Lessons to Learn
March 21, 2021
And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala (Matthew 15:39).
Before we move on to Jesus’ return to ministry in Galilee, there are some lessons we need to glean from His ministry to the Gentiles. Race issues have plagued our country since its very inception. My purpose in pointing this out is not to aggravate or even attempt to resolve the issue because I can’t (and it’s been proven that no one can).
Jesus spent a few months in Gentile territory before returning to Galilee. In that time He ministered to thousands of people. He also provided several lessons to the disciples (who were with Him), to the Gentiles (who flocked to see and hear and be ministered to by Him), and to the Jews (who would ultimately reject Him as Messiah). We would do well to remember these lessons as we minister the gospel to our pluralistic culture.
Lesson 1: Jesus was just as determined to minister the Gospel to a mixed multitude as the mixed multitude was needful to receive that ministry. Were all of them saved as a result of that ministry? No. But that had no bearing on the willingness of Jesus to share the Gospel of the Kingdom with them. Every Christian should have that same determination today because people are still wanting and willing to hear about Jesus. We just have to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to reach them.
Lesson 2: It is Jesus who has the power to transform lives through His Gospel. Our work is to plant the seeds of the Gospel, water (nurture) that Gospel in those who receive it, all the while trusting in the Lord to bring it to fruition (1 Corinthians 3:6-8). God, who gives life to the dead and calls those thing which do not exist as thought they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he (Abraham) became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be” (Romans 4:17-18).
Lesson 3: We must remember that people are often far more attached to their traditions and the words of others (religious or otherwise) than to the Word of God. Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, “Honor your father and your mother;” and, “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” But you say, “Whoever says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God’ - then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition (Matthew 15:3-6). We must be willing to be patient in order to help people understand God’s Word as opposed to the words of men.
“Lord Jesus, may we be sensitive to the leading of Your Holy Spirit as we commit ourselves to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others. May we seek ‘divine appointments’, thus insuring that those to whom we speak will have been prepared to receive Your Word. To the glory of Jesus Christ and the extending of His Kingdom I ask, Amen.”