True Greatness

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 20:20-28 Be honest: would you like to be truly great? There is a price to pay for achieving greatness; everyone knows that. But unless we listen to Jesus, we might not know what that price really is. Here is a scene that unfolds in Matthew 20 as Jesus and his disciples are on the road to Jerusalem for the last time together before the crucifixion. As they travel to the city for Passover, Jesus explicitly warns his …

It's All Grace

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 20:1-16 Do you welcome God’s grace, or are you bothered by it? One of Jesus’ most arresting parables turns many of our ideas about the world—and the church—upside down. Here is one of Jesus’ most arresting stories, from Matthew 20. For the kingdom of heaven is like a master . . . who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent …

One Who Would Not Follow

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 19:16-30 Would you give up everything to follow Jesus? Could you? In a famous encounter with a man who had everything, Jesus made a dramatic demand. He could do the same thing to you.   Here is a lovely scene from the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew: “Then children were brought to [Jesus] that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children …

Christian Marriage

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 19:1-12 What did Jesus have to say about marriage and divorce? G. K. Chesterton once said that Christianity had not been tried and found wanting; it had been found hard, and not tried. That is especially true about Jesus’ teaching on marriage. One of my favorite New Testament characters is a bit player with a very small role. We don’t even know his name — he is identified simply as a Roman centurion. He came up to …

A Question of Forgiveness

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 18:21-35 Do you find it hard to forgive? According to Jesus, the issue is not whether we ought to forgive those who have wronged us; that’s a given. The issue is why we must forgive. Do you find it hard to forgive? According to Jesus, the issue is not whether we ought to forgive those who have wronged us; that's a given. The issue is why we must forgive. Have you ever struggled with the choice between …

Church Life

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 18:15-20 How do you deal with personal conflict? If you’re anything like most people, you don’t deal with conflict very well! But conflict is a given, even in the church. However, Jesus left his followers some instructions on how to resolve it. One of my colleagues used to say, “Working for the church wouldn’t be bad, if it weren’t for all the Christians.” He was speaking tongue in cheek — sort of. The truth is, life in …