Dr. Cedric Williams from Illinois State explores two questions that come up in Matthew 27 that are especially relevant during these unprecedented times – Where is God during suffering? What role does the community of God have during suffering?
Shortly after Jesus feeds the 4,000, his disciples start complaining. Their complaints of hunger aren’t received well by Jesus, who has already told them that He is the bread of life and has already shown multiple times how he is capable of miraculously feeding those who ask. Our ability to trust God depends on us remembering the miracles He has already performed.
(Mk 8:1-10, 14-21, Jer 5:21, Eze 12:2, John 6, Exodus 16, Matt 6, John 14, John 16)
Using three quick mini-parables, Jesus helps us understand that God cannot easily be contained in our preconceived expectations or structures. When we get too comfortable, he has a habit of breaking through and moving in a way we didn’t see coming. Perhaps our current season needs this lesson.
(Luke 5:33-38, Isaiah 43:9)
Jesus tells us that the Christian Life is as simple as loving God and loving people. But what does that mean in our daily lives? Let’s paint a portrait of a fully-formed follower of Jesus. (Matt 22:34-40, Deut 6:5, Lev 19:18, 2 Cor 5:14-15, Eph 2:8-9, Matt 28:20, I Peter 2:9, Matt 28:19, Eph 2:10, I Jn 4:19, Heb 4:12, Matt 6:6, Gal 6:2, I Ptr 3:15, Eph 3:14-19)
Jesus pulls from Deut 19 when he helps his followers understand how to handle conflict with others. The promise of 2 or 3 believers comes into sharper focus in this passage. How do we live out the practice of handling conflict with each other?
In Jesus’ most famous sermon, he connects our words to our actions, reminding us that our words have meaning and carry power. (Matt 5:33-37, Num 30:2, Ex 5:4, Deut 23:21-23, Ps 76:11, Ps 50:14, James 1:17, Heb 13:8, Jer 1:9, Jn 16:13, Matt 12:34)
Jesus taught in parables so those of us who choose to follow Him would have a deeper and simpler way of understanding of the life that He is leading us through. The Bible also calls us as believers to have childlike faith and to approach Jesus and His gospel like a child.