Part 1 of Mt 9 looked at the faith aspects of the chapter and how we can block God’s blessings in our life. Today we look at what kind of person God is looking for to be His emissary on earth. If you feel like you are not holy enough or in some other way feel that you are not the type of person that God likes to use…Today we will focus on the fact Jesus teaches us that you are exactly the type of person that He wants to use! He is not looking for the person who fits the “religious” mold that many of us think about when we think of “holy” men.
Ch.9 begins with Jesus healing and the crowd being amazed that God “had given such authority to men” and ends with Jesus saying, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” He is looking for people He can hand this authority on earth to: for those willing to be the sons of God after He left so that they could represent Heaven on earth as He had.
The Pharisees asked why Jesus ate with the tax collectors and sinners (v.11) and John’s disciples did not understand how such a man of obvious Godly stature could have disciples who did not follow the customs of the religious elite as they did (v.14). Jesus was breaking the mold. He wanted those who were truly spiritually hungry, not those who practiced empty religious rituals.
This is what He meant when He said, “Neither do men pour new wine into old wine skins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wine skins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wine skins, and both are preserved.” It is a favorite custom of man to get into a religious habit and then, without ever consciously deciding to, begin to make an idol of their habits. They no longer really go after God and what He is saying or doing now, they become comfortable in the ways that they have worshiped Him in the past, either because they once experienced Him powerfully in this context and thus keep returning to it, or because they are following a pattern set before them by others who experienced the living God in this way…and sadly have never truly experienced God’s presence and love in a real way themselves. These people are not useful to God. He loves them, but they care more about their habits than they do knowing and serving God. (Often because they haven’t had anyone in their lives showing them that there is more to faith than what they know.) And yet, many of these people are the ones that other Christians look at and think of as the really “holy” ones that God uses because they practice certain rituals and disciplines that don’t come naturally.
Actually, Jesus tells us here than He can’t use this type at all. God is the one who truly accomplished great things, not men. And so a hungry, obedient, and dedicated heart is a more powerful tool in His hands than the most experienced of religious hearts. When someone is willing to abandon all rituals of man and all cares of what other people think to truly go after God, his heart is in the place where He needs it in order to transform it. This is the new wineskin that can handle the new wine God is pouring out. Truly seek Jesus and His Kingdom and He will lead you to a life that no man can imagine. That is the way to steward your calling!
What would you add to what I’ve written here?