The Teaching & Challenge of the Bible
Notes for the Talk for Palm Sunday 24th March
Gospel Luke 19 28-40 Jesus enters Jerusalem.
Romans 10 9-20
Hands up how many of you read a items manual before using it?
Why do you or don’t you?
Do you then keep the manual for later use?
The bible is Gods handbook for our lives, and like all handbooks it does many things
It can teach us about how to live our life and it can show us where we are going wrong and what to do in that situation.
talks to both Christian and non-Christian alike
The bible teaches us about our story with God, the journey of his people us.
It starts with creation why the world was made, as a place for us to live, for us to be in communion with the creator.
Then it covers the story of our rebellion the consequences of that and Gods efforts to show us how much He cares for us.
It then goes on to tell us about the new plan the plan to save us all.
The scriptures tell us about His coming and then about His life and how it effected those who heard Him.
*Romans 10 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”[e] 12 Jew and Gentile[f] are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The bible story tells us the truth of this…..
*15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”[h]
The bible is full of messengers sent by God to help bring the people back to Him.
*18 But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have:
“The message has gone throughout the earth,
and the words to all the world.”[j]
* 20 And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying,
“I was found by people who were not looking for me.
I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.”[l]
Reading the bible lifts the veil that can hide God from our senses.
*As in 2 Corinthians 3
16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiselled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
So the bible teaches us the story of God and His people, it shows us the trouble God has gone to for us.
It is in reading and knowing that story that we can know God.
So the Bible teaches.
it also shows us how to have –
*Joy & Peace –
Psalm 23 5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
The Lord brings us what we need in times of trouble, He lifts our heads and our spirits as we praise Him. Even in the darkest times we are full of blessings.
psalm 119 97 – 112
105 By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
Proverbs 4 20-22 Dear friend, listen well to my words;
tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
body and soul, they’re bursting with health.
the words of God will fill us with life, they will bring healing.
Matthew 4 1-11 at the temptation of Jesus He uses scripture as a defence.
Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
We are to use the armour of God
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
the bible shows us how to defend ourselves from the worries and temptations of life.
24 The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the house of the Lord we bless you
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.
Jesus knew the scriptures, he quoted them just as those who praised him on his entry did.
Jesus was part of the future of scripture as well as being rooted in its past.
He was the one it was all about.
Scripture tells the story of Gods plan for us, how he knew we would fall short and His plan to help us in our journey.
Jesus was that plan and much of scripture shows us why He was needed and gives us hints about Gods plan.
Jesus entry to Jerusalem was part of that plan, He did not enter as a Roman emperor or a Eastern king, not even as a rich merchant. He came to take control of His kingdom on a borrowed donkey with no army or entourage, He came on His own to fulfil scripture.
Zechariah 9 A Humble King Riding a Donkey
9-10 “Shout and cheer, Daughter Zion!
Raise the roof, Daughter Jerusalem!
Your king is coming!
a good king who makes all things right,
a humble king riding a donkey,
a mere colt of a donkey.
I’ve had it with war—no more chariots in Ephraim,
no more war horses in Jerusalem,
no more swords and spears, bows and arrows.
He will offer peace to the nations,
a peaceful rule worldwide,
from the four winds to the seven seas.
With the start of a new Pope and Archbishop it should make us stop and think, do I behave as both God and Jesus show me in the bible?
Do I let God encourage me through it?
Jesus even quotes psalm 22 on the cross.
1 My God, my God, why have you deserted me?
Why do you seem to be so far away when I need you to save me?
Why do you seem to be so far away that you can’t hear my groans?
it can rebuke us; correct us
All those who make no-god idols don’t amount to a thing, and what they work so hard at making is nothing. Their little puppet-gods see nothing and know nothing—they’re total embarrassments! Who would bother making gods that can’t do anything, that can’t “god”? Watch all the no-god worshipers hide their faces in shame. Watch the no-god makers slink off humiliated when their idols fail them. Get them out here in the open. Make them face God-reality.
Idols and man made things put in place of God.
What are your idols? as you read the bible the idols of your life will be illuminated and that will rebuke you.
It can confuse us
Leviticus and Numbers
we struggle with all the rules and family ties.
However they show us Gods concern for the things of daily life, family relationships eating and hygiene.
God is not like the Norse, Greek and Roman pantheons who act maliciously using us for there sport and fun. The bible shows us a God who cares, who is always trying to have us follow His path, because it is the best path to follow.
It can leave us wondering about God when it talks about killing and war.
We wonder about a God who orders His people to kill in his name.
What does the story of God and His people in the bible mean for me?
How can God allow all this suffering and pain in His name?
What does the bible say about it?
How should disciples of His act today?
The bible has the answers to all of this and much more.
It is the manual, the handbook, the games walkthrough to life.
It is the creators word to us about His thoughts and how much He loves us.
DO you read the Bible?
DO you study it with others working out what it means for you today?
You could join a Cell Group and explore this manual of life with others, it is a lot easier when we do it together.
DO you ask God by His Spirit to talk to you when you read it?
DO you use study notes?
You could use Scripture Unions you can even get them online [Word Live] and be part of an online group.
But as disciples we should be like Jesus studying Gods word to us.
Let us pray