. It is a non-merciful, unbeautiful, triggered by self-conceited worthiness-view of God that is a false god. This view impersonates Christianity.
“I desire mercy” is what Jesus said when the in-excusables and un-defendables were under assault in Mathew 9. “I desire mercy” was what Jesus said when his appointed spiritual leaders were under attack in Matthew 12. It’s Jesus word for all seasons and all people. When the good people are criticized Jesus says, “I desire mercy”. When the bad people are creating scandal, Jesus says, “I desire mercy”. Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6, “I desire mercy” as a verse for all situations.
But Jesus actually goes a step further!
You might expect the founder of a religion to say, “I desire mercy and sacrifice”. But Jesus does not say that. He says, “not sacrifice”. He excludes sacrifice by saying, “I desire mercy, NOT sacrifice” “Not sacrifice” is anti-religious speech on the lips of Jesus and it is music to our ears.
This series will focus on Matthew 9 and expand on how Jesus rocked the religious culture of his day by both actions and words that could not be harmonized within a traditional moralistic framework.
This series is in part inspired by a ground breaking book by Richard Beck titled “Unclean”. In this book, Beck asks the question: Why do churches, ostensibly following a Messiah who broke bread with “tax collectors and sinners”, so often retreat into practices of exclusion and the quarantine of gated communities? Why is it so difficult to create missional communities?”
Beck tells the parable of a demonic person seeking refuge, threatening the purity and safety of a community. The punch line to the request is that the real threat to the “purity” and “safety” of the community was the threat of closing their doors and exchanging mission for quarantine.
“Evil seeks to rob us not of our safety, but of our hospitality, for if we are robbed of our hospitality then evil wins for it has actually triumphed over us.”
“The call to hospitality is not simply a call to charity but is, rather, a call to remake the heart, my emotional stance toward otherness.”
God is concerned about my emotional stance towards others. Only God can really change it. And the change comes to us in Jesus who blows to smithereens any conceit that provides a platform or posture other than eager love and unconditionally open hearts. All because Jesus did it first. Jesus did it perfectly. And it’s what Jesus is all about.
Through prayer the Holy Spirit led me to this series which I pray now will unlock some doors for us and show us the way to give Jesus back what He desires. He desires MERCY.
This is another series that is aimed to rock the world of your most beloved person who is far from Christ, as well as your heart and mine. The series will include the Christmas Eve message on Jesus’ first miracle of new wine that cannot be contained in the old wine skins.
|12/10||Matthew 9 “I Desire Mercy Not Sacrifice”
Mercy and Purity and Fellowship Part 1
|12/17||Matthew 9 “I Desire Mercy Not Sacrifice”
Mercy and Purity and Fellowship Part 2
|12/24 (23)||WHY JESUS New Wine/ Why Jesus Came||Matthew 9/ John 2:1-12|
|12/31||Matthew 9:18-26||Matthew 9:18-26|