November 21, 2021 SUMC 9am Worship Service

Sunday Worship Services:

Sanctuary & online - 9AM and 10:45 AM

Nov. 21, 2021

The Chosen: From Isolation to Community

Matthew 9:9-13; Proverbs 18:1; Romans 8:38-39

1.  Introduction: 

     a.  Film & Faith

     b.  Have you had times over the past 18 months where you have felt isolated? Quarantined? Alone?

2.  Jesus and Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13): 

9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

10 And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

     a.  Matthew…

          i.  He was a Jew and a tax collector.

          ii.  Tax collectors were hated and despised by the Jews.

          iii.  Tax collectors were considered traitors because he worked for the Romans.

          iv.  Tax collectors would cheat and steal from their own people. 

          v.  He was hated or invisible, so he stays on the fringes, but has no community of his own.

     b.  Cages…

          i.  Matthew lived without community for so long, he learned to accept his place as an outcast and live behind his cage. 

          ii.  Like Matthew, we have learned to live behind cages.

               > Cages which keep us isolated and disconnected from one another.

               > Cages which keep us isolated and disconnected from God.

               > Cages (physical separation) eventually bring intense loneliness.

          iii.  Cages are destructive. 

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.

Proverbs 18:1

               > They keep us from having healthy relationships with family and friends.

               > What cages are you in today?

               > Have you been missing the strength from others and the peace you need from God in these crazy times?

     c.  The Good News…

               i.  Jesus doesn’t want us to stay caged up…He is calling us out.

                    > Matthew was different.

                    > Matthew may be invisible by some and hated by others. 

                    > Matthew was guilty.  

               ii.  Yet like the paralytic, this did not disqualify him from experiencing the type of love that Jesus shows. 

              iii.  God’s heart is that we experience a deeper level of community with him and as a result, we receive supernatural peace which is needed through uncertainty. 

               iv.  See, Jesus is calling us from cages. 

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

               v.  Jesus saw Matthew, the one who bordered on hatred and invisibility.

               vi.  Get used to different! Jesus has a different way of seeing us as opposed to the world. 

                    > Jesus sees us differently than how others see us.

                    > Jesus sees us differently than how we see ourselves.

               vii.  He is calling us to step out of our cages and walk into a new level of community with Jesus and other people.

                    > You are not alone.

And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples.

                    > Jesus came for you.

11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 

3.  Conclusion:

               i.  Jesus saw Matthew…Who is it that Jesus is calling you to see?

               ii.  From Isolation to Community

               iii.  Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ…no guilt, no shame, no cage.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39