Jesus Christ: 13th Journey
Jesus prays, and the Twelve Disciples are chosen
We begin in Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16, and Jesus journeyed from Capernaum around the shore of the Sea of Galilee to “The Mountain,” about 5 miles.
It was expedient that the Lord Jesus appoint helpers immediately (as He was in prayer for many hours overnight), twelve of them that is, to which, they would be commissioned to heal diseases and cast out devils.
They were known as “Apostles,” ones whom are sent out. He would continue to train them further until His Appointed Time had come (for His death and Resurrection of course), and then they would need to continue the work. This was all similar to the Twelve Tribes that formed the basis of the People of God.
The ones whom were called were Simon Peter (or Cephas), Andrew the brother of Peter, James the son of Zebedee, John the brother of James, Philip, Bartholomew (or Nathanael), Thomas the Twin (Didymus), Matthew (or Levi), James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus (or Lebbaeus, or Judas the son of James), Simon the Zealot (or the Patriot, or the Canaanite, or the Cananaean), and Judas Iscariot (or the traitor, the betrayer, or the one who betrays).
What can we learn from this?
When the Lord calls us to do something, we should do it to our best ability, with excellence, as we are specially called from Him directly! No matter what the Lord calls us to do, we must do it best as we can, which means we should be continually attending to His Calling for us! Just as a doctor is on call all the time, this is similar to our calling from the Lord that we should be ready anytime for apt in ministry.
The Sermon on the Mount
We conclude with the grand Sermon on the Mount. Jesus has important teachings to relay to us, and it is ever so important in this contemporary culture to hear what He had/has to say to us.
We read in Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:17-49, where Jesus has journeyed from the shore of the Sea of Galilee to “The Mountain,” about 5 miles.
The Sermon on the Mount is the great sermon preached by Jesus the Messiah. It opens with a series of two-line statements, the Beatitudes. He first announces the true happiness of those who live according to the life of the Kingdom of God.
For example, those who humble accept they need God’s help in everything will enjoy His Kingdom, for it was made for such people. In that Kingdom, there is no room for those that act proud and self-sufficient.
Those who are sorrowful for the sin in the world will have their sorrow turned into joy when they see that sin is finally destroyed, for God will remove the pride from the earth and give the earth as a dwelling place to the truly humble.
The people that will be fully satisfied are not such with selfish pursuits, but those who long for the Will of God to be done in the world around them.
In realization of the glory of God in His Great Mercy for them, people will naturally become more merciful to others and receive, in return, yet more mercy from God.
If people act with a pure heart and try to please God instead of themselves, they will be rewarded with a vision of God Himself.
God’s Children reflect the true character of the Father when they have helped friends. They prove to be worthy citizens of the Kingdom of God when they stand against wrongdoing, even if they suffer because of it. When persecuted, they rejoice, because they know they are united with God’s true people of the former days.
Now, compared to those who put God’s Will first, some people try to just make life better for themselves and may have much success becoming wealthy, building a comfortable life, investing in popularity, etc. only to have all the success they will ever have.
The future brings for such people disappointment, sorrow, and eternal loss. We depend upon God’s Will, because we know that He has an eternal reward for us. Despite the trials and tribulations faced, we can be happy to know His Blessings for us are true and come from Him directly unto us.
People who just find fault in others only invite their own judgment upon themselves, from their equals and from God. People who only find fault in others invite attention to themselves, as they too have faults that they may be unaware of, even if others see them clearly.
Those that present the Gospel must be able to know what is different between those that are sincerely interested in knowing about God and those people who only tend to mock and abuse. A person does not give good meat to filthy dogs, or pearls to pigs.
The followers of Jesus must learn to make the right judgments when helping others, and as teachers, they are examples and God will reward them based on the example given—good or bad. Teachers must remember that they cannot lead the blind if they are blind, and must not lead others astray in faultfinding.
Jesus continues on talking next about the two ways of life.
One is the easy way of pleasing oneself, which most people choose that leads to destruction; and the other is the narrow way of denying self for Jesus’ sake that leads to life!
Many do not follow the narrow way, because they are deceived by those who teach their own views or philosophies on the meaning of life. Their teaching might be reasonable; however, in the end, it is destructive. Such teachers appear to be harmless as sheep are, but are actually quite dangerous like wolves are.
Bad trees produce bad fruit; therefore, wrong teaching produces wrong behavior.
Another reason why people will not follow the narrow path is through self-deceit that they think that they can attach themselves to Jesus’ followers to enter Jesus’ Kingdom. They might even preach in Jesus’ Name; however, with no experience of God through repentant faith, they will also be led to destruction.
Nevertheless, if people hear God’s teaching, but do not act upon it, they only deceive themselves into destruction. They are compared to the person who builds a house that appears to be solid, but does not have a foundation; therefore, it is destroyed when the storm of testing should come.
The difference seen between Jesus’ teachings and the Scribes’ teachings is vast. The Scribes would be the respected teachers for good authority; however, Jesus spoke of His own authority. The Scribes could only repeat regulations of Judaism, but Jesus interpreted the Law with authority that came from God!
Some other notes:
When people enter Jesus’ Kingdom, they enter New Life, to which, they come under the rule of Jesus. Therefore, as His Disciples, they listen to His Teachings and practice them, with no worry of a governing of their behavior.
The Character of Jesus is what needs to be reproduced in people’s lives, to which, we see a set of teachings here that deal with attitudes, behaviors, and responsibilities of those who have come under His Rulership!