Matthew introduces us to two potential disciples. One says: “I will follow Jesus if it pays off now.” The other says: “Now is paying off, I’ll follow Jesus later.” The opportunity to decide to follow Jesus is now. One day it will be too late.
Through these miraculous healing, Jesus physically demonstrates that he came to rescue us from our ultimate suffering which is rooted in our sin and our guilt.
Matthew has just quoted Jesus as claiming to have authority from God. Now he turns our attention to how Jesus acts with God’s authority, by performing miracles only God can perform. These miracles confront us with a choice to believe Jesus is who he says he is.
How did Jesus had to our understanding of what should we do or not do on the Sabbath? He taught that Sabbath is a rest that is given, not earned, and that our “job” is to enjoy it, not to live up to it.
Sabbath rest is yet to come —the rest we enjoy today anticipates the real Sabbath rest that awaits us in the kingdom. That future rest is granted to those who have saving faith in Jesus Christ.
How do we keep the Sabbath? The simple command is not to work. We stop the activities we do that sustain our lives and instead we do the things that most foster our relationship to, understanding of and dependence on God.
Sabbath is about who God is. It’s not about what we need to live healthy lives. It’s not about making sure we get our rest so that we can be productive at work, be nice to our family and stay awake during Bible Studies (though none of those things are bad things). Sabbath reminds us who God is. Because as we’ll see, on the Sabbath, we rest to remember God.
What if God has called me to something and I’m just plain afraid to follow? What if the path He has put before me seems too frightening or overwhelming?
How do you accomplish great things for the kingdom of God and quiet that inner voice that says whatever you’re doing, it’s not enough? In 2Kings 5 we see a series of contrasts between how the world measures greatness and God measures greatness.
When God called Elisha to be succeed the prophet Elijah, Elisha was a farmer with no apparent qualifications. Yet Elisha burned his ox and followed. Then Elisha refused to leave his mentor’s side, humbly asking that God equip him for the journey ahead.