Saturday, May 1, 2021

Sheep Among Wolves

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

After Jesus went throughout all the cities in the Galilee Region, we pick up again in Matthew Chapter 10. He had spent time with the Apostles, having called them to follow Him as He went from city to city, gaining followers. They were witnesses to His teachings and His miracles. For them, it was first-hand training. Later on we'll read that they participated in the miracles, such as when the 5,000 were fed. By then, they were "The Twelve."

Today in Matthew 10's study we learn their names, some of the places from which they came, and some of the family relationships between them.

I met a Jewish man in a previous church attended, and he had been raised a Jew by his parents and family. But one time, something prompted him to read the Gospel of Matthew. Whether it was youthful curiosity or something else, as he read Matthew, he realized that all the names of people and places in the Gospel of Matthew were all Jewish names and Jewish cities, things that were familiar to him through his Hebrew School.

By the time he got to the end of Matthew's Gospel, the text itself, and Matthew's style of writing convinced him that Jesus is the Messiah his people have been waiting for. To the chagrin of his family, he converted to Christianity and now in his 70's, is a strong believer, witnessing to "who-so-ever" has a question and a willing ear to hear the answers he provides.

The writings of this Matthew the Levite will strike home to any sincere Jew. It is their story. It is how they have been persecuted through the ages, and endured, and been strengthened by the persecution.

Indeed, all History is His Story. The Prophet Isaiah tells us of the efficacy of God's Word:
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall no return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:11
The word of God shall fall like rain on many, but it will take root in the lives of those who truly hear.

Today's Audio Message

Matthew 10:1-20 - "Sheep Among Wolves"

Chapter Summary:

We are continuing our series in the Gospel of Matthew and we are right smack dab in the middle of the section where Jesus is giving very specific instructions to His disciples.

Jesus has called these twelve ordinary men together for the specific purpose of anointing them, and empowering them to preach the Gospel of salvation, the Kingdom of Heaven and to continue His work here on earth. Jesus is enlightening the apostles to the reality that in the future they will experience a whole different level of hatred, persecution, and difficulty, even death for his names sake. He is sending them out as sheep among wolves. He encourages His disciples that persecution is not a failure of God to protect them, but rather God’s plan. This would indeed be an opportunity to share the gospel of salvation.

As Christian's we should expect to be rejected, even persecuted as Jesus had warned. We need to be wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove. We should also expect help from the Holy Spirit. He will show us how and what to speak, even if arrested, and dragged before the court and the angry mob. It is then that the Holy Spirit will give the words, and the opportunity to tell all these powerful people about the gospel of Jesus, and salvation through faith in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can turn off the background music when listening to the audio teachings. To do so, go to the right hand column and click the stop or pause button on the audio player.

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