This past Sunday we looked at Matthew 19 and were encouraged that although some may try to distract our eyes from the mission, if we keep our eyes on Jesus we will stay the course.
I’m referring to the scene in Matthew 19:1-12 where the Pharisees used the ploy of the delicate topic of divorce to try to sidetrack Jesus from His mission by hoping to get Him in trouble with Herod and put Him at odds with His followers.
The Pharisees, knowingly or unknowingly, were doing the bidding of Satan who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10 NIV) but they could not deter the Lord Jesus who was undeterred from His mission that we “may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).
We covered a lot of details and behind the scenes history as we examined the text last Sunday, but it is this takeaway that I want to share with you all as we go through this week — let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and remain on our heavenward journey.
It’s been an underlying theme in these past few chapters of our study in Matthew, that has been woven through the narrative accounts and parables shared by Jesus. We are on our way to Kingdom of Heaven, but let’s not get distracted, detoured, or hindered on this journey by the waves roaring about us.
Let’s not forget that we are sinful human flesh and no matter how spiritual we may seem to ourselves, we can not stay above the waves without keeping Jesus in view.
The counsel of the author of Hebrews is true in these times, “let us throw off everything that hinders…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV).
Lots of things will hinder us from our heavenward journey by stealing our joy, destroying our peace, and even bringing death to our door. We live in the days once prophesied by Daniel when people “shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).
Information is at our finger tips just as quickly as the internet can boost up a search on our laptops or smartphones. We are inundated with information at a click of a mouse or a press play button at the endless online videos and the end result is usually an overwhelming despair, dismay, and a fearful “apprehensive of what is coming on the world” (Luke 21:26 NIV).
Somehow the prophecy of Amos comes to my mind when I consider the overload of information dumped us. “”The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11 NIV). It’s easy for a society to detach from the moorings of God’s Word when we have such a plethora of knowledge and experts clamoring for our trust.
Instead, I would submit to you that these are the days for us to be giving ourselves to the pursuit of the “knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 NIV) that we “may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).
The abundant life of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23) can be hindered by a pursuit of things that have no benefit for our soul. It’s a truth we can find comfort in and it’s stated at Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us.”
This week, it is my simple prayer that we would all keep our eyes upon Jesus and stay the course in our heavenward journey.
This coming Sunday, July 25th, we will be jumping into the 20th chapter of Matthew and I am looking forward to seeing you if you’re well and able to attend.