Tag Archive | Matthew

Matthew 15:27 ” Yes, Lord, she said, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

In this story, a Canaanite woman has approached Jesus asking Him to heal her demon possessed daughter.  At first Jesus is kind, but firmly tells her, “I’ve been sent to help the Jews.”  But she’s undeterred with her request, so He then says to her,  “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”  For most, that kind of rebuff would have stop them…but not her!  Yes, she thoroughly understands what Jesus is saying, but she also knows that He’s the only one who can save her daughter.  It’s by her tenacity and  tremendous faith…a faith that Jesus recognizes in her,  that her request is granted.

Matthew 8:22 ” But Jesus told him, ‘Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’ “

What is the cost of  following Jesus?  Will we have to make hard choices?  The big question is…are we even willing?   We could be like the person in this verse who was told to walk away from the spiritual death around him.  So are we willing to give up the things of this world we’ve become so cozy and comfortable with to follow Jesus?  Or we could be like the person in verse 21 of this chapter who said to Jesus, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  In other words, “The things I want to do are far more important than following You. Let me do what I want first, and then I’ll follow You.”   When Jesus says, “Follow Me.”  it means the beginning of a life-long abiding fellowship with Him…of trust and obedience…of counting the cost, but still following hard after Him.

John 21:22 “…What is that to you? You must follow Me.”

For Simon Peter, he had come full circle from that first encounter with Jesus on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  He and his brother, Andrew,  were fishing when this stranger approached them and declared, “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)  Now three years later, following Jesus’ death and resurrection and  Peter’s denial of Him…Peter has been restored and re-commissioned.  “Follow Me,”  is fellowship of faith and life with our Savior…it’s both inner fellowship of trust and confidence, and outer fellowship of becoming more like Him daily.  “Follow Me,” ultimately  means counting the cost and determining it’s all worth it.

Matthew 16:26 ” What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? “

For many, they’re playing a version of the old game show, “Lets Make a Deal” with God.  They’re bartering “good works and deeds” in hopes it will get them a free pass into heaven.  Or they’re pinning their eternal hope on the shirt-tails of a Believing Grandparent.  Neither will work…for there is no earthly commodity that exists that’s a fair exchange for our soul.  We can’t trade anything we have for the free gift of salvation Jesus offers us…and no amount of good deeds will get us any closer to heaven.  So the answer to the question, “What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” is simple…there is nothing.

Matthew 16:25 ” For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.”

It tells us in John 12:25 that, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”   Everyday is a struggle, where our affections are pulled one way or the other.  The glitter and lure of the world is great, with its promises of immediate gratification and unending ecstasy.  But the cold hard truth is that our excessive fondness for things of the world will only  lead us down a path to self-destruction and death.  For the world tells us to live today to the fullest… to eat, drink, and be merry, with no regard for tomorrow.   But the Lord tells us that there is life beyond the grave, and that the world is blinding us from this truth.   If  I want to save my life, I must lose it in the person of Jesus Christ…I must turn my focus and  affections from the temporal to the eternal…from the fleeting to the everlasting.

Matthew 16:24 ” Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.’ “

It was Roman custom to have the condemned person carry the cross on which he was to suffer through the streets as a means of spectacle, humiliation, and as a deterrent for others.  But Jesus is calling us to follow Him…to purposely take up and bear that figure of shame.  For on that cross our sins were  brutally nailed…on that cross our redemption was sealed in blood.  To the Romans, the cross was a symbol of  shame…but to  Believers, it’s a symbol of salvation.

Matthew 28:9 ” Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him.”

The women had just left the empty tomb when they were confronted by the risen Jesus.  They did not flee but rather fell prostrate at His feet.  There will be a time in all our lives when we too will come face to face with Jesus…and the decision becomes ours…do we turn our back and run…or do we worship at His feet.