Nobleton Community Church
Palm Sunday March 24, 2024
Texts: John 12:12-19; Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44
Pastor Paul V Lehmann

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Some years ago, a book was written by Gene Smith, a noted American historian. The title was “When The Cheering Stopped.” It was the story of President Woodrow Wilson and the events leading up to and following WWI. When that war was over Wilson was an international hero. There was a great spirit of optimism abroad, and people actually believed that the last war had been fought and the world had been made safe for democracy. On his first visit to Paris after the war Wilson was greeted by cheering mobs. He was actually more popular than their own heroes. The same thing was true in England and Italy. In a Vienna hospital; a Red Cross worker had to tell the children that there would be no Christmas presents because of the war and the hard times. The children didn’t believe her. They said that President Wilson was coming and they knew that everything would be all right. The cheering lasted about a year. Then it gradually began to stop. It turned out that the political leaders in Europe were more concerned with their own agendas than they were a lasting peace. At home, Woodrow Wilson ran into opposition in the United States Senate, and his League of Nations was not ratified. Under the strain of it all the President’s health began to break. In the next election, his party was defeated. So it was that Woodrow Wilson, a man who barely a year or two earlier had been heralded as the new world Messiah, came to the end of his days a broken and defeated man.The cheering had stopped. This is a sad story in history, but not altogether unfamiliar. The ultimate reward for someone who tries to translate ideals into reality is apt to be frustration and defeat. There are some exceptions, of course, but not too many. It happened that way to Jesus. When Jesus emerged on the public scene and people saw his miracles, crowds followed him. It was hard for him to get away to be alone because people still went after him. He tried to avoid publicity during the early part of his ministry. But now in our scripture passage this morning, we see that it is time for him to allow the people the chance to recognize him as their King and Savior. He fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah in chapter 9: verses 9 and the last part of 10; ”See, your king comes to you righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey…He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Why did he ride into Jerusalem on a young donkey? Why was Jesus accepting the homage reserved for a king? Why the palms, and acclaim? It was for only one reason. As Jesus begins the last week of His life He is giving the nation an opportunity to do what He knows only too well they would not do—accept Him as King. In spite of His rejection by the Jewish leaders, He now presents Himself to His people as the Messiah in exact and impressive fulfillment of prophecy. He had every right to kingship, seeing He was born a King, because He was a King before He was born. Eternal, immortal, invisible. (I Timothy 1:17) Jesus chose a time when all Israel would be gathered in Jerusalem. On this day we celebrate what we call “The Triumphant Entry.” However, was it really triumphant? He entered the city on a lowly donkey. Kings rode horses. Prophets or judges rode donkeys. Also his “attendants” didn’t ride in splendor either as would be expected for a King. It was a disorganized mob of humble folk that surrounded Him. Nevertheless, the people shouted and cried out Hosanna! Meaning Save us now!—Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord! They didn’t understand the nature of the messianic work that Jesus would perform, but they clearly understood Him to be a very special person upon whom the mantle of Messiah must have fallen. Their understanding was not complete because they were explaining to others who might not have known Jesus that He was a prophet from Nazareth in Galilee. (Matt. 21: 11)The people had the wrong idea about Jesus. They were sure he would be a national leader who would restore their nation to its former glory, and thus, they were deaf to the words of their prophets and blind to Jesus’ real mission. When it became apparent that Jesus was not going to fulfill their hopes, many people turned against him. The cheering did not last for long. There came a point when the tide began to turn against him. Earlier the Pharisees had been afraid to speak out for fear of the masses, but they began to perceive that the fickle public was turning on him. When they discovered that they could not discredit his moral character, they began to take more desperate measures. They planned to have him killed. In John 12, verses 9-11 just before our text for this morning, we see that the chief priests also made plans to kill Lazarus as well, because the people were trying to see him since Jesus had raised him from the dead. On account of this miracle many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him. Now if this is true, why did the masses so radically turn against Jesus. The shouts of Hosanna turned to cries of “Crucify him.” I have believed for quite some time that it wasn’t necessarily the same people. Maybe it was, but I believe that as usual there were Galileans who supported him, and some didn’t, but mainly it was these supporters that came into Jerusalem with Him, and it was largely a Judean crowd, along with the chief priests and Pharisees that led them with the shouts to crucify him. Just like today, in most uprisings, there are leaders who stir up the crowd to yell whatever they want them to. (ATIFA—BLACK LIVES MATTER—AND THE ANTI-SAMETIC STUDENTS ON CAMPUSES ACROSS AMERICA) At any rate whoever was yelling to have him killed, the ones who were supporting him as their Messiah remained silent. Why this turn- around? What were the deeper root causes and underlying issues? In about five days it all fell apart. It was all in God’s plan of course, but why did the cheering stop? Jesus began to talk more and more about commitment. They probably began to see that he was not going to take control of the situation, and they remember things: like taking up their cross and following him. Maybe they thought if they supported him, they too would be killed. They weren’t ready to give up their lives for this “prophet” who didn’t seem like anyone strong enough to save them. In verse 25 he told them that the man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. He also talked about serving and the fact that his Father will honor the one who serves Him.He also dared to suggest that all people are worth loving. They recalled that He had said that they were to love their enemies, not conquer them. No wonder he wasn’t going to overthrow the Roman Government. He seemed to be more interested in the proper way to worship, than bringing justice into their lives. In verse 28 a voice from heaven was heard declaring that the name of Jesus would be glorified. The people weren’t sure if it had thundered or an angel had spoken. They never imagined that it was God. Jesus said; “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world (Satan) will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, (on the cross) I will draw all men to myself. He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. Jesus also told them that they were only going to have the “light” (Him) a little bit longer. Put your trust in the light while you have it so that you may become sons of light” The disciples saw how Jesus had led them into a deeper and better understanding of his truth. Stop now and think about the events in your life leading up to where you are now. How has God led you to this point? As you have grown older, you have undoubtedly looked back and have seen God’s involvement more clearly than you did at one time. Truly as Paul said in Romans 8:28, that “ in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Verse 31 says;…”if God is for us, who can be against us?” God –“who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also along with him, graciously give us all things? …Christ Jesus who died…who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword.? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” —No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. In verse 37 Paul goes on to say; For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. What a declaration! This was all recognized after the resurrection. After Pentecost. After the infilling of the Holy Spirit. After Paul was knocked down on the road to Damascus, on his way to persecute Christians. The Lord got a hold of him, empowered him with his Holy Spirit, and became the primary author of the New Testament and the key apostle to plant churches. The people flocked to Jesus because they had heard about his great miracle in raising Lazarus from the dead. Their adoration was short-lived and their commitment shallow and they did nothing to stop his crucifixion. (Actually, there wasn’t anything they could do—it was foreordained that Jesus had to die). We must remember though that devotion based only on curiosity or popularity fades quickly. Time and time again we see that happening today. People flock to services when they think that miracles are taking place there. Sometimes I believe these manifestations are valid, but other times they are false. We must be open to miracles, but also be committed to following Jesus even when we don’t see them happen. There is coming a day when the shouting won’t stop. There is coming a day when we will cry; “Behold He Comes, riding on the clouds—at the trumpet sound—so lift your voice it’s the year of Jubilee, out of Zion’s hill salvation comes” Every eye shall see him, and every knee will bow down and say He is Lord!”


Nobleton Community Church
March 17, 2024
Matthew 15:29-39 continuing with 16:1-12
Pastor Paul V Lehmann

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We see in these verses:


Jesus leaves the area of Tyre and Sidon where he healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter, and goes south again towards Galilee, Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others. And laid them at his feet, AND HEALED THEM .

The people were amazed when they saw this. We see Jesus relieving every kind of human need. He has compassion for the 4,000 men plus the women and children, (once again at least 12 or 15,000 people). Some have tried to say that the feeding of the 5,000 in chapter 14, and this incident of 4,000 are the same but there are distinct reasons why that is totally unlikely. In the 14th chapter of Matthew they are told to sit on the grass, so it was in the spring time when their was grass in Palestine. In this passage they sit on the “ground” which makes it almost 6 months later near the end of the summer, when the grass is brown or gone. It was curing this time that Jesus and the disciples walk up north to Tyre and on to Sidon. With the question of the season in mind—-it could have been almost 6 months for them to make the trip to Sidon. It could have been done in two weeks with continued walking. But Jesus needed the time to teach his disciples—so he probably took his time.

Also the first feeding was mostly Jews present, but here it is in the Decapolis where there are mostly Gentiles. It is that fact that explains the curious phrase in verse 31, “They ‘praised the God of Israel.” To the Gentile crowds this was a demonstration of the power of the God of Israel. There is another thing that supports the fact that these are two different incidents, in two different locations. In the feeding of the 5000 the baskets which were used to take up the fragments are called by a different name (kophinoi); in the feeding of the 4,000 they are called (sphurides). The kophinos was a narrow-necked, flask shaped basket which Jews often carried with them, for a Jew often carried his own food, because he might be compelled to eat food which had been touched by Gentile hands and was therefore unclean. The he kind of basket that a Gentile would was much more like a hamper; it could be big enough to carry a man, and it was a kind of basket that a Gentile would use. The disciples once again ask an unbelievable question; (verse 37) “In this remote place, where can we get enough bread to feed all of these people?

Jesus is very patient with them. —“How many do you have” –7 loaves and a few small fish. The wonder of this account is that in these healings and in this feeding of the hungry, we see the mercy and the compassion of Jesus going out to the Gentiles. Here is a kind of symbol and foretaste that

: The bread of God was not to be confined to the Jews; that the Gentiles —that’s us too—were also to have their share of him who is the living bread. The gospel, the good news about Jesus as “the bread of life” —“the abundant life or life in all its fullness. – as well as -the way, and the truth,

It not only was not to be confined to the Jews—–it is not to be confined to the Church.— This what we so often do—–keep it to ourselves.

The disciples really didn’t get the significance of all of this, until after Pentecost, when Peter was called by God to go to the home of Cornelius who wasn’t a Jew, but he was what was called—–a” God Fearer” . A Gentile who was open to the God of the Jews. Peter’s “Jewish life’ was turned upside down at this man’s house. He was told he could eat food that he had never eaten before, and he saw this Gentile give his life to Jesus Christ.

So in our text:

  1. We see Jesus healing physical disability. The lame, the maimed, the blind and the mute. Jesus cares about our bodily pain, and those who bring health and healing to people today, are still doing the work of Jesus Christ. Whether it is through modern science or through prayer for divine healing.
  2. We see him feeding the hungry. We see him giving all he has to relieve physical hunger and physical need. Jesus is infinitely concerned for peoples bodies, just as he is for their souls. Here we see the power and the compassion of God going out to meet the many needs of the human situation.

Alfred Edersheim (a Jewish historian who believed in Jesus points out in his series of books on “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” —that in three successive stages of Jesus’ ministry, he ended each stage by setting a meal before his people.

First, there was the feeding of the 5,000, that came at the end of his ministry in Galilee, for Jesus was never to teach and preach and heal in Galilee again.

Second, there was this feeding of the 4,000. This came at the end of his brief ministry to the Gentiles, beyond the bounds of Palestine—first in the districts of Tyre and Sidon and then in the Decapolis.

Third and last, there was the Last Supper in Jerusalem, when Jesus came to the final stage of the days of his flesh.

Jesus always left people with strength for the way; always he gathered people to him to feed them with the living bread. Always Jesus gave them himself before he moved on.

And still today he comes to us offering us also the bread which will satisfy the immortal hunger of the human soul, and in the strength of which we shall be able to go all the days of our life.


Now in Matthew 16:1-12 —We see the Pharisees and Sadducees looking for a sign. People today are always looking for miraculous signs. Something different than Jesus Christ. They can’t stand the thought that He is the only way. Everyone from different ideologies, and religions often find a common ground in that they are all against Jesus Christ the Son of God. The Pharisees and Sadducees get together to come against Jesus. Hostility, makes strange bedfellows. The Pharisees live life according to the details of the oral and scribal law, The Sadducees rejected the oral and the scribal law completely, and accepted only the written words of the Old Testament as their law of life. The Pharisees believed in angels and in the resurrection of the body and the Sadducees did not, (an opposition which Paul made use of when he was on trial before the Sanhedrin (Acts 23:6-10),

And in this case most important of all—the Pharisees were not a political party and were prepared to live under any government which would allow them to observe their own religious principles; the Sadducees were the small, wealthy aristocracy, who were the collaborationist party and were quite prepared to serve and co-operate with the Roman government, in order to retain their wealth and their privileges. Further,

The Pharisees looked for and longed for the Messiah;

the Sadducees did not.

It would have been almost impossible to find two more different sects and parties; and yet they came together in their overwhelming desire to eliminate Jesus.


Maybe not the good kind Jesus the prophet –teacher that walked the earth, but Jesus the Messiah the Son of God.

The demand of the Pharisees and the Sadducees was for a sign. The Jews had a way of wanting a prophet or a leader to authenticate his message by some abnormal and extraordinary sign. (back in Matthew 12:38-40)

The problem was they were blind to the greatest sign —Jesus himself. He used the old weather saying about the red sky. Have you ever heard? “Red sky at night sailors delight—-Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.”

They knew very well the sign of a red sky in the evening presupposed fine weather the next day, but in the morning meant that a storm was on the way. BUT THEY WERE BLIND TO THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.

Jesus told them that the only sign they would receive was the sign of Jonah.

What Jesus is saying is that God’s sign is Jesus himself and his message. It’s like he is saying to them “In me you are confronted with God and with the truth of God” What more could you possible need?

But they were like so many today. They were looking for something else to satisfy them. Jesus, wasn’t enough. Who he was, what he did, and what he tuahg didn’t satisfy them, because their heart’s weren’t right. We too often forget that today. When we evangelize. If the Holy Spirit hasn’t already begun to prepare someone’s heart, all of our efforts to tell them about Jesus is in vain.

The Pharisees and Sadducees, had all other writings of the prophets to know the truth of God. They of all people should have had tremendous faith, and had their hearts open to Jesus, but they didn’t

A pagan Phoenician women, that hardly knew anything about Jesus had great faith in him. She was desperate for her daughter who was demonized. The Gentiles who flocked to Jesus in the Decapolis had great faith. They discovered that Jesus could satisfy them, He would meet their physical and spiritual need.

What is it that you count on today to satisfy you?

Is Jesus everything to you? The one who completely satisfies and is your Lord and Savior, the one you always rely on, —-or just someone you know some facts about


Nobleton Community Church
March 10,2024
Pastor Karen Erickson

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No written sermon this week

S-submit to the Lord
T-trust in the Lord with all your Heart
N-no weapon formed against me shall prosper
E-enter His gates with thanksgiving and His
courts with praise; give thanks to him and
praise His name


Nobleton Community Church
March 3, 2024
Text: James 5:13-20
Pastor Paul v Lehmann

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James reminds us to pray for everything, just like Paul tells us to pray in all circumstances. I heard about a pastor who told his congregation that God doesn’t want our “frivolous” prayers. Like praying for a parking place, or helping you to find lost or misplaced keys, or anything that you have lost. You know how I feel about that. I believe that the Bible teaches us to pray about everything. It doesn’t bother one bit to have you call out to him for help even in the most mundane situations. He doesn’t want us to cry out to him in a crisis but rather to be in the habit of praying all the time. Our problem is the latter. We only think he will maybe help us when things are really bad. Ruth Graham’s advice. “Pray when you feel like it, for it is a sin to neglect such an opportunity. Pray when you don’t feel like it, for it is dangerous to remain in such a condition.”
Too often we have a tendency to use prayer only in panic situations. Like the man who was working on his roof and lost his balance and began to slide down. He grabbed at an air vent sticking up, but he missed it, and continued to slide. He grabbed at a shingle, but it broke off in his hand and he continued to slide. When he was almost to the edge of the roof, he cried out in desperation: “Lord help me!” Suddenly, he felt something grab the cuff of his pants. As he dangled over the edge, 30 feet above ground. He looked to see what had happened and he said; “ Never mind, Lord. My pants got caught on a nail. I’m Ok, I don’t need your help after all.”
That’s the problem with a crisis-driven prayer life. When the crisis goes away, so does the motivation to pray.
James says that prayer should be a part of every aspect of life—when we’re happy, sad, troubled, and sick, we need to take our concerns and our joys to God. Peter and Paul made this same suggestion.
In Philippians 4:6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.”
Ephesians 6:18 “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.”
You can’t trivialize prayer: As far as God is concerned, there are no unimportant parts of your life.
Now what we saw in Ephesians —is we are to pray IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT—THAT IS THE KEY.
In the beginning of our text; verses 13-14, James tells us that if we are in trouble. We should pray. If we are happy, we should praise the Lord, and singing praises is a form of prayer. If we are sick, (bedfast. Can’t get out to church or prayer meeting or anywhere there might be someone to pray for us—–we are to call for the elders (the leaders of the church). He doesn’t say if you have enough faith call for someone to come to your side to pray, he says that others should come, and the PRAYER OF FAITH WILL SAVE THE SICK PERSON. This isn’t a cold or flu or something of that nature but a sickness or infirmity which is keeping them down. This prayer offered in faith will raise them up. An added benefit is that if they have sinned they will be forgiven. (that’s why it is added in verse 16; “pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Now hear is an interesting statement: “ The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Verse 17 is the example given. It is about Elijah—James says; “he was a human being, just like us.”
Look at I Kings 17: 1. Elijah is confronting King Ahab telling him that; “as the Lord God of Israel lives, (before I stand RSV) whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain (for these years RSV) the next few years (NIV) except by my word”. Then in chapter 18 we read:…The word of the Lord came to Elijah “In the third year saying; “Go show yourself to Ahab and I will send rain.”
Back to James “ He prayed earnestly (fervently (RSV) that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t rain for 3 years. He prayed again that it would rain and the heavens gave rain and the earth produced its crops.
It is important to realize why James indicates that Elijah was a man “just like us”—–he was human. James says he prayed but in the account in I Kings nothing is mentioned about prayer. I believe the answer is the fact that the Holy Spirit came upon the prophets and they stood before God inquiring God’s will for all kinds of things. You recall that Elijah later prayed in chapter 18, for God to reveal his power against Bael.
First of all we must have faith. Faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
We must also, as I have told you many times, that Jesus who dwells within us when we receive him and ask him to come into our lives by his Holy Spirit must then have control of what we do.
There has to be contact with God. On the older cars there was a carburetor and sometimes the “points” had to be replaced. In French they are called “contacts.” Most cars today have a fuel injection system, but there still has to be contact with the fuel to propel the motor. It’s like the electricity wiring in your house. You have to turn the switch on in order to make contact so that the lights will come on. Our “contact” must be with God —- To access his power—we must PRAY, and THE HOLY SPIRIT in us is released and gives us access to this power to accomplish God’s will. PRAYER is what releases his power.
God wants us to communicate with him about what is on our heart, He also wants to make his will and his heart known to us. If we let him, and if we are in constant communication with him he will do this. When we pray we must know what his word says if we are to know his will. We know when we pray for unsaved people to be saved, that that is his will. The Bible tells us that he is not willing for any to perish. This doesn’t mean that everyone is automatically saved, but it is God’s desire that they be saved. They still must individually put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, in order to be reconciled to God That is why it was necessary for him to die on a Cross, so that he—the perfect sacrifice for our sins, could make it possible for us to be forgiven. We can experience new life in Christ because of his resurrection from the dead. Now we can have victory over sin, death (the grave).
So, just as much as we know that he wants all to be saved, he also wants to answer our prayers about sickness and healing when we ask in faith believing. We can know this by the witness of his Spirit within us. In verse 15 of chapter 5 of James when we pray for people: —“prayer offered in faith will heal the sick and the Lord will make them well.”
That’s a bold statement, and one that begs the question; then why don’t people get healed every time? To this question there are three BAD answers;

  1. It must not be God’s will
  2. The person doesn’t have enough faith to be healed.
  3. God no longer heals people today.
    The Bible disputes each of these arguments, but that doesn’t prevent people from using them in a pinch. We have a need to compartmentalize all aspects of life. We tend especially to do that in the area of healing. We like formulas, guarantees, and instant results. We want to be able to explain the mysteries of God in a few pithy phrases. Also, when it comes to prayer, many of us would love to be able to tell God what to do at any given moment—and be assured that he will fulfill our bidding.
    Verse 16 says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. We are only righteous because of Jesus.
    Tony Evens ( and African American pastor in Dallas, TX ) tells about an evangelistic crusade he held at Brice Stadium on the campus of South Carolina University some years ago. There were about 15-20,000 people there, but rain was predicted. The black storm clouds began to form and there was thunder. There were other pastors there and they all prayed that God would keep the rain back, and Tony says he prayed a typical “safe” prayer. That God would hold off the rain, and that they would be able to have at least some of the service. Then a little 5’ 1” lady came to the platform and asked if she could pray. They said sure we need all the prayer we can get. She began confronting God with the facts. Explaining how they knew it was his will to hold this meeting. Reminding God of all the hours and hard work that has gone into the preparations. Also that the gospel needed to be preached to all these people who were in attendance. You have command over the weather when you choose. So therefore Lord, I “command” you to not allow this rain to interrupt this meeting. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
    The clouds got darker the thunder got louder, andt the rain came up to one end of Brice Stadium,—-split literally, and half went to want side and the other half to the other outside of where the people were, It joined again at the other end of the Stadium, but not one drop fell where the people were, and many accepted Christ that night.
    James 4:2 tells us; “You do not have because you do not ask God.”
    Our relationship with God is the same as a father’s relationship with his child. When we pray, God wants to give us whatever it is we ask for. Some of the things we ask for aren’t good for us, but some are, that’s why we must know the Word and what God’s will is.
    Now many people think because of God’s Sovereignty, we can’t “command” him to do anything. This may be true in some cases, but when we know God’s will we can pray his word, and pray the things we know to be fact.