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More teaching on the kingdom .
Seems like Jesus had a one track mind doesn't it? It would be best that we emulate that. He taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as in heaven." He prayed that His people would all be one as He and the Father are one. We have a long way to go for that to be accomplished! We are ever so willing to cut and slash and deny entrance into the kingdom to any outside of our immediate circle and/or denomination. A little more refined, but the same spirit and mindset of the Grand Inquisition of centuries past.
There is a time to split hairs on doctrine and interpretation of scripture ( See our forum ), but let us not split the kingdom while doing so. As far as I'm concerned, anybody who has bowed their knee to the cross of Jesus Christ and has been sealed by His Spirit until the day of redemption, is a fellow citizen of the kingdom of God. If God has sealed somebody by His Spirit, best I don't tamper with that seal.
On another note, our hearts are saddened by the daily news coming from Iraq. We wonder why we are there and what is being accomplished. God's kingdom program is at work! The peace of Jerusalem is the underlying cause of the whole conflict. You remember that there wasn't room Abraham's household for both Isaac and Ishmael. That hasn't changed. They will be antagonists until such a time as the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven exercising vengeance in flaming fire (II Thes. 1:7). God's kingdom program on earth will be complete when Israel inquires about the scars in His hands (Zech. 13:6), and cries out "This is our God, we have waited for Him" (Isaiah 25:9).
109: The Gadarene Voyage - Mt. 8:18-23; Mk. 4:35-36; Lu. 8:22
Matthew 8:18 ¶ Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Once again, a large crowd had assembled around Jesus as He taught and expounded the word of God. Jesus felt a need to leave these people and go to the other side of the lake. Perhaps He sensed that they were caught up in emotion and needed time to digest His words. On another occasion, he left the multitude and went to a mountain by Himself, because He knew that the people were ready to forcefully proclaim Him as king (John 6:15). Perhaps this was a similar situation.
A certain scribe, perhaps with the very best of intentions, proclaimed his willingness to follow Jesus anywhere that He went. This man was probably used to a rather comfortable way of living and it appears that Jesus knew that he would not be able to adapt to the Spartan lifestyle of He and His disciples. Contrary to what the money preachers proclaim, the foxes had holes and the birds had nests, but Jesus didn't have a place to lay His head. This passage tells us that there is a cost to be considered when we decide to follow Him (See Luke 14:26,27,33).We must be willing to endure the same hardships that He endured to promote the kingdom of God.
Another man, expresses his willingness to go with Jesus, but he ask for a delay. His father has died and needs to be buried. Jesus answered, "Let the dead bury the dead." Luke places these events at a later time and adds this statement, "But go and preach the kingdom of God." Jesus had evidently placed a call on this man's life, whom some scholars feel could have been Thomas, and He was expecting an unhesitating instant response.
Conclusion and Application:
These sayings of the Lord seem hard to reconcile with a tender and compassionate Jesus. In the first instance, Jesus had not called the scribe to specific service. He knew that the man was overcome by emotion and would not be able to stand the hardships that would soon be encountered. Likewise, little of lasting value is accomplished by emotional fervor. Emotionalism will bring people into the front door of the church, but it will not keep them from leaving through the back. Our emotions must be balanced by faith and commitment to the kingdom of God regardless of circumstances.
As stated above, Luke places this incident at another time and place. However, if it took place just prior to this boat trip, we must consider that if Jesus had delayed His trip to allow a disciple whom he had called to service to bury his father, we do not know what the effect may have been. No doubt Jesus knew that a demon possessed man would be waiting at a specific time. After the man was delivered, he was instructed by Jesus to go and tell the good news in all of the surrounding area. If Jesus had delayed His trip across the lake, the outcome may have been completely different. Many souls may not have heard the testimony of Jesus that this man gave to all who would hear.
Two diligent laborers in the kingdom passed on, at an early age, to their reward this past week, leaving behind grieving widows and children. Please pray for the families of Rev. Jim Yohe and Rev. Travis Waycaster.
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A six-year-old ran up and down the supermarket aisles shouting frantically, "Marian, Marian!"
Finally reunited with his mother, he was chided by her,"You shouldn't call me 'Marian.' I'm your mother, you know."
"I know, " said the child, "but the store is full of mothers."
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Don & Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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