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Tag Archives: Matthew 11

UNLIKE JESUS! One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel (Part 6)

I John 3:26 says, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”  Jesus-followers are to strive everyday to become more like their Lord.  But we have failed to be like Jesus in one crucial area — being a friend of sinners.  We read in Matthew 11:

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

To the three charges leveled at Jesus — being a glutton, a drunkard, and a friend of sinners — I believe Jesus would have replied, “Not guilty.  Not guilty.  GUILTY!”  We saw that one of the most famous teachings of Jesus, the story of the prodigal son, was given because “the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” (Lk. 15:2).  I copied and pasted my understanding of Luke 15 in our previous post.

Let’s be honest — We followers of Jesus are NOT friends of sinners.  We sometimes are hardly friends of each other.  All of us could use a primer in basic friendship, but we are desperately in need of the challenge to be like Jesus and to develop friendships with those who need Him!

There are a variety of EXCUSES which we Jesus-followers give for not being like Him in this area.  Some which occur to me — and which we will discuss in subsequent posts — are the tyranny of time, the fear of compromise, the curse of criticism, no interest in listening, etc.  We’re going to grind away at this one topic:  our absolute need to develop serious, strategic, sincere relationships with lost people.  You will be tempted to abandon this blog, but I plead with you to stick with me.  This really is important.  (to be continued) 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in discipleship

 

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UNLIKE JESUS! One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel! (Part 4)

We read about an area in which Jesus-followers ought to follow Jesus in Matthew 11:

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

John the Baptist was considered demonized for his frugality.  Jesus was thought to be a glutton and a drunkard for His indulging in food and drink.  But the charges against the Messiah go beyond His appetite.  He is also criticized for the company He kept.

“The Son of Man [is] a friend of tax collectors and sinners,” they say.  We will notice in subsequent posts the truth of this charge.  He was a friend of tax collectors and sinners.  The charges against Jesus were partially true.

If He had been put on trial for these three charges — gluttony, drunkenness, and consorting with sinners — I believe Jesus would have said to the first two charges “NOT GUILTY!  I have never eaten to excess or over-indulged in my drinking.”  But to the third charge, I believe the Lord would say, “GUILTY!  AND PROUD OF IT!”  (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2017 in discipleship

 

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UNLIKE JESUS! One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel! (Part 3)

We are focusing in this series of posts on our failure to truly follow Jesus in one specific area.  We read about that area in Matthew 11:

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

Jesus’ contemporary culture was acting like a bunch of children.  Both He and John the Baptist were being mocked for not dancing to their music.  Neither in joy nor sorrow did these two religious leaders measure up, conform to, what was appropriate and expected.

John the Baptist’s frugality was met with the charge that he was demon-possessed!  That’s an incredibly serious accusation for someone living an abnormal lifestyle.  John did not calibrate his life around his appetites.  And he was thought to be ruled by the devil!

But Jesus goes on and speaks about how He was criticized.  He says, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'”  Jesus’ indulgence seems to be the focus here.  He speaks of Himself as coming “eating and drinking.”  Jesus fully participated in His social surroundings.  He did not stand off to the side or on a holy hill condemning His contemporaries.  He joined them!

And that opened Him up to the double charge that He was a glutton and a drunkard!  Whereas the criticism of John the Baptist was about what he gave up, the criticism of Jesus was about what He enjoyed!  John’s lifestyle was extreme, counter-cultural.  Jesus’ lifestyle was normal, but exposed Him to the charge of excess. (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in discipleship

 

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UNLIKE JESUS! One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel! (Part 2)

Jesus followers fail to follow Him in many ways.  But one way that seems to receive little attention in Christian circles is brought out in Matthew 11:16-19.  There we read,

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
    and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

In evaluating His contemporary culture, Jesus says they are a lot like children hanging out in the marketplaces engaged in mocking and ridicule.  They call out to their friends, “We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.”

They are critical of both John the Baptist and Jesus.  Both did not meet their expectations.  Neither was joyful or mournful when they thought appropriate.  Both the forerunner of the Messiah and the Messiah Himself didn’t dance to their music.

Jesus goes on to say, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.'”  John’s frugal lifestyle matched his in-your-face message of “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”  We read in Matthew 3: “John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.”  John wasn’t into fashion or food.  He wore the least expensive clothing one could find — and ate whatever he could gather for himself.  He placed no priority on the expectations of others.  What did he get for his bizarre lifestyle?  He was accused of having a demon!  Wow!  He did not “fit in.”  He did not try to.  He was laser-focused on proclaiming the message of repentance and getting ready for the coming Messiah.  (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2017 in discipleship

 

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UNLIKE JESUS! One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel! (Part 1)

In this new series of posts, I want to investigate one specific area where we Jesus-followers aren’t following Jesus as we should.  Of course, we fail in many ways to be like our Lord, but there is one particular area that I’m convinced we’re missing.  And we (and the church) are worse off because of our oversight.

That area is . . . being a friend of sinners as Jesus was.   We read in Matthew 11:

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
    and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

There is so much in this passage that we need to examine.  The Lord Jesus is giving His evaluation of His contemporary culture and He says that it is like a bunch of children pouting!  They are upset, He says, because He (and John the Baptist — the “you” of verse 17 is plural) aren’t dancing to the tunes they are playing.  He is neither dancing to nor mourning because of their music — and they are upset with Him.  Their vocal mockery and taunting highlight the fact that Jesus is living out His life to the music of another Singer.  And this did not please them. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in discipleship

 

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How Hard Are YOU Working?

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The Bible teaches that work was not a result of man’s rebellion against God in the garden.  In fact, Genesis indicates that God had work responsibilities for Adam and Eve before they disobeyed by taking of the forbidden tree.  Weary work is the result of the fall!

The Bible has a great deal to say about work.  Jesus, for example, invites those who are weary and heavy-burdened to come to Him for rest, but also for work!  We read in Matthew 11 Jesus saying,   “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Not all are invited to Jesus in this passage.  Only those who FirefoxScreenSnapz583recognize they are weary and burdened.  Those who are not weary and burdened (the object of their “burden” appears to be their own sin before God) are not being invited.  Jesus promises soul rest to those who come to Him, but He also commands them:  “Take my yoke upon you . . .”  A yoke, of course, stood for work.  There is work for the child of God to do.

May I ask you — What work are you doing for God?  Here we have to be careful, don’t we?  There are those who want to do work for God to earn His favor, to somehow pay for their own salvation.

One group asked Jesus, 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” (John 6).  We read that  29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

We are to work, but we can’t work for our salvation.  It is a free gift given to all who believe in Jesus.  But then, as we learn in Ephesians 2:8-10, there’s plenty of WORK for the child of God to do!

Questions:

1.  As you read over Ephesians 2:8-10, what are some of the works God wants you to do?

2.  How can we illustrate to others that trying to work for our salvation is insulting to God?

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in salvation

 

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