Called into the Kingdom
Chapter nine of Matthew completes a major section in the telling of the story of Jesus Christ. The section begins with the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) which establishes Jesus as a teacher with authority. The miracles which follow (Matthew 8-9) demonstrate the authority of Jesus as more than a teacher. He is God's King who rules over all things, including disease, demons, death and, most of all, sin.
The transition between being called into the Kingdom (Matthew 9) and being send out for Kingdom work (Matthew 10) hinges on one of the most moving statements made about Jesus: "When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them." (Matthew 9:36)
Imagine, a group of people who did not know how Jesus felt about them, what His attitude was toward them, and were so dispirited that they didn't care to find out. Those are the ones we are sent to find - the lost sheep, the roamers, the harassed and helpless.
Matthew 10 - the next sermon series text - will force us to answer the call of the great shepherd of the sheep, because He not only brings us into the Kingdom, but sends us out for the Kingdom.
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