I am not sure where I got my heading from, but it does tie in with the suggested Gospel reading for this Sunday 14th June.
We read in Matthew Chapter nine verse 35 through to Chapter 10 verse 8 three strands of thought.
Stay alert. It states in verse 35 ‘Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.’
Jesus was giving a good example of how to share the kingdom message. If I was preaching a sermon my three bullet points would be: Jesus had a message, was involved in the mission, and miracles happened wherever he went.
Control the virus. In verses 36 -38 Jesus was full of compassion because he saw that the people were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus implored the disciples to be prepared to be workers in the harvest field. A dictionary definition of the word virus includes:
- a harmful or corrupting influence.
- “the virus of cruelty that is latent in all human beings”
- a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data.
In that sense the people were suffering from a virus that affected their well-being, if you are feeling harassed and helpless you cannot fully embrace the kingdom of heaven. At this point I would like to ask you three questions based on verses 36-38.
Are we less bewildered today?
Are we less believing today?
Are we less bold today?
I think people are just as bewildered today and just as affected by the harmful virus of not recognising and believing in Jesus today. I would also suggest that the followers of Jesus need to be bold and share with confidence the gospel message of hope and meaning to life.
Save lives. In verses 7-8 of Chapter 10, As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. we can see how lives can be saved, it is all tied up with Christians preaching the Word, doing the Works and sharing their Wealth.
We are aware of the transformation that took place in the lives of the disciples. After the crucifixion they were feeling harassed and helpless. At Pentecost after being filled with the Holy Spirit they became emboldened that they were motivated in the mission of sharing the good news that the kingdom of heaven was available through what Jesus Christ had accomplished.
As Christians we are encouraged to Stay alert/Control the virus/and Save lives, with God’s help we can!