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Baptism and Our New Unleavened Life

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Baptism and Our New Unleavened Life

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Baptism and Our New Unleavened Life

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A look at our baptism to see how it relates to Unleavened Bread. Last time we focused on the putting to death the old self at baptism. Today I would like to focus on that person we become as we come out of the water. As the hands are laid upon us and we receive the Holy Spirit and that person we become.

Transcript

Last time I spoke about our baptism and how it relates to the Passover. We read a number of scriptures that linked the two as we put to death the old life that lived before our conversion just as Christ’s sacrifice removed the barrier preventing access to the tree of life, hidden since the fall of man. Last time we focused on the life that we left behind as we partook of the of the baptism ceremony; that carnal mind that is enmity against God. We talked about the commitment that we made at that time and how it relates to the renewal we go through each year on Passover. We talked about examining ourselves before the Passover and as we do so to focus on those vows we made on our baptism. As we examine ourselves, are we living up to those commitments? In this way we share in the process of salvation made possible by the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior. Recently Mr. Walker said that we should examine ourselves, not just to prepare for the taking of the Passover, but to examine ourselves before Unleavened Bread as well. I would like to take a look at that today as we continue our look at our baptism to see how it relates to Unleavened Bread. Last time we focused on the putting to death the old self at baptism.

Today I would like to focus on that person we become as we come out of the water. As the hands are laid upon us and we receive the Holy Spirit, and that person we become. The title of the sermon today is: Baptism and our new unleavened life As we keep the feast of unleavened bread, let’s review the beginning of this festival and how it relates to the Passover. Now on Passover evening we focused on Christ as our Passover sacrifice that took the place of the lamb of old covenant. We took of the symbols of the bread and wine picturing the body and blood of the Passover sacrifice. Reading in Exodus we can see how these symbols were a part of festival for ancient Israel. Exodus 12:13-15 Exodus 12:13-15 [13] And the blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. [14] And this day shall be to you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. [15] Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
American King James Version×
13 'Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 'So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. 15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

So we see the symbols of the Bread and Blood must be partook of or that person that does not is cut off from Israel just as members of the Body today partake of the symbols so we can remain a part of the body and not be cut off. Now the removal of leaven from our homes is important because it represents the process of removing sin. Last time we read about the freedom of bondage at Baptism meant that we were no longer slaves of sin. We are slaves of righteousness. Being slaves of sin is living in bondage because we are bound to the penalty of sin which is death. Egypt was a symbol of Bondage that God continually refers to. Exodus 13:3 Exodus 13:3And Moses said to the people, Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
American King James Version×
Links this concept of Bondage and leaven. Exodus 13:3 Exodus 13:3And Moses said to the people, Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
American King James Version×
3 And Moses said to the people: "Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. Since they are freed from bondage, they should remember by not eating leaven for a week that pictures the destructive properties of sin on the body. Some might say getting rid of leaven was different then than it is now. But let’s read: Deuteronomy 16:4 Deuteronomy 16:4And there shall be no leavened bread seen with you in all your coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which you sacrificed the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.
American King James Version×
4 "And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning.

They had to remove it from their entire territory, a much bigger task than we have today. They only had a leaven starter to get rid of. The Bread they had in those days went bad after a few days so that it was easier to get rid of it. But in those days Bread had a major role in the food your family ate. Today we can go a whole week without eating leavening and not worry about hunger since we have an abundance of food choices. We suffer from the fact in our abundance, we find leaving in so many things that we might not even know unless we look. The lessons to draw on are vast and at this time a year I hope we are looking for those lessons and sharing them as we experience these days together. But we have to remember that we are not just avoiding leaven. Exodus 13:6-7 Exodus 13:6-7 [6] Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. [7] Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in all your quarters.
American King James Version×
6 "Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 "Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters.

So they had to eat unleavened bread seven days as a replacement for the bread they would have normally eaten. We too must understand this vital lesson. To only abstain from eating leavened bread would be half the equation. Like our baptism and only focusing on the Death of our old self and not the new life we are supposed to be filled with. Jesus Christ is that unleavened bread of life that we need to replace the Leaven we do without for seven days. So let’s spend the rest of this message focusing that new life that we are to live after our baptism. That new life that is represented by the unleavened bread we eat during these days. The bread that represents an unleavened life There are many passages that focus on the contrast between a leavened and unleavened life. We are going to look at a number of them today as we try to understand the totality of what it means to live an unleavened life. It does mean to live a life free from the bondage of sin but it also means so much more. Mr. Walker often says the best way to remove air from a bottle is to fill it with something else. God understands this and that is why this festival contains both parts of removing sin but then replacing it with something good and eternal.

Last time we started with a scripture linking Christ’s sacrifice to baptism found in Luke12: We started in verse 1 where Jesus Christ used this term Leaven to describe the character of the Pharisees’ Luke 12:1 Luke 12:1In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, so that they stepped one on another, he began to say to his disciples first of all, Beware you of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
American King James Version×
NKJ In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Now, the Pharisees could not recognize Jesus for who He was for a number of reasons. • They were a respecter of Persons • The Messiah would be like them, they created the Messiah in their image • The Messiah would also be bigger than life. Flashy not humble • The Messiah would be a conquering Hero to restore Israel. We need to see things through God’s eyes to see the truth. Without this we are looking through eyes corrupted by the leaven of this life. Turn over to Matthew 16 and we will read about an example of seeing through God’s eyes.

Matthew 16:6-17 Matthew 16:6-17 [6] Then Jesus said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. [7] And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. [8] Which when Jesus perceived, he said to them, O you of little faith, why reason you among yourselves, because you have brought no bread? [9] Do you not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? [10] Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? [11] How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread, that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? [12] Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. [13] When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? [14] And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. [15] He said to them, But whom say you that I am? [16] And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.
American King James Version×
6 Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread." 8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? 9 "Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10 "Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11 "How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? -- but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" 14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Peter was able to see things clearly only because God opened his mind to understand. When we remove the leaven from our lives we can be open for God to teach us many things. But if we suffer from the leaven spoken of here we fall into the same trap as the leaders of Christ’s day.

When pride and self-importance infects our lives we cannot hear God. We can have a form of this leaven of the Pharisees of our own that prevents us from seeing things the way God does. When we see through His eyes we can see things that we could never see before. Let’s look at the example of the disciples who were able to see things properly because they were not puffed up like the Pharisees. They were teachable and humble and were given a tremendous gift to see Jesus transfigured in glory. Let’s continue on in Mathew 17. Matthew 17:1-13 Matthew 17:1-13 [1] And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart, [2] And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. [3] And, behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. [4] Then answered Peter, and said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if you will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. [5] While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear you him. [6] And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. [7] And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. [8] And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. [9] And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. [10] And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? [11] And Jesus answered and said to them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. [12] But I say to you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done to him whatever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. [13] Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.
American King James Version×
NKJ Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. This vision would have been the most amazing experience you could imagine. Peter wanted to build tabernacles to each of them and then when they heard, this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, they got scared and fell on their faces.

But then in verse 8 we read: 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead." 10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" 11 Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. 12 "But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands." 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist. Now some thought Elijah was going to return first and be this big thing as he was when he walked the earth in ancient Israel. But we find out the John the Baptist filled this role even though no one understood it at the time. We often see things today as ordinary only to look back years later and see things differently. It’s like the good ole days. At the time they didn’t seem as good as they would later on. The point here is that Later, we see greatness. But at the time, we see ordinary. It’s like Abraham Lincoln.

Today he is greatly revered but in his day it was not the same. Half the country hated him and the other half split their feelings between admiration and tolerance. In 1860 he won the presidency with only 40% of the popular vote. 4 years later, only the union states voted and even then he only won 55% of the popular vote. But look at how popular opinion has changed today as we look back. They did not recognize John the Baptist for the role he played and they did not recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah. So leaven represents everything that we do not want as part of us. But remember we are not just supposed to remove leaving, but we are to replace it with unleavened bread as Paul tells us in: NKJ 1 Corinthians 5:8 1 Corinthians 5:8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Turn over to 2Corinthians 3 and let’s see why God chose us in spite of our weakness. Here Paul is contrasting the difference between new covenant Christians and those of the Old Covenant. When they looked at the glory of God they did so through a veil and could not make out the true nature of God. We can see clearly as our eyes have been opened.

2 Corinthians 3:18 2 Corinthians 3:18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.
American King James Version×
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. When we begin to reflect the image of God, we add His righteous Character to the new life that is replacing the old self that is perishing. Moving down to 2 Corinthians 4: we see that this image is so much more than a simple likeness of God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 [3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: [4] In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×
3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. In Colossians 3 we see this process of becoming like God. The old is replaced by the new. We don’t just remove what is not like God but we replace it with what does reflect God.

Reading from the NIV in: Colossians 3:1-10 Colossians 3:1-10 [1] If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. [2] Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. [3] For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. [4] When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory. [5] Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: [6] For which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience: [7] In the which you also walked some time, when you lived in them. [8] But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. [9] Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; [10] And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
American King James Version×
NIV Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Now most people are on board with the idea of getting rid of what’s wrong and bad in their lives. But what I have found is a much more difficult decision is what is meant by putting on the new self.

Someone would talk about some opportunity in their life and I would encourage them and say, that could really be good for you. Then I hear those words. But that’s not me As a minister I often find myself in the position of trying to encourage people to grow in ways that are not always comfortable and sometimes not even desired. Living an unleavened life means becoming the person that God see’s inside of us. Now we may not know that person very well. We make so many decisions in this life based on fear. Have you ever taken stock of your life and asked, “How many of the major decisions have I made based at least in part, by fear?” Fear is like Leaven in that it tears down and fills the void with emptiness. Now that might seem like a silly thing to say. How do you fill a void with emptiness? But isn’t that was leaven does to bread? When it puffs up a loaf, it does not use anything substantial, it uses air, nothing of substance. That’s what fear does. It tears down our resolve to do something, and fills the void with nothing useful. This fear is nothing substantial. It is nothing that inspire, teach, lead, or cause any growth. It is emptiness that prevents anything useful taking over and helping us to take the next step.

If you take some time to think back on your life since Baptism and ask yourselves three questions about each of the challenges encountered and decisions you have made. These decisions could be about where you worked or lived, who you spent time with, what activities did you spend your time doing, or the opportunities you were given along the path of life. The first question to ask yourself about a decision you have made or a particular challenge. 1. How would you have responded before you were baptized? (Fear, anger, defensiveness) 2. What was your first reaction to this challenge negative or positive? 3. If given the same opportunity again today, would you make a more bold leap to grow and not let fear define your decisions. This is what defines our potential to lead an unleavened Life. Have you ever not applied for a job because of fear, (I won’t be able to get the holy days off?) or I could never do that job, its not me? I have tried to encourage someone to do some task and they reply to me “But that’s not me”. It reminds me of the fuss that Moses put up to not lead Israel out of Egypt.

Moses was convinced that being the physical leader of Israel was “NOT HIM”. But he did not know himself. When I was in College I remember a particular Spokesman club when the Freshmen were giving their icebreakers. One young man, fresh off a farm in a very small town, who viewed Big Sandy Texas as a good sized community, tried and failed to give his Icebreaker. It was the first time I ever saw someone freeze completely during a speech. He could not even speak but just stood there until he was told he could sit down. He didn’t think speaking was an ability he had and was deathly afraid of public speaking. You might have even agreed with him if it wasn’t for the fact that he went on that year to become so proficient at speaking that he spoke in front of the entire school and then became class president. He was right about one thing though, it wasn’t him. It was, on the other hand, the person he was called to be. When you are given a growth challenge it is natural to feel it is not possible and think that you cannot do something. The thing is your right. You can’t do it. But God can and He can teach you to do it and even be good at whatever it is. The next time you feel you can’t do something, ask yourself if this is a gift you have been given to develop a part of you that is a reflection of God; some underdeveloped area of your life that when excised with shine brightly as a reflection of God’s glory. But right now you don’t see it so you refuse to develop.

Do you realize when you do so, you may be standing on the very reflection of God in your life. Can you imagine stepping all over the reflection of God? Only God knows our true potential but only you can take that first step. Are you brave enough to ask God to reveal to you what your potential is? Are you brave enough to accept what God shows you? BACK to LUKE 12: When we earlier read from Luke 12 where Jesus warns His disciples about the Leaven of the Pharisees we were breaking into the middle of story. Although we started with a chapter break in verse 1 the story begins in Luke 11:37 Luke 11:37And as he spoke, a certain Pharisee sought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
American King James Version×
A reading of this section finds Jesus very critical of the scribes and Pharisees and he gives them a very dire prediction in the verses leading up to Chapter 12. Let’s start by turning to verse 37 of Luke 11 and pick up the story there. Luke 11:37 Luke 11:37And as he spoke, a certain Pharisee sought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
American King James Version×
37 And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat. 38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner. Now Jesus uses this situation to let the leaders of His people have it. I believe that as His time neared the end he let loose with a proper dressing down of the faults of those leaders that have abused their position.

Moving down to verse 42 "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 43 "Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Then he goes on to give a very dire revelation of what was going to happen to that very generation. Moving down to verse 49 "Therefore the wisdom of God also said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,' 50 "that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, 51 "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

So that brings us to Chapter 12 where we continue the story Luke 12:1 Luke 12:1In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, so that they stepped one on another, he began to say to his disciples first of all, Beware you of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
American King James Version×
NKJ In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 3461 muria,j murias {moo-ree'-as} Meaning: 1) ten thousand 2) an innumerable multitude, an unlimited number 3) innumerable hosts Origin: from 3463;; n f Usage: AV - ten thousand times ten thousand 2, two hundred thousand thousand + 1417 2, innumerable multitude 1, ten thousand 1, innumerable company 1, fifty thousand + 3902 1, thousands 1; 9 So Jesus was confronting the Jewish leaders and this huge crowd gathers and then he addresses His disciples warning them about sins of the current leaders of God’s people. He knows that they will take up the mantle of leadership and the use of term Leaven has a definite context to this Holy Day and what we are talking about today. The reason I want to go through this section today is that there is this very large crowd that Jesus is speaking before and in a number of places you can see that He is addressing everyone as he goes over some very familiar portions of scripture.

This may be the last large crowd He would address before the end and He was preparing not only the disciples, but those in the crowd that had an ear and when you take this section in its entirety you get a roadmap of what is expected of God’s people as they face hard times. Jesus then tells them that the truth will be made known to the whole world and that they will be a part of that. Then he encourages them in verse 4 Luke 12:4-7 Luke 12:4-7 [4] And I say to you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. [5] But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear him, which after he has killed has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, Fear him. [6] Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? [7] But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.
American King James Version×
4 " And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 "But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! 6 "Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Now, you may be wondering if Jesus is only talking to the disciple’s and not the whole crowd. But I believe he was talking in a way that others could hear him. Moving down to verse 13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14 But He said to him, "Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" 15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." So then he clearly teaches the Crowd in verse 16 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 "And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' 18 "So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." ' 20 "But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'

21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." But then he appears to go back to speaking just to His disciples in verse 22. 22 Then He said to His disciples, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 "Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 "And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 "If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Here are some very familiar scriptures that we have read many times as we encourage one another. 27 "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

28 "If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 "For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 "But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 32 "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Then He then teaches them to live an austere life and not seek after riches. 33 "Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. At this point Jesus warns them to be ready at all times for His return and not slack off because it will take longer than expected for Him to return. 35 " Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 "and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.

37 "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 "And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 "But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Now, like I said, it would be easy to think that the majority of this instruction was intended for His chosen disciples as He prepares them to lead in his Absence. But then we read the next verse. 41 Then Peter said to Him, "Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?" It is clear that Peter was unsure if this was meant just for them. I wonder if Jesus was speaking up so that others could eavesdrop or was He addressing the crowd at parts. Now it would be great if Jesus answered him directly. If He had it would be obvious but listen to what He told them next. 42 And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 "Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

44 "Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 "But if that servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 "the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. I believe that Jesus was speaking to those in the crowd who’s eyes were being opened. When we read this last part of the parable we see that he gives an important clue. 47 "And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. So we are being warned here to use the time we are given to be about our father’s business. Not to worry but to be diligent to follow the lead of Jesus Christ.

To use what we have been given for the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
American King James Version×
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. In conclusion I want to read from the New Living translation one final passage in Ephesians 4 as we conclude this service. Paul here hits the nail on the head once again as he describes the converted life of an unleavened Christian. Ephesians 4:21-24 Ephesians 4:21-24 [21] If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: [22] That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; [24] And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
American King James Version×
NLT 21 Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness-- righteous, holy, and true.

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