Our Future Hope
November 13, 2022 | Jess Rainer
Passage: Matthew 22:23-46
Our future hope leads us to love today all because Jesus is the Messiah.
1) Our future hope… (vs. 23-33) Let me remind you of the setting of our passage: It’s Tuesday of Passion Week. I misspoke last week and said Wednesday, but it’s Tuesday and Jesus is going to the cross on Friday. Jesus had cleansed the temple the day before and now He’s back teaching. Last week, we saw Jesus’ authority was directly challenged. Today, the religious leaders are trying to get Jesus to misspeak. They want to trap him with some theology and doctrine. But Jesus is just a little bit smarter than these guys… The Sadducess arrive first on the scene. Do you all remember why they are called Sadduceees? Because they are “sad, you see…” But why are they sad? We see the reason in verse 23. 23 That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: The Sadducees believed that once you die, that’s it. They didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. And this group of religious elites were kind of like the socialites of our day. They were the “well to do” group of people with societal influence. The whole reason they wanted to trap Jesus was because Jesus was infringing upon their lifestyle. The Sadducees come up with an absurd scenario. 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’ 25 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. 26 But the second brother also died, and the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. 27 Last of all, the woman also died. In biblical times, it was common for a widow to marry her late husband’s brother. This was a way for the family to take care of the widow. These Sadducees came up with a scenario where a woman would have married 7 brothers during her life.
They then ask this question: 28 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all en were married to her.” It’s interesting they chose a question about the afterlife when they don’t believe in it. Opponents of Christianity will often do this – use the Bible to try to show the Bible is wrong. The Sadducees were trying to create such a level of absurdity with the resurrection in order to make it untrue. This group was so focused on the law and the customs that they were unwilling to see the truth. To them, if there was a resurrection, it would be complete chaos. Everybody would be running around trying to figure out who is married to who! But look at how Jesus responds: 29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. 30 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 “But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead—haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead.” 33 When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching. I love verse 29: “You don’t know the Bible” and “you don’t know the power of God”. Jesus addresses their lack of knowledge. When we reach heaven, there won’t be marriages. So, this whole idea of trying to figure out who is married to who is moot point. Additionally, we will be like the angels in that there will be no procreation. And they lack understanding of God’s power. God will take our bodies, raise them from the dead, and make them perfect. That’s the power of God! What God’s Word tells us that this life isn’t the end. That our eternities are just beginning. This life is but a mist compared to what eternity is. That we have so much more to look forward to. That there is a day when our bodies will no longer under the curse of sin. That there will be day when we are free from the penalty, power, and presence of sin. As Christ-followers, we exchange the fleeting pleasures of today for the future hope of eternal satisfaction.
For a lot of people, they look at Christianity and see only the giving up of fleeting pleasures. They look at Christianity and go, “Why would I want to give up all the fun things,” at least as they perceive it. I’ve said this before: truth is like a beach ball under water. You can spend your whole life trying to keep truth hidden, but at some point, it’s going to pop up. The people that run after the next high are forced to make a decision when that high runs out: do I look for the next high or do I look for something that lasts. It’s kind of Tennessee football fans thinking they would make the SEC championship. It’s always going to be fleeting. The only thing that lasts is hope in Jesus. If there is one thing that gives me hope in this life it’s that Jesus has my future. When you look at this world through the eyes of your future hope in Jesus, it makes this world a lot brighter. I came across a children’s hymn this week and such a great reminder of what we see:
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
We have hope. We have a future hope that one day Jesus will return and make all things new. And that future hope gives us hope in the everyday. The question then is, what do we do today? Our future hope leads us to love today.
2) Our future hope leads us to love today… (vs. 34-40) Here comes the next round of “trying to stump Jesus!” 34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” There are entire sermon series based on these verses. And to try and cover them in just one point in one sermon is a disservice, so I’m not going to do it. But I do want you to see one thing from these verses. What did Jesus say in verse 40? That the entire Old Testament is summed up with these two commands. For us, all of Scripture, in a way, is contained in these two verses. Why? Because these two commands contain both the inward and outward expression of what it means to follow Christ. What did Jesus say was the greatest commandment? To love God with everything that you are – heart, soul, and mind. This is an internal expression. No one knows how much you love with your heart, soul, and mind except you. But how can you show others what’s going on inside of you? By loving others as yourself. The invisible expression of loving God must become visible by loving others.
Loving yourself isn’t intrinsically bad. To “love yourself” is a message rooted in our culture. The problem is not with concept, but with the why behind it. It’s good to take care of yourself. God created us with the desire for self-care. It’s good to want to work, to eat, to seek friendships. The problem is that world thinks happiness from taking care of yourself can be found apart from God. Quote: The root of our sinfulness is the desire for our own happiness apart from God and apart from the happiness of others in God.” – John Piper. Here’s what means for us: The same pursuit (amount and passion) of self-love should also be the same pursuit of loving your neighbor. The only way to do this is to make God the measure of self-love. In other words, the reason we love our neighbors is because the love of God is overflowing in our lives. What God gives you in the pursuit of His love should overflow to your neighbor. The future hope we have in Jesus should overflow to your neighbor. Our future hope leads us to love today. Our future hope leads us to love God and love others. What we hope for in the inside manifests itself by loving others on the outside. We have future hope. That future hope leads us to love today. And both of those are based on Jesus. Our future hope leads us to love today all because Jesus is the Messiah.
3) Our future hope leads us to love today all because Jesus is the Messiah. (vs. 41-46) Now, it’s Jesus’ turn to ask the questions! 41 Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They replied, “He is the son of David.” Jesus asks a question that He knew they would be able to answer. He’s warming them up a little bit. Jesus asked them whose son is the coming Messiah. They answered right. Scripture tells us the Messiah is the Son of David. Jesus then asks a follow up question. 43 Jesus responded, “Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said, 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’ 45 Since David called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” Jesus is quoting Psalm 110. And he’s asking the question: How can David, whose heir (or son) is the Messiah, “my Lord?” How can the heir of David be greater than David himself? Now, we know the answer to question because Jesus was both human and divine. Jesus was the human heir to David. Jesus is also the divine Son of God. David knew this, so that’s why he called him “my Lord”. But these religious elite couldn’t see what David knew without seeing. That Jesus is the Messiah. And look at their response in verse 46. 46 No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions. I want each of you to have an answer. I want each of you to know Jesus as the Messiah. I want each of you to know Jesus as your Savior and your Lord. You’ll never love today or have a future hope without knowing Jesus as the Messiah.
Quote: Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. - CS Lewis.
This sermon series will a year long journey through the book of Matthew in 2022. These messages will examine the broader themes in Matthew like God’s character, Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament’s promises for a Messiah, and the importance of internal integrity over external behavior. It lays out practical application points like the need for salvation, baptism, and repentance. It also provides answers to the question “Who is Jesus?”. It invites you to recognize Jesus as God’s Son and to receive him as Lord of your lives. This sermon series provides the groundwork for a clear explanation of the Gospel.