Would-Be Followers

June 19, 2022 • Matt Miller • Luke 9:57–62

Jesus challenges three would-be followers who've not yet discovered the nature of true discipleship. Many are eager, but have not counted the cost. Others have counted the cost, but are working in their own power to hedge against the coming challenges. And, then, others are willing to follow Jesus, but with a divided heart. In these difficult words of Jesus, He shows forth the heart of a true follower. It is a challenging passage, but one worthy of much meditation.

A Preview of Glory

December 5, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 9:27–29

We come to the mysterious passage known as the transfiguration. It is a strange passage that many are not certain what to do with. However, it serves a very important purpose. Not only does it continue to reveal the divine identity of Jesus, but it serves to bolster the disciples faith. This sermon explores the relationship of God's holiness with His glory, revealing Jesus to be the intrinsic essence of God's holiness when it is made publicly known. He is the glory of God.

The Gospel of Self-Denial

November 21, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 9:23–26

We come to the heart of Jesus' message. The Gospel is not about self-fulfillment, but self-denial. The way up is the way down. The way to gain life is to lose your life. Jesus teaches on the costliness of following Him. He says it requires a complete abandonment of your former identity, and then reassociation with Him. The one who desires to follow Jesus must lay down all former ways of life, take up their cross every single day, and follow Him. This is a message that doesn't sell, but it's one the truly converted heart loves.

The Ultimate Question

November 14, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 9:18–22

Peter offers the great confession that Jesus is the Christ. This passage functions as the pinnacle of the Gospel up to this point. Jesus instructs the disciples to tell no one about this revelation because they still have much to learn about the nature of Christ's true role as God's Messiah. Jesus informs them for the first time that He is not only Messiah, but a suffering Messiah Who is to fulfill the Old Testament promise of death and resurrection at the hands of His own people. This is a revelation that would have utterly shocked them. This is a wonderful passage showing the foundation upon which Christ would build His Church -- the confession of Jesus as God's Messiah.

Give Them Something to Eat

October 17, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 9:10–17

Jesus feeds the 5,000. A familiar and much loved story. Jesus now performs His greatest miracle at the pinnacle of His popularity. Yet Jesus will use this as an opportunity to teach His disciples. His great lesson is to serve people before serving yourself. For God will always supply the ministers' needs. It is also a passage declaring the deity of Christ, yet again. A wonderful account calling us to come, trust, and obey. We see Jesus' compassion and it's an enlightening model for ministry.

Lessons for Ministry

October 10, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 9:1–9

Jesus sends out His disciples on their first mission. His goal is to teach them important lessons that will serve them well for a lifetime of ministry. The focus of Jesus' desire is for them to learn true dependency on Him. Everything they may need for faithfulness, both spiritually and physically, Jesus will provide. Their only job is to be faithful.

Uniquely Called

October 3, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 9:1–2

Jesus calls His disciples together and sends them on their first mission. This is their internship, and they are given tremendous power and authority to extend the ministry of Jesus in Galilee. This sermon explores the uniqueness of their calling as the twelve. This sermon also explores hermeneutical approaches to rightly understanding the nature of how the Gospels apply to the church, along with an introduction to the nature of miracles and healing. What is their purpose, and should disciples of Christ be able to experience them today?

Do Not Fear, Only Believe

September 19, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 8:40–56

Luke continues to build His case that Jesus is the fullness of God by displaying His power over disease and death. This chapter finishes with a dynamic and dramatic story, revealing not only Who Jesus is, but how we must come to Him. We are given two wonderful models of faith in the midst of fear, and how fear can serve faith. Unlike the previous two passages, this one shows how fear should drive us toward Christ, specifically, when we begin to rightly understand Who he is.

From Maniacal to Missional

September 5, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 8:26–39

Jesus demonstrates His power over the demonic realm. This passage shows there is no true battle going on between Jesus and the forces of darkness. Rather, they all bow to His Word. It's a wonderful story in which Jesus frees a gentile man from the oppressive evil powers who have been torturing him for a long time. The account shows just how far Jesus is willing to go to save the sinner. It also shows there is no one who is too unclean for his cleansing work. The application of the passage is to observe what this man becomes -- a missionary to his own people. He is saved by Jesus, but then left in his own city to declare the great things that Jesus has done for him.

When Panic Meets Power

August 15, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 8:22–25

This famous account of Jesus calming the storm begins an important section in Luke. It kicks off a series of four passages in which Luke desires to reveal certain truths about Jesus. This precious, but often misapplied, account reveals Jesus' sovereign power and authority over creation. It is a clear declaration that Jesus is Lord and God. The personal application shows how it is not wrong for Christians to fear in times of trial, or even cry out to God. That is right and proper. However, the question Luke wants to address is how will a person come to God. Will they cry out in fear and faith, or will they cry out in fear only? That is the critical difference. For Luke, the only right way to come is in belief. However, the Christian's belief in times of trial will be forged from their understanding of Jesus as the sovereign Lord and God over every circumstance and event in life.

Take Care How You Listen

August 1, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 8:16–21

In an age of easy believism and cheap grace, this is a critical passage. Jesus closes His teaching by calling His disciples to true obedience. There are many hearers, but a true disciple must hear and do. There will be many who falsely thought they were saved, but in the end discover they weren't. True followers are never content with merely hearing. Rather, their greater desire is to hear, but for the purpose of obedience. This is the distinguishing mark of any true disciple. True faith always produces true fruit.

The Worldly Heart and Good Heart

July 11, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 8:14–15

Jesus continues His explanation of His parable. This sermon takes a look at the final two soils and how Jesus describes two kinds of hearts. He explains the Worldly heart and the good heart. A worldly heart is difficult to discern because it often produces good fruit at first. However, it is the good heart alone that will persevere in the faith and continue to produce lasting fruit. This is a passage for the professing Christian, and gives an opportunity for self-analysis.

Soils and Souls

July 4, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 8:11–13

Jesus begins to explain the meaning of His parable. This sermon takes a look at the first two soils and how Jesus describes two kinds of hearts. He explains the hard heart and the shallow heart. A hard heart is easy for the Christian to spot, but the shallow heart can be more difficult. Many are quick to apply this passage to other people, but not as quick to apply it to themselves. This is an important teaching and one that all Christians would do well to take seriously.

Heart Conditions

June 13, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 8:4–10

Luke records the first major parable of Jesus. The Parable of the Sower is a parable about heart conditions. This sermon sets up the passage and seeks to show the true purpose of Jesus' parables. Implied in this parable is a call to be busy casting seed. Fruitfulness is commanded in the New Testament, but this parable reveals that true fruit is always a function of faithfulness. It is a freeing parable in many ways because there is zero focus on the sower or the seed. Rather, the central emphasis shows how true salvation and receptivity of the Gospel is an issue of the heart

The Nature of True Ministry

June 6, 2021 • Matt Miller • Luke 8:1–3

In this transition passage of Luke's Gospel we learn four simple principles that guided the life and ministry of Jesus. It provides a helpful model for any who desire to bear fruit for the cause of the Kingdom. We learn that God's ways for the Kingdom are utterly backwards to conventional wisdom. Jesus launched a global and eternal movement that continues today, yet He did it through seemingly backward ways. This is the way of the Kingdom, and the Church would do well to learn from His method.