(For the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click Here)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
July 19, 2015
Three Responses to Jesus
Over the last two weeks I have sought to give you a legal and historical understanding of the seriousness of the Supreme Court decisions made in June and some direction in how we as Christians should respond. As I summarized in my Letter to the Editor last week, the five justices of the majority opinion in the Obergefell decision not only redefined marriage, but also liberty, and in the process crushed the clear language of the 10th Amendment to create a new fundamental right that repudiates our country’s entire history and tradition and in contradiction to any meaning intended or implied by those who wrote and passed the 14th Amendment. As Justice Roberts concluded in his dissent, “[the constitution] had nothing to do with it.” Obergefell is in a long line of decisions in which words are redefined, the Constitution is reinterpreted without precedent, and new rights are created out of thin air. As pointed out by Justice Scalia, this robs the People of the freedom to govern themselves for it “is a naked judicial claim to legislative – indeed, super-legislative – power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government.” The legal chaos created by this has only just begun and it will only serve to increase the power of a rising oligarchy. (See: Christian Citizenship in a Degenerating Society, Part 1)
We recognize that this is a serious step down into the mental depravity described at the end of Romans 1 and into the greater depravity that will result from it. We know that things in the near future will get worse and so we must prepare ourselves for suffering for the sake of righteousness. We also know that the condition of our nation is in part due to the neglect of Christians fulfilling their responsibilities and exercising their privileges as citizens to enter the public debate and be involved in the political process. We must be prepared for the disdain of the political elite and the contempt of an ignorant society as we do enter into those things and proclaim what God’s word says about the issues of our day. While we know politics does not move a community, state or nation toward godliness, we will do so anyway because it is right before God to proclaim truth and righteousness. It is the proclamation of God’s word that changes people, and society will not change unless the people in it are changed. So though we grieve over our nation, we are neither distressed nor in despair. We remain steadfast in our commitment to live for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and to proclaim Him to all people for that is a much greater issue than anything that happens politically or socially. (See: Christian Citizenship in a Degenerating Society, Part 2)
It is with this in mind that I say that the greatest questions facing American society are not political or social. The greatest and most urgent questions of our time are those that concern the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the response of individuals to Him. Our only hope is Jesus Christ, yet the percentage of people in the United States that self identify as Christians has dropped from 78.4% in 2007 nearly 8% to 70.6% in 2014 (Pew Research Study). Please turn to Matthew 9:27-34.
Overview – Matthew 9:27-34
Matthew is written thematically, and in chapters 8 & 9 he has been building his case that Jesus is the Messiah – God in human flesh – because He has authority to do what only God Himself can do. In our study of the life of Christ we have studied these miracles as they have occurred sequentially as recorded in Luke and Mark. Jesus has authority to heal the sick and diseased (See: Jesus’ Authority Over Disease and Death). He has authority to control both the natural world and the supernatural world of angels and demons(See: Jesus’ Authority Over Nature: Calming the Sea & (See: Jesus Authority Over the Supernatural -The Geresene Demoniac). Jesus has backed up His claim to have the authority to forgive sins by healing the paralytic and having him pick up his bed and walk away (See: Following the Man That Can Forgive Sin) . He has already shown His authority over death twice by resurrecting the widow’s son at Nain and raising back to life Jairus’ daughter in Capernaum. Jesus has proven Himself to be the Messiah. We now come to the last miracles in this series, but the emphasis now shifts to the responses to them.
“And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him crying out, and saying, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ And after He had come into the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘Be it done to you according to your faith.’ And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See here, let no one know about this!’ But they went out, and spread the news about Him in all that land. And as they were going out, behold, a dumb man, demon-possessed, was brought to Him. And after the demon was cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the multitudes marveled, saying, ‘Nothing like this was ever seen in Israel.’ But the Pharisees were saying, ‘He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.’”
It would seem somewhat anticlimactic for Matthew to return to telling about Jesus healing the blind and casting out demons after already pointing out other miracles of healing and exorcism and also telling about Him forgiving sin and raising the dead, but I assure you that this is not anticlimactic. Matthew had already given the proof that Jesus is the Messiah, but in recounting these two miracles his emphasis shifts to the three different responses to the miracles. Some believed and their lives were eternally changed. Others were amazed, but no change took place in their own lives. Then there were those that rejected Him and blasphemed Him. We still find these same three responses to Christ today. What has been your response to Jesus?
Belief – Matthew 9:27-31
The first response is that of the blind men in verses 27-31. “And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him . . .” Jesus had just raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead and He was going to His own home in Capernaum when two blind men became aware that Jesus was passing by and they start following Him. The text does not say why they were blind – and there were a lot of causes of blindness in the ancient world such as various diseases, blowing sand, blinding sun, and accidents – but regardless of the cause, these men are without sight. Jesus walks by and together they start following Him hoping that He will help. As they are going, they are “crying out, and saying, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’” The crying out is very loud and probably unpleasant sound. The word here, kravzw / kradzo, is similar to our English word, croak. It means to “croak or cry with a loud and raucous voice” (TDNT). They continued to follow Jesus and cry out until Jesus spoke with them after He reached His house. They were persistent, and their request makes their reason obvious. They wanted mercy from the Son of David.
Their request is a simple sentence, but it is full of deep meaning. “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” Notice first that their cry is a request for mercy. They wanted Jesus to show kindness toward their great need. Incumbent within this request is the understanding that they knew they did not deserve what they were requesting. Since the common understanding in that culture was that something as debilitating as blindness was a judgment of God for sin, they were probably very keenly aware of their unworthiness. Their request also demonstrates that they believed that Jesus was able to do something for them. I suggest to you that these two men were poor in spirit – the first requirement for those that would enter into the kingdom of God.
Many people claim to know Jesus Christ, but as you talk with them it does not take long to figure out that it is not the Jesus of the Bible that they describe. Their God is an old grandfather type who can see no wrong in his grandchildren regardless of what they do, and their Jesus is emasculated. Their Jesus can be ignored, treated rudely and even cursed without consequence to all the good things they expect to receive from Him. To be sure, the Jesus of the Bible is kind, gentle, merciful, gracious and loving, but He never excused sin and is plainly described as the coming judge who will execute vengeance with wrath on all the ungodly.
In addition, the actions of so many who say they are Christians give proof that their claim is false. You cannot believe that Jesus is who He claims to be and give such utter disregard to the commands He gave. Yet we find people who have lifestyles described in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers and swindlers – claiming to be Christians. Paul states clearly that such people will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they are washed, sanctified and “justified in the name of the Lord, and in the Spirit of our God” so that those descriptions are what they used to be, but no longer. Tragically, there are even denominations that claim to be Christian that make people still entrapped in such sins their spiritual leaders. Of those in their 20’s who attend church – over 40% say they are not born again, 65% say you will go to heaven if you are good, 45% are confused about whether homosexual behavior is a sin, and 35% are unsure about the trustworthiness of the Bible – and again, these are those attending church (Pew Research Study – 2014). Why are so many people uncertain about their faith or even have a false profession of faith?
I believe a fundamental reason is that such people never came to Jesus the same way these two blind men did. They do not humbly cry out to God for mercy. They are under the delusion that they deserve something from God. It is the poor in spirit that enter the kingdom of God, and the poor in spirit recognize their sinful and desperate situation. Many people who say they are Christians have not even reached the first step of recognizing their desperate need for Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing from sin.
The first reason these two blind men were crying out to Jesus for mercy was because neither they nor anyone had been able to help them gain what they so desperately desired. The second reason they were crying out to Jesus for mercy was that they believed that Jesus could and would help them. How strong was that belief?
Since these blind men are in Capernaum, it is reasonable to assume that they had heard the stories about Jesus healing other people and that would certainly give them a reason for believing Jesus could help them. However, the text points out something even more significant and an even greater demonstration of their faith. They specifically call Jesus, “Son of David.”
This is an important phrase because as Hendriksen points out in his commentary, “. . . it is clear that during Christ’s ministry on earth ‘Son of David’ and ‘Messiah’ had become synonyms.” These men did not just believe that Jesus was a miracle worker like one of the prophets. They believed that Jesus was the Messiah Himself and they addressed Him with terminology that signified that fact. For these two blind Jews, the fact that Messiah was present would have brought to mind the hope found in Isaiah 35:4-6, “Say to those with anxious heart, ‘Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, And the ears of the deaf will be un-stopped. Then the lame will leap like a dear, And the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah . . .” These men believed that Jesus was the Messiah and therefore had great confidence that He would have mercy upon them and heal them.
Notice in verse 28 that though they were following Jesus and crying out loudly, Jesus did not respond to them until “after He had come into the house.” It appears the blind men went right into the house after Jesus. Why did Jesus delay instead of healing the men in public as He had other people? It would appear from what is said later in this text that Jesus wanted to minimize public attention that He was the Messiah. He could not do that and respond to their call to Him as the Son of David while still on the street.
Why would Jesus want to minimize the announcement that He was the Messiah? Did not all the miracles He had previously done broadcast that fact already? Yes, but Jesus was not announcing that fact verbally because of all the incorrect political connotations that had become attached to the term. The common thought among the religious leaders and the people was that Messiah would come as a conquering ruler who would overthrow Rome and set up Israel as the world power. Instead, Jesus consistently let His teaching and His miracles demonstrate that He was fulfilling what the prophets foretold concerning Messiah without verbally proclaiming it publically. An example of this is recorded in Matthew 11:3-5
John the Baptist was in prison and he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” Jesus could have easily just said, “Yes, it is true, I am the Expected One, I am the Messiah.” But instead we find that Jesus says, “Go and report to John what you hear and see; the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” John knew the Hebrew Scriptures and would know that all these things prove that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is concerned that the Jews, as God’s chosen people, accept His messiahship on the basis of His fulfillment of what the Hebrew prophets foretold and not on the basis of mere verbal claims or hearsay.
Once the blind men are in the house,“Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord” (vs. 28). They had already demonstrated their faith in Jesus by the fact that they were following Him and crying out to Him for mercy. Now they verbally affirm their belief that Jesus was able to heal them. Though the term “lord” was often used out of simple respect, similar to our use of the term, “sir,” it is obvious that they calling Jesus, “Lord,” in recognition of His deity for they had already been calling Him Son of David, a title for Messiah.
Matthew 9:29 recounts Jesus’ response, “Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘Be it done to you according to your faith.’ And their eyes were opened.” We must be careful not to infer that Jesus was limited by their faith in His ability to heal. We have already seen in previous studies that Jesus can and does heal apart from any faith by the one being healed. The Centurion’s servant was healed without ever meeting Jesus. Jairus’ daughter was dead and incapable of faith, but Jesus raised her back to life. Jesus can heal as He desires and He can also set up criteria by which He will heal. In this case it was according to the faith of the two men and upon his touch. There was little doubt about their faith in light of their actions and affirmations of faith, and so they received their sight. I do not think there is much doubt that they received more than just their physical sight. In view of their statements concerning Jesus and the clear evidence of their faith in Him, I believe they also received spiritual life.
These men demonstrated they were poor in spirit. It is clear that they understood their need and believed Jesus could and would meet that need. They cried out to Jesus for mercy and placed their faith in Him as the Messiah, and upon the basis of that faith, Jesus healed them. These men picture salvation. Do they picture your life?
Richard Trent has commented concerning this faith, “The faith which in itself is nothing is yet the organ for receiving everything. It is the conducting link between man’s emptiness and God’s fullness, and herein lies all the value faith has. Faith is the bucket let down into the fountain of God’s grace, without which the man could never draw water of life from the wells of salvation. For the wells are deep, and of himself man has nothing to draw with. Faith is the purse which cannot of itself make its owner rich, and yet effectually enriches by the wealth which it contains.” That is the nature of the faith needed for salvation. It in itself is nothing, yet through it everything comes. It is not something that can be worked up, it is something God given to those that will seek after Him. Salvation comes by God’s grace through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
After opening their eyes, Jesus instructs them – Matthew 9:30 “And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See that no one knows about this!’ This was certainly not a command that they should keep hidden the fact that they could see, for that would have been impossible and nonsensical. Jesus would not command them to now act blind after restoring their sight, and it would be very obvious to all that knew them that something radical had occurred since they could now see. Jesus’ charge is related to the same reason He delayed His response to their cry for mercy. Jesus did not want people to be proclaiming that He was Messiah prematurely. The religious leaders were already growing in opposition to Him and it was not yet time to aggravate that.
Though the command was strong and clear, the two previously blind men were not able to keep quiet – verse 31, “But they went out, and spread the news about Him in all that land.” This was disobedience and therefore sinful and wrong, yet it was disobedience born out of overwhelming joy. Would to God that such was the problem of Christians today, for instead there exists the exact opposite problem. All believers have been charged by the Lord to proclaim Him to others, yet few Christians obey to speak up about Him and what He has done in their lives. There is nothing greater to talk about than the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He is and all that He has done, and our joy in Him should overwhelm us so that we cannot contain our praise, yet fear and intimidation keeps the mouths of most Christians shut. If that describes you, it is time to overcome that fear, and evangelism training will help tremendously. That is why we offer such classes, and there is one this Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm. (www.way of the master.com)
Amazement – Matthew 9:32-33
The second and more common response to Jesus’ ministry is found in Matthew 9:32-33. “32And as they were going out, behold, a dumb man, demon-possessed, was brought to Him.
Jesus has only been back in Capernaum a short time after traveling to the country of the Gadarenes where He cast out the legion of demons from two men there. After He had gotten out of the boat and was walking home, He was approached by Jairus concerning his very sick daughter. While on His way to Jairus’ home, He stopped when He encountered the woman with the issue of blood who was healed when she touched the fringe of Jesus’ robe. Servants arrive and tell Jairus that his daughter has died, but Jesus tells him to have faith, then continues on to his house where He raises the girl back to life. As Jesus is walking back to His house, the blind men begin to follow Him and cry out for His mercy. Jesus heals them after they come inside. It appears the crowd that gathered soon after Jesus returned and had been at Jairus’ home has also followed Him to His house and they are expecting the same kinds of miracles that had been done the day before. It is in this context that a mute man is brought to Jesus just as the formerly blind men are leaving.
There are many things that can cause an inability to speak, but the cause in this case is clearly stated. The man is demonized. Jesus response is recorded in Matthew 9:33, “And after the demon was cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the multitudes marveled, saying, ‘Nothing like this was ever seen in Israel.’” Jesus casts the demon out and so releases the man from the bondage he had been in and he immediately regained his ability to speak.
There are several notable contrasts between this man and the two men who had been blind. First, the two blind men were the focus of the passage in which their story is told. The mute man is nearly incidental to what occurs. The focus is actually on the response of the people to the miracle. Second, the blind men actively pursue Jesus. This man had to be brought. He was either indifferent or somewhat resistant to Jesus. This man represents God’s general goodness to men including men who do not seek after God themselves. Third, the blind men demonstrated and stated their beliefs and their faith in Jesus. Nothing is said about the belief or the faith of this man. Fourth, the two previous blind men spread the news about Jesus throughout the land even though they were not supposed to do so. It is not recorded what the previously mute man said after being healed.
The focus of the story is the response of the crowd to it, and their response is understandable, yet odd. It is understandable that they are amazed and marvel at this miracle. Demons caused a lot of problems and until the coming of Jesus, it was rare that they were cast out (Jesus alludes to others casting out demons in Matthew 12:27). At the same time it is odd, because they are saying, “Nothing like this was ever seen in Israel,” and yet Jesus had already cast demons out of people in Capernaum (Luke 4:33-35, 41) including one that caused a man to be both blind and dumb (Matthew 12:22; Mark 3:20f). Jesus had already done many similar things in His many miracles, and Jewish history included many miracles including those performed by the prophets Elijah and Elisha. Why then would they say such a thing? Because the multitudes were fickle. They were erratic in their stated beliefs and attachments which changed according to what caught their attention or benefitted them personally. Their amazement did not turn into personal faith in Jesus. Several times Jesus rebukes the crowd for seeking the miracles and not Him. For example, Jesus says in John 6:26, “Truly, truly I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled.” They followed Jesus for the free food and the entertainment of the miracles. Free stuff and entertainment can attract a crowd, but don’t expect that to produce faith in Christ. That only happens as the Holy Spirit works to convict people of their sin and need for a Savior through the faithful proclamation of God’s word.
Most people believe that Jesus was a good person and they would not purposely malign Him, yet they do so anyway because they do not believe Him to be the Messiah. They reject the fact that He is God in human flesh come to save mankind from their sins by being a substitutionary sin offering. They marvel at Jesus’ teachings and His life, but they do not want to follow Him. They pick His teachings apart to try and justify doing what they want to do. Jesus said that “He who is not for Me is against Me” (Luke 11:23). They were amazed, but they were also indifferent, and therefore bound for hell.
Blasphemy – Matthew 9:34
The third response to Jesus’ ministry is by those who are openly against Him as seen in Matthew 9:34, “But the Pharisees were saying, ‘He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” Since they could not refute what had happened they denied the means by which it occurred. This is the second time they have openly blasphemed and called what Jesus did in holiness in casting out a demon a work that was in league with Satan. They proclaimed the good that Jesus performed to be an evil.
The committed unbeliever will not believe regardless of any facts or reason no matter how obvious and convincing. You cannot debate someone into the kingdom simply because a person who is dedicated to darkness refuses to see the light regardless of the intensity of the light. The only hope of such a person is that their spiritual blindness would be lifted, they would see their sinfulness, repent and turn to Jesus. Otherwise, they are doomed for all eternity by their own choice.
There are really only three responses to Jesus, and only one of those leads to eternal life. The two blind men exemplify salvation. They knew their need and believed Jesus could rescue them. They cried out for His mercy and received it by faith.
The opposite response is the open criticism and rejection of the Pharisees. They condemned themselves to everlasting damnation.
The dumb man and the crowds were amazed and even received temporal benefits from Jesus, but their hearts were not turned. They were indifferent to His claim and demonstration that He was the Messiah. This is the response of the vast majority of people. Some ignore Jesus while others might even praise Him, but neither places their faith in Jesus and follow Him. Therefore they remain just as damned as those who criticize and reject Christ. Any response except the response of faith results in hell, not heaven.
The most important question of our time is: Who is Jesus and what is your response to Him? What is your response? Are you proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly to others so that they might respond in faith to Him? Jesus is the only hope for any individual person, for any society, for any nation.
Sermon Notes: Three Responses to Jesus
The Obergefell decision is serious with many ramifications
American Christians live in a increasingly antagonistic society, we must remain firm in living for Christ
The greatest questions facing our society are not political or social, they concern Jesus & responding to Him
Overview – Matthew 9:27-34
Matthew is written thematically with chapters 8 & 9 proving Jesus deity by His many miracles.
These last miracles in this section emphasize the response to Jesus
Belief – Matthew 9:27-31
Jesus was back in Capernaum after casting out the legion of _______________in Gadarene
Two blind men are following Jesus crying out ( kravzw / kradzo – croak, loud voice) to Him for __________
The request for mercy demonstrates they knew their ____________and belief Jesus could help
Many people claim to know Jesus, but often it is a ______________Jesus than who is described in the Bible
The ______________of many people that claim to be Christians demonstrate their profession is false
Weak faith and false professions are often due to a lack of _______________
The blind men cried out to Jesus for mercy. They were ______________and they believed Jesus could help
Their faith is demonstrated in calling Jesus, “Son of David,” a ___________title – with hope of Isaiah 35:4-6
Jesus does not respond until after they are ______His home – this minimizes attention that He is the Messiah
Jesus wanted them to apply the ______________to Him, not common misconceptions about the Messiah
They affirm their faith verbally and call Jesus, “Lord,” in recognition of His Messiahship – ____________
Jesus’ requirement for healing according to their _______indicates more occurred than just physical healing
The faith needed for salvation is ______________in itself, but everything comes through it
Jesus did not command them to hide the fact they could _________, only not to spread the news about Jesus
They could not contain their ____________, and went and spread the news anyway
Amazement – Matthew 9:32-33
Jesus had already performed many ______________the day before and that day before arriving home
Many things can cause dumbness, but this man was mute because of a ____________, which Jesus cast out
The blind men were the ____________of their story, the mute man is nearly incidental to this story
The blind men actively pursue Jesus, the mute man has to be brought to Jesus – _____________or reluctance
The blind men demonstrated faith in Jesus, nothing is said about the ___________of the mute man
The previously blind men spread the news about Jesus, we don’t know ___________the mute man said after
The focus of the story is the ____________of the crowd, which marvels, but what they say is very odd
Jesus had already cast out demons in Capernaum, including one that had made a man both blind and ______
Their response reveals their ____________, a characteristic of crowds. They did not believe before – or now
Free stuff and entertainment can attract a crowd, but ____only comes by the Holy Spirit through God’s word
Thinking well of Jesus, but indifference to His identity as God and Savior, is still _____________
Blasphemy – Matthew 9:34
They could not refute what happened, so they denied its ___________and blasphemed – again
A committed unbeliever will not believe no matter how _________& convincing the facts and reason
The __________hope is for the Holy Spirit to remove spiritual blindness so that they can repent and believe
The blind men represent the _______. They know their need, cry out to God for mercy and receive it by faith
The Pharisees represent the ________who reject even the obvious and condemn themselves by their choices
The crowd represents the _________who are attracted to God’s goodness, but reject His claim on their lives
The most important question of our time: Who is ____________, and what is your response to Him?
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times Jesus is mentioned. 2) Discuss with your parents Jesus’ identity and what it means to believe in Him.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why is the Obergefell decision so serious? What are the possible ramifications of it for Christians? Where does it fit in Paul’s description of a degenerating society in Romans 1:18-32? What should Christians do as a response – Politically? Socially? Spiritually? Why does Matthew 8 & 9 group together many miracles in a non-chronological order? What is the point of Matthew including the last two miracles in chapter 9 considering he had already presented Jesus doing miracles of healing and casting out demons? What did the blind men do when the found out Jesus was passing by? Why does Jesus wait until they are inside His house before He heals them? What is the significance of them asking for mercy? What is the significance of them calling Jesus, “Son of David.” Why is it important that a person believes in the Jesus described in the Bible and not a caricature of Him? Why do you think so many people that claim to be Christians live lifestyles described in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10? Explain the relationship of humility and salvation from sin? Why did Jesus tell them they would be healed according to their faith since He did not require that in other healings? Why did Jesus want to restrict the men from telling others what had happened to them? What had Jesus done in Capernaum in previous times and especially the previous day? What had Jesus done in Capernaum that same day? Contrast the actions and response of the blind men with that of the mute man. Why was the crowd amazed? Why would they say “Nothing like this was ever seen in Israel,” when in fact many miracles – including casting out a demon to make a mute man speak – had occurred before? Why are crowds fickle? Why doesn’t free stuff and entertainment produce faith? What is necessary? What will be the final end of those who are indifferent to Jesus? Why? Why do the Pharisees blaspheme – again? Why can’t you argue someone into the kingdom of God? What is necessary? What is the only hope for an individual? A community? A nation? What is the most important question of our time? What is your answer to that question? How are you making sure others are presented with that question so that they can respond properly?
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