Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20121212.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XIII: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority, Matthew 8:1-11:1
D. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority Over His Disciples
Lesson: Jesus Christ as Lord and Messiah of His Kingdom has such great authority over His disciples, He justly calls them to put following Him above any personal agenda for earthly fame or fortune.
- If Jesus is the Messiah from God, the King of the worldwide Messianic Kingdom, the argument of Matthew's Gospel (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, p. 1337, "Intro. to the Gospel Acc. To Matthew"), He would then need to exhibit His great authority over the subjects in His Kingdom, His disciples.
- Matthew 8:18-22 provides evidence of this authority, giving three illustrations of the right He had before God to call His disciples to follow Him while also denying requests from those who were not properly submissive to His will, Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 38.
- We view these illustrations for invaluable and insightful lessons on following the Lord today (as follows):
- Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority Over His Disciples, Matthew 8:18-22.
- Jesus revealed that His rule over His disciples exceeded any agenda they had for fame, Matthew 8:18-20:
- When Christ saw great multitudes around Him, He gave a command for the twelve disciples to join Him in departing to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, Matthew 8:18 with 8:5.
- Apparently impressed by the great crowds following Jesus, an onlooking Hebrew scribe came to Jesus and said, "Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest," Matthew 8:19 KJV.
- This man's motive was an errant one, a motive for selfish, personal fame:
- The Hebrew scribes were recognized authorities of the Law who pushed themselves to the front of a crowd, the people "respectfully giving way," to pontificate on the meaning of the various nuances of the Law, Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah, 1972, vol. i, p. 93.
- They looked down on the common people, many of whom did not even know how to read, as "the vulgar herd of rude and profane country-people,' who know not the Law' and are cursed,'" Ibid.
- Thus, when such a man saw throngs of people following Jesus, impressed by this as a scribe who loved to bathe himself in the limelight of fame, he offered to follow Jesus wherever He went, hoping to gain in fame by following the crowd-impressing Jesus! (Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N. T.)
- Jesus knew of this sinful selfish desire, and, to reveal that one needed to be in contrast humble to be His disciple and servant, He explained that even He, the "Son of man" who would ascend to heaven and rule all nations of the world according to Daniel 7:13-14 of the Old Testament that the Scribe knew well, even He had no place belonging to Him to lay His head on the earth versus the lowly foxes that had dens and the birds of the air that had nests, Matthew 8:20.
- So, to follow and serve Christ, a disciple must submit to His authority over the desire for earthly fame.
- Jesus revealed that His rule over His disciples exceeded any agenda they had for wealth, Matt. 8:21-22:
- Another one of Jesus' disciples asked the Lord to allow him first to go and bury his father, and then he would follow the Lord, Matthew 8:21.
- This did not mean his father had just died or was about to die, but that "he wanted to return home and wait until his father died. Then he would return and follow Jesus," Ibid. This man "wanted to receive the estate when his father died," putting fortune ahead of the priority of following the Lord, thinking "discipleship was something he could pick up or lay down at will" in accord with his own goals, Ibid.
- Jesus replied to the man, "Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead," meaning the physically dead could be cared for by the spiritually dead, but that truly spiritually living people needed to put following Christ as Lord and Messiah as their "highest priority" over even fortune, Ibid.; Matt. 8:22.
- So, to follow and serve Christ, a disciple must submit to His authority over the desire for earthly riches.
Application: May we (1) trust in Christ as Savior to become sons of God, John 1:11-12. (2) Then, may we humbly follow Him as our first priority above any personal agenda for earthly fame or fortune.