Archive for August, 2006

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Matthew 26:39

August 31, 2006

“And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'”

A Christian brother, Paul, brought this verse to my attention one day. His brother is a Mormon, a non-Christian. Their denial of the truth of the Trinity is tragic but continuous.

The point was made by the Mormon that there were two wills in this passage, apparently contradictory wills. The first was Jesus’ will – He willed that the cup pass Him. The second was God the Father’s will – He willed that Jesus drink the cup.

I reviewed this argument several times. I also looked through several Mormon apologetic books. The only thing I found was that Muslims use this same verse with the same point.

Their reading is incorrect. To understand we must again joyfully turn to Jesus Christ. When Jesus was incarnated He “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant [or bondservant], being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). This incomprehensible humbling brings God into human flesh. With this in mind we remember Matthew 24:36 (Mark 13:32), where Jesus shows that in His incarnation He does not have complete access to His omniscience (His ability to know all things). This fits perfectly with Jesus’ admission in John 5:19, “So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise'”. Since the Son can do nothing of His own accord, He must depend on the Father for everything, even His knowledge (Luke 2:52). This was the key to understanding Matthew 26:39.

In Matthew 26:39, Jesus prays, “My Father, if it be possible”. At this point, in His incarnation, Jesus does not know whether or not it is possible for the Father to take the cup from Him. Jesus acknowledges that His will is separated from the will of the Father by knowledge, not because of differing or opposing wills in the godhead. That is our answer to the Mormon and the Muslim.

For our own benefit, the rest of the verse is very insightful as well. Understanding the above, Jesus continues by showing His submission to the Father, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will”. Jesus knows His will is not completely informed in His humanity and therefore He submits to the Father. In the same manner we should submit ourselves to God because of our complete dependance on Him for all things.

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Matthew 6:31-33, Sermon

August 24, 2006

I have been busy for quite a while… longer if you review when the last posting was. It is good to be back.

Below is the file for my second sermon. It was delivered here in Rhode Island at Chepachet Union. I would encourage you to review the assertions of my previous sermon, i. e. I am not an ordained pastor; I am only a student of God’s Word; I post these files for central storage and in hopes of God blessing another through them.

There is one slight advisory. I do not believe, nor is it taught in the Bible, that man is basically good. I would refer you to Jeremiah 17:9. I do make a sarcastic comment that “Man is basically good”. I should have made this more clear sarcasm or a more dramatic point.

I would also like to point out that the beginning of the sermon has been edited slightly. I began with an overview of an outline. The outline was conceived only the night before and appeared no where else in the sermon. For that reason I edited it out of the audio file.

The sermon is titled, “Still Seeking?”. The text is Matthew 6:31-33 from the ESV:

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The audio file (mp3) is available here. I cut down the size of the file which may have reduced the quality. Let me know if it does not work for you and I will post the larger file. You can right-click and go to either “Save Target As” or “Save Link As” or you can click on it and then go to File->Save As.

If I had the time, I would have typed out the contents of the audio file. Instead I am posting the text file with all its spelling errors and even the last minute outline – here. I would encourage you to use Bible Gateway or your own Bible to reference the other passages in the sermon.

In the name of Jesus the Christ,
Joshua