“The Priorities of True Discipleship”

As soon as we talk about good in every situation or personal sacrifice in a specific situation, we tend to relax, assuming that we are off the hook and that the disturbing radical nature of true Christian discipleship does not affect us – this is a false conclusion. It is true that Jesus may never ask us to break with our families for His sake or sell all we have and give to the poor in order to follow Him. Indeed, in the great majority of cases, this is not required at all. But we must be willing to obey in these or any other areas if Jesus asks it, and we must actually do it, if He does. This is to say, we must get our priorities straight. Following Jesus must be the most important thing in our lives – even more important than our lives. We must not do anything to subtract from that high commitment. We must do everything to strengthen it. Continue reading ““The Priorities of True Discipleship””

“The Cost Discipleship”

It is not unusual to hear Christians talk about Jesus as Lord and that this title should be acknowledged by His followers. But many otherwise well-intentioned but erring Christians believe it is possible to have Jesus as Savior without having Him as Lord and even go so far as to maintain that “lordship salvation,” as they call it, is a false Gospel. There is only one Lord Jesus Christ and anyone who believes in a Savior who is not the Lord does not believe in the true Christ. We call for commitment to the true Lord Jesus Christ and challenge the presumption of those who claim to be Christians while at the same time disregard or disobey Christ’s commands. Continue reading ““The Cost Discipleship””

“Some Lessons about sin”

We need to go back to the miracle stories (Matthew 8) and look at them not as simple stories about Jesus’ ability to make sick people well – people who have viewed the stories in this way have sometimes mistakenly believed that the New Testament teaches all Christians have the right to perfect health – but for what these stories teach us about sin and its cure. When we do this, we find four unmistakable lessons: Continue reading ““Some Lessons about sin””

“The Sick Need A Doctor”

The second miracle in Matthew 8 is another story of a healing, but it adds two elements not present in the first story. First, it is about a Roman centurion, which means it is about a Gentile. This indicates that the Gospel Jesus was preaching is for the entire world and not for Jewish people only. This is a recurring emphasis in Matthew, even though Matthew is the most Jewish of the Gospels. It begins with Gentile Magi coming to Jesus, and it ends with the command to “make disciples of all nations.” Here a Gentile approaches Jesus and is not turned away. Continue reading ““The Sick Need A Doctor””

“Jesus and Disease”

Why Jesus does not heal. Anyone who takes time to compare the four Gospels, especially the first three, the Synoptic Gospels, will notice two things about their arrangement of material. First, there is a rough chronological order. Each tells about Jesus’ baptism by John somewhere at the beginning; proceeds with accounts of Christ’s public teaching and miracles; continues with His arrest by the Jerusalem authorities, His trial, and crucifixion; and ends with an account of Jesus’ resurrection. Second, in what seems to be a contradiction to the chronology, the ordering of material varies at places. In these sections the accounts seem to be arranged by topics. Continue reading ““Jesus and Disease””