Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Gbagada HQ
1st April 2019
Study 9 – THE IMMEDIATE RESPONSE OF A WILLING HEART
Text – Mark 2:13-17
You will find out from these verses, that Jesus Christ continued teaching, “…and he taught them” (Mark 2:13). Then He called Levi (also known as Matthew) to follow Him, and he followed immediately. Matthew then called other sinners like he had been to come and hear from the Lord. The Pharisees were against Christ’s meeting with these publicans and sinners, but Jesus brought out an important message: “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). As it is spiritually, so it is physically, that those who are well do not need a physician but those who are sick, so Christ came to call sinners to repentance, save them and take them to be with Him in eternity. He called Matthew and he responded immediately; and as He calls today, may God give you the grace to respond immediately.
Point 1. THE COMMITMENT AND CONCENTRATION OF OUR SAVIOUR
Our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ had a commitment and focus, purpose and assignment that He concentrated on. “……and He taught them” (Mark 2:13). As you look at that verse, you might be wondering what, how, why and the purpose of His teaching these people.
Three things to consider:
- What He taught them – Matthew 5:2-7,20; 6:24,33; 7:13-14; John 8:28-30
It is not enough to teach; you must know what He taught them. “And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:2-3). He was teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven, how to partake of it, enjoy and continue in that Kingdom unto the very end. He taught them to mourn over their sins once they discover that they are sinners, and they will be comforted because God will forgive them (Matthew 5:4). Knowing they could not pay for their salvation, this will make them to be meek, gentle and recognizing the effect of God’s grace in their lives (Matthew 5:5). Life in the Kingdom is a life of passionately following the Lord; they are now thirsty and hungry for the righteousness of God (Matthew 5:6). Life in the Kingdom also makes us merciful (Matthew 5:7). “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). He taught them about the standard and expectation of the Kingdom, and that the tradition, lifestyle and religion of the scribes and Pharisees are not enough to get us into the Kingdom. He taught them that a divided heart will not please the Lord nor can remain in the Kingdom (Matthew 6:24); that it was impossible to serve God and mammon just as it is impossible to walk on two roads at the same time. He was calling them to a decision, that tomorrow may be too late and that now is the time to enter the narrow way that leads into the Kingdom (Matthew 7:13). He wanted them to know the way and become partakers of the benefits of the Kingdom of God. “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). There is no Saviour, no other Voice of God, no alternative into the Kingdom of God except through Jesus Christ. He is the Way, Truth and the Life. And that He was teaching them what the Father had taught and given to Him. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). In summary Jesus taught them about conversion, continuity and enduring unto the end; grace for living and abiding until they enter the heavenly Kingdom.
- Why He taught – Mark 4:1-2,10-12; Luke 24:27,44-45; John 8:24-26,32,46
If you are teacher of the word you will have a goal for teaching and expounding the word of God unto the people. “And he began again to teach….” (Mark 4:1). That was His concentration and commitment. But why did He teach them? “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:11). It was that the mystery/secrets of the Kingdom of God might be made known to them. The purpose of the teaching is for the conversion of souls; sins forgiven and set free from sins (Mark 4:12). Many of those Pharisees and religious people had regular reading of the Old Testament and yet they couldn’t see Jesus in it, when He came. But for His disciples, He taught them so that they will know that those Scriptures were written concerning Him. He said unto them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45). Jesus taught the people because He did not want them to just have the Bible as a closed book of mystery. He taught them about the qualifications for entering, grace for abiding, and strength for continuing in the Kingdom till the end. Why did He teach them? He taught them so that their sins will be forgiven, they will be converted, know the mysteries of the Kingdom, that the scriptures of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Him, and so that the eyes of their understanding will be opened. He was telling them that the only way to come alive was to believe that He is the Christ, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). He is the Saviour, Messiah and the Sent One to bring life unto us. Anyone who does not believe that will die in their sin. This One is greater than the first Adam, Abraham, Moses and all the prophets of the Old Testament. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). This is the reason for His teaching. He wanted them to know the Truth and the Truth to set them free. He wanted them to believe and have everlasting life.
- How He taught them – Matthew 7:28,29; Mark 4:2,33; Luke 23:5; John 7:28,37-39,46
What you teach is not enough, there must be a way that you teach. “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29). Jesus taught as the Author and One having Authority. That’s why the scribes and Pharisees could not match Him. He taught differently, assuredly, convincingly and with conviction. “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it” (Mark 4:33). Jesus Christ knew the hearts of the people, their level of understanding, and in matching the word with their hearts He taught as they were able to bear it. He taught with knowledge and understanding of His audience. “And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place” (Luke 23:5). Dull teaching will produce dull hearers, and ignorant teachers will produce ignorant students. But as Jesus taught, He stirred up the hearts of the people. He presented the word in a way that when they heard it came alive in their hearts (John 7:28,37-40,46). He taught convincingly that the people acknowledged that He is the Prophet. He taught authoritatively, persuasively, and the people were drawn to Him by His teaching
Point 2. THE CONVERSION AND CONSECRATION OF A SOUL
Matthew (Levi) was a sinner, but the Lord called him and immediately, he followed. That was his conversion. Then he gathered people together to hear the Lord, that what his consecration. Jesus Christ taught them, and they were convinced, persuaded, converted and then followed Him (Mark 2:14-15).
- The Conversion of a Sinner – Mark 2:14-17; Luke 5:27-28; Acts 3:19-20,26; 17:30; John 8:11-12; James 5:19-20; Revelations 2:4-5; 3:15
“……and said unto him, Follow me” (Mark 2:14). Just two words here, ‘follow Me’. Levi had been there as the guilty sinner, in confusion, and here comes Jesus Christ, the Giver of Life and said to him, follow Me, and he wasted no time at all but arose and followed Him. As you hear the word of God calling you out of your darkness and confusion to be converted and follow the Lord, then you need to act like Matthew, not to waste time but arise and follow Him. Even as a backslider, the word of restoration comes to you today, don’t delay, you need to come back to the Lord quickly and follow Him. “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). The people who think they are alright without salvation and in their strength and power can get to heaven by their own efforts, Jesus came not to call, for they are hypocritical. He came to call sinners to repentance. That was why Matthew responded immediately, and you are going to respond to Him immediately as well. The grace of God will come to you, and all the darkness will vanish away in Jesus Name. “And he left all, rose up, and followed him” (Luke 5:28). When you rise up to follow the Lord, your past life of sinning, darkness and ignorance, you leave everything behind, burn the bridge behind, that there is no going back. You leave all to follow Jesus Christ. All sinful practices, darkness, night clubs, things that attached you with Satan and the world, you leave behind, and you take a definite decision to follow the Lord. He will receive you and save you. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). When you take that step, all the sins you committed in the past will be blotted out and forgiven. “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:26). Each person has his peculiar iniquity, but whatever it is, Jesus came to turn everyone away from them. Everything you did in ignorance in the past, God is willing to overlook as you come to Him in repentance through Jesus Christ, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). Then your life is now totally different you are no more a sinner, drunkard, gambler, but a new creature in Christ (John 8:11-12). Repentance brings conversion and a new life. The backslider is also called to repentance, that will bring him to restoration and conversion, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). Jesus Christ calls everyone to that first and fervent love (Revelations 2:4-5). He wants repentance from everyone who has backslidden, not just a patched or managed life, but to come back to the origin of eternal life. Those who turn away from their sins, and repent, conversion takes place in their lives (Revelations 3:15-19).
- His Consecration after Salvation – Mark 2:15; Luke 5:29-32,39; 10:16; Acts 10:24,33,44-47
“And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him” (Mark 2:15). Matthew had gone to call many publicans and sinners to come and hear the Lord Jesus Christ. It was the consecration of this man that made him gather them to hear the Lord and have the chance to follow Him as he did. What Matthew did was similar to what the Samaritan woman at the well did; that immediately she knew Jesus as Saviour and Messiah, she went out into the city to call others unto Christ, “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him” (John 4:28-30). You see the changed life of this woman, that she did not keep her new experience to herself but went out to call others to Christ. There are others He must bring, so as you are saved, you need to tell others in your household and community and bring them to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:16). When you have the opportunity of hearing the Truth, you will not selfishly keep it to yourself but tell others, and the Word of God will enrich their lives as well. If you are truly converted, consecration will follow. Cornelius invited relatives and friends to hear Peter preach and as the Word penetrated their hearts and lives, the Holy Ghost fell on them all (Acts 10).
Point 3. THE CONTINUATION OF HIS COMMISSION DESPITE THE SCRIBES
The scribes were there to criticized, opposed, find fault, but all the same, Jesus continued in His commission of calling sinners to repentance. “And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:16,17). Here you will see that He continued His ministry despite the criticisms and oppositions of the Scribes and Pharisees. We are to follow the example of Jesus Christ and continue the commission no matter the opposition and criticism of men. The commission will not die at your door step, it will continue with us.
- The Condition of the Scribes and Pharisees – Mark 2:16; Matthew 5:20; 23:13,27-28,33; Luke 11:52
Their righteousness was superficial and would not take them to heaven. “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). They were not in the Kingdom; they were traditional and religious sinners, and yet they thought everything was all right. They stood at the door of the kingdom and hindered the people in the dungeon of sin to come out of their sins and enter the Kingdom; and they themselves were not going in. (Matthew 23:13). They had outward religion but full of hypocrisy and all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27-28). They were candidates of hell, and yet they said they were alright, but Jesus did not allow these antagonizing religious leaders to hinder His work. His work will go on in your life and no Scribe will hinder that work of God in Jesus Name. “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered” (Luke 11:52). They took away the key of the proper interpretation of the word of God, they misinterpreted the word of God, and this will not allow them and others to enter the Kingdom. And these were the people complaining about Christ eating with sinners and publicans.
- The Congregation of Sinners and Publicans – Mark 2:15; Matthew 21:31-32; Luke 18:10-14
The Lord has a congregation of sinners and publicans and He taught them, and they followed Him after they heard the Word. “Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him” (Matthew 21:31-32). They believed. You will not allow publicans and sinners to get into the Kingdom and you left behind. You will not stay behind but will get into the Kingdom in Jesus Name.
- The Commission of our Saviour and Priest – Mark 2:17; Luke 19:10; 24:45-47; 2 Peter 3:9
He came to call sinners to repentance. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He came to seek those who are lost. Repentance, removal and remission of sins will continue until He comes again (Luke 24:47). Come out of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then there will be salvation. With that salvation, you will get into the Kingdom of God. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Turn away from your past, and turn to the Lord, reject all your past, and receive the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, and then He will save you. He will fill your heart. He saves, sanctifies, fills with the Holy Ghost, heals, delivers; He is All in All for us. Invite Him to come in and your future will be better and brighter in Jesus Name.
Ponder on this! Jesus taught the people because He did not want them to just have the Bible as a closed book of mystery. He taught them about the qualifications for entering, grace for abiding, and strength for continuing in the Kingdom till the end. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Ponder on this! Dull teaching will produce dull hearers, and ignorant teachers will produce ignorant students. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Hard Sayings – It is an impossibility to serve God and mammon just as it is impossible to walk on two roads at the same time. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Reflection – When you rise up to follow the Lord, your past life of sinning, darkness and ignorance, you leave everything behind, burn the bridge behind, that there is no going back. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Words on the Marble – When you have the opportunity of hearing the Truth, you will not selfishly keep it to yourself but tell others, and the Word of God will enrich their lives as well. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Key Words – Life in the Kingdom is a life of passionately following the Lord. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
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