Order, Words, & Voices 01.15.23

Order, Words, & Voices

01.15.23 Matthew 4:1-17

Through Water

Order

Pre Worship Music

Opening Songs: Rick

Heaven Came Down

I Will Sing Of My Redeemer

Call to Worship Response and Lord’s Prayer Cricklin

Reading Matthew 4:1-17 Andrea

Songs   Jesus Paid It All Rick

Message Through Wilderness Rick

Music Wherever He Leads I’ll Go Rick

Community/Closing Peace Rick

Benediction Rick

Post Worship Music

Music (slides)

Heaven Came Down

Heaven came down 

and glory filled my soul

When at the cross 

the Savior made me whole

My sins were washed away

And my night was turned to day

Heaven came down 

and glory filled my soul

O what a wonderful wonderful day

Day I will never forget

After I’d wandered in darkness away

Jesus my Savior I met

O what a tender compassionate friend

He met the need of my heart

Shadows dispelling with joy I am telling

He made all the darkness depart

Heaven came down 

and glory filled my soul

When at the cross 

the Savior made me whole

My sins were washed away

And my night was turned to day

Heaven came down 

and glory filled my soul

Now I’ve a hope that will surely endure

After the passing of time

I have a future in heaven for sure

There in those mansions sublime

And it’s because of that wonderful day

When at the cross I believed

Riches eternal and blessings supernal

From His precious hand I received

Heaven came down 

and glory filled my soul

When at the cross 

the Savior made me whole

My sins were washed away

And my night was turned to day

Heaven came down 

and glory filled my soul

I Will Sing Of My Redeemer

I will sing of my Redeemer

And His wondrous love to me

On the cruel cross He suffered

From the curse to set me free

Sing O sing of my Redeemer

With His blood He purchased me

On the cross He sealed my pardon

Paid the debt and made me free

I will sing of my Redeemer

And His wondrous love to me

On the cruel cross He suffered

From the curse to set me free

I will sing of my Redeemer

And His wondrous love to me

He from death to life has brought me

Son of God with Him to be

I will sing of my Redeemer

And His wondrous love to me

On the cruel cross He suffered

From the curse to set me free

Call to Worship/Lord’s Prayer (Slides)

Leader: Jesus chose to step into the waters of Baptism, choosing to identify with mankind, choosing to follow God’s path.

Response:  As Jesus walked out of the waters God was pleased.

Leader: God expressed his pleasure as he affirmed that this was his son.

Response: As God affirmed the Son, the Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness.

Leader: Again, Jesus chose to follow, he chose to enter the wilderness, he chose what laid ahead.

Response: As Jesus walked into the wilderness Satan was giddy.

Leader: Jesus rested, he waited, he fasted, he remembered truth, he remembered his own vulnerabilities, he immersed himself into the truth of God’s strength and God’s power.

Response: Jesus paused for the wilderness required God’s strength.

Leader: And there, Jesus remembered.

Response: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God

Leader: There, Jesus recollected.

Response: You shall not put the Lord your God to the test

Leader: There, Jesus grabbed truth.

Response: You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only

Leader: The failed devil left Jesus alone in the wilderness.

Response: The angels came and served Jesus.

(Join me in voicing the words of the prayer of Jesus.)

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses, while we forgive those who trespass against us.

And, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Reading (Slides)

After his baptism, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He became hungry. The tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took Jesus along into the holy city and place him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written: ‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’ and ‘On their hands they will lift You up, so that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’”

 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written: ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and he said to Him, “I will give you all these things if You fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Jesus and the angels came to serve Jesus.

When Jesus heard that John had been imprisoned, He withdrew into Galilee leaving Nazareth,  and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 

This happened so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled saying: “In the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali, the Galilee of the Gentiles— the people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a Light dawned.”

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 4:1-17

Music (Slides)

Jesus Paid It All 

I hear the Saviour say

Thy strength indeed is small

Child of weakness watch and pray

Find in Me thine all in all

Jesus paid it all

All to Him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow

Lord now indeed I find

Thy power and Thine alone

Can change the leper’s spots

And melt the heart of stone

Jesus paid it all

All to Him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow

And when before the throne

I stand in Him complete

Jesus died my soul to save

My lips shall still repeat

Jesus paid it all

All to Him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow

Message – Matthew 4:1-17 Through Wilderness (No Slides)

(Opening Slide – Hauerwas Quote, leave up until after quote is voiced)

Living in a borrowed space with the overwhelming stench of livestock defecation, the rush of strange faces crushed in around you seeking to catch a glimpse of your face, the arrival of foreigners, dignitaries, those considered unclean and unacceptable by your own, the sense of fear as you are forced to hurriedly leave in a desperate grasp for survival, the feel of a strange land where those you depend on are frantically attempting to adjust to a home that is not a home, to being unwanted by your new neighbors, constantly confused and voiceless, this is the story of Jesus’ this is his opening narration.

This is life lived on the margins, this was Jesus’ first impressions of humanity, this was the existence which would define Jesus’ entire life to come. He surely could not comprehend these emotions and senses as a newborn and as a toddler, but they undoubtedly left an impression on this child. They undoubtedly shaped his understanding of the human experience. Almost three decades go by before we see him. We know little of the impressions and experiences of Jesus between those early years and his arrival to the baptismal water, but we do know that, even as an adolescent, there was a sense of intrigue and wonder, a desire to know God the Father, to understand the human experience, and a fire to know truth.

The gospel of “Matthew is the story of ‘God with us.’ In it, Matthew gives us all that we need to know to be drawn into the Kingdom of God. The gospel of Matthew trains us to look for what is foundationally important for our salvation walk.” (Matthew, Hauerwas, p 43)

(End Screen Share)

As Jesus leaves the baptismal waters he receives words of affirmation from God the Father, the Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness. The wilderness plays a pivotal role in the life of the Isrealites, it was in the wilderness that Jesus established his own line in the sand while fulfilling the prophecies – the words that would set the foundation for his own life and ministry.

The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for a time of testing, a time of extreme temptation. A deep temptation, one that went to the core of humanity’s failure in the wilderness. But, first, Jesus paused, for forty days he set himself apart, in a setting of isolation, a state where Jesus could find his strength, his source, his hope.

This is where we begin to see actions and words of God the Father take on a distinct difference in comparison with the actions and words of God in the flesh – Jesus. The Father had just led Jesus through the baptismal waters and affirmed him with the Holy Words, ‘This is my son in whom I am well pleased.’ Now, we witness the Father instructing God the Spirit to lead Jesus into the wilderness where the tempter will connect him even further to humanity. The Father was acting according to the plan, it was a plan made by the triune God, but it was also a journey that could now only be traveled by the Son, God in the flesh. 

(Second Slide – Petersen Quote, leave up through Slide 4)

Eugene Petersen says, ‘If there is any connection between baptism and ministry, there must be temptation.” (Eugene Petersen, A Month Of Sundays)

God had given Jesus the choice about this journey, a choice Jesus had faced his entire life, we see him at the age of twelve choose to engage with the priests in the temple. Jesus had said yes to God’s decision to go through water, now Jesus was given the choice to go into and through the wilderness. We often forget that Jesus face this choice all the way through to the cross, he faced the same struggle of choice we all have to follow or to not follow God. He was now human, that was part of what it meant to be created in flesh. He faced the same joy and he endured the same grief, he faced the same tests that all of humanity journeys through. The choice, and the how, was now in Jesus’ hands. 

While this plan for God to become flesh had been the divine plan devised probably before disobedience even entered the garden, however this was the first time humanity played a role in God’s plan of deliverance. This was a holy untested plan which now was to be carried out by a human – Jesus.

(Slide 3)

It was here in this pivotal wilderness proving ground, where humanity has already once failed to fully trust and follow God, that we relearn a truth about God – God’s love risks our disobedience.

So, the Spirit led Jesus, but it was now the Son’s decision to not only follow, but to choose HOW he would follow. 

(Slide 4)

‘Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, Jesus became hungry.  And then the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (Matthew 4:1-3, NASB)

(End Screen Share)

God sends Jesus into the wilderness, Jesus knew the significance of the wilderness, and here Jesus stood at the edge of the wilderness. The wilderness, for the Israelites, was a historical time and place of testing. It was where, for forty years, their ancestors journeyed while being prepared to enter the promised land. It was where they yearned for food and God gave them bread, it was where they tired of the bread and God gave them quail. It was where they were given the Law, it was where they were provided water, it was where they learned to live with each other and with God. It was in the desert that the Isrealites were confronted by God, it was there that they realized that they had limitations, it was there that their own humanness taught them that they were unable to fully obey and follow God, and in that failure they learned that their God was the God of mercy and compassion, a God of sustenance and provision, it was there that they began to recognize their need for God’s deliverance. 

It was in the wilderness that Jesus would defeat the tempter, it was there that the victory would be secured, it was there that God in the flesh would do what all flesh had been unable to do. And, it is there, in the wilderness, that Jesus teaches us a lesson in being prepared.

As the Spirit leads, Jesus, who now has the experience of humanity well ingrained in him, three decades in the flesh taught Jesus that there are times even the Son of God needed help. So, he does what he has learned to do when he has previously faced trails and temptation – he withdraws, he pauses. His primary method was to fast and contemplate the truth that he had learned. He would go without food to remind him that not only does man not live by bread alone, but that food itself has been the downfall of mankind since the garden. It is in this seclusion of choice that Jesus meditates and contemplates the extend of his abilities and will power, and reminds himself of the endless warehouse of strength and perseverance available through God. It is in this pause that Jesus arrives at a point of clarity that this journey is not to be traveled alone.

And, then, Jesus realized that he was hungry. Cue Satan, the only tool in his toolbox is temptation where he takes the good that God has given and twists it around making it harmful and destructive. Satan, who runs on rage, witnesses hunger and desire, and just like in the garden, he approaches Jesus for the most basic of temptation.

Back in the garden Satan had experienced his first victory, he began with Eve and then continued with Adam. Now, in this wilderness Satan expects to secure the ultimate victory, but, as we know, it is in this wilderness that Satan will suffer an unredeemable defeat.

(Slide 5 through slide 6)

Henri Nowen defines the three temptations as the 

  • The Temptation to be Relevant
  • The Temptation to be Spectacular
  • The Temptation to be Powerful. 

(Henri Nouwen, In The Name Of Jesus)

These temptations take the route to a much deeper response level that exposes the same weakness of all humanity and all religious institutions. All temptations held an element that would have allowed Jesus to reach his earthly goal, all would give him a credibility among the vast span of humanity, but none of them would accomplish his mission, his calling. All three would require him to cross a line in the sand that, for him, had been drawn years before.

(Slide 6)

With each defiant response of Jesus to the temptations of Satan, Jesus is declaring his faithfulness to God over his faithfulness to himself. He holds to the truth that it is not his own will that dictates his actions, but it is the will of God. 

(End Screen Share)

In his book The Grand Inquisitor, author Dostoevsky writes of a fictional account of a one sided conversation between a religious leader, a Cardinal, and the imprisoned Jesus. In the conversation, the Cardinal admonishes Jesus for how he navigated the temptation experience and how, if he had just said yes to Satan, the world would be in a better place. If he had said yes to being relevant, providing the food that he himself needed, hunger would no longer be an issue; if he had just said yes to being spectacular, the world would now know that God truly exists; and, if Jesus had just showed God’s power, humanity would now have someone they could bow down to and confidently trust. Jesus, as the Cardinal finishes his critique, remains silent and finally stands approaching the Cardinal to give him a kiss. The Cardinal was right, if Jesus had been obedient to Satan, things possibly would have been better here on earth, but Jesus was on a mission that was not just about this earth, but it was also about eternity. Jesus was showing the world how to live by trusting in the true God, and in doing so he had to walk through the cross before he could walk out of his own grave.

One other thing about the temptations, Satan begins with the word, ‘If’. If you are the son of God, a small word that is used against Jesus again at the cross. This IF is a an attempt to goat Jesus into responding in a manner that would meet the demands of man rather than the will of God. It was a taunt to ‘Prove Youself’ a challenge that Jesus left unanswered.  Jesus did not need to prove himself, nor was it his calling to prove God. Jesus put on the flesh and came to humanity to be the proof of God and to do the work of God. God’s existence was not the concern for God or Jesus.

One other notable aspect of the story of the temptation. As Jesus left the wilderness, he did not go to the centers of power, he did not proceed immediately to the institution of religion, he went to the people he came to save. It was a very particular geographic area – the land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. Two tribes who were given the land as their allotment of the promised land. However, when the Isrealites were exiled from their promised land for over seven decades, the gentiles moved into the land and made it their homes. After the return of the Israelites from slavery, many moved back to their ancestral homes but the gentiles also remained on the land. This land, centuries before, was part of the prophecies of the prophet Isaiah who said Jesus would go to, “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, on the other side of the Jordan, the Galilee of the Gentiles — The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a Light dawned.” Jesus, from the start, is going to the land of Gentiles and Isrealietes, Jesus came for all of humanity. Jesus came for us, Jesus came for you.

Jesus returned to the margins. 

Let us pray.

Music 

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

Wherever He leads I’ll go

Wherever He leads I’ll go

I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so

Wherever He leads I’ll go

Take up thy cross and follow Me

I heard my Master say

I gave My life to ransom thee

Surrender your all today

He drew me closer to His side

I sought His will to know

And in that will I now abide

Wherever He leads I’ll go

Wherever He leads I’ll go

Wherever He leads I’ll go

I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so

Wherever He leads I’ll go

My heart my life my all I bring

To Christ who loves me so

He is my Master Lord and King

Wherever He leads I’ll go

Wherever He leads I’ll go

Wherever He leads I’ll go

I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so

Wherever He leads I’ll go

Community

  • Next Sunday, Matthew 5:1-20, Radical Words
  • Wednesdays Noon Bible Study, February 22-April 5, Lenten Season

Closing Peace

Leader: May the Peace of the Lord go with you. 

Response: And also with you.

Benediction

Go in the peace of the Lord, and in doing so may you keep your face to God. Turn from your agendas, your guardedness, your selfishness, your arrogance, and from your control. Settle instead into the embrace of Jesus, our great shepherd. Receive the freedom, the hope, the joy, the love, and of course the peace that can only come from Christ. For our burden is heavy but his yoke is light. Go in the peace of the Lord.

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: