Summary: New understanding of relationship with the Triune God and the family of God.
June 10, 2018
Jesus Promises A Whole Lot of Newness
Today’s gospel reading is just jam packed with newness and His fresh approach to old and established thinking.
Remember now that Jesus is in a place in history where the whole of Jewish life is bound in the laws of the Jewish faith and governed by Pharisees, Sadducees, and Jewish priests.
Jesus was a Jew and worshipped in the Jewish Temples. It wasn’t until He was virtually rejected by the Jewish religious establishment that any distinction began to emerge. The Jewish leaders rebuffed Him and disputed His every public act claiming it to be “contrary” to the established faith and the laws that governed.
Early on, Jesus did minister to the sick, infirm and in need, but He avoided the crowds that gathered wherever He showed up, mainly because they sought to place Him on a throne to govern them, lead them in battle and do their bidding.
“But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So, He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him.” Mark 3:7-9
“Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” John 6:15
“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth. The reason why you are looking for me is not the miracles. You are looking for me because I gave you plenty of bread to eat.” John 6:26-27
Initially, Jesus set out to gather a small group of disciples; to teach and train them to be “fishers of men” – to teach and preach the Will of God. Understand here that Jesus didn’t go out on His own and just begin doing His thing. Jesus ALWAYS sought the will of God the Father and sought to do God’s will.
That is one great lesson for churches of today. Do we seek the will of God in our mission here on earth? Or do we say the words and then go through a process of developing programs, seeking more the approval of a church board and/or to please the congregation? Often, it is the methodology of programs and manner of teaching and preaching that are more unwelcome than the message or program itself.
We realize that we cannot please everyone, every time. The bigger goal is to please the One we serve – God Almighty.
So, there we have: new teaching and new methodology. What follows is new rejection! Too many times established tradition is mistaken for doctrine.
What else did Jesus bring forth in newness. A new family? I like the way church families of times gone by referred to each other as “Brother so and so” and Sister so and so”. I wonder why that wonderful connotation is rarely in practice today. Certainly, it is nothing to force on a congregation but maybe it could be encouraged. Why? The why is the church is our family at every level. The universal church [ALL BELIEVERS], the local church and even seekers of truth are our family.
Do you recall a recent message where we talked about “not hating our mother and father”? Jesus doesn’t want us to hate our parents or our family. What Jesus says has more to do with not elevating our families above god or our church family. What I mean here is that we do not overlook our church (remember universal and local) to cater and please our natural family. God’s will comes first! [my opinion]
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26
“For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world. For even His brothers did not believe in Him.” John 7:4-5
Jesus came to serve the world. His own flesh and blood family did not believe in Him.
When Edna and I entered the ministry and went on the mission field, my parents told me that they did not believe in what I was doing; they were ashamed of me; and I wasn’t raised to live on charity. That sting followed me until God took it away and blessed our work.
May I encourage you to love and honor your parents and your family. May I also encourage you to love and honor God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, as well as your family in the Lord above all.
let us pray-