Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sheepherders Needed

Matthew 9:27-38

And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.

And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this?

They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.  And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.  But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.” (Matthew 9:27-31)

Jesus’ reputation was spreading, and the two blind men had heard about how he had healed others and raised the dead girl.  They publicly asked Jesus to consider their state and help them as well.  Inside the house Jesus asked them privately if they believed he could and they said they did.  Jesus said their healing would be according to their faith, and they were healed.

Mark 16:16 declares, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”  It is the belief that saves or heals, and it is a private personal thing.  Even the act of being baptized is only a way of demonstrating that faith.  The same is true of confession in Romans 10:9-10.  The act of confessing is just a demonstration of that faith.  Far too many have placed the emphasis on the action of being baptized or of saying the right words rather than the faith which motivates the action.

Jesus then instructed them not to tell anyone what happened, but they were excited about being healed and couldn’t keep it to themselves.  I believe everyone who really gets saved will have a similar difficulty in keeping it quiet.  They won’t have to be told to witness.  It will just come out in their excitement.  Only those who have lost that first love find it hard to tell others about Christ.

“As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.  And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.” (Matthew 9:32-33)

Just as the two formerly blind men left, they brought in a man who a demonic spirit had taken such control of his mind that he was unable to speak intelligibly.  When Jesus cast the devil out the man could speak clearly.  The people were amazed that such a thing were even possible.  No one else had ever been able to do such a thing.

“But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” (Matthew 9:34)

The Pharisees were angered by the people’s comments that no one else, including Moses and Elijah had ever been able to do such things, taking it as an affront to their beliefs.  They said Jesus could only do it through Satanic power.   Mark 3:20-30  and Luke 11:14-20 record Jesus’ answer to their claim, that Satan would be pretty dumb to attack his own people and destroy his own efforts.

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-36)

Jesus went from city to city preaching and teaching, and healing every disease and sickness he found.  The more he observed the people the more concerned he became because, while they had a clearly established system that was to teach them to serve God, it was like they had no one.  The entire focus was on preserving their traditions rather than on serving God.  As a result they were discouraged and looking for someone to show them a better way.

 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

As Jesus pointed out, there was and still is a tremendous need for those who will teach people the truth, but there is a shortage of people who are willing to take the responsibility to study and learn so they can share it.  Only God can give a person a desire to do that job.  Most people are not willing to take on the job of a sheepherder.  Like the Pharisees, they want to only deal with sheep who are all cleaned up for showing at the fair.  They don’t want to have to care for them day by day.

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