Come and join with us on Sunday November 24th at 10:30am when we’ll be wrapping up our Playgroup, SMILE Playgroup and Sunday School year once again with our annual Celebration Service! Lots on for the children and a yummy shared lunch to follow in the hall…!
The text of Matthew 9:9-17 related a number of important events, beginning with the call that came from Jesus to Matthew (the writer of the gospel) to follow Him. This tax collector had no hesitation in leaving his old life behind to follow Jesus, and one of the immediate consequences of his decision to do that was seen in the meal hosted in his home at which many other ‘tax collectors and sinners’ were present. This prompted questions from the Pharisees and even from John’s disciples which Jesus was able to answer and put his grace and his coming into perspective.
Matthew 9:1-8 tells the story of the healing and the forgiveness that came to the paralyzed man. The fact that Jesus forgave the man (his first words to him were ‘Your sins are forgiven’) shows that this miracle was more than just another healing. Jesus saw that the man’s spiritual condition was more serious than his outward condition. And so to prove that Jesus was able to forgive the man’s sins (something invisible), He also brought healing to the man’s body (something that all could see) and so prove that He, as the Son of Man, could do both!
*The audio is not quite right for the first 20 secs or so, but be patient…it all comes good!
After recording some examples of the healing ministry of Jesus, in Matthew 8:28-34, Matthew tells of an encounter between Jesus and two demon-possessed men. Matthew had already told his readers of how Jesus had control over demons in both chapters 4 and 8, but this is the first real example of His power at work. And while the demons quickly recognised who Jesus was and what their ultimate destiny would be, Jesus kept his contact with them to a minimum. Matthew tells us that he just spoke one word to them and that was enough!
After Jesus began his public ministry with three miraculous healings, Matthew 8:18-27 records how would-be followers came to Him seeking to join His disciples. He responded to these requests by pointing out the cost of such commitment, demanding total allegiance to Him over everything and everyone. Then, taking while His disciples across the Sea of Galilee (to meet the demon possessed men of Matthew 9), in the boat which was about to sink, He pointed out to His disciples that to trust Him continually is vital.
After Jesus spoke the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Matthew’s Gospel then proceeds to display the things Jesus did (Matthew 8-10) interspersed with commands from Jesus to follow Him. Matthew 8:1-17 tells of three separate incidents in which the power of Jesus to heal was on show. What do we learn from these healings? And, what is Matthew telling us about Jesus?
The story of Abraham does not end with his death. The New Testament has much to say about his life and faith – especially in Hebrews 11:8-19. There, we find Abraham and Sarah’s names among the roll call of the faithful and we see the elements of what it means to live a life of faith and persevere to the end and prove to be faithful.
Every year, the Church and Nation Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria puts together a world-class collection of speakers who address topics at the very heart of current public debate – all with the purpose of equipping God’s people to address our ever changing culture with the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This year’s Colloquium is no exception. You can read about the full line up of speakers and their topics here.
The dates are November 15th and 16th. The venue is the Assembly Hall, 156 Collins Street (next to Scots’ Church, Melbourne) and is easy accessed via public transport in the CBD. Lunch is provided in the purchase of full or part registrations on both days.
The record of Sarah’s death and, then eventually, Abraham’s death, is found in Genesis 23:1-20 and Genesis 25:1-11. The Bible gives great honour to Sarah, recording her age at death and the details concerning her burial. The same honour is given to Abraham, who the grand age of 175 was ‘gathered to his people’. However, the death of Abraham is not the end of the story. His greatest Son, Jesus, whose story ends with an empty grave, brings God’s people a real and living hope.