Matthew 4:23-25 — Having that Whatever It Takes, Whatever It Requires Attitude to Go See Jesus!

Posted: September 20, 2015 in Gospel of Matthew
Matthew 4:23-25 — Back before there was the internet, when a big-name popular band would come to your local town, people would often camp out in line for tickets to the concert for days so that they could get the best seats. You still see it today in some cases. You also see it at department stores before Black Friday sales. You also see it sometimes at Apple Stores when a new Apple product is being released. These people are really dedicated to getting what they seek – concert tickets, new toys or products sharply discounted, the newest iPhone. These people are willing to sacrifice comfort, time with family, and their pride to be in line to get what they seek. For me, personally, there is no product so important to me that I will camp out to get it. But, hey, I admire the the dedication of these people. They are dedicated! Insane, but, yes, dedicated! LOL
 
Why do I mention these people? It reminds me of this passage. Great crowds were following Jesus. We don’t really think about how the crowds got there. It required effort. We just accept that they are there. It was Jesus after all. But how did they get there? The preaching, teaching, and healing caused great crowds to follow Jesus. It reminds us that following Jesus requires that we put forth some effort on our part.
 
The multitudes wanted to hear and see this Jesus. They had to follow him because he was on the move from town to town. It would require that they leave their homes and leave their daily occupations to go hear and see him. Thus, it was often at great expense that they were among those following Jesus. These folks thought it was important enough to set aside their comforts and their jobs to go see this Jesus. The message and the healings were of such uniqueness that they just had to hear what Jesus had to say and do. They were willing to sell out to Jesus. They didn’t use excuses for why they couldn’t go. They were willing to sacrifice. They had an “whatever it takes” attitude. This thought brings us to today. How much are you willing to sacrifice to serve Jesus? Will we make excuses as to why we can “go see Him”, so to speak? I am too busy to serve. I don’t have time for that mission trip. Besides, it costs too much money. There is no way I can do that. How willing are you to take a year off from your job to go serve as a missionary in a foreign land? How willing are you to leave your job or your current career behind and follow the Lord when He calls. How bout sharing the gospel with a friend or co-worker. Will you do that or will you use the excuse that it makes you uncomfortable? Are you going to have excuses or are you going to sell out and be all-in for Jesus. These are questions we must ask ourselves as Christ followers.
 
These people went to see Jesus and it was probably very inconvenient, particularly for those who were disabled. It would take great effort for those that were disabled (and for their families if they could not walk). Just think about it. Today, because of medical technology, modern conveniences, and laws that require accessibility for the disabled, many disabled people can function as near to normal as they can. But back in Jesus’ day, disabilities would cause a person not to be able to be productive in any way. So, the struggle to go see Jesus require great effort on their part. How much effort are we willing to put forth to “go see Jesus.” We roll over in bed because it is raining Sunday morning. Think of these first century disabled folk, crawling, scratching, doing whatever it took to go see Jesus. Serving in that ministry is too inconvenient. Man, I might have to be at church for BOTH services if I serve. If I serve in that ministry, it might mean that I have to miss a ball game on Saturday. I would just rather go to the late service, sit in my pew, and go home. I don’t want to engage in a ministry that might impinge on my free time. I work 40-50 hours a week already. Just let me hear good preaching on Sunday morning and that’s it. I don’t want anymore than that. I don’t have time to read my Bible. The only way that I could do that is to get up and hour or so earlier each morning. I just can’t get up that early. Growing in Jesus Christ takes effort. It takes more than just what’s convenient. It takes more than just consuming. It requires effort. Next time, being a Christ follower seems inconvenient, think of the first century disabled person who did whatever it took to go see Jesus. The only way we can grow in Christ is to put forth the effort to be a disciple, to do whatever it takes to deepen our relationship and commitment to Him.
 
Father, help us to be willing to follow you anywhere, anytime, any how! Help us to not see serving you as inconvenient but as a privilege. Help us to see serving you as the overflow of joy that comes from our salvation. Help us to do whatever it takes to grow closer to you! Amen.
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