Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jesus teaches the wedding feast parable

The Great Commission

Part 25 – Jesus Teaches the Parable of the Marriage Feast

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

June 29th – Lori Ulman

July 6th – Lynnette Higgins

July 13th – Walker Spriggs

July 20th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

July 27th – Grace Steadman


Jesus Speaks to Zacchaeus

Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem (Triumphal Entry)

Jesus Cleanses the Temple (again)

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

Jesus Teaches the parable of the Marriage Feast


Matthew 22:1 – 14

1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:

2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.

3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

4 "Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'

5 "But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.

6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.

7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.

9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'

10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.

12 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.

13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."


a. This King is God the Father

b. This Son is the Lord Jesus Christ

c. The servants are the Prophets

d. To call Israel, but they refused to come

Israel rejected the prophets, and even their Messiah. By the description in this scripture, it was a deliberate rejection.


a. This time He sent the Disciples

This refers to the Disciples, and the Apostle Paul, and those in the Early Church, whose ministry was yet to come when this parable was spoken.

This is an invitation directed personally to the people of Israel; the first few Chapters of the Book of Acts speak of this.

Vs 4

'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'

Here we see a strong sense of urgency, for time is running out.

Verse 4 ends with the statement “Come to the Wedding”

This is in respect to the last invitation given to the Jews that could well have been given by the Apostle Paul in Acts Chapter 23.

b. They paid no attention to Him

In the original Greek it says they disregarded it.

c. Some went back to the fields, and back to business

They went back to “their ways” instead of the Lord’s Way.

d. The rest killed the prophets

There were those in Israel who didn’t want the Gospel; this included of all people the religious leaders.

They took the servants (Disciples) and killed them. They became martyrs.

7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

This is exactly what happened in 70 A.D., when Titus destroyed Jerusalem.

III. The King states “The Wedding Banquet is Ready!”

The plan of God is not halted…

The wedding is still going to take place, the only thing that has changed is the guest list.

a. The Banquet is ready because Jesus paid the atonement

It is ready, because as Jesus said on the cross, ‘it is complete.’

b. The King send servants once more “US”

c. ‘Go to the highways & invite everyone you find, good and bad’

We, as servants of the King, are to go to the world, and invite all we meet.

Love is how we invite them.

We are to give an invitation to the Gentiles.

This is World Evangelism.

The Gospel invitation is to be given to everyone, none are to be excluded. The scripture says to the Good and the Bad.

d. The church is the wedding hall, and the guests are good & bad

This scripture also proclaims that the “good” need salvation just as the “bad” do.


a. We are required to have on wedding clothes

The King sees someone without wedding clothes.

In essence, you have on your own clothes (self-righteousness), and have refused to dress for the occasion, you have refused my clothes (The Righteousness of Christ).

He was speechless…

He deemed his own clothes of self-righteousness good enough for the wedding; and it was fine, until the King came in, and then he was exposed and cast out.

b. If the King does not ‘see’ wedding clothes, we will be bound and cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Gehenna, the final hell for those who are judged is the end result of all self-righteousness.



We are commanded by our King to seek out and invite ANYONE who will listen!

Our King has invited (or called) all, the whole world!

When the time comes, He will choose who will remain for the wedding and who will be cast out.

He will choose from those who were called. He will choose those who have received the righteousness of Christ, and put off their righteousness as dirty rags.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

The Great Commission

Part 22 – Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


Jesus Speaks to Zacchaeus

Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem (Triumphal Entry)

Jesus Cleanses the Temple (again)


Matthew 21:17 – 22

17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

18 Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.

20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked.

21 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."


This story is very symbolic of Christ and His relationship with Jerusalem and the Israelites, as well as His relationship with all believers from that point on.

Christ came first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Jesus came to Jerusalem, and the Israelites, most of whom did not want anything to do with Jesus.

Christ comes and reveals Himself, each of us having the opportunity to have a right relationship with the Lord.

a. He left the City (Jerusalem)

This being the end of His ministry here on earth, Jesus left Jerusalem to get some rest before returning.

b. He returned to them

This too is symbolic.

Jesus tells us that He must go and prepare a place for us, but where He is going we will also go to be with Him.

He promises He will return for us.

He came, revealed Himself to us, left for a while, and then returns to get those who belong to Him.

c. He Hungered…

On His way He sees a fig tree, which represents the Jews.

Because of His hunger for fruit, He stops to look at the tree.


a. He sees the Fig tree which appeared to be in good health

Obviously from a distance the tree looked as though it would have fruit, possible having many leaves catching the sun’s light.

b. He found no fruit when He examined it

But when Jesus examined the tree which from the outskirts appeared to be healthy, full of nice green leaves, He found no fruit.

How many of us in our lives today, have the appearance of bearing fruit.

We have the outward leaves drawing all attention to us and our deeds, but when Christ comes and He examines our inside, as the Lord did with this tree here today, will He find fruit?

Fruit that can only come by the Holy Spirit?

If you have no fruit, you do not have the Holy Spirit.

If you have the Holy Spirit, then you will have fruit.

The Pharisees and Sadducees had this problem.

They had the appearance on the outside of bearers of fruit, but when examined, they were nothing but leaves.

All for show, no fruit.

Jesus expects fruit from His people.

As the parable of the servants goes, the master gave to each and expected a profit upon his return.

When you accept the Lord, He gives you the promise of the Father in heaven, which is the Holy Spirit.

What are you doing with that Holy Spirit?

He has trusted you with it, upon His return; will He find fruit in you?

Or like the wicked servant from the parable, are you going to bury (or take to the grave) what God has given you to use in life?

Returning to him what he had given you?


c. He cursed the fruitless tree

The Lord cursed the tree because it should have had fruit, but did not.

The tree had rejected the will of the Lord.

The Lord’s will was to find fruit, and there was none.

If we take a moment to examine our lives, are we too rejecting the will of the Lord?

When we reject the Lord’s will, we are essentially rejecting Him.

Jesus Himself said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands”.

Which is the will of the Father in heaven.

When we do not obey God’s will, we reject the Lord, just as the Pharisees and Sadducees did.

d. Upon the rejection of Christ, it immediately began to whither

Upon rejecting Christ, and because no fruit was found upon examination, the tree was cursed and withered.

The day is coming, and will soon be here when we will be examined by our Lord.

Will He find fruit in you?

Are you using what God gave you in this life to serve Him?

Every ability, every skill, everything you own, have, receive, or are going to get, comes ONLY by the hand of God.

Therefore, should what belongs to Him be used for His glory?

There’s so much talk about tithe, and we will be doing a series soon about tithing.

But bottom line, remember Zacchaeus from our sermon last week?

The minimum required of him to repay those he may have cheated, according to Levitical law which comes straight from the Word of God, he was only required to pay back what he took plus 1/5th.

But because his heart was changed, and he accepted the Lord and was moved by the Holy Spirit, he chose to do what was GREATER, not the least that was required.

Not the least that was required, but the MOST he could possibly do!

Instead of 1/5th he said he would pay back the greater amount of 4 times!

Do you realize that was 20 times as much as what God required????

Not doing the LEAST he could do for the Lord, but the MOST he could do.

We need to have that attitude, especially when it comes to the things that belong to the Lord.

Jesus said, when someone asks for your coat, give them your shirt as well.

If they ask you to carry their load 1 mile, carry it 2.

We are required by Jesus as the children of God NOT to do the least that is required, but always to do more.

Take what God has given you in this life, and use it for His kingdom.

Whether it be money, time, abilities…

They all belong to the Lord.

Use them for His kingdom.

Produce fruit with what the Lord has given you, so when that day comes, and Jesus examines your inside, that there will be beautiful fruit for Him.

Because if there is one thing Jesus has made very clear, and we can look at many examples in the scriptures of this, Jesus does not care about how many beautiful leaves are on the outside…

But whether you are producing fruit.


a. Disciples saw and were amazed at this

b. If you have faith and do not doubt

Faith in Christ alone. Do not doubt the Lord and His Word.

c. Power & Authority in Christ, life & death in our tongue

We have power and authority given to us by Christ Himself, and there is life and death in our tongues, and we will eat the fruit thereof.

d. Blessings and cursings

A whole series in itself.

Bottom line, what we sow, we shall reap.

Are you sowing discord or unity?

Are you sowing sparingly or generously?

Are you sowing love or hate?

Blessings and cursings, what we sow, we shall reap.


2 Corinthians 9:5 – 7

5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jesus speaks to Zacchaeus

The Great Commission

Part 22 – Jesus Speaks to Zacchaeus

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


Jesus Blesses the Children

Jesus speaks again of His Death


Luke 19:1 – 10 Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."



a. Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was.

i. Zacchaeus was a tax collector AND wealthy…

ii. Money never satisfies the spiritual thirst of the human heart.

iii. A hungry, seeking heart will always find the Lord.

b. When other people (crowds) prevented that, he went ahead and climbed a tree.

i. He did not allow people to stand in his way

ii. He didn’t give up when he met opposition

iii. He was determined, and did what it took to see Jesus

c. Let nothing stand between you and seeing the Lord.

i. We come against negative family members

ii. We come against negative friends

iii. We meet opposition when seeking the Lord

iv. Jesus tells us as much in the parable of the sower and the seed


a. Jesus told Zacchaeus He must spend the day at his house.

i. Jesus commanded as a King

1. The Word of Jesus is all it takes

ii. Jesus spoke to him personally…saying his name.

1. He knows us by name

iii. Jesus humbled him…Come down.

1. Jesus seeks the humble, but resists the proud

iv. It was immediate…today.

1. Today…Jesus wastes no time when it comes to salvation

v. Vs. 6 says, “So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly”

1. Proper response to the Lord’s call

vi. Moral effect of conversion…

1. Conversion has a moral effect on us

b. The people murmured (as always) that “Jesus has gone to be a guest of a sinner.”

c. We need to see to the “Higher Good” and ignore earthly instruction.

d. Jesus NEVER catered to public whim, prevailing opinion, or conventional wisdom.

The kingdom of God is not a democracy.

Many churches loose their way because of the installation of voting into the Church which is not biblical.

Prevailing opinion changes, and is moral only on the condition of what society accepts at that moment in time.

The kingdom of God is a theocracy, led by one King, one God and ruler of all.


a. Zacchaeus STOOD (represents action) and SAID (all we can achieve first takes place inwardly, then we speak it into existence)

b. LOOK LORD… His actions were for the pleasing of one person and one person only…Jesus Christ.

c. HERE and NOW Zacchaeus did not wait, he responded here and now.

d. I give ½ my possessions to the poor…unlike the rich young ruler who was saddened at the thought when he spoke to Jesus.

e. And if I have cheated anyone out of anything I will payback 4 times the amount! – Roman law required Fourfold Restitution, but Levitical law demanded the principal and 1/5th added (Numbers 5:7). So he gave FAR MORE than God required of him!

f. Too often God’s people so the least that is required of them instead of the most they could possible do.

g. Zacchaeus imposed a severe measure (Exodus 22:1) thus, he judged himself, and this resulted in true repentant acts!

h. We are told to judge ourselves so that the Lord will not have to judge us. Zacchaeus did just that.

The acts themselves are not repentance…

The acts were outward signs of repentance that has taken place in the heart.

i. An outward sign of an inward decision.

i. Baptism

1. Water Baptism – The water does not wash anything away.

ii. Communion

1. Taking the bread and wine – Jesus told us it’s not what you put into your mouth that defiles you, it’s what comes out…therefore it’s not what you put into your mouth that makes you clean, but what comes out.

2. Life and death are in our tongue, and those who speak will eat the fruit thereof.

iii. Holy Spirit

1. Spiritual Gifts – Spiritual gifts are evidence of the Holy Spirit within us.

iv. Follower of Christ

1. Spiritual Fruits – Spiritual fruits are evidence of our salvation, because we begin to show characteristics of our Lord.


Jesus said: “Today salvation has come to his house, this man who is also a son of Abraham, for the Son of Man came to SEEK and SAVE what was lost.”

Jew and gentile, man and woman, free and slave, Jesus has come to seek and save what was lost to sin. And He continues this today through the Body of Christ, which all followers of Christ are part of.