Thursday, June 9, 2011

Scripture: Matthew 10- Matthew 12

Observation:  If there was ever any question as to whether following Jesus was easy, this passage reminds us that it isn’t.  The Pharisees are mad.  The Disciples get sent out with NOTHING.  No coins, no bags, nothing.  I don’t even leave the house without my purse!   Jesus tells us to be as wise as serpents but as gentle as doves.  Jesus tells us that people will hate us and throw us out! Already in 12:11 the Pharisees are planning to kill Jesus.  But the one that stood out to me, as it normally does is starting in 10:34 with, “I came not to bring peace but a sword!”  It has always seemed to be to go against everything Jesus stood for.  But this time, reading it in context, I get it.  Maybe Jesus said, “It would be nice if I came to a peaceful place.  That peace would just magically happen.  But it won’t.  There will be trials.  There will be bad times and war and swords.  Times where your family won’t like what you’re doing, because you’re doing what I ask.”  What Jesus is asking doesn’t always result in peace—for evil and free-will are fighting against us!

Application:  Sometimes things aren’t as easy as I want.  Sometimes people get mad at me.  Sometimes there are people who don’t like what I have to say.  But, if I keep loving Jesus.  Keep doing his work.  Keep loving and being different and living out his word, then I’ll be doing just what he asked.  He warned me it wouldn’t be perfect.  But he also promised to take my burdens.  To love me.  That he would take up a cross for me.  In the end, following Jesus is worth it—even if its not always peaceful!

Prayer:  Jesus—I give you my burdens.  They are too great for me.  But you can heal me and bear them all.  Please remind me that although nothing is perfect, everything will be made good through you.  Give me the courage and grace to continue on.  In thy name I pray.  Amen.

Pastor Emily

Upcoming Readings:
June 10-- Matthew 13-Matthew 15
June 11-- Matthew 16 - Matthew 18
June 12-- Matthew 19-Matthew 21
June 13-- Matthew 22-Matthew 24
June 14-- Matthew 25-Matthew 27
June 15-- Matthew 28


Kristin said...

As a woman and as a mommy, I could not fathom leaving the house without trying to be prepared for just about anything! Especially with small children, to me, that is faith.

The thing that jumped out to me about all of this, was at the end of 11:19, "...but wisdom is proved right by her actions."

To me, it was like Jesus was saying, I know this is hard. But, if you do this for me, live for me, everything will work out and you will be taken care of. Let the message that I want you to send out shine instead of anything else. This is so hard for me! I plan and prepare and freak out and make lists when I need to let go and be calm. And in the midst of that is when I need to let go and trust Him. I need to be a Mary instead of a Martha.

Sara Armstrong said...

As I read these chapters,I thought how unusual and puzzling Jesus must have seemed to people of that time. He was clearly divine with great power and wisdom but walked, taught and lived among the common people. He didn't fight enemies with violence but with love. His weapons were words of faith, repentance and forgiveness. He didn't care about money or prestige. He spoke in parables that taught profound life lessons. He wasn't easy to understand and it was dangerous and difficult to follow him. But the ultimate truth then and now is that no matter how difficult or even dangerous it is to follow Jesus, life is always better if you do.

Mom&Dad said...

As I read this section, I am reminded that God wants us to have our needs met, not our wants. When the disciples were sent out, they needed to rely on those in the towns that were receptive to hear the message. Not because of what they wore, not because of what they had, but because of what they said and what they did. Pure and simple - Don't focus on the "things" that don't matter - focus on getting out there - share the message - and let your actions show others the Light of the World.

Mary said...

Jesus gives us rest- no not lay down on the recliner and watch TV- more like get busy sharing the good news about the Kingdom that he tells so many stories about. Rest from guilt and worry.
I also like the verse, out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. If I want to hear kind and loving words coming out of my mouth, I need to be sure to keep my heart overflowing with love.

Lynne Watts said...

To me this reading fits in with another Bible study I am doing: One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. The message of the study so far is that many of us sit down in church and get all comfy in our pews and with our friends and our knowledge of the Bible, but that we don't take action. We stay safe and secure. Jesus called for radical faith based action. He didn't know the meaing of the phrase "comfort zone".

Julie W. said...

I agree with Sara - I think many of the crowd must have been totally confused by this Son of Man. Even his disciples had difficulty understanding his commands and teachings. And no matter what rules were prevalent in that day, Jesus continued to follow HIS FATHER's commands, thus providing one of the best examples of what he expects from us.

Lindsay said...

The part about instructing the disciples to head out without anything stood out to me too! We are getting ready to go on vacation, and I'm already making mental notes about what to bring and what to pack in each bag. We've had the hotel booked for a couple of months and the rental car lined up. I get wrapped up in the planning and sometimes I get too wrapped up in that and forget to be fully in a moment, looking for ways to serve God rather that making sure everything goes to plan.

What faith to just go. To just go spread the word of God and trust that God will provide their needs. What faith! I want faith like this!

Carol Flores said...

Chapter 10 v 30 -- The hairs on my head are numbered! Amazing. When you feel worthless sometimes, think of this verse. In Chapter 11, even John the Baptist of all people is still questioning who Jesus really is!! Jesus reminds us that even though John is great in the kingdom of heaven, he who is least in the kingdom is greater than he. Another statement of our worth in God's eyes. 10:39 -- We need to let go and give our lives to God. Please God help me figure out how to do that!!

Morgan said...

I've fallen a little behind already, but I'm trying to catch back up!!! =) The verses that were really interesting to me was 10:37-38, particularly 38. 37 says that if you love your parents or your children more than Jesus then you are not worthy to follow Him. This is incredibly hard for me to fathom, then he goes on to say "Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me." To us, today, this makes sense because we know what's going to come; we know Jesus will die on the cross. Imagine for the disciples what Jesus was saying. My footnote says "crucifixion is a shocking metaphor for discipleship". What seems to us like a metaphor for what is to come sounds like a death wish for the disciples listening to Jesus! I can't imagine how they must have felt hearing this!