The Call Of God

Book of Galatians 1:13-24

What is the call of God?

The call of God is an invitation given to each of us by God to accept salvation into His Kingdom through the Lord Jesus Christ.

This invitation is given outwardly by the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This invitation is given inwardly by the Holy Spirit, who will lead us to Jesus.

These two things will happen at the same time.

This first call must be answered before God can call us into some part of His ministry.

It is up to each of us to accept or reject the call of God.

The Apostle Paul preached to the Corinthians that “now is the acceptable time” to accept the call of God because now is the time of God’s Grace.

2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Paul was preaching from the prophecy of the Messiah:

Isa 49:8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Before Paul became an Apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul, then called Saul, was one of the most religious Jews of his day.

Paul had dedicated his life to the Law as taught by the Pharisees.

And, Paul relentlessly persecuted the Christian Church.

It was Judaizers who had brought a false message to the Churches of Galatia but before Paul became a Christian, he was much more zealous for the Law than these that had come from Jerusalem with this false message.

Paul had been even more sincere in his zeal to stop the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” but Paul had been very wrong and he now knew this.

When Paul met the Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road there was a change in his life.

Salvation brings a change in the believer!

If there is no change then it is hard to see that salvation has taken place.

Before, Paul had used all his energy to destroy the Church, but now after meeting Jesus, Paul used all his energy to build the Church.

So Paul begins, “I know you have heard all these thing from my past”.

*****Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

The Bible does not try to hide anything and we can clearly see the change that Paul went through by comparing Paul’s former life to his life as an Apostle of Jesus Christ.

We can be sure that each of the Apostles went through some drastic changes.

We know some things about Peter, and John, and even a little about Matthew, James and Thomas but the Holy Spirit decided that we needed to know more about the Apostle Paul.

***Paul had been the greatest persecutor of the Church before his conversion besides Satan himself:

Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

All those that think that they can persecute the Church without God knowing them personally are in for a real surprise, for they will one day come face to face with our Living God!

No one persecuted the early Church more than Paul.

We also know that God had allowed this persecution so the Church could grow.

The early church had not been obedient to the commands of the Lord!

The Lord had said “go” but the early church had just “stayed” in Jerusalem.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

God will always take something that is bad and make something good come out of it!

God also showed the Apostle Paul that it is impossible to stamp out the Church.

God will remove His Church individually or all of it at one time at the Rapture but until that time there will be a functioning Church upon this Earth and there is nothing this world can do to stop it though they continuously try!

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

We should all have a testimony after salvation and this was part of Paul’s testimony.

Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

***God had used these things to humble Paul for Paul had also been a supreme example of self-righteousness.

Paul had boasted how he had made a great profit not only in finances but also in prestige by being so zealous of his Jewish heritage.

We must love all the Jewish people and they are still God’s chosen nation but Christianity is not an offshoot of Judaism.

Christianity comes by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

To be a Christian is to have Jesus as your example.

*****Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

Before Paul became an Apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul’s intent was to use any means he could to advance Judaism. In fact Paul was so intent upon doing this that he did not hesitate to cut down all those who opposed his religion.

Judaism is a religion that still rejects Jesus Christ.

This puts us in mind of the acts of those of Radical Islam who today are using every means at their disposal to cut down and destroy all religions but Islam, especially Judaism and Christianity. They in fact will try to destroy anyone who disagrees with their beliefs or they make tributaries of them.

Like Judaism, Islam is also a religion that rejects the Lord Jesus Christ as do all other religions!

There may always be some things in our past that should remain in our past but here Paul had to make these Galatians see that he knew as much or more about Judaism as anyone that came from Jerusalem.

Remember Paul had studied under Gamaliel who was the authority on Judaism in all of Israel until his death.

Paul was explaining to these Galatians that it took more than any mere man to change his ways and to change his beliefs. It took the “Good News” of Jesus Christ.

Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

We can also see from Paul’s testimony that he had even been more zealous of the traditions of Judaism than the written Word of God.

This is great problem in all religions, people listen to what men teach and ignore what is written down in the books they use in their own religion.

Even Christians depend on the pulpits more than they depend on the written and infallible Word of God!

Now Paul had come to know the truth.

Paul had spent much time in the scriptures and had realized the truth of the Word of God, all the way back to the Book of Genesis.

*****Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,

Paul understood Creation by the design of God.

Paul also understood that God had a purpose for his life all along.

Paul realized that just like Jeremiah, God is involved in our lives from the day we are conceived in the womb of our mothers.

Jer 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Paul had persecuted the Church but since the time of Stephen’s death, God had been working on Paul and in a time of God’s “Grace”, God had called on the Paul and made him an Apostle!

It is obvious that God is working in our lives long before He calls us to the work of Jesus Christ.

God had told the Jews all along to quit listening to false preaching and take the time to study the scriptures.

Deu 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deu 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deu 6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

In fact God teaches us all to do the same.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Paul realized that he was undeserving of any favor of God and he had only been saved by the “Grace of God”!

We cannot be saved by the “Grace of God” until God reveals the work of His Son Jesus within us!

*****Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

God knows by His infinite wisdom that we cannot make Christ Jesus known to others until we know Him on a personal level ourselves!

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Paul was called to preach.

Our Pastor, Preacher Sam was called to preach.

BUT, we are all called to witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul was told to seek the “Gospel” not from men, but from God Himself!

This does not mean we are not to study the “Gospel” from other men who know the truth of Jesus Christ but it does mean that we are not to proclaim some man-made gospel, we are to proclaim the “Gospel of God”!

1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

The “Gospel of God” is the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”, the “Gospel of Grace”!

Jesus Christ freely gave Himself for us so that we could be saved!

We must realize that God will forgive our past life but God may use some the things we learned in that life to bring glory to His Son.

We must realize that there is nothing in our past life that cannot be forgiven!

We must also realize that when we surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ we must walk away from our old life, there must be a change!

We must realize in order to be a benefit in the work of our Lord Jesus, we must consult with God!

And we cannot consult with God with sin in our lives!

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

We must get alone with God in prayer and in the Scriptures!

If we cannot begin our new life with God on a personal level, then we will never walk with Him in peace in this life!

*****Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

All those that had made accusations toward Paul had come from Jerusalem so Paul insisted that the “Gospel” he preached was not out of Jerusalem.

Paul was proving to these Galatians that his message came directly from God Himself!

As we follow the next few verses we will see how God would direct the life of His new Apostle in order to show how salvation can change even the vilest of men.

Paul’s conversion was the most dramatic experience he had ever had.

Paul had been full of religion.

Paul had observed all the rituals and traditions of his religion.

Paul had believed that it was these things that made him righteous in the eyes of God.

BUT, all these things had only deceived Paul and everything Paul believed, he found out to be false.

Paul’s religion had not brought peace and satisfaction but only hatred toward all those that did not believe the same as he believed.

Paul had studied the Scriptures from an early age but he had allowed false teaching to pervert the truth of those Scriptures.

Paul did not need to return to Jerusalem to those that had taught him all his life.

Paul did not need to return to Jerusalem to confer with the government on what to do.

Paul did not need to contact the Apostles to get their advice, they would not have trusted him anyway.

Paul needed some time alone with God!

Paul knew about God but Paul did not really know God!

If we get alone with God in sincere prayer and study the Word of God as He says, we can come to know the truth!

1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

We find that Paul spent three years in a place that only Gentiles dwelled.

Paul spent three years in the Arabian desert at the feet of Jesus, just as the other Apostles had done.

After this time Paul returned to Damascus.

Before Paul was converted he had gone to Damascus to stamp out Christianity, so Paul now went to Damascus to right that wrong.

Paul was seeking forgiveness for what he had done!

One of the hardest things we must do after salvation is to try to make things right to those we have hurt.

Upon receiving the forgiveness of God, we are to forgive all others.

Mat 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

We know that Paul was not well received but he had at least tried.

Act 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

Paul had to escape Damascus to save his own life.

AND, next Paul knew he had to return to Jerusalem to face his past.

*****Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Paul had been well know in Jerusalem. So, there was no better place for others to see the great change in the life of the Apostle Paul.

Paul had been a Pharisee.

Paul had been an official of the Sanhedrin Court, somewhat like our own Supreme Court.

Paul knew all his old associates would now be his enemies but after all, Paul had a new understanding of the Word of God.

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Paul spent three years with Christ Jesus, despite all the education he already had in the Scriptures just as the other Apostles had done.

There can be no doubt that Paul witnessed for Jesus during this time but Paul also knew he had a ministry that could not begin until some other things came first.

It is foolish for any new convert to believe they can immediately preach the Word of God without spending some time alone with God in the Scriptures.

It seems that three years may be an example of an appropriate time.

Paul also knew that if he were to trusted by the Church, he would need to convince Peter of his conversion.

As far as Paul was concerned, Peter was the head of the Apostles.

If the Apostle Peter accepted Paul then Paul knew he would be accepted by a majority of the Church.

Remember Paul was writing in defence of his apostleship to these Galatians.

Paul was not saying he went to Peter to see if he was preaching the truth.

That had already been settled by the Lord!

Paul said that he spent 15 days with Peter so that was not enough time for Paul to get some new “Gospel” message.

Act 9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
Act 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Act 9:28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

It was only after Peter had been convinced that Paul felt he could move in and out of Jerusalem but many in the Church were still wary of Paul and remained afraid of him.

So Paul also met with the Pastor of the Church at Jerusalem.

*****Gal 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

There are many including the Catholic Church that deny that the Lord Jesus had any brothers by Joseph and His mother Mary but what do they do with this verse?

James was the presiding elder, or the Pastor of the church at Jerusalem.

Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

It is this same James who also wrote the “Epistle of James”.

Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

It is this same James that the Apostle Paul says was also the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The half-brothers of the Lord did not believe the Lord while He was alive but when they saw Jesus walk out of that grave, they became believers.

Joh 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

Act 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

There is also the “Epistle of Jude”. Jude was also a half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

And then Paul adds, “these things are the truth as I stand before God”.

*****Gal 1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.

What Paul is saying to these Galatians was, “that if you hear anything that differs from what I am telling you then that thing would be a lie”!

What have we learned so far?

We need to become witnesses to all our old friends and our own family.

We need to allow unbelievers that knew us before we were saved see that knowing the Lord Jesus Christ will make a noticeable change in our life.

We need to seek help from the Church and the Church leaders before we begin a ministry for the Lord.

And most important we need to get alone with God and spend some time with Him!

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

And it is only after these things that Paul went home to witness to his family and his friends from his early life as a child.

After all, the family can be the toughest to win over to the Lord, even Christ Jesus knew this was true.

Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

*****Gal 1:21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;

Tarsus is where Paul was born and where his family resided. This would be the area where Paul’s childhood friends were located.

Paul had a desire to share the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” with all those he had ever known.

Tarsus was the capitol of Cilicia but Cilicia was now part of the area called Galatia.

Tarsus was also near the border of Syria and the chief city of Syria at that time was Antioch of Syria.

Later when Barnabas came after Paul, he did not have to go very far.

The roads from Lystra and Iconium ended at Tarsus.

Paul was well acquainted with this region.

Paul had a new outlook on life and he wanted all the world to know!

Paul had a new understanding of those Scriptures he had studied all his life!

Paul finally understood the words of Jesus Christ.

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Paul had changed so much that he was unrecognizable to the churches that had been established in all Judea.

*****Gal 1:22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

We must remember the intent of this testimony of Paul was to show these Galatians that he was saved by the “Grace of God” and not by any teaching that had come from the Apostles or from the home church in Jerusalem.

We also know that it was the Church of Antioch of Syria that had approved of Paul’s missionary work and not the Church of Jerusalem.

Paul’s point to these Galatians was that his ministry was recognized by people who had never seen him.

These Galatians had seen Paul, they had heard his message and believed and been saved by God’s Grace, without works but now had been turned around in doubt of the truth by false teachers of a false doctrine.

What was Paul’s reputation in Judea?

*****Gal 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
Gal 1:24 And they glorified God in me.

Here we can see the results of a God centered life after salvation.

There should be a noticeable change after accepting the “Grace of God”!

Those that think they have to do some work in order to pay the debt of those wages of sin, will all their lives seek to pay a debt that they never had the ability to pay to begin with!

The Lord Jesus Christ paid a debt that we could never pay!

1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

One of our best witnessing tools is our testimony of a God-centered life which can encourage others to see the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

People want to see living examples of “Faith”!

It is those who create imaginary works in their own minds trying to please a God, who saves only by His Grace that give Christianity a bad name!

If our testimony is not for God, then it is against God!

If your life is not an example of the life of Jesus, then we need to be working on it!

Joh 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

And Jesus added:

Joh 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

What is the greatest ordinance of the Christian?

To be a servant, surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ!


Let’s Pray!

The Passion Of God’s Servant

The Passion Of God’s Servant

"Reaching The Lost"

Book of Mark 2:13-28

In our last lesson Jesus had returned to Capernaum to the house of Peter and his family. A great crowd had gathered inside and outside the house. Four men of great "faith" had brought a man who was paralyzed and Jesus had healed him so completely that this man, who was carried in on his bed, left, carrying that bed himself.

But something else had happened. Jesus used the title "Son of Man" for the first time and He made His first claim that He was indeed Jehovah God before all those that were present there that day, which included some scribes.

We already know that many of the scribes were also Pharisees.

Jesus said, "yes, only God can forgive sin" and He proved He was God, because He was also "the only One that could have healed this lame man".

Jesus said it was no harder for Him to be a "Miracle Man" than it was to be the "Savior" because all He had to do was "to speak" and it was done!

It is the Spoken Word that brought all Creation!
It is the "Spoken Word" that became the "Written Word" that we have today.
And Jesus Christ is the "Physical Representation Of The Word of God"!

After all it was not Jesus who was the blasphemer, it was His accusers!

We will not find in the Word of God that such men as these ever denied that Jesus was the "Miracle Man" and that all these miracle were real.

Not one miracle was ever denied!

In all His days, "no one" denied that Jesus had the power over the "supernatural world"!

What irritated these religious groups is still the same today.

They rejected the fact that they were sinners!

In other words they were self righteous in their own ways and had no need of God, especially the God of the Bible!

All those that could see and hear witnessed these things that day.

The Bible says:

Mat 11:15  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Once we hear the Word of God, we must make a very personal decision on what to do with what we have heard!

So lets begin:

*****Mar 2:13  And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

We have already seen how The Lord Jesus will use the Sea of Galilee in His ministry.

We should also see that The Lord Jesus enjoyed His own creation and He loved walking by this Sea!

Remember He walked with Adam in the cool of the day in Eden.

29 times in the "Gospels" we see that word "taught" but the Greek word "didasko" which means "to teach" is used at least 55 times in the "Gospels" referring to the things Jesus was doing every day.

This teaching was aimed at the 12 disciples and to all disciples of our Lord, even those of today.

Jesus "taught" so that they could learn "the truth"!

Jesus still teaches us with His Word and again "so we can learn the truth"!

"Teaching" is an important factor in the edification of the Church!

The early church devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles.

Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

But that teaching was about Christ Jesus and they also were persecuted for this teaching.

Act 5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ‘ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us’.

Again, this was the message given to the early Church and the same message we are to teach and learn today!

Act 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Governments and false religion could not stop the spread of the "Gospel" then and they cannot now unless we allow it!

This was the importance of Jesus teaching while He was with us!

Jesus taught the public as he trained and taught the Apostles!

Today the Church is to reach out to this "lost world" while at the same time training new disciples.

But we are to have that "one" same message of, Jesus Christ!

*****Mar 2:14  And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

One of the facts we will continue to see in the selection of the 12 Apostles is "how ordinary and unrefined" they all were when Jesus met them.

It is also interesting to note that they were all from the area of Galilee except for one, Judas Iscariot.

In all likelihood, it was Matthew who was considered the greatest sinner of all the Apostles!

No one was hated more than a Jewish man that worked for Rome and then add to that the hated tax collector who are still hated in today’s world.

Matthew was a "publican"!

A publican was considered to be as low as you could get in Jewish society.

On this day Matthew was sitting at the "custom seat".

He was not gathering taxes on personal wealth at this time but was collecting "customs" on any produce being transported into Capernaum and most probably "on any fish" that were brought in from the Sea of Galilee.

This "custom" was collected before these things got to the merchant where they were taxed again.

But it is this Matthew, along with Mark, Luke, and John, who was also a writer of the four "Gospels".

James, John, Peter, and Andrew had previously met Jesus but we do not know much about Matthew.

What we do know is that, it was on this day, as Levi the son of Alphaeus, later called Matthew, "stopped what he was doing and followed" the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Mar 2:15  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.

The "publicans" are all those that collected the "customs" and "the taxes" imposed on them by Rome and by Herod Antipas.

Those "sinners" were any individuals that did not follow the Laws of Moses, especially the dietary laws, and/or the Oral Law of the Pharisees who were zealous for the Law.

Jesus chose to dine in the house of Matthew. He had with Him his chosen disciples and there were many others that followed Him for various reasons, but not many in "faith".

Why were there so many publicans and sinners in Matthews house?

These were the only friends he had!

No true Jewish man would have any part of being a friend to a publican!

Somewhat like the "leper" they were outcast from Jewish society.

We will soon meet another group that fell under this same umbrella and that would be the "harlots".

These are the people that Jesus chose to associate Himself with.

They were "lost" and in need of a Savior!

Luke best describes this day:

Luk 5:29  And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
Luk 5:30  But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?

*****Mar 2:16  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?

What is bigotry?

Bigotry is the blind and unreasonable attachment to your own beliefs which hinders discernment of the truth!
These same ones are usually blind to their own depravity. Spiritually Blind!

Jesus gives us this warning to the last Church Age:

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

When Jesus had healed the lame man the scribes had objected silently.

Now that they are joined by the Pharisees, they are bold enough to speak out loud but they approach the disciples of Jesus and still not Jesus Himself.

They were all still in amazement of what they saw the Master do!

One thing was certain, not one Pharisee, nor one scribe, nor even one Sadducee would have had their name linked to such sinners.

They had no interest in saving the "lost"!

So bigotry will also cheat it’s followers of the blessings of Christ!

They were too proud to see the error of their ways, so they starved not receiving the "truth" that makes men free!

*****Mar 2:17  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.

We, that know the Lord Jesus Christ as Our Savior, are patiently waiting for the trumpet to sound and a wonderful home going.

It is after this that Jesus will return as King of the Jew and of this world!

But why did Jesus come as the Messiah?

Mankind needed a deliverer!

Jesus Christ came to bear all our sin!

Heb 9:28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

These Pharisees fall into that group of people who think their own goodness can get them into Heaven.

They place great effort into keeping the Law even adding to the Law, for the appearance of even more righteousness.

But God says this about man’s righteousness:

Isa 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

In their minds there was not one person among these in Matthew’s house and especially in Galilee and Samaria that was worth even enough to tell them about God.

You see they had already judged these people to be worthless!

People who imagine themselves to be "too good" to be considered sinners will become judges of all others, and it is just their imagination.

God says:

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

These divided sin into differing degrees!

It may seem that we can place sin into different categories with one type being a greater sin than some other, such a murderer and a petty thief.

But God does not see it that way!

Rom 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

There maybe a few degrees of difference temperature wise in parts of Hell, but I think every place in the burning lake of fire will be the same torment.

Every sin can be forgiven but one!

Joh 16:9  Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Just as a healthy person has no need of a doctor, one righteous in their own eyes do not think they are in need of a Savior and therefore will not accept that the Lord Jesus Christ is that Savior.

But "everlasting life" can only come through Jesus Christ:

Joh 5:40  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

*****Mar 2:18  And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

What is fasting?

Fasting is abstaining from a need of the flesh in order to draw closer to God.

There must be a real desire to give the "soul" a better chance in it’s conflict with the body of flesh that houses it!

In most cases people deny themselves of food or food and water.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Fasting must be a time for a special activity of the soul!

So only the saved can fast, for the benefit of a closer walk with the Lord!

1) Fasting is useless and even sinful if that fast is not for The Lord!

Fasting has no moral value in itself.

2) Fast that are ordered or directed by others, just cause injury and have no value.

3) Fasting should only be imposed by sorrowful events as Jesus will explain in this passage.

4) Fasting is beneficial only when fasting becomes "Heavenly Feasting"!

Joe 2:12  Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
Joe 2:13  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

*****Mar 2:19  And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
Mar 2:20  But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Solomon said there is a time and a place for everything!

Then fasting for a happy occasion would be most inappropriate.

If we are unhappy knowing the Lord Jesus as Our Savior, then these are problems that fasting cannot help!

If we are sorrowful for other reasons, then we can reach out to Our Savior and Fasting can help.

Fasting must be added to prayer but we should also realize that no amount of fasting can force God’s hand.

Fasting also cannot replace holiness!

And we certainly cannot make fasting a "legalistic" event.

Fasting is solely between that one that fast and Our Father who are in Heaven:

Mat 6:16  Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18  That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

*****Mar 2:21  No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

Just as a patch on an old garment is easily noticed and just makes us aware of how old that garment really is, it just makes that old garment worse.

In verse 20 Jesus had said that when He had returned to Heaven, those of the Bride of Christ would then have a need to fast!

This what we call the Church Age.

The "Law" had run it’s course and it would be a time of "Grace"!

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Rom 5:21  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

That old garment in fact is a "type" of Judaism, which is "by the works" of the Law.

Jesus had caused a rent in that old garment of Judaism!

In other words "Grace" cannot be a fix for those old laws!

"Grace" cannot repair that garment of "Works" because it would only make things worse!

"Grace" is entirely something new!

a) The Church is not a repair to Judaism!

The Church is the New Testament, "written with the blood of Jesus", who is the "Groom" or the "Head" of the Church, the "Body of Christ".

Luk 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

b) Also God’s work cannot be improved on by man!

That old garment of Judaism cannot be improved, it must be replaced by true Christianity, "which is being like Christ Jesus".

As Judaism is as the body, Christianity is as the soul!

Once the soul is saved, God will then one day glorify the body!

1Co 15:44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

That spiritual body is Christianity!

*****Mar 2:22  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

Jesus gives another example.

In most every case the word "bottle" in the Old Testament is the English translation of a Hebrew word for "skin" as in a specially treated leather bag.

This very same thing happens in the New Testament when the English word "bottle" is the English translation of the Greek word "askos" which also means "skin".

Smoke was used to purify the skin so that skin could be used to hold liquids which included, water, milk, and grape juice.

Psa 119:83  For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

Of these three liquids, grape juice will ferment.

Now grape juice on it’s own cannot ferment into wine but it will go through some fermentation until it spoils.

The remains of that fermentation will remain in that skin. If new grape juice is put into that old wine skin it would soon start fermenting and would produce gas that could cause the wine skin to burst and therefore loose the New Juice or as our English uses the phrase, "New Wine".

In order to preserve the health and freshness of the juice it was put into "new wine skins"!

This again was still an example or what call a "type" of the message Jesus had for these Pharisees.

Christianity is that new wine (juice).

The old wine of Judaism has run out but the new wine of Christianity cannot be poured into the same wine skin that held Judaism!

The "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ is that new wine and it has a freshness and power far beyond Judaism and those Laws of Moses.

There is a new hope, and a new love, and a new life that comes from the "Gospel", the "Good News" of Jesus Christ Our Lord!

Paul wrote:

Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25  But after that faith is come, "we are no longer under a schoolmaster".
Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

*****Mar 2:23  And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
Mar 2:24  And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

Here again the critics of Jesus found something else to criticize Jesus.

a) He hung out with sinners.

b) His disciples did not fast.

c) He said He was God.

d) He had no respect for the Sabbath.

It was near harvest time as Jesus and His disciples were near this field.

Remember these disciples had given up their all to follow the Lord Jesus.

According to the Word of God they could eat of this corn, which was more probably a stalk of wheat.

Deu 23:25  When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn.

This also tells us that this day was probably in the Spring time.

These Pharisees however saw things only through their own eyes:

Deu 5:14  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

It was against the Law to do any work on the Sabbath.

It was not against the Law to get get a bite to eat from this field as long as a sickle was not used and the amount was not great enough to carry some extra with them!

We will see many cases where Our Lord uses the wheat field in His teaching of the disciples.

1) The wheat field is a "type" of the world as many crops are planted and "has a great variety" just as our world does have a great variety.

2) Fruitfulness through death is taught by the wheat field. "The seed that is buried becomes a field of resurrection".

3) Character of individuals can be described from a field of wheat. "Whatsoever a man soeth, that shall he also reap".

4) The wheat field is the home of the sower. The sower plants the field but it is God that gives the increase.

5) The wheat field can be a productive if the right seed is sown under the right conditions.

"Some bring forth a hundredfold".

6) But in most cases the field is white and ready for harvest but there are just not enough of God’s people willing to go to that field!

Jesus who is the Word of God, saw no hindrance in it’s being the Sabbath!

Jesus comments:

*****Mar 2:25  And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

Notice how Jesus immediately ask these scribes, who were the Bible scholars of that day, "Did you not make copies the story of the time when David was on the run for his life from King Saul"?

David was the most honored of the kings of Israel.

David was a fugitive at this time, running for his life and had escaped taking nothing with him.

Some friends of his had joined with him but none of them had provisions.

David had a need for food as much as he had a need for a moment with the priests.

David was not only a "type" of Christ but he was a "type" of Christian.

It is David that wrote this song:

Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Jesus added these words:

Mat 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Mat 10:30  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Every word written in the Word of God has a purpose for us to understand.

One, God takes a real story from history or He will sometimes use a parable to teach us a Biblical truth.

This is why we need to spend some time in God’s Word!

There is the "historical message" of each passage and then there is the "spiritual message" of each passage!

These scribes may even have been able to quote this passage about David but they had missed the intent of God’s message!

So, What had David done?

*****Mar 2:26  How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

We can see that even Jesus considered the Tabernacle the house of God.

There were 12 loaves of shewbread that were placed on a special table next to the Holy of Holies and before the Lord every week. When the new bread was brought in before the next Sabbath, then and only then, by the Law, could that week old bread be eaten and then only by the priests.

In the New Testament all true disciples of Christ are in the priesthood.

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

As God gave David and his men access to the shewbread of the Tabernacle, all Christians have access to the True Bread of Heaven, which is Jesus Christ.

What David did was wrong under the Laws of Moses, "but right under the Laws of God"!

Ignorance of the scriptures is the greatest source of error in the Body of Christ!

The Sadducees erred, because they did not believe the Word of God.

The Pharisees erred, because they became to legalistic and did not learn that the Laws are our schoolmaster.

These "scribes" who were the printers of the Bible erred, because they knew God’s Word but they did not understand what God was saying!

So, Jesus points out their error!

*****Mar 2:27  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

The Book of Genesis tells us the God created for six days and then rested of the seventh day.

That word "Sabbath" means "to rest from labor".

The Sabbath was made for man as a day of of rest and refreshment:

Gen 2:2  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Gen 2:3  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

At the time of Jesus the Sabbath day had been perverted by "tradition"!

The Apostle Paul explains this better in telling us that these old traditions were not Biblical:

Gal 1:14  And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, "being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers".
These traditions were imposed on the people even though for the most part they were arbitrary to the Word of God!

Jesus said in another place that these religious leaders had made the Word of God to none effect by all those traditions:

Mat 15:6  And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition".
Mat 15:7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

In other words those that do these things are "hypocrites".

*****Mar 2:27  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Mar 2:28  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

God’s entire creation was made for mankind!

The Sabbath was made for every man and not just for the Jews.

The Sabbath was never intended to be a ceremonial observance but was intended to be a universal obligation for man.

God says man needs a day of rest for his body and a rest for his soul!

Medical science will tell you that the human frame will not bear up under constant labor without rest.

For those that honor the 10 commandments, they seem to forget this part:

Deu 5:13  Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:

The world we live in is a seven day work week that runs 24 hours each day and these things are built upon tax structures and the love of money, "Greed"!

Not only does the body need rest but the soul needs some time with God!

Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath.

He created it.

He owns it.

He is the Master of it.

It is the Lord that should decide how we use a Sabbath!

The day that Jesus rose from the grave is called "The Lord’s Day"!

He claimed it, it is to devoted to His service, and it is consecrated in His honor.

Isa 12:3  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Isa 12:4  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

I choose to believe that Sunday is our day of rest and a day to be with the Lord:

1Co 16:2  "Upon the first day of the week" let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

But I also realize that different cultures may have to use another day and as long as a day of rest and a time for the Lord is observed I believe it fulfills the commandment of the Lord:

Rom 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Rom 14:7  For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

It is the Lord that we must honor not just one day of the week but every day of our lives!


Let’s Pray!