With this PODCAST, we break the seal on the last year of Jesus’ life here on earth.
And admittedly, His last year begins on a rather ominous note.
Immediately following this story, Jesus will leave the country. That is no exaggeration. For the first time in His storied 3½ year ministry, Jesus now has to get out of Dodge, fast!
As we have seen in past podcasts, Jesus was run out of His adopted hometown of Capernaum. He was then run out of Nazareth, His boyhood hometown. On top of that, Herod Antipas was hunting Jesus in order to kill Him (this in the wake of Herod’s senseless execution of John the Baptizer).
And NOW we read this in Mark 7:24:
Then Jesus left Galilee and went North to the region of Tyre (in modern-day Lebanon).
Yes, indeed. Jesus was literally run out of Galilee and run out of the country. Something significant happened in this story, here in Mark 7, that forced Jesus to go North and out of the country, rather than South to the familiar environs of His beloved Jerusalem.
What in the world happened?
What did Jesus do?
Or more accurately, what did Jesus fail to do?
A failure that caused a cataclysmic religious scandal. A scandal so serious that Jesus fled to the North. Which, by the way, is the exact same word that Matthew used in his telling of this story: “scandal.”
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Truer words were never spoken. It is an axiom of life. An undeniable reality that is obvious on its face:
You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.
Now what in the world does toothpaste have to do with Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 10, you ask? Everything, my friends. Everything.
For the fact of the matter is that there are some things in this world of ours which, once they are done, there’s no going back. Which is so ironically true about the passage in this PODCAST.
I suppose on the one hand, one could ask: Then why even discuss this? If indeed it is how it is… If it’s how the game is played today… If it’s how the game has been played for years… If it’s not going to change… Not by you. Not by me. Not by anyone…
Then why even discuss this?
Because on the other hand Matthew 10:8 IS in the Bible. Because Jesus did indeed say this. Because Matthew did indeed include this in his Gospel masterpiece. Because these ARE the words of Jesus. So God obviously WANTS us to discuss this.
So despite the fact that I have no illusions about changing anything, the precious truth contained in this passage is well-worth our consideration and understanding. And the fact is, WE don’t have to play this game the way it’s always been played.
We can play by a whole different set of rules. Rules of Jesus’ own making.
As He sent out His disciples, Jesus clearly and unambiguously told His men six words that are paradigm-shattering in their impact. So let’s talk about these six words: What they meant to His followers then. More to the point, what they mean for us, His followers, today.
Or at least what it ought to mean to us today.
And as we do so, please permit me to speak in this podcast with a distinct tone of wistfulness in my voice and body language as we contemplate together what might have been… What might have been, if only our evangelical world had simply taken these words of Jesus seriously and applied in our churches consistently.
Oh, what might have been…
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God bless you as you listen.
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