||Against All Odds
||Why Did Jesus Come?
The prophets of the Old Testament gave hundreds of predictions over 1,500 years about the coming Messiah: where He would be born, how His birth would be different, where He would move to, and where He would be raised. They also predicted events and unique features of His life and ministry. But Matthew shows that Isaiah foretold His character and His conduct. He not only came to this world against all odds; He lived among people against all expectations.
Connect Notes: February 5, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Why Did Jesus Come?"
Text: Matthew 12:18-21
The prophets of the Old Testament gave hundreds of predictions over a span of 1,500 years about the coming Messiah: where He would be born, how His birth would be different, where He would move to, and where He would be raised. They also predicted events and unique features of His life and ministry. But Matthew shows that the prophet Isaiah foretold His character and His conduct. Jesus not only came to this world against all odds; He lived among people against all expectations. Prophecy demonstrates the reality of God, the authenticity of Scripture, and the validity of Jesus Christ. Pastor Skip helped us view Jesus through the lens of His mission:
- He Came to Serve (v. 18)
- He Came to Speak (v. 18b)
- He Came to Strengthen (vv. 19-20)
- He Came to Save (v. 21)
He Came to Serve
- Jesus has many titles in Scripture: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Bread of Life, Good Shepherd, Chief Shepherd, Messiah, Cornerstone, and Great High Priest, among about fourteen others.
- Isaiah called Jesus "Servant" (Isaiah 42:1). He predicted that the Messiah would serve the Lord with a mission to redeem and serve, operating on an exact timetable.
- Jesus served the Father first and foremost, always seeking to accomplish His will (see John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29).
- Jesus served people (see Mark 9:35; 10:45; Philippians 2:5-7). He taught truth, broke bread, washed feet, and died to ransom us from sin.
- Jesus didn't come to meet your expectations; He came to end your condemnation.
- Probe: Just as Jesus served us, how can we emulate His actions with others? Discuss the various ways Christians can serve Christ by serving other people. Pray about putting your thoughts into action.
He Came to Speak
- Jesus came to declare---to proclaim, preach, and tell.
- Jesus was empowered by the Spirit to proclaim and speak. He taught in the temple, in the synagogue, in a boat, in houses---everywhere He could.
- Hearing truth for the soul is more important than healing for the body.
- Jesus came to speak God's truth to people in bondage: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
- Contrary to popular thinking at the time, Jesus didn't come just to save the Jews, but to save everyone (see Genesis 12:3; John 3:16).
- Probe: Is it easy or hard for you to speak God's truth or share the gospel? Discuss how to speak the truth in love, learning from those around you.
He Came to Strengthen
- The text Matthew quotes in Isaiah says that Jesus would not quarrel (harass, annoy) or cry out (shout or scream excitedly). Jesus was not an attacker but an equipper.
- Jesus didn't come to berate or scold; He spoke with dignity and control.
- Jesus responds to our weakness with meekness.
- Society may cast off the helpless, weak, sick, and hurting, but Jesus did not. He came to equip the brokenhearted---to heal and help.
- Jesus will not put your fire out; He'll stoke your fire up.
- He won't discard your life; He'll deliver you.
- Probe: Discuss the difference between an attacker and an equipper. How is one debilitating and the other dignified?
He Came to Save
PracticeConnect Up: What do the various titles for Jesus tell us about all the persons of the Godhead---Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Reread the titles and find key elements to discuss.
- Jesus' name sparks hope, even among unbelievers.
- Jesus predicted triumph through trusting, simple faith (see Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John 5:1-5, 11-13).
- We can triumph by trusting---if we place our trust in Jesus Christ.
- Jesus will keep you and be with you when life hurts, working all things together for good until you get to heaven.
- His one solitary life can heal your solitary life. The one who fulfilled prophecy can fill your heart.
- Probe: Salvation is simple: it is a matter of believing (see Acts 16:31) and receiving (see John 20:22). But living out our salvation is more difficult. The apostle Paul said we are to "work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). Discuss what "fear and trembling" means.
Connect In: Like Jesus, the church is empowered by the Spirit. What does it mean to be filled and empowered by the Spirit? Take a moment to discuss these three key characteristics of our relationship with the Holy Spirit: He is with us, calling and convicting (see John 7:37-39; 14:17; 16:8); He is in us, saving and leading (see 1 Corinthians 13:6; 6:19; Ephesians 1:13-14); and He is upon us, empowering and emboldening us for a life of witness (see Acts 2:1-21; 10:44; 19:6).
Connect Out: Jesus seeks to save those who are hurting that they might repent and turn to Him. Discuss a time when life hurt. How did His grace and mercy help heal you? Use your story to tell others about Him.
- Jesus Christ has been the dominant figure in history for the last twenty centuries
- His coming divided time
- No one has influenced the world like Jesus
- The apostles appealed to two areas of Jesus' life to authenticate Him as the Messiah
- His resurrection
- Fulfilled prophecy
- Hundreds of predictions made over 1,500 years
- Far more than a good guess
- The odds
- One man in history fulfilling just eight of the prophecies about the Messiah is one in 1017
- One man fulfilling sixteen prophecies is one in 1045
- One man fulfilling thirty prophecies is one in 10100—the same odds of one person winning the lottery sixteen times in a row
- About 330 prophecies about Jesus in the Scriptures
- Shows us the reality of God and authenticity of the Bible
- Matthew quoted Isaiah 42:1-4, explaining why Jesus came
- He Came to Serve (v. 18)
- There are far more prophecies about Jesus' life than His birth
- He would be preceded by a messenger (see Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1)
- He would perform miracles (see Isaiah 35:4-6)
- He would teach in parables (see Psalm 78:1-4)
- His ministry would begin in Galilee (see Isaiah 9:1-2)
- He would be sent to heal the brokenhearted (see Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18)
- He would be praised by children (see Psalm 8:2)
- He would enter the temple suddenly (see Malachi 3:1)
- He would come into Jerusalem on a donkey (see Zechariah 9:9)
- He would be rejected by the Jews (see Isaiah 53:3)
- He would come at a precise time and be killed (see Daniel 9:25-26)
- He would be betrayed by a close friend (see Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:12-13)
- He would be silent when accused at His trial (see Isaiah 53:7)
- He Served the Father
- All of the prophecies can be summed up: He was a Servant to the Father
- There are roughly 150 names for Jesus in the Bible
- Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6)
- Bread of Life (see John 6:35, 48); Good Shepherd (see John 10:11, 14)
- Chief Shepherd (see 1 Peter 5:4); Messiah; Cornerstone (see Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:6)
- Great High Priest (see Hebrews 4:14)
- Isaiah's favorite title for Jesus was that He would be the Servant of the Lord
- Not an uncommon title
- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses
- Many other prophets
- Isaiah uniquely highlighted Jesus' role as a servant in four sections of his book
- There was a resistance mounting against Jesus (see Matthew 12:9-21)
- Jesus must have been a bitter disappointment to the religious leaders
- They expected the Messiah to free them from Rome
- They expected Him to set up His earthly kingdom
- They expected Him to be a strict follower of the Law
- Jesus was on earth to fulfill the Father's agenda
- His goal was to please the Father
- He was there to redeem the world from sin
- John 4:34; 8:29
- He Served People
- Even the disciples had expectations Jesus did not fulfill
- Jesus wants to serve you, but that does not mean He will give you everything you want
- He gives you everything you need
- He did not come to be served Himself (see Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45)
- Jesus did not come to meet your expectations; He came to end your condemnation
- He Came to Speak (v. 18b)
- He came to declare justice
- Apaggelló = to report, announce
- He came to deliver a message that the world needed to hear
- He did miracles, but He came to do more
- He taught and preached (see Luke 20:1)
- In the temple and synagogue
- From a boat (see Matthew 13:2-3; Mark 4:1-2)
- At a mountain (see Matthew 5:1)
- People packed Peter's house to hear Him teach (see Mark 2:2)
- Hearing truth for your soul is better than healing for your body
- He came to teach
- In the Gospels, Jesus is said to teach thirty-six times
- He is called a teacher forty-seven times
- Came to speak God's truth to people who were in bondage to their own lies (see John 8:32)
- The exposition of Scripture unleashes God's truth in your life
- Hosea 4:6
- The Bible is the one miracle you can hold in your hand
- Justice to the Gentiles
- Many of us are not Jewish
- If we lived in the New Testament, we would not be permitted to go into the inner court of the temple
- Jesus came to embrace the world (see Genesis 12:3; John 3:16)
- The first worshipers of Jesus were Gentiles: the magi (see Matthew 2:1-11)
- Jesus said of a Roman soldier that he had more faith than all of Israel (see Matthew 8:5-10; Luke 7:1-9)
- Jesus first revealed Himself as the Messiah to a woman of Samaria (see John 4:26)
- He Came to Strengthen (vv. 19-20)
- Not an Attacker
- Quarrel = to harass or annoy
- Jesus did not come to annoy
- Cry out
- To shout or scream excitedly
- Used in ancient times to describe a dog barking
- Not a political rabble-rouser
- Jesus always spoke with control, poise, and dignity (see Ecclesiastes 9:17)
- But an Equipper
- In ancient times, reeds were used to make many different things
- Mats, pens, flutes
- As they grew old, they became brittle and useless
- Smoldering flax is the burned-out wick of a lamp, thrown out as useless
- Refers to worn out people who have broken lives, people who are regarded as useless
- Jesus restores and strengthens
- He won't put your fire out; He'll stoke your fire up
- He won't discard your life; He'll deliver your life
- He gives rest (see Matthew 11:28-29)
- He responds to our weakness with His meekness
- More people come to Christ when they are broken than at any other time
- Never underestimate the value of broken things to God
- Broken pots won a battle (see Judges 7:16-22)
- Broken bread fed a multitude (see Matthew 14:19)
- Broken flask gave a beautiful scent that filled a house (see Mark 14:3)
- The broken body of Jesus brought salvation
- We should worship with our broken hearts (see Psalm 51:17)
- He Came to Save (v. 21)
- He Can Triumph
- His name signals hope to far-off unbelievers
- He wants your life
- You get the victory by simple faith (see Ephesians 2:8; 1 John 5:4)
- He Can Be Trusted
- Religion says you have to work your way to God
- The Gospels say all you have to do is trust your way to Him (see Romans 10:9)
- The One who came to fulfill all the prophecies came for you
: Aristotle, James Hefley, Plato, Socrates
: Encyclopedia Britannica
: Genesis 12:3; Judges 7:16-22; Psalm 8:2; 41:9; 51:17; 78:1-4; 118:22; Ecclesiastes 9:17; Isaiah 9:1-2, 6; 35:4-6; 40:3; 42:1-4; 53:3, 7; 61:1; Daniel 9:25-26; Hosea 4:6; Zechariah 9:9; 11:12-13; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 2:1-11; 5:1; 8:5-10; 11:28-29; 12:9-21; 13:2-3; 14:19; 20:28; 21:42; Mark 2:2; 4:1-2; 10:45; 12:10; 14:3; Luke 4:18; 7:1-9; 20:1, 17; John 3:16; 4:26, 34; 6:35, 48; 8:29, 32; 10:11, 14; Acts 4:11; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 4:14; 1 Peter 2:6; 5:4; 1 John 5:4
Keywords: prophecy, Jesus' life, Servant of the Father, Servant of the Lord, Messiah, justice, miracles, teaching, preaching, truth, Scriptures, Gentiles, reeds, dignity, strength, broken, brokenness, salvation