8/01/2011

spirit driving you

Thursday August 11th, Matthew 14: 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. In Matthew 4 we hear: 1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." In Mark’s version, the spirit doesn’t lead Jesus out into the desert, but rather drives Jesus out in the desert to be tempted. Here, in Matthew, Jesus drives the disciples out into the chaos of the world, exemplified by the sea, to be tempted. The temptation is not being tempted by the ungodly, but being tempted to avoid those whom they view as ungodly. Go to the other side, go to the gentile side, and see if God is not there also. In Matthews’s time the church was struggling with the chaos of defining who was in and who was not in the church. Matthew tells this story to let them know that the Kingdom is in the chaos of out there, not in the safety of in here. Where is the Kingdom Chaos in our day? Is the church safely tied up to shore or out in the world announcing in word and deed that the Kingdom is near? This section in Matthew began with, “the Kingdom is like…..the unclean mustard, the unclean leaven, the unclean pearl, the unclean net and the unclean crowds gathered to hear the word and eat. Now the disciples are being sent into the unclean world on “the other side”. What do you call unclean? Look again, it just might be the Kingdom is calling and the spirit driving you and your church out into the world to truly find the kingdom!!

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