Jesus stated repeatedly that he did not come to destroy the Torah, but to live it to its fullest. In this section of the journey, as the level of intensity rises, Jesus comes into confrontation with hypocrites who want to hide behind religious traditions. These confrontations rip off the masks from the disciples faces too!
Background: Many of the examples in these passages has to do with interpretation of Old Testament books like Exodus and Leviticus about laws and regulations that were very much part of everyday life. Jesus do not attack the essence of the tradition, but the superficial way in which it was interpreted by many who do not understand the heart of the matter.
On the other hand, Jesus takes his disciples on an eighty kilometre Journey by foot so that he could highlight a Canaanite woman as an example of faith. . Now that was controversial! Many would say against the laws and traditions. Not so, shows Jesus!
Read Matthew 15:1-33
- Look inwards. What comes to your mind when reading this passage? How does this confront you with your relationship with the Lord and with others? Be open for the Lord to show you where you are hiding behind religious and cultural traditions – even those that look just fine at first sight
- Share this with the group It is in opening up your heart to others that the Lord may use them to help you to remove the plank or beam from your own eye.
- Where do you see people in your own community that nobody would think could become part of the Kingdom?
The picture above comes from the very well know Fiddler on the Roof where cultural and religious tradition plays a very important role.
A decade and a half ago Kingfisher was established to mobilise the body of Christ towards action in a broken world. Our vision developed to be instruments in establishing God’s kingdom through disciple making, resulting in real transformational change in individuals and their communities.
We discovered that disciple-making is the engine for true Kingdom transformation and that despite a myriad of discipling material available, none addressed the vision of Kingdom Transformation in a practical grass roots manner better than working through the gospel of Matthew, following Jesus step by step.Therefore we decided to follow Jesus on the same journey that we invite everyone of you reading this post. Therefore we provide this free tool, first of all to establish the foundation of a grassroots mobilising movement and secondly to contribute to the depth when those who live in the world the way Jesus did start to impact their communities in a tangible way.
Even more, this is a call for action, to follow Jesus in a practical everyday way. To be change agents in establishing His Kingdom according to His principles.
Let Your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.
Then a request: If you are a Kingfisher mobiliser, please help us by giving your response below. You may also respond by sending us a comment if you need more than a click to speak your mind.
LAST SUPPER SCULPTURE
The questions we very often get are: “Does it work? Does disciple making like Jesus did actually bring results?” And the answer is: Yes it works! Slowly but surely people start to follow Jesus and eventually begin to disciple others.
Johann Theron reports from Bulgaria:
“Pastor Nasko and his small church of 35 believers in Bulgaria, glorify God by implementing disciple making principles. For the past two years they rediscovered the value of Jesus’ strategy.
The Spirit laid two young Gypsies on his heart. In Bulgaria the Gypsies still stay in informal communities outside the towns and villages. The default of the Bulgarian population is to disconnect themselves from them – “they will only steal from you”. Nasko, however, decides to reconnect with these “untouchables”. He spends the bulk of his ministry time with them. He takes them to all ministry opportunities possible; teach them at all possible occasions. He opens up the privacy of his two bedroom apartment to them; take them on fishing expeditions. Personally, I very seldom saw Nasko without Galien and Lupcho 1-2 steps behind him.
In April this year I visited them again. Surprised to see that Nasko’s church has grown with 10 new members – 30 percent! A youth group of 8 new believers formed the worship team – all of them disciples of Galien and Lupcho! Nasko’s spiritual grandchildren.
In the same church they have a cell group of elderly women – they started reaching out to their neighbours – several other unbeliever babushkas (grandmothers) now join this small group on a weekly basis – they don’t feel free to join the church due to many wrong perceptions about the church and also because of what churches did to people in the past. This however, presents no problem for Nasko. He has grown into a Kingdom pastor – not thinking about an attractional church in the first instance. Being part of the cell group makes them church as well – Nasko can easily accommodate different models within his own sphere of influence.
Nasko’s wife, Mariana, discovered that her workplace is her ministry – the place where she is sent to by God – her calling by God – her disciple making space. She accepted her class as her spiritual responsibility – showing and teaching them evangelical values, purposefully building relationships with them inside and outside the school – simply loving them. Mariana is one of 4 such teachers that lectures the same grade. In the Bulgarian system parents can choose the teacher of their children. She says that wherever she meets parents in the streets, they all approach her and ask if their children can please be in her class – there is something different about her and her class.
Disciple making is the engine of transformation. ”