Pastor Matthew Burt completes his consideration of this remarkable narrative, helping us to draw from its teaching important applications to our own thought and actions.
sermons | study
These are sermons preached during our Sunday worship services. (Recordings were not always successful, so there are gaps in the postings.)
Pastor Matthew Burt, a friend from the New England Reformed Fellowship, delivered this message on a text that is dear to me. The narrative is unique to Luke–another reason to be grateful that God gave to his Church four Gospels for our building up in the Faith.
All four Gospels provide descriptions of the events on the day that we now refer to as Palm Sunday. Their different accounts provide us with varying viewpoints of what happens. In this sermon, we consider some of what makes Luke’s narrative unique, and we seek to understand how it relates truth to our lives today.
One of the themes of Luke's writings–the Gospel of Luke and Acts–is joy. In the first chapter of Luke, Zachariah is given the promise of "joy and gladness," and in the closing verses of the book, we read of the "great joy" of the disciples after Jesus' ascension. What is the joy promised in the gospel, and how does one experience it?
Luke's account of the first Easter Sunday provides us with an emphasis that is unique among the Gospels. That emphasis will be reflected in the New Testament's use of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The contrast between Jesus understanding of what is commonly called "the Triumphal Entry" and the perceptions of others is striking. While others rejoice, Jesus weeps, for he perceives a reality that they cannot see.
In the account of Jesus' temptation, we can discern him as the Second Adam, the One who will conquer temptation as the First Adam did not. Not only does this episode reveal Jesus as righteous redeemer, but it also provides us with a pattern for resisting temptation ourselves.
In this text, we reach what may be rightly called the climactic scene of the narratives that open the Gospel of Luke. For the first time in the book, we hear Jesus speak, and his words are revealing of both his identity and purpose.
The fulfillment of God’s plan and the fulfillment of God’s Law form the outline of this narrative, with the central place being given to Simeon’s song of rejoicing in God’s salvation for all people, both Gentile and Jew.
The narratives of Gabriel’s appearances to Zechariah and Mary, and the account of John’s birth have set the stage for the important narrative of the birth of Jesus. Here, too, we encounter once again a song, this time not from a human character, but from a host of angels.
Although Zechariah's song has not typically received as much attention as that of Mary, it is theologically more developed. Both are equally inspired, so it is not a matter of one being "better" than the other. The simplicity and personal focus of Mary's psalm is part of its beauty and underscores the truths it proclaims. The breadth and depth of Zechariah's psalm enlarge our understanding of God's work of salvation, especially as it relates to us as his people.
This passage features the hymn known as "The Benedictus," the song of Zechariah at the naming of his son John. Although it is John's christening day, Zechariah's song is not about his son, but about the One whom he would herald, Jesus the Messiah.
One of the wonderful aspects of Scripture is that even when considering passages that are familiar to us, we can always discover much more to learn from them. I hope that this portion of Luke's Gospel speaks to your heart anew as it did mine.
Sometimes the passages of Scripture that touch us most deeply are those to which we return again and again. The narrative of Gabriel's message to Mary may have become quite familiar to us, but there is such a richness to God's Word that no matter how often we come to a passage, there is always a new message for us in it.
The historical narrative of God's message to Zechariah through Gabriel gives prominence to the nature and purpose of the calling of John, who will play such a pivotal role as the forerunner of the Messiah. What we learn of John's calling, in turn, reveals to us the heart of God's saving work in creating a people for himself, a work which he accomplishes through repentance and faith.
The beautiful narratives of Scripture communicate truth in a powerful way. These accounts draw us into the lives of people who deal with the same issues of life, and in God's dealings with them, we discover how he is working in our lives as well.
Continuing this Advent series of Luke texts, this sermon focuses on what we can learn from the narrative of Elizabeth and Mary.
For the Advent season beginning with this Lord's Day, Luke's Gospel provides the sermon texts. The introduction that Luke is inspired to give to his gospel also serves well as an introduction to our observance of the Lord's Supper.
This sermon continues a series on the doctrine of Scripture with a passage that clearly teaches the sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible provides us with all that we need in order to come to a saving knowledge of God in Jesus Christ.