Living Word Lutheran Church, Moses Lake, WA (livingwordml) wrote,
Living Word Lutheran Church, Moses Lake, WA
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A Note from Pastor Lou -- Truly #62 -- What About Us?

What About Us?                                                                                                                                                                                                              7.11.2021  

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Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne,
you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matthew 19:28

          The promise in this verse concludes the narrative of the rich young man.  It serves as a counterpoint to Jesus making it clear that no one is saved by their own efforts.  His statements that "only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven"  and "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven" are met by the disciples with a question of pure exasperation, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus' point is made, "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Salvation comes by the grace of God, not by any human effort.  Point, game, match to Jesus.

          But Peter asks the question that still lingers for all Jesus' followers, "See, we have left everything and followed you.  What then will we have?"

          It can be difficult for a follower of Jesus.  It seems so much easier to just go with the flow of the crowd.  If the crowd is doing something or going in a direction which is contrary to what we believe God is telling us, AND God saves by grace alone, why bother with the hassle of stepping out and being different?  Why bring all of that trouble down upon ourselves?  Why should these disciples leave their fishing business, their wives and families and the lives they have known, in order to follow this Jesus, if he is the one who will save regardless of whether they are rich or poor, a nasty sinner or a pious follower? 

          Jesus has an answer for that.  The blessings to come are greater than we can ever imagine for following him and striving in his way.  The disciples will each get a throne "in the new world" with all that that implies.  "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for my name sake will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life." So says Jesus.  The risk/reward ratio (calculate the odds if you wish) definitely inclines us toward Jesus and striving in his way.  Will this striving be perfect?  No, Peter and the rest of the disciples were far from perfect in their following of Jesus, and yet they are remembered, celebrated, and honored here in the world as very few other people are -- and we have yet to see what they are now that they have entered eternity.

          God works in surprising and unexpected ways.  Sinners of all sorts received blessings throughout scripture simply because they recognized who was at work.  The prostitute Rahab saves her life and the lives of her family by sheltering the Jewish spies prior to the destruction of Jericho.  She eventually will marry into the bloodline of the House of Judah and be an ancestor of King David, and thereby an ancestor of the Lord Jesus.  God can turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.  "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for shalom  and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope ... I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord," (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

          Do not despair, the Lord our God is stronger than any challenge or temptation that can come our way.  Striving to stay the course with Him has its own unimaginable rewards, both now and in the age to come.  This is His promise;  He does not lie.

          Remember Whose you are,

              Pastor Lou

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