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[thoughts] Jesus Calling Some Disciples (January 3-9, 2005)

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  • Mark Roth
    ... I have no control over and hereby disclaim ads/links above. ... Show them the love of Jesus. Send Asian quake survivors aid through Christian Aid
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2005
      I have no control over and hereby disclaim ads/links above.

      Show them the love of Jesus. Send Asian quake survivors aid
      through Christian Aid Ministries.

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      (Matthew 4:17-22; Mark 2:13-17)


      Have you, through repentance and discipleship, cast your lot with
      Jesus and His kingdom?

      Are there any whose access to Jesus you would cut off?


      Jesus calls whom He will.
      When the men from the East came looking for the Christ Child,
      they went to the obvious place: the king's palace in Jerusalem. But
      the King had chosen a different location for His own birth. Some
      thirty years after that, when the King set out to select His team,
      He again stayed away from the obvious destination: the temple in
      Jerusalem. In this particular lesson, we see Him again by the
      seashore as well as by the tax collector's place. Jesus' choices
      demonstrate that God's ways certainly soar far above ours.

      The self-sufficient and self-satisfied deny themselves entrance
      into the kingdom.
      Another of God's far-higher-than-man's ways comes through in
      Jesus' focus away from human perfection and righteousness. In His
      pursuit of hearts open to His message, He wasn't fooled or
      distracted by the apparent godliness of the scribes and Pharisees.
      Those self-sufficient, self-satisfied men denied themselves
      entrance into the kingdom. By refusing to accept their own
      spiritual sickness, they denied themselves the services of the only
      Doctor who could give them genuine health and wholeness.

      Don't balk at whoever else is following Jesus.
      Matthew, no doubt a man of means and culture, could have
      objected to following Jesus in the company of rough fishermen. The
      fishermen, pursuers of an honest livelihood, could have refused to
      follow Jesus further if He was going to add a tax collector to the
      group. However, in accepting Jesus, they each accepted His choices.


      Why would Jesus begin preaching with repentance as the theme?
      Jesus preached repentance because His listeners were sinners
      who needed to repent! He wanted to help these people, so He told
      them precisely what they needed to do: repent.
      Jesus preached repentance because He came calling people to
      enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who repent have a place in
      that kingdom.

      What is repentance?
      Repentance is regret and sorrow for personal wrongdoing.
      Repentance acknowledges moral and personal failure, accepting
      personal responsibility for it.
      Repentance includes an amending of life. In addition to
      grieving over the wrong done, it chooses a new course that will
      take it away from that wrong.
      Unless we first repent, we cannot experience conversion and
      cleansing from sin. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that
      your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19).

      Why did Jesus go to sinners with His message?
      Who else needs repentance? Who else needs cleansing from sin?
      Who else needs conversion? Who else had He come to?
      We can consider the scribes and Pharisees and pharisaically
      marvel that they got it so wrong. We could (with self-satisfaction)
      wag our heads at their pathetic question: "What ails Jesus that He
      keeps such company?"
      Alternately, we could search our own hearts for evidence of our
      own exclusive attitudes. We Christians at times put up barriers to
      the very Gospel we have been charged to proclaim! Sometimes there
      are certain types of people that we (subconsciously, I hope)
      consider too sinful to merit being told the Gospel message -- they
      wouldn't respond anyway, you know. On other occasions we might
      exclude someone because they make us uncomfortable or afraid. Alas,
      at other times we leave someone out of the Gospel loop because they
      have wronged us (often in some petty way).
      If you ever detect such barriers in your own heart, listen: "I
      came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mark 2:17).


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