Tag Archives: Matthew 8

What goes up must come down…

8 Apr

Going through the Gospel (good news) of Matthew looking at one chapter one day at a time. Today it is Matthew 8:

1When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.

Jesus just got through going through something called the Sermon on the Mount. Some say that it is the greatest sermon ever. In Matthew 5-7 Jesus completely demolishes the proud, comforts the weak, speaks to the heart, and challenges us to rethink what our real treasure is. The sermon starts with him going up on a mountain and calling his disciples and it ends with chapter 8 verse one when he goes down the mountain with a large crowd.

Did you notice that?

He went up the mountain and called his disciples, 12 of them. When he went down the mountain a large crowd followed him.

After he goes and delivers the greatest sermon in history we find him in Matthew 8-9 interacting with people from wildly different backgrounds. From outsiders to insiders to religious and irreligious. He doesn’t give one size fits all pat answers or respond to everyone the same way. Instead, as the kingdom of God breaks in it meets people where they are at. It confronts and comforts differently.

Then Matthew 10 shows that after Jesus has given this teaching, after he has interacted with a multitude of people he then says to his followers, it’s your turn.

From my experience in church I think people want a Jesus that stays on top of the mountain. A Jesus that they can just sit and his feet and listen. These people often use the phrase being “fed” and are a pain to teaching pastors because they expect to get this religious high because a teaching pastor gives them more and more info that they didn’t have before. And they become more and more unsatisfied because knowledge alone ultimately doesn’t transform. A Jesus that doesn’t come down the mountain is safe. He doesn’t demand or challenge us to interact with people of wildly different backgrounds and he most certainly does not send us out and uproot us from all of our comforts. He also doesn’t interact with people who are different than us.

But here is the thing. A Jesus that doesn’t come down the mountain, metaphorically speaking, can’t lead a church to transform the world. So please, let your Jesus walk down that mountain. Watch all the wildly different people around you and ask what the good news of Jesus would look like if it invaded their lives. And then go and do what he would do and trust him to lead, provide and empower.