Sermon # 27 Series: Matthew
Title: “BEHOLD, A GREATER THAN SOLOMON IS HERE!”
Text: Matthew 12:38-50
Subject: Christ’s Response To The Pharisees
Evening – January 17, 1995
Tape: # Q-91
Here is a poem I often read to myself when I am preparing a message for you. I keep it in the back of my Bible and frequently read it silently, as a prayer to God just before I stand up to preach. It was written a long, long time ago by another preacher – Francis Havergal.
Lord, speak to me that I may speak
In living words of Thy grace;
As Thou sought me, so let me seek
Thine elect sons of every race.
Lord, Oh, lead me that I may lead
The wandering and the wavering feet;
Feed me, Lord, that I may feed
Others with Thy manna sweet.
Lord, strengthen me that as I stand
Firm on the Rock and strong in Thee,
I may stretch out a loving hand
To weary ones on a troubled sea.
Oh, teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious truth Thou dost impart,
And bless my words that they may reach
The hidden depths of another heart.
Supply my needs, O gracious Lord,
That I may give to those in need;
I long to show along life’s road
My love not only in Word but in deed.
Oh, use me, Lord, even me,
Just as you will and when and where,
Until Thy blessed face I see,
Thy rest, Thy joy, and Thy glory there.
That is my prayer to God as I deliver my message tonight. My text is Matthew 12:38-50.
In these verses the Lord Jesus silences the caviling Pharisees, demonstrates the validity of Holy Scripture and the danger of graceless religion, and gives great comfort to all who trust him.
I. First, in verse 38, we see that Unbelief Always Looks For A Sign.
The Pharisees, in their brazen, obstinate, arrogant self-righteousness and unbelief said, “Master, we would see a sign from thee!” What sham pretense! They pretended that they merely wanted a little more evidence in order to be convinced and become his disciples. The healing of the sick, the cleansing of the lepers, the casting out of devils, and the raising of the dead was not quite enough evidence for them – It was not enough because they were determined not to believe the Son of God!
A. That is exactly the state of many today.
They claim a willingness to believe, if only they had enough evidence, or enough proof, or enough signs.
B. Faith in Christ cannot be produced by signs, proofs, and arguments.
Faith is the gift of God. It is wrought in men and women by hearing the Word of God.
And the basis of faith is the naked Revelation of God in Holy Scripture.
C. The only way anyone can ever see the glory of God and be established in the peace of God and the truth of God is by believing God!
II. Secondly, verses 39-42 demonstrate clearly that The Authority of The Old Testament and The New Testament Stand or Fall Together.
In these verses the Lord Jesus, almost casually, displays the truth of the Old Testament Scriptures. This is an important fact. The Bible is one Book, not two. It is one, united Word of Divine Revelation. Those who attempt to pick holes in the Old Testament are at the same time attempting to destroy the authority of the New.
The same Holy Spirit who Inspired the Old Testament writers to tell us of Jonah, and the Queen of Sheba, and Solomon inspired the writers of the New Testament to tell us of Christ, his redemptive work, and his exaltation and glory – If one part of this Book is a lie, all of it is a lie! You cannot pick and choose what you want. You must either receive it all and believe it all, or reject it all as a lie, a falsehood, a fable, and a fabrication.
A. As Jonah really was in the belly of the whale for three days, so the Lord Jesus, when he was crucified as our Substitute, was buried in the earth and rose from the dead three days later.
The man of Nineveh who believed the message of Jonah and repented shall rise in judgment against all who refuse to believe the message of grace from the lips of the risen Christ – “Behold a greater than Jonah is here!”
B. As The Queen of Sheba diligently sought Solomon and heard all of his wisdom, so all who seek Christ shall find him and be taught of him all things pertaining to life and godliness – “Behold, a greater than Solomon is here!”
This queen of the south shall rise in judgment against all who have Christ clearly set before them, but refuse to trust him.
III. Thirdly, verses 43-45, teach us that Nothing Is More Dangerous And Destructive To The Souls Of Men Than A Profession of Faith Without The Possession of Grace.
We do not try to pump and twist professions of faith out of people, young or old, because we realize that nothing is more certain to destroy a person than religion without Christ.
A. This much I know – None of God’s Elect are going To Perish Because We Do Not Pump Professions of Faith Out Of People.
Our only business is to faithfully preach the gospel to people, pray for God’s blessing upon it, and wait for God to do his work.
B. In these verses, The Lord Jesus describes what happens to men and women who are talked into religion and persuaded to make a profession, in a lost religious generation, never experiencing the grace of God.
· There is a Great, Great Change.
“None prove so hopelessly wicked as those who after experiencing strong religious convictions have gone back again to sin and the world.” J.C. Ryle
NOTE: Do not be content with Christless, graceless religion!
IV. Fourthly, verses 46-50 teach us that All True Believers Are The Family of God.
Sometimes the Church of God is called by one name and sometimes by another, to show various aspects of our relationship to God and to one another.
But in this passage – our Lord teaches us that all true believers are one in him and that we are the family of God (Eph. 3:15).
All believers are counted by the Son of God as his relatives. He loves them. He feels for them. He cares for them, as members of his family, bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh.
A. He Provides for His Family.
B. He Protects His Family.
C. He Prays for His Family.
Are you a member of this family? Rejoice? Would you be? Trust Christ?