January 13, 2022

Jesus Never Told Us to Ask Him in to Our Hearts

Matthew 9

Mark Warner
Thursday's Devo

January 13, 2022

Thursday's Devo

January 13, 2022

Central Truth

Jesus calls us to repent, or turn away, from being god of our lives and to "follow Me" for God's glory and our good. The love of God initiates, sacrifices, and stays.

Key Verse | Matthew 9:9

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.

Matthew 9

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing 1 9:4 Some manuscripts perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Jesus Calls Matthew

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesus 2 9:10 Greek he reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

A Question About Fasting

14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, 3 9:14 Some manuscripts add much, or often but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed

18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly 4 9:22 Greek from that hour the woman was made well. 23 And when Jesus came to the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

Jesus Heals a Man Unable to Speak

32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”

The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Footnotes

[1] 9:4 Some manuscripts perceiving
[2] 9:10 Greek he
[3] 9:14 Some manuscripts add much, or often
[4] 9:22 Greek from that hour

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Thursday, 13 January | Matthew 9

Pastor Francis Chan once said, "Our greatest fear should not be failure. It should be succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." Wow, that quote described my life well. I had succeeded at all the things I wanted, but they were meaningless.

I didn't realize that until I had everything, like Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes (e.g., Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, 14). If only I had read Ecclesiastes before I wasted many years of my life. Like Solomon, I chased success, money, and travel, yet I was hopeless and suicidal.

After following Jesus for six years, I have come to know Jesus is better than anything the world can offer (John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:10). The name Jesus means "Jehovah saves." Jesus displays that He is God by His authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:3, 5, 6, 8). Jesus confirms that He is the Messiah prophesied as a healer in Isaiah 35:5-6.

I once heard the biblical definition of love in a sermon at www.theporch.live. The pastor said love sends (initiates) (Romans 5:8), love sacrifices (John 15:13), and love stays (Matthew 28:20). If only our world knew God's definition of love! Nothing we do can earn God's love (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:27; Titus 3:5).

Jesus doesn't merely ask us to believe that He is God, since even the demons believe (James 2:19). A savior doesn't save people who think they are "right" (Proverbs 21:2) and can earn heaven on their own. The Savior saves those who by God's grace realize they are spiritually dead apart from Him and need saving (Ephesians 2:1-10; Isaiah 66:2). Jesus says "follow Me" about 23 times in the Gospels. He never requires a sinner's prayer as a prerequisite to salvation; rather, Jesus says, "Follow Me."

Pastor Tim Keller described repentance as being characterized by deep humility (Psalm 38:18, 139:23-24), together with joyful confidence in the mercy of God (1 John 1:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20). To repent is to completely pull up the foundation of our life and totally rebuild our lives on Jesus as the foundation (Matthew 7:21-28).

Discussion Questions

1. We desire love, hope, peace, joy, and wisdom, but we forget the God who is the source of these things. What created things are you worshiping? Would you still daily thank God if those worshiped things were taken away?

2. You may have heard it said, "What you feed grows." Are you feeding gratitude to God, or are you feeding self-pity and frustrations? Scripture memory has been such a helpful spiritual discipline to feed on God's Word in any situation. Equipped Disciple training can help you!

3. What will you do this year to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Will you consider setting some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) spiritual goals to help you grow in loving God? Some ideas include praying Scripture, daily time in the Word of God through Join The Journey, Scripture memory, and journaling about what you are reading.

4. Have you seen Season 2 of The Chosen series? Matthew 9 is shown with great acting! The healing of the paralytic and Jesus calling Matthew to "follow Me" are powerful.

5. Are you having thoughts of suicide? Please don't do it. You may think it will end the pain, but it will only transfer the pain to the people around you when you die. God created you and has a plan for your life, even if you can't see it now. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Do you want to know what the Bible says about suicide? Check out these verses: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Exodus 20:13; Psalm 36:9; Job 14:5. And note how Jesus responded when He was "very sorrowful, even to death" in Matthew 26:36-44. Then call 214.361.2275 if you would like to talk to someone who cares for you concerning how to respond to thoughts of suicide.