Matthew 28


“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Our mission is the same mission as that of the Father and of the multiply Christ-followers everywhere.

The central theme of the Bible is the theme of salvation.  God desires to redeem sinners from hell and restore them to right relationship with Him.  

It has never been God's will for any person "to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9). He "desires all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). God's heart has always yearned to bring sinful, rebellious men back to Himself, to give them new righteous, and eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. He so greatly "loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

It is with this understanding we read Matthew 28:19-20  We the church have been given the mission to go and make Christ-followers of all nations.  Sadly many Christians do not understand or are unwilling to fulfill this calling. Many Christians seem to think that the church is here to meet their personal needs and they miss the mission and calling of Jesus.    They attend services and meetings when it is convenient, take what they feel like taking, and have little concern for anything else. They are involved in the church only to the extent that it serves their own desires. They either dont understand or they are just not concerned with the fact that Jesus has given His church a supreme mission and that He calls every believer to be an instrument in fulfilling that mission.

If we want to glorify God and fulfill His will and purpose, we must share God's love for the lost world and share in His mission to redeem the lost to Himself.  As representatives of Jesus, we have been sent into the world, that He loves, to bring the lost to Him and bring glory and honor to God.

Matthew 27


How is it possible to spend years upon years studying God’s Word and miss God Himself?  

How could you see the demonstration of Jesus’ power over sickness, disease, demons, nature and yet still doubt or need another “sign.”

Even after He rose from the dead the chief priests, scribes and pharisees did not believe in Jesus - amazing.

Yet we face the same thing today.  People attend church and hear the Word of God.  We witness his power and might in our lives and yet still we are unbelieving, Some pretend to follow but their hearts are far from trolling following Christ.  

Just like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day it seems that the only kind of power most are concerned with is that which will server our own expectations and interests.  If Jesus had used His power to conquer Rome and establish Israel as the ruling nation then those leaders would follow Him.  Their idea of a Messiah was for political supremacy not spiritual freedom so Jesus was not going to be their Messiah.  They had no desire to follow Him the way He demanded because they did not want to be made righteous but successful.  They did not desire to be cleansed of their sins they wanted success in the world’s eyes.  They wanted revenge against their oppressors.  They wanted supremacy.  They did not want to give up anything what they wanted was for the Messiah to give them worldly and material advantages.

I wonder if that is still our expectation of Jesus?  Do we have the expectation of what “success” He is going to give us and when we must come to Him on His terms rather than ours we are disillusioned and either reject Him completely or pretend to serve Him but really we are giving Him lip-service only.

Is Jesus the ruler of your life or is He your servant? And what is your response to His claims and demands?

Matthew 26


  • Matthew 26:40-41 (NIV) 40  Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41  "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

Even in the hour of His greatest anguish Jesus was still discipling His followers.  He knew that the hour of His death was imminent and He has downloaded so much to them at the last supper but now here He was encouraging and teaching them still.  

I am sure that the disciples had good reason to be asleep; they were tired after a few very long days.  They had just eaten a meal and we all know how drowsy we get after a good meal.  They were probably confused and deeply saddened by Jesus’ words and sleep is a way to escape the stress.  However in this moment all the excuses, rational and good as they seemed, were not adequate, they needed to be praying and they were not so the discipler (teacher) admonished them.  You need to be watchful and praying so that you will not fall into temptation.  Always be on your guard, always be praying because it is so easy to succumb to temptation and have good reasons why it was okay.

As we continue to encourage people to be in discipling relationships at DSC it is important to understand the nature of discipleship. 
Discipleship is more than an accountability relationship.  In the discipleship relationship a more mature person is helping a young in the faith person to grow and mature. 
It requires that the person being taught submit to the “teacher.” 
It requires that the teacher admonish, reprove, correct, encourage and instruct not from a high-handed, know-it-all point of view but out of a deep love and concern for the person they are discipling.
It requires that both people must commit to spending time together.  Discipleship does not work well as a long distance, once in a while thing.

And as Jesus demonstrated in this passage - discipleship takes place in the good and difficult moments of life.  Even in the middle of personal turmoil and heartache Jesus was committed to teaching His followers so that they would grow into their destiny.

I know that many people would say that they just don’t have time to be discipled but the truth is that if we are Christ-followers then we must make time for this - it is the command of Jesus.

Who are you discipling?
Who is discipling you?

Matthew 25


In these parables Jesus is speaking to the church - those who profess to be His followers.  With the parable of the virgins he focuses on being prepared for His return.  The parable of the talents focuses on our faithfulness to fulfill His mission that we were entrusted with - to go and make disciples of all nations.

John MacArthur says…

Together the two parables depict the balance of believers' looking forward to His coming with anticipation while living in preparedness for His coming through faithful service.

Frequently one or the other of those precepts either is lost or overemphasized. Although believers are to rejoice continually in the prospect of their Lord's coming again, they are not to sit back in idleness and do nothing. Saving faith is serving faith. On the other hand, they are not to become so caught up in serving the Lord that they forget to contemplate and rejoice in His return. 

I wonder how many professing Christians are just going through the motions and are not really ready for Jesus’ return.  In the end they will be left behind because they did not properly prepare themselves for His return.  And yet still we are called not just to prepare our hearts and lives personally but to engage in helping others do the same.  Jesus entrusts us with the responsibility of sharing the good news with others and we must be willing to embrace it wholeheartedly.  Have you responded to the calling of God to go make disciples?  At the end of the day we will have to give an accounting for how we responded to that calling.  Will we find ourselves rewarded by the Lord?  Are you wasting the opportunities to share the good news with others or are you taking advantage of the opportunities that are presented?

Matthew 24


Matthew 24:37-39 (NIV) 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 


What kept the people from listening to Noah's message and obeying?  The common interests of life”eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage. They lost the best by living for the good. It is a dangerous thing to get so absorbed in the pursuits of life that we forget Jesus is coming.

Matthew 23



Matthew 23

Jesus just does not like hypocrites.

Jesus goes off on the Scribes and Pharisees who represent the religious people of the day.  The ones who "knew everything about God."  
Is it that He doesn't like it when people know a lot about God and His Word?  
Is it that He does not care for those who follow His law? 

I don't think so...I think the greater issue is whether they are simply outward actions or actions that come from a desire to live for God and please Him.  Are we looking to please God or impress people? 

It is no different today.  Many people know a lot about God and claim maturity in Him and do some of the outward actions that make them look like they are really dialed in to God, but when the real tests come the heart is made clear.  How many people come to church faithfully, and do good things in the name of God (all of which makes others impressed with how spiritual they are) but when they are faced with forgiving others, or telling the truth or a lie, or going the extra mile for someone else, we catch a glimpse of the true heart  attitude.  Jesus will have nothing to do with that kind of behavior.  He hates how these religious people get so self-righteous they exclude people from God's kingdom because they didn't jump through the hoops.  Or how they talk bad about others and cut people down.  He hated their perversion of truth, twisting God's Word to fit their rationalizations.  He certainly did not like their pretention.  The sad part is that many of them were too blind to see that they were being hypocrites, they thought that they were doing good and everyone else was wrong, and what is even worse is that when they were confronted with it, by God Himself, they denied it.

Lord, may we not be as religiously blind as the Pharisees and Scribes who did not repent when confronted with their sin.  Open our eyes so that we recognize where we are being religious instead of allowing truth to flow from the inside out.  Holy Spirit convict us of sin and may our hearts be broken and brought to repentance.

Matthew 22


  • Matthew 22:8-13 (NIV) 8  "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9  Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10  So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11  "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12  'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. 13  "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

This parable of Jesus was in regard to the Jewish nation rejecting Him but the story of the man not wearing wedding clothes really is something we can learn from.  When the Jews rejected God, His Son and the Holy Spirit the invitation to enjoy fellowship with God was extended to everyone else.  Those were the people in the parable who were invited to the wedding feast from the everywhere.  we are those people.  It seems to be that the King provided everyone who was invited and accepted the invitation suitiable clothes to wear for the occasion.  The King's generosity is without question here...he not only invited them but knew that they would probably not have the proper attire so he took care of that as well.  But this man decided that he was going to "be himself."  He was going to accept the invitation to the wedding but come on his own terms no on the terms of the host.  The king's response is not harsh or unkind as many of us would think on the first read, because he provided everything the man needed to be part of the celebration - the man refused to come to the king's celebration on the king's terms.

We are still trying to do the same today.  We are trying to come to God on our terms instead of His.  We cannot enter into His life except by putting on His robe of righteousness - freely given to us.  Many of us think that the way we "get in" is through our own righteousness - which Isaiah reminds us are like dirty rags.  We must accept the grace and mercy of the King and put on His robes of righteousness, and although that righteousness is an inner work there will always be the outward evidence of right living and right thinking.  

How are you still trying to come to God and be in relationship with Him on your terms instead of completely surrendering to Him and His ways?
What areas would the Holy Spirit point out as areas we are still trying to wear our own clothes and be "ourselves" instead of being submitted to God?

Matthew 21


  • Matthew 21:45-46 (NIV) 45  When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46  They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

I don't know about you but I would be weeping and begging for forgiveness if I were a chief priest or Pharisee, and I heard Jesus say that story about me.  They knew that they were guilty of what Jesus was saying in the story of rejecting the Truth, but their response was not one of brokenness and contrition, it was a hardened heart and a purpose to destroy Jesus because of how He pointed out what needed to change.  

At least I should be weeping and contrite.  Except as I think about it I realize that I am a lot like those guys.  There are many areas of my life where the Holy Spirit has pointed out that I am in need of change and instead of responding in obedience I make excuses about why I can't and won't change.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit will speak through others about things that we need to submit to Him and our response is to harden our heart and cut ourselves off from the person who was the messenger.  I think of things I know that God would want me to change but I am too prideful to admit that maybe the way I am doing it is wrong and I don't want to lose face with people so I harden my heart.  

We who are Christ-followers can be more like the priests and Pharisees than we would like to admit.  We get caught up in our religious method and make it the main thing.  In so doing we lose sight of what is important - ongoing relationship with God through His Son and obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Instead of running away from what we need to do, embrace it even if we have to sacrifice our pride.  Instead of getting angry at the messenger embrace what God is saying to us and be willing to let it cut us to the heart because the end result is always better.  

Father forgive me for being one of those Pharisees who gets prideful in following your rules.  Let my heart be convicted and my actions be changed when you show me areas where I am not walking in right relationship with you.  Instead of being angry and making excuses or running away let me embrace what you are saying, even when it seems humbling and hard.  I love you and want to please you.  I want to run to you not away from you and I certainly do not want to be guilty of trying to undermine your work in my life and in the lives of others.

Matthew 20


  •  Matthew 20:1-15 (NIV) 1  "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2  He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3  "About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4  He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' 5  So they went. "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6  About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' 7  "'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.' 8  "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.' 9  "The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10  So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11  When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12  'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' 13  "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14  Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15  Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'

I don't know that I ever noticed this before but the first workers that the landowners got to work for him hammered out a contract.  They agreed to work for a denarius.  They wheeled and dealt with the landowner for what was "fair."  The people who came after were desperate to work and desperate for income so instead of wheeling and dealing they threw themselves at the mercy of the landowner relying on his generosity.

The real winners were those who decided to rely on the owner's generosity rather than trusting themselves and their bargaining power.  Why were the first laborers upset with their wages?  Did the landowner go against his word?  No, he paid them what was agreed upon, but in their reliance on the letter of the law they missed the greater blessing of the owner's generosity.

I think that one of the things that this parable would point to is the attitude we should have in serving God.  Do we have an attitude of serving God regardless of what the reward will be because we are just happy to be able to serve Him and be in His family?  Or do we do it as a job where we expect to be rewarded with a fair return on our work?  We need to be people who serve God because we are grateful and we throw ourselves on His mercy and generosity.  I don't thing we can outgive God!

Matthew 19


23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "What I'm about to tell you is true. It is hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is hard for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. But it is even harder for the rich to enter God's kingdom."

Why would Jesus say it was impossible for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven?

People who are rich (read all of us) tend to have a false security in their riches.  Because wealth can provide for many of our needs and wants, we tend to rely on our riches rather than depending on God.  There is this attitude of self-sufficiency that overtakes us.  When we have great material resources we tend to believe that we have no need for God.  The rich young ruler was earnestly desiring eternal life but in asking him to give it all away Jesus was checking to see if he was truly desiring the things of heaven over the things of this world.  As people who have been materially blessed we find that we are more closely tied to those earthly treasures than the heavenly ones. 

I believe that the young ruler was a seeker who desired eternal life but in the exchange that takes place Jesus points out the fact that the ruler thought that it was something that we could procure on our own terms.  "If I obey all the commands and if I have enough money I could buy the right sacrifices, and give away the right amount, etc so that I can have eternal life."  He was trusting in his wealth and good works to get him into heaven and that is just impossible.  It is impossible for us to be able to do those things on our own which is why God sent Jesus.

Just like the rich man in the story Jesus confronts us today asking, what will you trust, riches or Me?  It is impossible for us to make it on our own, to buy our way in, to "good deeds" our way in, but Jesus reminds us of some great news as the story ends, "With man, that is impossible. But with God, all things are possible."