The Great Confession

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 16:13-16 Who do you say I am? It’s the most important question you will ever answer: who is Jesus Christ? If you need a hint about the answer, stay tuned. In Matthew chapter 16 we find Jesus traveling with his disciples to a place called Caesarea Philippi. Jesus has taken his followers outside Jewish territory to an …

The Pharisees' Leaven

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 16:1-12 What sort of warning do you think Jesus would give to the contemporary church? In a cryptic comment about the conduct of his enemies, Jesus told his followers to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Within that ancient figure of speech lies an important warning for us today. “We want to see a sign …

The Persistence of Faith

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 15:21-28 Why would Jesus ever deny someone who begged him for help? One of the most troubling stories in the gospels describes an encounter between Jesus and a Canaanite mother that seems to show him rejecting her in her time of need. Of all the many virtues Jesus displayed in his life, none is more attractive, I …

A Question of Authority

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 15:1-20 Where do you go for your ideas about God and religion? Few things are more traditional than religion, and that’s good. But Jesus warns us that tradition can also be bad. We need a higher authority for our beliefs and practices – the Word of God. In the opening scene of Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, …

Walking on Water

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 14:22-33 Do you know how to walk on water? By faith in Jesus Christians can, at least figuratively, walk on water – true or false? Actually, it’s true and false. One of the images the early church used to symbolize the Christian faith, in addition to symbols like the cross, the fish, or the Good Shepherd was …