Jesus: The Zealous House-Cleaner

# 1- Jesus: The Zealous House-Cleaner

Sermon (Lectionary) by Martin Manuel from John 2:13-22

Today is the third Sunday of Lent. In church history, Lent was a time when people prepared to be baptized on Easter Sunday. It was also a time when believers who had drifted away from God were encouraged to examine their lives and be restored to genuine discipleship. For many Christians today, Lent is a time of introspection that includes fasting—giving up something to seek after God.   It’s a time of cleansing and renewal, looking forward to Easter.  Our Church Administration team in Glendora has prepared a Lenten sermon series for pastor’s to draw from this spring.

John Wesley made this statement in one of his sermons: “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Though not in the Bible his statement has been embraced by many as a principle for godly living.  Spring cleaning hasn’t quite begun in the snowy North, but our Spring has Sprung, so I have a question for you today: Is your house clean?  Even the most scrupulous among us will admit that our homes get dirty quickly and are not easy to clean.  Some may be able to hire a house-cleaner, but the responsibility for a home’s cleanliness still lies with its owner!  Sometimes we become so accustomed to the clutter that we don’t see it as a problem.

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The Parables of Jesus – 10 Sleepy Bridesmaids – Response & Responsibility

                                                       The Parables of Jesus

10 Sleepy Bridesmaids – Response & Responsibility Matt 25:1-13

January 28th, 2018   Steve Schantz  


I’ve really been enjoying our current series on the Parables of Jesus. It awakens me personally to the reality of the Kingdom in the simple and obvious as well as the deep and wonderful in each of these parables.  An element of the Kingdom parables which gives us pause is the way they simultaneously point to the present as well as the future.   Last week we heard Jesus say to his disciples, “Blessed are your ears because they hear, and your eyes because they see.”   (Matt 13) Pastor Charles pointed out how the parables give us “sight-lines” into the nature of God’s Kingdom and our intended response.  Kingdom life involves the ability to see the present and the future mingled together and to be reminded that our future is being rendered by what we participate in today. “That Jesus came announcing a partly present, partly future kingdom as the centerpiece of his message is widely acknowledged to be at the heart of what we can know about the historical Jesus.  The “Kingdom of God” is not an expression found in the Old Testament, but the concept of God as King is pervasive.  After the gospels, Christian writers preferred other expressions such as “eternal life” or “salvation” for their summaries of Jesus’ proclamation.”  (Jesus and the Gospels, Craig Blomberg, 1997, p. 242)   Let’s go to our Kingdom parable text for today:

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The Laborers in the Vineyard

 The Laborers in the Vineyard  –  January 7th , 2018 

Grace Communion Orlando                     Steve Schantz

Scripture reading:  Matt 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

Throughout his ministry, Jesus used parables to convey deep truths about the Kingdom of God, God’s character and nature, and his love and understanding of people created in His image. While His stories were simple, they reveal a richness and depth of meaning that escaped many listeners. Yet each parable says something eternity-revealing and they spur us into action.   In our world that is shaped by competition and earning, Jesus’ parables of grace seem to be upside down, bizarre, and other-worldly. Often the grace of God is celebrated by those who are vulnerable without it, and at the same time it frustrates those who suggest that they can make it all on their own. So let’s listen and learn, continuing from verse 5 to the end of the parable.

Matt 20:5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.  10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.  11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  (NRSV)

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Living For More

Grace Communion Melbourne – Sept 30th, 2017

by Steve Schantz

Matt 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

You may have noticed that the National Football League has shared headlines with National politics and cultural clashes over the past two weeks.  With this on our minds I’d like to take us back to 2011 for a few moments to Superbowl XLV (45).

It was the era of Quarterback Aaron Rogers of the Green Bay Packers.  With the footwork of a ballet dancer and the arm of a canon, Rogers led the Packers to more than one Championship game. He lived with the unbelievable rush of achievement and stardom winning the Superbowl championship and the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy.  In the glory of that moment the Packers celebrated in the stadium, and then the team began to celebrate in the locker room, and then the celebration continued onto the bus.  Team mates passed the trophy over their heads from player to player.  Later, as Rogers shared the moment he recalled a sudden, darker moment.  An empty feeling came over him, and he said, “I hope I don’t just do this.”   All of the training, all the effort, all the coaching and the workouts and the pain and body punishment and the praying— Everything that led to this moment of triumph, and when he arrived, for one brief moment he thought: “Is this all there is?  There’s got to be more.”

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Advent – Week 5 Live Like Adult Children, Not Slaves

Scripture readings: Isa. 61:10-11; 62:1-3;

Ps. 148; Gal. 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40

 Sermon by Ted Johnston from Gal. 3:26-4:12a

(drawing on commentary from John Stott, Walter Hansen and Gary Deddo)

Live Like Adult Children, Not Slaves


Down through the ages, some Christians have erred by looking to the Law of Moses or other rules as the basis for their life in Christ. Having encountered this error among Gentile Christians in Asia Minor, Paul wrote to them the letter we know as Galatians. In its first three chapters, Paul points out that their attempt to earn God’s favor through obedience to the Law is wrong-headed, for in their union with Christ, by the Spirit, through faith, they already have received the covenant promise given to Abraham. Attempts to secure that promise by observing the Law are therefore foolish. Note Paul’s summary statement at the end of chapter 3:

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:26-29)

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Advent Week 4 – Jesus, a Promise Fulfilled

Scripture readings: 2 Sam. 7:1-11, 16; Luke 1:46-55;

Rom. 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-28

Sermon by Sheila Graham from Luke chapter 1, and 2 Samuel chapter 7

Jesus, a Promise Fulfilled


As we come to the close of our celebration of Advent and look forward to Christmas Day tomorrow, we continue to look back and also forward to the overwhelming significance of what the Incarnation of the Son of God means to us as human beings. From Genesis on, the Scriptures point to the fulfilment of the promise that God would send a Messiah to save his people. God promised both Abraham and later David that the Messiah would come from their descendants.

Promises fulfilled

God made many promises concerning the Messiah in the Old Testament. As we saw in our reading today from 2 Samuel, God said no when David wanted to build a house for him. Instead, God would make David a house—a lineage that would include the Savior of the world.

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Advent Week 3 – Baptism, Jesus and Joy

Scripture readings: Isa. 61:1-4, 8:11; Ps. 126 

1 Thess. 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

Sermon by Martin Manuel from Ps. 126 and John 1:6-8, 19-28

Baptism, Jesus and Joy


We are in the midst of the Advent-Christmas season when, more than any other time of the year, joy is in the air—the joy we read about in Psalm 126:

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. (Ps. 126:1-3)

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Advent Week 2 – Expectant Waiting: Mary and Her Magnificent Song 

Hello to all,

Below is the message given on the second week of Advent in Melbourne entitled Mary’s Magnificent Song.  Merry Christmas to all!

Your pastor and brother,

Steve Schantz


Expectant WaitingMary and Her Magnificent Song      12/09/17 GCM

Luke 1:46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.

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Advent week 1 – Expectant Waiting

Advent week 1 – Expectant Waiting

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor. 1:3-9, ESV)

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UnkNOTed – Untying the knots of life through the NOTS of Christ! Judge Not!

       Sermon Series: UnkNOTed – Untying the knots of life through the NOTS of Christ! 

[Fear Not, Worry Not, Boast Not, Judge Not, Ashamed Not]

“Judge Not”

Scripture Reading: Matt 7:For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  

In three words which seem rather blunt and absolute Jesus directs his followers, “Do not judge” (Matt. 7:1). Actually, that is only part of what he said because as we read the rest of verse 1 He introduces a relational exchange into this command, “…or you to will be judged.”

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