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Chapter 10: Come, Follow Me!

27 June, 2010
Like God said to Moses, let those who read this chapter say, “Take off your shoes for you are standing on Holy ground.”  The words unworthy and inadequate come to mind as one speaks of the life of the Son of God, who comes to us as Servant, Savior, Shepherd, Redeemer and Lord. Later we will see that there are many more names and titles given to Yeshua. 
 
Yeshua’s message was simple, repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and come, follow Me.  Yeshua called twelve disciples beginning with the fishermen.  Here is the account from Mattityahu 4.
 
18 As Yeshua walked by Lake Kinneret, he saw two brothers who were fishermen — Shim`on, known as Kefa, and his brother Andrew — throwing their net into the lake. 19 Yeshua said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men!” 20 At once they left their nets and went with him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers — Ya’akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan his brother — in the boat with their father Zavdai, repairing their nets; and he called them. 22 At once they left the boat and their father and went with Yeshua.

“Fishers of Men”

 

Scripture is the best teacher for it is truth! Why would the fishermen leave their nets immediately and follow Yeshua? Going a little farther, Yeshua called two more who were in their boat repairing their nets with their father.   At once, they left their boat and their father and went with Yeshua!  The fishermen, without hesitation, answered the call of Yeshua. They knew very little about Him, but by faith, they followed the One who had begun to preach and teach, showing such wisdom and understanding in the synagogues and the miraculous healing of the sick.  Yeshua was meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of the Jewish people…His people.
This was the beginning of choosing His twelve disciples/apostles. Their basic training had begun. They had volunteered to be a part of Yeshua’s army, in word and deed, to bring all who believed into His coming Kingdom.  The disciples would watch and witness this Man of Galilee as He went throughout the region, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the good news of His Kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people, even raising some who had died!  The complete list of the twelve disciples, whose name Yeshua designated now as Apostles are recorded in Mark 3.
         
13 Then he went up into the hill country and summoned to himself those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve to be with him, to be sent out to preach 15 and to have authority to expel demons: 16 Shim`on, to whom he gave another name, “Kefa”; 17 Ya`akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan, Ya`akov’s brother — to them he gave the name “B’nei-Regesh” (that is, “Thunderers”); 18 Andrew, Philip, Bar-Talmai, Mattityahu, T’oma, Ya`akov Ben-Halfai, Taddai, Shim`on the Zealot, 19 and Y’hudah from K’riot, the one who betrayed him. 
 
News spread like wildfire throughout Syria, bringing those ill with diseases, pain, demon-possession, epileptics, paralytics and Yeshua healed them.  Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judah and across the Jordan followed Him.  These people saw Yeshua’s love and compassion demonstrated first hand. Yeshua was meeting the physical needs, now He began teaching His apostles while thousands of people listened as well.
 
Yeshua teaches a portion of scripture recorded in Mattityahu 5 known as the Beatitudes.  These are the believers “attitudes” for living in a world that is turned upside down and can only be done through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit of God.  
1 Seeing the crowds, Yeshua walked up the hill. After he sat down, his talmidim came to him, 2 and he began to speak. This is what he taught them: 3 “How blessed are the poor in spirit! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4 “How blessed are those who mourn! for they will be comforted. 5 “How blessed are the meek! for they will inherit the Land! 6 “How blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness! for they will be filled. 7 “How blessed are those who show mercy! for they will be shown mercy. 8 “How blessed are the pure in heart! for they will see God. 9 “How blessed are those who make peace! for they will be called sons of God. 10 “How blessed are those who are persecuted because they pursue righteousness! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 11 “How blessed you are when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of vicious lies about you because you follow me! 12 Rejoice, be glad, because your reward in heaven is great — they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.

Yeshua taught the apostles and the crowds how to receive blessings from following His teachings.  The first ‘attitude’ being poor in spirit, is the believers’ inner humble condition by experiencing God’s saving grace through Yeshua Messiah, thus replacing the selfish pride and haughty attitude toward others.  The reward: Kingdom of Heaven.  Pride is the foundational taproot from which sprouts other roots of selfishness, arrogance, bitterness and hate.

Proverbs 11:2 and 16:18 records pride this way:
2 First comes pride, then disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.
18 Pride goes before destruction, and arrogance before failure.
 
“The Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes”
from The Life of Christ Bible Videos

 

 

 

The greatest example of humility is found in Philippians.

 
1 Therefore, if you have any encouragement for me from your being in union with the Messiah, any comfort flowing from love, any fellowship with me in the Spirit, or any compassion and sympathy, 2 then complete my joy by having a common purpose and a common love, by being one in heart and mind. 3 Do nothing out of rivalry or vanity; but, in humility, regard each other as better than yourselves – 4 look out for each other’s interests and not just for your own. 5 Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua: 6 Though He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. 7 On the contrary, He emptied himself, in that He took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when He appeared as a human being, 8 He humbled Himself still more by becoming obedient even to death – death on a stake as a criminal! 9 Therefore God raised Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above every name; 10 that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow – in heaven, on earth and under the earth 11 and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is ADONAI – to the glory of God the Father.

The second ‘attitude’ is blessed are those who mourn for the sinful condition of others.  The following is spoken by Yeshua in Mattityahu 23.   

37 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! 38 Look! God is abandoning your house to you, leaving it desolate.
 
Yeshua had come to His own and they did not receive Him.  Yeshua knew the meaning of the word ‘mourn’ more than anyone could ever comprehend.  In another passage in Luke 19, Yeshua is speaking of the city, Yerushalayim.
 
41 When Yeshua had come closer and could see the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “If you only knew today what is needed for shalom! But for now it is hidden from your sight.
 
That was a statement made by Yeshua 2000+ years ago as He wept over Jerusalem.  That was then and this is now! Praise Yeshua for His message for you today, His direct quote from Matthew 11.
 
28Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”



“Come Unto Me”
performed by Nicole C. Mullen
 
 
 

The third Beatitude says, blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  Many people could refer to the word ‘meek’ as weak, but this is by no means correct!  Meek is used in this scripture as:  bridled strength!  A picture comes to mind of the beautiful white Lipizzaner stallion, prancing on two legs with two in mid air as though marching to the heavens.  The rider has complete control of this strong and mighty animal, using only a small bridle.  That is harnessed strength!  The believers are given strength from within through the power of the Holy Spirit, yet one also displays the attitudes of the Beatitudes. 

 
The Master of meekness: Yeshua, as read in 1Peter 2
21 Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in His steps. 22 “He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on His lips.” 23 When He was insulted, He didn’t retaliate with insults; when He suffered, He didn’t threaten, but handed them over to Him who judges justly. 24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the stake, o so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness – by His wounds you were healed. 

The fourth beatitude reads, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. This beatitude is classified as ‘high priority’ for the believer.  It is communication with one’s heavenly Father God through prayer and study of His Holy and perfect Word, knowing Yeshua, His Son as one’s Savior and Lord with the Holy Spirit within, as teacher and guide in one’s daily life.  The meaning to hunger and thirst for righteousness is the spiritual feeding of the soul.  Have you ever been so hungry you would give almost anything for something to eat? One example of this physical hunger is found in Genesis 25.

19 Here is the history of Yitz’chak, Avraham’s son. Avraham fathered Yitz’chak. 20 Yitz’chak was forty years old when he took Rivkah, the daughter of B’tu’el the Arami from Paddan-Aram and sister of Lavan the Arami, to be his wife. 21 Yitz’chak prayed to ADONAI on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. ADONAI heeded his prayer, and Rivkah becamepregnant. 22 The children fought with each other inside her so much that she said, “If it’s going to be like this, why go on living?” So she went to inquire of ADONAI, 23 who answered her, “There are two nations in your womb. From birth they will be two rival peoples. One of these peoples will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” 24 When the time for her delivery came, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first to come out was reddish and covered all over with hair, like a coat; so they named him ‘Esav [completely formed, that is, having hair already]. 26 Then his brother emerged, with his handholding ‘Esav’s heel, so he was called Ya’akov [he catches by the heel, he supplants]. Yitz’chak was sixty years old when she bore them. 27 The boys grew; and ‘Esav became a skillful hunter, an outdoorsman; while Ya’akov was a quiet man who stayed in the tents. 28 Yitz’chak favored ‘Esav, because he had a taste for game; Rivkah favored Ya’akov. 29 One day when Ya’akov had cooked some stew, ‘Esav came in from the open country, exhausted, 30 and said to Ya’akov, “Please! Let me gulp down some of that red stuff – that red stuff! I’m exhausted!” (This is why he was called Edom [red].) 31 Ya’akov answered, “First sell me your rights as the firstborn.” 32 “Look, I’m about to die!” said ‘Esav. “What use to me are my rights as the firstborn?” 33 Ya’akov said, “First, swear to me!” So he swore to him, thus selling his birthright to Ya’akov. 34 Then Ya’akov gave him bread and lentil stew; he ate and drank, got up and went on his way. Thus ‘Esav showed how little he valued his birthright.
 
The spiritual account of the ‘bread of life’ is found in John 6.
 
26 Yeshua answered, “Yes, indeed! I tell you, you’re not looking for me because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the bread and had all you wanted! 27 Don’t work for the food, which passes away, but for the food that stays on into eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For this is the one on whom God the Father has put his seal.” 28 So they said to him, “What should we do in order to perform the works of God?” 29 Yeshua answered, “Here’s what the work of God is: to trust in the One He sent!” 30 They said to Him, “So, what miracle will you do for us, so that we may see it and trust you? What work can you perform? 31 Our fathers ate manna in the desert — as it says in the Tanakh, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ 32 Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you it wasn’t Moshe who gave you the bread from heaven. But my Father is giving you the genuine bread from heaven; 33 for God’s bread is the one who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread from now on.” 35 Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in Me will never be thirsty. 36 I told you that you have seen but still don’t trust. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will certainly not turn away. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do not My own will but the will of the One who sent Me. 39 And this is the will of the One who sent Me: that I should not lose any of all those He has given Me but should raise them up on the Last Day. 40 Yes, this is the will of My Father: that all who see the Son and trust in Him should have eternal life, and that I should raise them up on the Last Day.”

“My Savior My God”
performed by Aaron Shust 
 

 

The account of both physical and spiritual water is found in John 4.  Yeshua was on His way from Judea to Galilee.
 
4 This meant that He had to pass through Shomron. 5 He came to a town in Shomron called Sh’khem, near the field Ya`akov had given to his son Yosef. 6 Ya`akov’s Well was there; so Yeshua, exhausted from his travel, sat down by the well; it was about noon. 7 A woman from Shomron came to draw some water; and Yeshua said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” 8 (His talmidim had gone into town to buy food.) 9 The woman from Shomron said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for water from me, a woman of Shomron?” (For Jews don’t associate with people from Shomron.) 10 Yeshua answered her, “If you knew God’s gift, that is, who it is saying to you, `Give me a drink of water,’ then you would have asked him; and he would have given you living water.” 11 She said to him, “Sir, you don’t have a bucket, and the well is deep; so where do you get this `living water’? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Ya`akov, are you? He gave us this well and drank from it, and so did his sons and his cattle.” 13 Yeshua answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again! On the contrary, the water I give him will become a spring of water inside him, welling up into eternal life!” 15 “Sir, give me this water,” the woman said to him, “so that I won’t have to be thirsty and keep coming here to draw water.”
25 The woman replied, “I know that Mashiach is coming” (that is, “the one who has been anointed”). “When he comes, he will tell us everything.” 26 Yeshua said to her, “I, the person speaking to you, am He.”

 
Jesus and Nicodemus and Jesus meets the Woman at the Well
from the movie, The Gospel of John 
 

The fifth beatitude, blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Merciful: showing sincere compassion and kindness with no partiality.

 
A beautiful parable told by Yeshua of the lost son in Luke 15.
 
Luke 15
11 Yeshua said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of the estate that will be mine.’ So the father divided the property between them. 13 As soon as he could convert his share into cash, the younger son left home and went off to a distant country, where he squandered his money in reckless living. 14 But after he had spent it all, a severe famine arose throughout that country, and he began to feel the pinch. 15 “So he went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one gave him any. 17 “At last he came to his senses and said, `Any number of my father’s hired workers have food to spare; and here I am, starving to death! 18 I’m going to get up and go back to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired workers.” ‘ 20 So he got up and started back to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him warmly. 21 His son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son –‘ 22 but his father said to his slaves, `Quick, bring out a robe, the best one, and put it on him; and put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet; 23 and bring the calf that has been fattened up, and kill it. Let’s eat and have a celebration! 24 For this son of mine was dead, but now he’s alive again! He was lost, but now he has been found!’ And they began celebrating.
 
This parable relates to both physical and spiritual lostness. The father never gave up hope that the son might return, for he kept looking and waiting as the days became months and then years but he never gave up that hope of return.  This reunion shows the compassion and forgiveness of a waiting, loving father. In our world today there are countless families with heartaches and loneliness, waiting for a family member to return and become a part of the family again.  If this is your situation, pray to God for the healing, for it may begin with you.
 
The spiritual lostness of one follows the same path.  One strays from the foundation of God’s Word, only to realize, in their heart, they have chosen the wrong way, yet cannot bring themselves to admit it until they reach the bottom.  



“Come Home Running”
performed by Chris Tomlin

 

The world of sin always takes one farther than he ever intended to go and keeps him longer than he ever intended to stay.  There is a heavenly Father that is also waiting for you to come to Him for He is waiting and ready to receive you into His arms just as the earthly father received his son.  It is called mercy. Luke 18:13 
13 But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!’
 
Call on Him and He will answer and say to you, Matthew 11
28 “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

The sixth beatitude reads, blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Pure:  not mixed with anything else; genuine; perfectly clean and spotless; as silver is heated, the dross comes to the top and removed, leaving the silver pure as a reflection in a mirror.

 
Pure in heart is the position of the believer before God.  The life of one who receives Yeshua as Savior and Lord has been transformed into a new spiritual birth.  Being born again, because of Yeshua dying for my personal sin by shedding His blood on the cross and raising to life on the third day, He defeated death and the grave to give eternal life to each one who believes in Him.  When God looks at me, Yeshua is standing between me and the holiness of God and deems me pure because He died and took my sin on Him on the cross. When I chose to follow Yeshua, all my sins, past, present and future were forgiven and washed away by the blood of the Lamb!!!
 
One is not sinless as a believer, but enters a continuous process of sanctification, a common term used as the act of growing into the likeness of Yeshua.  Yeshua knew no sin, for He is pure, but He became the sacrificial Lamb, taking on the sin of the world, that whosoever, meaning any one or all, has been provided the way that leads to life, the Kingdom of Heaven.  
 
When one sins as a believer, the fellowship can be broken, but the relationship as a part of the family of God can never be broken.  This also holds true when being born into our earthly family.  There is a quote in 1John 1:9 that says, 
9 If we acknowledge our sins, then, since He is trustworthy and just, He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.  
 

The seventh Beatitude says, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.

 
Peacemakers are believers who are at peace with God and live in peace with God for they experienced the peace that passes all understanding when they obeyed Yeshua invitation, “Come, follow Me.”  At the birth of Yeshua, the angels sang, “Peace on earth, good will to men.”  Why?  Yeshua brought peace to a world lost and without hope.  It is the difference between the thermostat and thermometer.  The thermometer represents the ups and downs in life, with instability a constant companion.  That is the way of the world. The thermostat describes the believer as steady in all of life’s circumstances. How?  Because of the peace and joy given to the one who chooses God’s love gift, Yeshua the Messiah, His only begotten Son, the Prince of Peace.
Tortured for Christ website

The eighth Beatitude says, blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. The quote from 2Timothy 3:12says:And indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.

 
And Mattityahu 5 says:
11 “How blessed you are when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of vicious lies about you because you follow me! 12 Rejoice, be glad, because your reward in heaven is great — they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.
 
The world in its darkness does not except the ways of Yeshua.  It continues to be the battle of the ages: the goodness of God against the deceptions of Satan.
 
This concludes the Beatitudes, the Spirit of the Law, given to His Apostles while thousands gathered on the hillside to capture each and every word spoken by the amazing One.  Yeshua supplies one’s every need.  He lived as a man and followed His own beatitudes as an example to His apostles and the people.
 
Truly the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

“I Still Believe”
performed by Jeremy Camp 
 
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