Tag Archives: the book of Matthew

“Jesus called them together and said,‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’”  (Matthew 20: 25-28, NIV)

I like the adage: “Unless you’re the lead dog, the view never really changes.”

The problem is that my ambition for leadership almost always conflicts with what Jesus says His disciples’ ambitions ought to be vis-a-vis leadership.  While the common ideas of leadership usually involves the exercise of power, the acquisition of perquisites, and the maintenance of prestige; as a disciple of Jesus, I need always be on guard that I not use religious language to hide these secular objectives.

We cannot argue with the common concepts of leadership and their place in this world.  However, regarding their applicability, we must never forget Jesus’ words: “Not so with you.” – Luther

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“Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him.  ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked.  ‘And who gave you this authority?’”  (Matthew 21:23, NIV)

There are some things that God requires that confounds the watching world: Love for one’s enemies; forgiveness of those who have harmed us; rejoicing in trial; and hopefulness in adversity.

As a disciple of Jesus, be prepared to answer those who ask: “By what authority. . .?”, because the ways of God are sometimes foreign even to those who inhabit the “temple courts” as the chief priests and elders of the people did in Jesus’ day.  Our “authority” is our heavenly Father.  It is His spirit within us.  It is His word informing our decisions.  We aspire to be like Him.

As many of us were taught years ago by our parents: Resist “peer pressure”; and obey the teaching of the One who created us, and loves us — no matter what, and no matter who.   – Luther

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“As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him.  Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’  The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’  Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’  he asked.  ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”  (Matthew 20:29-34, NIV)

The response of the two blind men to the miraculous gift they had received from Jesus was obedience.  They “followed him.”

One cannot follow unless (or until) he/she is willing to obey.  God, by His grace, showers us with innumerable blessings.

When we receive any of the blessings of Christ, do we follow in His steps?  When God is generous to us, do we follow Him into generosity?  When God forgives us our trespasses, do we follow his example by forgiving those who have trespassed against us?

To their great credit, the two healed men responded to God’s blessings by following the One that had shown them mercy.  What is our response to God for His mercy?  – Luther

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