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Will You Pass the Test?

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand
Isaiah 8:23-9:3; Psalm 27:1,4,13-14; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17; Matthew 4:12-23

Sermon Week Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 4:17

It was the last day before the football team of a large University was to play its biggest game of the season ...

Unfortunately, the head football coach had just received the troubling news that his star quarterback had been disqualified by the Dean for academic reasons. The coach went running to the Dean's office to protest and was informed that the student was caught cheating on an important exam. The coach demanded to know what evidence they had to prove the quarterback had cheated. The Dean explained, "Well, he sat right next to an 'A' student, the best student in the class, and on the first nine questions, his answers were identical -- word-for-word -- to the answers of the 'A' student." Not satisfied, the coach insisted, "That doesn't prove he was cheating. Maybe he really studied this time. Or maybe the 'A' student copied from him." The Dean answered, “I understand. I had the same concerns. But it was his answer to the tenth question that proved it. The 'A' student had written, 'I don't know,' and the quarterback wrote, 'I don't know, either.'"

Repeatedly in the Gospels, we discover the Good News of the kind of rich, full life God wants to give us. Because He loves us so much, in and through Jesus Christ, He has offered us the full life that we want, for ourselves and for those we love, and for all God's children. This is a gift from God. But the gift is only for those who are willing to pay the cost. And by cost, we mean that we must first pass a major test in order to receive the gift.

What, then, is the cost? What, then, is the test? Do I hear someone saying, "I don't know?" And do I hear someone else saying, "I don't know either?"

The truth is that most of us in this congregation do know the price we need to pay for God's gracious gift of wholeness of life. Which is not to say that we are always ready and willing to pay it. Consequently, the Lord Jesus is [...]

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