IT IS GETTING CLOSER!
Matthew 10:1-2, 16-30
What we read this morning is a direct continuation of what we looked at last Sunday. In the first two verses we are told Jesus had been teaching in Galilee and now has gone to the region of Judea. We also see not only were the disciples following him and learning everything they could from Jesus but we also see that a large crowd is following him as well. Some may be following because of what Jesus is teaching, but we see in the second verse there may be another reason. When they got on the other side of the Jordan, Jesus healed those who had problems as well. What would we do if we knew there was a man in the area that without exception could heal your illness every time? We would probably seek him out if we had a health or emotional problem, wouldn’t we?
As the time was getting closer to Jesus’ appointment with destiny. Jesus was continuing to not only be with the disciples but also with anyone who sought him out. As we see in the 16th verse, a man asked Jesus the question, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus asked the man why he used the word “good” in his question. Jesus then proceeded to tell him there is only one who is good. Jesus’ response to the question was that if you want eternal life you need to obey the commandments. The man then asks Jesus a strange question, “Which ones?” To which Jesus stated 7 of the 10 commandments. The man confidently answered, “All of these I have kept, so what do I lack?” To which Jesus gave his answer. He said, “If you want to be perfect, sell all that you have, give it to the poor and follow me.” If you notice, Jesus never questioned the young man’s heart about the commandments. He simply said “If you want to be perfect, this is what you have to do.” The young man left Jesus, disillusioned, because he had great wealth. The disciples were stunned by everything that had happened to the point of asking Jesus who can be saved. Obviously, they were impressed with the young man. Jesus said “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Peter then boldly said, “We have left everything to follow you. What then will there be for us?” Jesus’ answer gave a hint of things to come when he said, “At the renewal of all things, when the son of man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on the twelve thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.” He goes on to say everyone who has sacrificed for him and for God’s kingdom will receive 100 times as much as they have given up. Jesus closes out the 19th chapter by saying, “Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” In these verses we read this morning, what is Jesus saying to his disciples, to those who had been following wherever he went, and to us today? On the one hand, Jesus is pointing out the futility of trying to earn your own salvation. The young man who asked Jesus the question of what it takes had apparently lived a very faithful life for God. Yet he wanted to be certain of this salvation through his own efforts. Jesus knew in a very short time from that moment, he was going to make a way for all of us to get right with God. At the same time Jesus assured the disciples that your love and commitment have not gone unnoticed. Something special will be reserved for us at the time of judgment. Jesus also went on to say those who have given up much will also reap a great reward.
I feel so blessed by God to have the opportunity to be a Christian in America. Much of the sacrifice and persecution that happens to Christians in other parts of the world have not really reached us. Yet there can be a price to pay, even in America, for the cause of Christ. How far have you and I been willing to go in our faith for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? As Jesus continues to teach his disciples, he also reminds them to be careful about judging people. Things are not always what they seem. When man tries to decide who is worthy and who is not, we have our own prejudices and opinions that can get in the way, but Jesus is pointing out God looks at the heart. God sees and understands things in ways we simply cannot. That is why his answer to the disciples about who is worthy to be saved, stated with man it would be impossible but with God all things are possible.
Aren’t we so thankful God can see things as they really are, not how some may think they are? Jesus is wanting the disciples to realize no one can earn their salvation through good works as nice as that might be. Jesus also wants the disciples and the church to realize with God all things are possible. Jesus also wanted all of us to know some who may appear to be first in God’s kingdom may actually be towards the back of the pack. And those we may think are going to be at the back of the line will actually be at the front. Jesus wants us to know, do not worry about where you fit in, just do your best during your lifetime and God will take care of the rest. Jesus knows it is getting closer and the hard work that we cannot do for ourselves is about to be done. To God Be All the Glory, Honor and Praise!
Every Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study. All are invited to attend.
March 16-20 District “Potluck” via Zoom. See details on bulletin board--worship and workshops. Carol will send you the links if you are interested in attending any or all of the sessions.
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) special offering will be collected on March 28. We will envelopes at the back of the sanctuary for you to use. Denominations across the country support OGHS. You may have received a brochure in the mail.
Copies of the March newsletter are in the back.
Care packages: bring snack items by the end of March please. We know of these 6: Madison Warren, Michelle Wright, Jordan Wright, Sadie Sawyer, Shawn Cain, Robert Cripe
To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.
District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link) and on facebook
Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook
Keep in Your Prayers
Terry Marvin; Tera Runyan; Holly Flenner; Carl and Wilma Cable; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Sherry Wright; Tim and Betty Sue Laird; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Evelyn Eads; Anna Gentry Thompson; Marlene & Arnold Schultz; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 530,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of natural disasters; District of IL/WI search committee; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; our nation’s government
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.