Pharisees of the time “sit on Moses’ seat”, meaning from it comes the law, the teachings.
The were legalistic.
Jesus hung out with the Pharisees, praising them yet rebuking them, at the same time.
Pointed out the Pharisees were hypocrites. Wanted to be seen following the law, wanted to look good; wanted the best of everything (“front row of the banquette”); they wanted to be recognized for their title as Rabbi , to be shown respect.
To followers – don’t identify yourselves by title (e.g. father – we have one Father) while Jesus with them. Don’t be a leader – teacher, instructor, father, etc.. be a student and learn from Jesus.
When the time comes, these students will be the leaders in areas: teacher, rabbi. Before then, serve. Be self-humbling.
Jesus was the perfect example – serving the least of us, dying then rising.
Words and actions matter. People remember actions and whether they line up with the words.
Our job is not to place burdens on to others, but to lift others up.
Servant-leadership is true leadership. Not only does he say it, he lives it out. Practiced what he preached.
Of hard upbringing; a passionate man, restless in faith. Spiritually in tune with faith.
Entered into service in the church at the time when limited choice of church – Eastern; Catholic.
Went on a pilgrimage to Rome and was disgusted and discouraged by what he saw had become of the church. He loved the church but struggled with the restlessness of what he had seen the darkness of the church.
Eventually he started the reformation – where he was looking to reform the current church, which he saw had lost its way. 3 things he saw:
Corruption of the church – indulgences. One could “purchase” forgiveness of sin, purchase a way to Heaven. Nothing biblical, saw this was inappropriate.
Language – services were done in Latin (believed to be the perfect language of God). Problem: not many understood Latin, making the message of God inaccessible. Bibles were written in Latin, too. Luther believe the Word of God to be able to have access to the Bible.
Church was far too connected to the state (government). Church becomes intertwined and influences the government to conduct inappropriate thing (e.g. The Crusades)
Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us we are saved by Grace. It is given to us by God. We can’t earn Grace. We can’t buy Grace. We are to respond with faith.
Sola Scriptura: “Scripture alone.” Where to we get faith? At core, the Bible points us to God. Scripture is the core of our faith.
Sola Gratia: Christ alone is our redeemer.
Sola Fidei: Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the only way! Works are important. We are made for good works. Works do not save you. Faith in Christ save us. Faith is core!
Sous Christus: Christ alone. Do not put focus on things like cathedrals, your own actions. Put focus on Christ, the works are a response. We are to be Bible people. We are to be Christ people. If not, then we are wasting our time, spinning our wheels.
Reformed Semper: We are reformed and should always be reforming. Continual reliance on Christ, diving into the Bible should result in continual growth, change in relation to Christ. Scripture is the Living Word. Each time you read scripture, there should be renewed meaning.
Be more beholden to Christ. Don’t get focused on the institution of the church. To be focused on the institution is to get off track.
Christ alone – he should be our top focus. All who proclaim to be Christian proclaim Christ is core, despite differences (denominations – Catholic, Nazarene).
Moses was not permitted to enter the Promised Land for his disobedience to God. In providing water, Moses failed to give glory to God and drew attention to himself. (Numbers 20:7-13)
Recall: we struggle in obedience to God because of our inability to let go of worldly concerns and desire. We create idols for visible representation of God. The Israelite tended to worship Moses. Moses act above drew attention to himself.
Moses failure resulted in him not being able to enter the Promised Land. He watched the Israelite enter the Promised Land before passing away.
This was not about Moses, but about God.
God takes the messes of our lives and make it a masterpiece.
Moses failed big. God took Moses’ mess
This life is not all that there is. If it was, this would be bad story. But this is not the end. God did amazing thing through Moses’ faithfulness and anointed others to lead the Israelite beyond Moses’ end, but to continue works for God.
If we are faithful to God, despite the mess, people will see God will turn the mess into a masterpiece.
Moses has been up in the mountain to be in the presence of the Lord for a long time, the Israelite feared he was not returning.
The people, still new in relationship with God, had seen Moses as a tangible representation of God. They are still learning to worship the one and only God. (Recall they had many gods in Egypt.
Did they began to worship and idolize Moses. The people needed something to replace what Moses may have represented to them, calling for a creation of the golden calf.
Possible God did not intend for one person to speak for Him forever. It can be corruptible, easily. Example, Moses struck the stone a second time to provide water, on his own direction, rather by God’s direction. The act became about Moses. Other example where a single high priest can be corruptible: cults.
In making the new idol, the people were not looking to replace God, but replacing Moses.
The golden calf was fashioned out of the gold the Israelite had taken from Egypt, the provisions of wealth God has blessed them with. The calf was made of thing that served as a reminder of God’s blessings.
We have examples of where our relationship with God becomes corruptible. Look at the flags of nations. We have many. Do the nations and the people automatically translate a bad. No, but it can be corruptible.
Family: who doesn’t love their family. But it is not God and family.
Slogans: Faith, Family, and Football.
Sports: People get emotionally invested in sports. Sport inherently is not bad, but they can compete for our attention and allegiance.
Prosperity: Temptation to fall for a gospel of prosperity, the belief that God wants us to prosper, you focus on comfort. Becomes the road block to helping and serving others.
Rights: stringently hold on to rights, we are owed things. Can be divisive, focused on self.
In the end, remember it is not God and xxxxx (in Exodus, God and Moses). We cannot have two masters! We are to worship God alone – no other Gods. Moses is not fundamentally bad. Family, Slogans, Family, Sports, Prosperity, and Right – all not fundamentally bad alone, but they cannot become our idols. Cannot be worshiped. Cannot be worshiped alongside God.
Israelite were trying to replace Moses, whom they worshiped alongside God.
We have things in our lives we are tempted to worship: Family, Sports, Prosperity, etc.
The Israelite have been led out of oppression in Egypt, led into the wilderness.
There was a need for order. God calls on Moses, who goes up the mountain to commune with God.
God gives rules to Moses to extend to the people – 10 Commandments.
The following pertain to our relationship with God.
Honor God alone. There are not other gods. Note: through all assimilation, false gods were introduced and created for many situations. This was a struggle to deal with then, as today.
Do make an idol; do not worship idols. Tends to reflect how you want God to appear, and do for you. Can be viewed as a reflection of self.
Do not use the name of the Lord.
Remember the Sabbath; keep it holy: we are created to produce and work. We need rest – that’s what society wants of us.
Commandments about our conduct:
Honor your mother and father
You shall not murder (do not take a life)
Do not commit adultery – any sexual relations/conduct outside the confines of marriage.
Do not steal.
Shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Learn to get along with your neighbor (all people).
Do not covet your neighbor’s possession. Learn to be happy with what you have. If there’s something you want, work for it.
Moses gives the Israelite the Commandments – to test and put the fear in the people so they do not sin. Why would God do this?
Give visual of God’s holiness – clouds and fire. They witness God’s power.
God wanted them to follow rules – one that will benefit them.
If they live by these rules, they live towards what they were meant to be.
Because of sin, we are always faced with temptation, which can be consuming, leading to destruction. God provide the 10 Commandments to remind us of the sin’s destructive consequence.
10 Commandments are like a survival guide. Do not look at the 10 Commandments are rules that can become a checklist with religious acts, but rather a guideline. We live them and become transformed into what God meant us to be.
As we live by this – we live as a community.
Why they are rules, view the Commandments are guidelines – teach you how to live, to lead you to what God for us.
They provide order, safety.
Take us toward deeper truth – that we are meant to be God’s children.
Moses came to the burning bush and came to the presence of the Lord.
The burning bush: God and creation can co-exist (God present in the physical – burning bush is ever-maintained by God)
Symbolism: The bush represents the people (Israel, us individually) and the fire represents God’s fuel.
Angel of the Lord: is thought to actually represent God’s presence
Moses: going to the people to led the Israelite, he had hesitation, questioning his worthiness. God assures Moses He will be with him.
God: Tell the Israelite “I AM,” all being. The God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob. Stating that He is the same as the relationship with his ancestry, from the beginning.
Being itself. Creation itself. God is.
God’s name is a story. Israel. Jesus. The Cross. Deliverer, Redeemer.
God’s name is an embodied name. It’s a person. God and Moses becomes synonymous. God becomes embodied in Moses. Later seen in the prophets, then in Jesus. Amazingly, embodied in the Church (as we are the hands and feet of God’s, taking God to the world – in family, homes, work, school, etc.
What makes him special, people and God blesses him throughout his life. Lead him to be faithful to God and enables him to do God’s work.
Recall the end of Dirty Laundry series: Joseph forgives his brothers, brings them into Egypt where they are cared for. Generations later, the new pharaoh of Egypt did not know of Joseph and the favor placed on the Hebrews, instead seeing the Hebrews as a threat and placed them into slavery.
Fearing the growing number of Hebrews, Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill newborn males.
Midwives feared God and refused to adhere to Pharaoh’s orders.
After giving birth, Moses’ mother hid him until at 3 months it was impossible to keep him hidden. Desperate, she but Moses in a basket, placed in the river and let him go, trusting God would protect him.
Pharaoh’s daughter pulled Moses out of the river. The midwives intervened and saved Moses, by bringing him back to his mother to nurse, while being raised under safety of Pharaoh. Like with Joseph, God demonstrates faithfulness, using the situation to bless Moses, his mother, and the midwives.
Figuratively, parents put their children in the river, letting their children go.
In many ways, parents are putting themselves in the basket, trust that God will provide.
We as a Church need to be willing to go into the river.