Walking through town, Jesus did the one thing no one expected (again).
The teacher and his swarm of followers passed by Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s desk. Then; as if he was asking for a cup of water, Jesus looked at him and said, “Follow me!” Matthew got straight up, left everything sitting there, and followed him. Craziest thing you ever saw. He just got up, and left everything.
Jesus’ swarm had turned into a ruckus possie by dinner time at Matthew’s house.
It seemed like every misfit in town was there, and… what a party! With all that going on around him, Jesus seemed perfectly content to sit – kicking back at the table in the house with joy and love pouring out of him.
People groups who are forced to live subjugated to an outside authority know that the only thing worse than that foreign enemy’s rule – is the guy next door who profits from enforcing the oppressor’s rule. Tax collectors were those people.
There seemed to be a separate gathering building up, outside of Matthew’s place (made up of those whose power Jesus threatened). These powerful leaders were mumbling and murmuring about how they caught Jesus breaking the law. They knew that they had him!
With that gut-wrenching annoyance of self-exalting superiority… they spoke up to some of us there – asking what Jesus thought he was doing?
Jesus overheard them, and answered, “Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor. However; those who are sick – do.
Then, as if he was quoting a children’s lesson from his favorite home state’s prophet, he explained, “Here; you go and figure out what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ And as they were calculating what theological track would help them win this exchange, brought it home with, “Because.. I have not come to call those who see themselves as having it all together, but for those who know that they do wrong – to turn away from knowingly doing wrong.”
With another debate ending silence, the party had morphed into side conversations of identifying with one side or the other; joy, or pain.
Like children crying “NOT FAIR” at playtime, John’s followers and the religious elite were fasting (like they did all the time), and Jesus’ crew was eating and drinking… and even allowing the outcast to follow with the godly.
Jesus said to them, “Can you make the wedding party fast and mourn, as long as the groom is with them? As long as they have the groom with them, they can’t fast!
We could already start to see the crowd’s faces separate into those who hoped in God, and those whose certainty in themselves was being threatened; as he continued, “But, the days will come when the groom will be taken away from them… and then they will fast – in those days.” Breaking into parable, he taught,
- “No one sews a piece of new cloth onto old clothes, or else the patch shrinks and the new tears away from the old, and a worse hole is made.”
- “No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine will bust the skins… and the wine will be spilled… and the skins ruined. No one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new. Rather he says, ‘The old is better.’ No, new wine must be put into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved.”
The party eventually wound down, and (as incredible as that night was) the second of the four main yearly holidays was just around the corner.
Jesus Words 11
This post includes all Jesus’ words from:
Bible Dictionary: a list of Bible words and phrases (typically Jesus’ words) which don’t have clear meaning when used in daily talk, and are simplified / culturally paraphrased in this story – in pursuit of understanding.
Having just completed a project requiring over a decade of research on the four Gospels of Jesus, there is one point in Matthew and Mark which has been festering in my mind for years. At the same point in these two of the gospel stories that both writers specifically direct, “let the reader understand.” And… […]
All four (4) gospels copied and pasted into one scene-by-scene story line. (Matthew is purple, Mark is green, Luke is brown and John is blue) (CLICK TO VIEW how each gospel’s chapter and verse fit this combination) Opening: 1. Introduction 2. Ancestries 3. Prophesy of John’s birth 4. Mary is told 5. Mary’s shame; Joseph’s dream 6. John’s birth […]
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Back in his new home town… It felt like the whole town was waiting on the beach for Jesus. Then the unbelievable happened, a community church ruler, named Jairus, fell down at Jesus feet… worshiping him, and begging for his 12 year old daughter’s life. He told Jesus, “Please! Come and lay your hands on […]
Fifty days after that table-flipping Passover… this celebration started on the way from Galilee – and grew in to Jerusalem. Little can compare to the lively thankfulness and satisfaction of a people’s summer wheat harvest celebration! On top of that, being the 10 Commandments holy day, we talked about Moses giving I-AM’s law. The […]