Summary: Today we look at the gracious power of Almighty God – the Sovereign King of all of Creation, the One who has all power and glory and honor, the One who is not ever to be approached flippantly or superficially – and to see the tender heart He has for those
Jesus Changes His Accent – Part 2
Four Calls Of Christ – Part 2
Some of you know the names of the men to whom I turn for my teaching and guiding, the men to whom I turn for understanding and insight into pastoral ministry and being a man of God. I wish I knew them personally. I only know them from a distance – men whose teaching ministries I listen to, whose web sites I visit, whose email lists I am on. Once in a while, I get a personal response to an email question I send. Usually, I get fed from a distance, so to speak.
There I times when I wish I could eavesdrop on their conversations with their staff, their families, their friends, but especially on their prayer and study time. In the past I have been allowed to peek at the prayer and study habits of men who were mentoring me (well, trying to, at least). I always gained a great deal of insight and instruction from those times.
Have you ever had someone you looked up to spend that little extra personal time with you, letting you peek into their world and get a better understanding of what made them a person you admired?
Years ago, when I was new to ministry, I was involved with a couple of fellowships that had a great number of old-time preachers around. Man, those guys could pray and preach! There was one very old, very little Italian fellow named Tony Tosti. Tony was a retired evangelist in his eighties when I met him. He has since gone home to be with the Lord he knew so well.
The first time I met Tony, I was struck by his easy-going and gentle manner. He was a nice man. He joked easily and laughed a lot – very unpretentious and humble.
Not long after I met Tony, I was at a local event for the denomination we were all a part of. Tony was asked to pray. It was an experience I will never forget. Even after almost twenty years, I can still hear Tony’s voice, deep and resonant, ushering us into the Throne Room of God.
Tony closed his eyes, bowed his head, and then I heard this little man’s voice boom out with, “Oh, God…we Your servants bow before You today, humbled and in awe, overcome by Your majesty and grace.”
I had an experience that day that I had never had before – I felt like I was truly standing in the very presence of Almighty God – real, alive, magnificent. It shook me up. And, it changed me. It changed the way I approached God and how I saw Him.
Over the next few years, being around Tony and being allowed to witness the overflow of His relationship with God into everyday life helped me to see and understand the gracious power of Almighty God – the Sovereign King of all of Creation, the One who has all power and glory and honor, the One who is not ever to be approached flippantly or superficially – and to see the tender heart He has for those who He allows to call Him “Father”.
Jesus does that for us in our passage today. We get a glimpse into the personal prayer life of Jesus and at the relationship He has with the God Father. We get a closer look at their intimacy and their unity. We get to learn just a little better how to approach our Heavenly Father.
We need to take just a moment to put this all in context within the Gospel of Matthew and within the larger context of Scripture itself.
I’m sure you recall that Matthew 11 picks up the narrative just after Jesus has sent His disciples out by twos to preach the coming of the kingdom. We covered this in-depth when we studied Matthew 10. This section of Scripture seems to come at a time when Jesus is without His disciples, for Matthew never tells us of their retuning.
We need to look at the parallel account of this passage in Luke 10:2-24. Luke’s account has Jesus sending out the seventy (or seventy-two, depending on your translation), not just the Twelve. How do we resolve this? Both accounts are of the same event.
Some say they are two separate events, but the two accounts mesh so well together that they seem certainly to be one single occurrence. The reason this is significant is so that we can see how multi-faceted the Scriptures are and how, like a set of binoculars, additional views of the same image gives a much clearer picture to the viewer. This is just one of the reasons we use Scripture to study Scripture.