Facing the Mountain
1/5/20 – 4/12/20
The gospel of Matthew was originally written to a group of Jewish Christians after the destruction of the temple in the AD 70s. Given the Jewish context of this gospel, there are numerous stories that had a different meaning to the original audience than they do to us now. In this series, Pastor Evan explores unique Matthean stories in order to help gather new insights into this gospel.
Strangers in a Strange Land
January 12, 2020
When King Herod heard the Magi had not returned, and realized he had been tricked, he was so furious he ordered the killing of all children aged 2 and under in Bethlehem. Fortunately an angel had warned Joseph in a dream that he needed to take his family and flee to Egypt. In this message, Pastor Evan explores this passage and how sometimes God may call us to revisit a place of pain, an Egypt, in order to grow into the person God is calling us to be.
January 19, 2020
Matthew begins his gospel with what, for many of us, may seem like a boring and pointless list of names, tracing the genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Abraham. But to Matthew’s original audience, these names would have been far from boring or pointless. This was their history! These are their people! And they would have known and understood the lessons Matthew was wanting to instill in them by this recitation of names. In this sermon, Pastor Evan teaches on this genealogy and helps us to grasp the underlying importance of Matthew beginning his gospel this way.
Baptized into a New Promised Land
January 26, 2020
When the Pharisees and Sadducees came to John the Baptizer to be baptized, John called them a brood of vipers. In many ways, these power players could represent the things with which we have unhealthily aligned our faith. They could be institutions, powers, traditions, or even the voices we hear within ourselves, telling us that we shouldn’t take risks or steer out of our lane. Repentance is about changing our mindset; baptism is about death and resurrection. Together, these things challenge us to let the unhealthy parts within us die, that we may cross into a new promised land in God’s Spirit.
Finding Strength in Temptation
February 2, 2020
Often after a particularly joyous moment of life, people may experience a time of struggle or testing. After Jesus’ baptism, he went into the wilderness where, after forty days of fasting, he was tempted by the devil. Continuing this series on the gospel of Matthew, Pastor Evan discusses each of these temptations and what was at the heart of them for Jesus, for Matthew’s original audience, and for us today.
Being Salt & Light Without Lite Salt
February 9, 2020
Jesus said that his disciples were the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and the amazing thing about both salt and light is that just a little goes a long way. In this message kicking off a three part look at the Beatitudes, Pastor Evan examines how Matthew’s original audience may have heard these Beatitudes, as well as their meaning for us today.
Our Relation to Others
February 16, 2020
The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ longest sermon recorded in scripture, includes many timeless bits of wisdom, such as “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile.” But what is behind such wisdom, and how would Matthew’s original audience have heard these statements? In this message, Pastor Evan explores these ideas, while stressing the importance God places not just on our relationship with God but also our relation to others.