Devotion for Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Matthew 9:9-12

9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him,Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

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Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
Besides Jesus, there are 4 kinds of people mentioned in this passage.
1. Tax-Collector/Publicans- This was Matthew. In verse 9 it mentions that he sat at the “receipt of custom” when Jesus called him. This means that He was a Jewish person working for the Romans (the people who were ruling over the Jews) to take taxes from Jews and give it to the Romans. Usually they charged extravagant prices over and above what the Romans were taxing. They were becoming rich off of the captivity of their own people and were seen as traitors. Matthew would have had this reputation, and yet Jesus called him.
2. Sinners- this was a general term for people who did not outwardly live up to the Jewish religious law. They were looked down on by the religious ruling class.
3. Pharisees-This would have been the religious ruling class. They were constantly arguing and debating with Jesus and ended up being party to his death.
4. Disciples-The fourth group that are mentioned here are Jesus’ disciples. They were the ones who had left their lives to follow Jesus.

Who did Jesus have the biggest issue with? Clearly Jesus’ issue was with the pharisees. Jesus was calling all of these parties to repentance. Two of the three groups would acknowledge their need of Jesus, while the pharisees ultimately did not.

There is something to be said about Jesus’ mission here. Why did he come? Jesus came for those who are willing to acknowledge that they need Him.

Ultimately, the mission Jesus was on He handed to His disciples. He commissioned them to go into all the world and make disciples of every creature.

Application:
For the last 13 days we have been talking about the need for accountability, connection and participation in what God gave himself for- the church. We’ve talked a lot about our youth group and how we all should be involved with each other.
But today I ask you to think about those outside of church. If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ then you are called to Jesus’ mission. You are a missionary. There are a bunch of people that we all know who need to know where they will spend eternity after they die. They need Jesus. Jesus came for those who were spiritually sick. They were in need. So my question for myself and for us today is, Who do I need to tell about Jesus?

Are you on the same mission Jesus was on?

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25 thoughts on “14 Days Together- Day 14

  1. I need to continue to share Jesus with my whole family. No one that I know of is saved on my side. Even though my parents have heard the gospel I shouldn’t give up. I have neighbors and other people I come in to contact with everyday. I need to ask God to give me opportunities to share the gospel and invite people to church. I need to step out of the comfort zone of my Christian family and make sure others hear the good news.

  2. I can only echo what Laura has already said…I have one sister, Laura’s family, neighbors and co-workers aplenty, all unsaved, and some part of those groups I will be in contact with in some manner or another on just about every single day. I am ashamed to admit how many of those people have actually heard the gospel because of my efforts. They are all in need of “the great physician”, because as long as we are on this side of heaven, and they are on this side of hell, there is something that can be done.. pray for opportunities, and let’s actually take advantage of them when the opportunities do come up!

      1. Laura & John, I really look up to the efforts you have put up to lead your family and friends to Jesus. Laura, I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to try and get your parents to come to know Christ. I’m sure that must uprise some conflict between you guys, but you never give up. I’ve seen your parents in church several times and every time I do, I smile. I know you won’t give up on that because I know how important that is to you! John, you have already gotten your mom to accept Jesus and you’ve brought your co workers to church as well! You guys are great examples already! Love you both!

  3. Also in response to spreading the gospel more we have to keep in mine that people are not rejecting us but Jesus Christ. We are called to be faithful servants and forerunners to share the Good News and God and the Holy Spirit will do their part. In a matter of words we are to bring them to the Great Physician but we are not a doctor.

    As a kid I use to tell my mom that I wish Jesus could come back one more time so that people would believe and she always reminded me that people who walked with Jesus sometimes did not believe. It’s amazing to me still that people were so blind by their pride and way of thinking that the Son of God was not legit in their eyes and mind. How blind do you have to be?

    My application is am I living like I am an heir of God? Am I living like I know the King and am I sharing that perfect love and forgiveness with those I love and those He loves? I am blessed that most of the people around me are saved but that just means I need to work hard to get to know others and show them the love of God. Also it means that I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ for their loved ones (like the Hayes) and be burdened for their families and friends. We are to partner together. We weren’t meant to do this alone. 😉

    1. Mafalda- I’m so glad you are on here every day, and I think it is cool that you want to learn and to grow. Instead of always saying just that you don’t get this passage, I think it may be better to just ask a question. That is totally ok to do. 🙂 What do you have a question about with this passage?

  4. When I read this passage and everyone’s comments, the first thing i thought of was my school. I am the “outsider” at school because people look at me and say that i’m not like everyone else. Everyone of my close friends from last year aren’t saved, and it kills me because I feel like I didn’t do enough to tell them about Jesus. When I did, they would laugh it off, say its fake, talk bad about it, then the conversation would be dropped. The feeling I felt inside was horrible. Because I knew they weren’t denying me, they were denying Jesus Christ. Going into this next school year, I just pray that God uses me in ways that I can’t imagine. By my senior year of high school, I want to say that i left an impact, and it was all God’s doing!
    Unlike a lot of people, most of my family is saved, both on my dad and mom’s side. I’ve been so blessed to be raised by people who know God. I had the opportunity to know Him growing up! Coming to Sonshine though has definitley been the biggest thing that has impacted and affected my relationship with God. Like Megan said, we need eachother, and we weren’t ment to this this alone! Thats why God gave us the church 🙂 John and Laura, im praying for you both and anyone else who goes through that same thing. I know I do.

    1. I’m so glad you guys go to come to Sonshine too!

      A couple of things to think about Lindsey that may help you…
      1. Success isn’t only found in your friends getting saved. Success is found in obedience. Every time you get a chance to begin a conversation about your faith with someone else you are being obedient and that is what God has called you to do. That’s success. Celebrate that!
      2. Instead of starting by just sharing the whole “plan of salvation” in one shot, start conversations that God can use to lead it to that. How do you do that? Ask questions, especially at the right time…
      “Do you have any spiritual beliefs?”
      “A lot of people feel empty inside. Have you ever felt that way?”
      “Our teacher talked about __________ today. What do you think about that?”
      3. Genuinely listen to people. A lot of times you’ll have friends that are going through problems. Sometimes if you get the chance to listen to their problems it gives you credibility to speak to them about what you know to be true.
      4. Invest and Invite- Of course, inviting people to church is a great way for us to do this together. 🙂

      1. Lindsey, that is the first thing that came to my mind to and that is how I feel when I try to tell my friends about God they just sit there and laugh and there is nothing funny about God and they just dont wont to listen and cause I am going into middle school it is going to get harder for me to tell my friends about God. Out of all my friends 10% of them are saved and go to church and the other 90% dont know God and when I try to tell them about God it is like it goes in one ear and out the other and I do not wont it to do that I wont it to go in one ear and stay in there and help my friends but it just does not seem to work and I hate that. I just hope that this is not goig to be harder it is going to be easyer to tell my friends about God! 🙂

  5. I love how Jesus wasn’t afraid of what other people think of him.. He would hang out and share the gospel with everyone, no matter who they were or what they thought of him!! & that’s something I struggle with, especially with my family and friends that aren’t saved!! Jesus came to earth to make disciples, and that’s what I should be doing too!!! 🙂

  6. It’s so cool to see you girls growing together spiritually. I know you will have an impact this year at your schools for Christ. You inspire me!
    Sometimes I let the world consume most of my time and energy. Like Zack was asking on Sunday, Is God the most important thing in your life. I really want Him to be. That is my mission this year, Not just by reading my Bible and serving at church. It’s time to Go! There are so many people out there that don’t know the good news about Jesus.
    I don’t want to be like the Pharisees who only cared about the “religious” people. They were upset that Jesus sat and eat with the “sinners.” They couldn’t see that we are all sinners in need of a savior..
    Jesus offers healing and forgiveness to everyone. He reached out to people that society considered the worst. Because He loves all of us. We’re all the same to Him.
    I want to try harder to tell people about the amazing love He has for us all.

    1. That’s such a good point Sandi! I think we all need to work on making sure God is the most important in our lives especialy with going back to school. So much can get in the way of putting God first and I know I definetly need to work on that as well! & you’re so right about the Pharisees! We are all sinners, we don’t want to pick and chose who we think deserves Christ, because everyone does!

  7. Everyones comments on top of this passage really leaves me with a burrden in my heart. Like Lindsey said, the first thing that popped into my mind as well, was school. I have a lot of friends who have changed over the years. It started off that we all have common intrests and now, being a senior in high school, I’ve found that most of my friends have drifted off with the rest of society and I’m just in another category… different. I don’t mind being different at all, in fact I love it, but I do pay for it sometimes. It’s definetly hard to tell your friends about Christ when they make fun of you for skipping out on a soccer game to go to youth group or always making excuses not to hang out because you know by the end of the night you might find yourself in a heap of trouble. I know I have friends who aren’t saved and I also know that I have friends who are saved who claim to be saved who live their lives far away from Jesus. I don’t want to be afraid of telling my friends about Jesus, I want to be afraid of knowing that if I don’t, I know where they’ll end up.. This is my last year of high school, and I don’t want to walk out of North Porth High feeling like I could’ve made a difference, I want to MAKE a defference. Like Megan said, people are rejecting Jesus, but our job is to lead them to Him. We can’t determine if they’ll listen to the gospel or accept Jesus, but we can deterime that we can try! We can’t do this alone for sure! We need to help each other and pray for each other. We all know someone who doesn’t know Jesus, and if you don’t, Wow that’s great! But again like Megan said, that should make us want to go out and make new friends that don’t know Jesus, and lead them to Him!

    All of this makes me go crazy, knowing some people will never accept Christ and knowing that some of us are too scared to try. Who cares about being different? We don’t want to be different in a weird way so no one likes us and everyone is scared of us, but let’s be different so people will notice and be like, “Hey, she/he is really different, I wish I could be different like that too!” What do you guys say? Think we can do it? This doesn’t have to stop at 14 days together… 🙂

    1. Kendra- Essentially Jesus was saying that if the pharisees think that they are fine without Jesus, that they are “not sick” then He won’t help them. The people that acknowledged their need of him- “the sick”- are the ones he has come to help. Does that make sense?

      1. Ok now I get it! 😀 So what the devo was saying is that the Pharisees think they are fine with out Jesus in there life and dont think that Jesus can’t help them. Well they where wrong. But the people who do need Jesus and where acknowledged him are the one who are sick to the Pharisees. Is that it? 😐

  8. I think it’s important for us to follow the example that Jesus set. Like when he sat with those guys that nobody likes, and spent time with the lepors, I think that we need to take a step out side are comfort zone and go into all the world and preach the gospel.

    1. Ryan- you are so right. I think it is necessary to actually talk about the gospel, but sometimes to get a right to say that you have to show people that you care about them and want to listen to them first. You have to have a balance in that, but what you are saying is exactly right. Good stuff…

  9. What i got out of todays passage was that there were certain groups that followed jesus and there were some that didnt and this kind of reminds me of when we’re at camp because some kids that go are’nt following god, there just there for the fun which is’nt right at all, and like one of the messages pastor ben taught us, some of us are playing church and you dont want to stay in those patterns.

    1. Good stuff Andrew- and today- you aren’t yelling 🙂 (Not All caps 🙂 ) Yeah don’t play church, be the church man. Be Jesus’ hands and feet and tell people about Him. You rock buddy- see you in the morning!

  10. So I’ve noticed somthing over the past 14 days and that’s they almost every time one of you guys talks about your school and sharing Christ with your friends you always say the same thing “I’m just different” but here is tthe cool thing all of you that face that are going through it together! You not different from everyone just from those few people with your friends that are sharing Christ with others and struggle with it you all fit right in together that’s one reason we need each other so we dont go through this
    year alone! You’ve got people all around you that are experiencing the same thing! (random rant) anyway this passage blows my socks off Jesus ate with the social outcasts of the day the people that no one really like too much! This was always hard for me I couldn’t be friends with a certain person because they weren’t cool this all changed when I moved and became the new kid people just ignored me like I didn’t exist, it sucked so this is just a littl plug for today not even sure any o you will read this but you know that kid at school that no one talks to because they think they are weird? Do what Jesus did and spend time with them and love them! Aren’t you glad Jesus loved you enough to do that for you!

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