Highlands: Build Community Together

Each fall we take time to recenter around our mission as a church: to make disciples of Jesus for the glory of God and the joy of all people. This year, over the course of three Sundays, we’re going to focus on what it means to follow Jesus together. After 18 months of being scattered and separated in varying degrees, we want to remind ourselves that we weren’t at all meant to follow Jesus in isolation, but together with His people.

 

Highlands: Worship God Together

Each fall we take time to recenter around our mission as a church: to make disciples of Jesus for the glory of God and the joy of all people. This year, over the course of three Sundays, we’re going to focus on what it means to follow Jesus together. After 18 months of being scattered and separated in varying degrees, we want to remind ourselves that we weren’t at all meant to follow Jesus in isolation, but together with His people.

 

Matthew 9:35–38: The Shepherd & the Harvest

Jesus has certainly come to heal and transform individuals through His love and power, but He also commissions His followers to be agents of His healing power and love in a world that is ripe for a new kind of Kingdom and a new kind of King.

 

Matthew 9:9–13: Jesus, the Friend of Sinners

Jesus brings us into another aspect of His character and His mission: He is a merciful King who enjoys fellowship with the poor in spirit. This is why He came, to welcome into His Kingdom those who fully own their brokenness and turn to Him for mercy.

 

Matthew 9:9–13: Jesus, the Friend of Sinners

Jesus brings us into another aspect of His character and His mission: He is a merciful King who enjoys fellowship with the poor in spirit. This is why He came, to welcome into His Kingdom those who fully own their brokenness and turn to Him for mercy.

 

Mission

This was our fourth and final preview service before our official public launch on Easter Sunday, April 4—next week! Today we finished a mini-series called Who Are We? by discussing mission.

 

Matthew 8:23–34: Jesus and the Chaotic Waters

Jesus has come to bring about a new creation and a new exodus, and all who believe in Him and follow Him get to experience the salvation and freedom that He alone can bring.

 

Matthew 8:23–24: The Cost of Following Jesus

Jesus expects that true disciples would be so compelled by His Kingdom mission and so convinced of its urgency and necessity that they will follow Him no matter the cost.

 

Matthew 8:1–4: Jesus Can Make You Clean

This passage marks the beginning of the second major section of Matthew’s Gospel account (Chapters 8-10). In this section, Matthew has arranged three sets of three healing stories, and has separated those three sets with a teaching about what it means to follow Jesus. Each of the healing stories contains rich layers of meaning that show us more facets of Jesus’s identity, character, and mission. As we consider these stories, we’re supposed to be learning more about who Jesus is, what He came to do, and what it means to follow Him.

In this first healing story, Jesus is approached by a man with Leprosy. In view of ritual purity laws, lepers were regarded as unclean people who were not permitted to enter Jewish holy places. Their uncleanness was also thought to be “ritually contagious” in that it would also make anyone who touched them unclean. Consequently, lepers were severely stigmatized and marginalized—they had no hope of restoring themselves to health or community. But instead of moving away from the unclean man as would have been expected, Jesus moves toward him and touches him. Instead of becoming impure, Jesus’s purity is transferred to the man, and He is cleansed. In this response, we see Jesus’ compassion toward the hurting, His power to heal, and His desire to restore people to the merciful presence of God and His people.