Saturday, July 24, 2021

Always The Need

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

You might recall an event when Martha complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping her serve at a dinner. Jesus answered her comfortingly with a truth: Mary had sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to His every Word, instead of serving with her sister. “Mary has chosen the better part,” Jesus said to Martha.

In every ministry, every Church, and every religious gathering, there is room for those who are gifted to serve, and those who need to simply be listening to the Words of God, as they wash over the entire gathering and minister to all in a way specific to each one. Each person is both unique in themselves, but subject to the common temptations in this world. Martha and Mary are perfect examples of church membership, and it’s up to us to ask for Spiritual gifts to help us learn our role(s) within the Church.

Jesus’ statement about Mary choosing the better part is interesting. In Hebrews 5:10-14, the writer of Hebrews refers to Jesus as...
“Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which (are) the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Clearly then, there is a process of learning, and of serving. While they are two very different Spiritual Gifts they go hand-in-glove in the fullness of the Church. Martha was naturally gifted to serve. Anyone who has hosted a dinner party is able to appreciate Martha’s ability to multi-task for food, and for the comfort of her guests. But others are simply satisfied to sit and focus on Jesus’ Word being spoken and taught.

There also comes a time when every Believer can cross the line and fulfill the role of the other. This is a dynamic of the Holy Spirit. As He quietly and continually points us to Jesus, what comes into focus is Jesus’ ability to serve His children and to teach then at the same time by example.

Today's Audio Message:

Matthew 15:29-39 - "Always The Need"


In Matthew 15:32 it says, “Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.’"

Basically, the word compassion comes from the Latin which means to suffer with, but really, in the English, it’s even enriched beyond that, for the English dictionary describes compassion as this: A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the pain and remove its cause. For the Latins, it meant to suffer with, but in English, it has come to mean not only to suffer with someone or to feel their pain and their hurt but to have a strong desire to see its cause permanently eliminated.

And I think that’s a marvelous definition of what was in the heart of our Lord who, looking upon anyone in need, identified with that need, felt sympathy and sorrow for that need, and had a strong desire to see its cause removed. The Greek term itself is a most interesting term. It’s basically a verb form added to a word that means bowels or visceral area or guts, stomach, and it means that Jesus actually felt physical pain in His stomach over the needs of people with which He identified and for whom He desired deliverance.

Now, if you learn anything at all about God, you learn in the Scriptures that He is a God of great compassion. He suffers with people. He feels their pain, and more than that, He seeks to alleviate its cause. And that’s exactly why He moves in the world. That’s exactly why He redeems men. That’s exactly why He heals and comforts and extends grace and mercy and lovingkindness, in order to reach men in their need and deliver them from it.

This is an important portion of scripture as we see Jesus is reaching beyond the covenant people, beyond the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and is reaching out to gentiles, and He is giving us a prophetic picture of the extension of the Kingdom in the purpose of God to encompass the lost of the world. The intention of Christ coming to Israel was never that that was the end but that that was only the means to reaching the world. It was always His intention to reach the world.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

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