Rev Dr Malcolm Tan
21 June 2020
Sermon notes by Anita Fam
Key Verses: Matthew 10: 28-31
Jesus gives us a warning in v. 28.
⁃ Life is more than looking after our physical bodies. We also have a soul.
⁃ God is the awesome judge who alone can destroy soul and body in hell. If we fear anyone, we should always to fear God most of all.
v. 29 God knows about the pitiful sparrow. A sparrow which is worth half a penny does not go unnoticed by our Father in heaven. He cares for these sparrows.
v. 30. He also cares about us and He knows the details of our lives which we ourselves may not know.
⁃ Because we are more precious than the sparrows, we should never be afraid.
See Matthew 10: 16-18 for the context.
⁃ The context is of personal suffering and persecution.
⁃ This was said in the context of a prophecy that there would be hard times and trials ahead.
⁃ Christ therefore said that we should not fear those who will kill the body. We are to fear God more for He can destroy both body and soul in hell.
⁃ Our Father above knows the very details of our lives. Our suffering today is not unknown to Him.
In v. 28 Jesus described God as the awesome judge. He also spoke of God as Father when he cared for His sparrows.
⁃ We must also know God as God as well as God as our Father in heaven. This is the revelation of who God is as given by our Lord Jesus Christ.
The teaching of Christ goes all the way back to the teaching of Moses.
⁃ “Let my people go to serve and worship me”. In Exodus 7-10, there are six times where Moses confronted Pharaoh and prophesied these very words.
⁃ In what way is Israel’s God’s people? We see God’s declaration in Exodus 4: 22-23 where God says what Israel means to Him. Israel was God’s first born son. That identified God as father to Israel.
⁃ God who is father of Israel reveals Himself here as defender and protector of Israel.
Q: Did God continue in a relationship of father to Israel after the Exodus?
⁃ See Deuteronomy 8: 2-5
⁃ God led Israel through the wilderness for 40 years. He used those 40 years to teach Israel. He also fed and provided Israel throughout that time. God also disciplined Israel. All because God was like a father to Israel. God never stopped acting like a father to His people.
⁃ This is what a good father should do. He protects, leads, instructs, feeds and provides for his children. He also lovingly disciplines them.
Behind the actions as God as father, we have the revelation of the father heart of God.
⁃ See Psalm 103: 13-14. God has a fatherly compassion towards those who fear Him.
⁃ This is the calling of every father so that every father can have a heart of compassion for his own children. Never ever give up on your children.
⁃ See Malachi 4: 5-6. There was a crisis which the prophet Malachi could see happening in the future where the heart of the father would not be for his children and vice versa. That is what is happening now with the reality of the absentee father, the domineering mother who does not give space to the father as well as the emotional forsaken child which leads to a dysfunctional family.
⁃ May our fathers have a heart for our children and may our children have a heart for our fathers.
⁃ May we never give up on our children. May we never stop loving them and may God show us how best to do so.
There are two kinds of fathers in the Bible. There are biological and spiritual fathers.
⁃ See 2 Timothy 2: 1-2.
⁃ Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy. Timothy in turn passed that spiritual legacy which Paul gave to him to 3 subsequent generations.
It is not enough for us to know God as God, we need to know God as father.
⁃ This is an expansion of the teaching of God as father in the Old Testament where Israel was God’s first born son and where God protected, led, instructed, fed and provided for Israel. He also lovingly disciplined Israel.
⁃ Similarly we should do so today. But all these actions should come from a father’s heart and the compassion that a father has for his children.
⁃ We can also be spiritual fathers even if we are not biological fathers.