Hear the Call…
There is a scene in the gospels where the disciples are arguing over who will be the greatest. Unfortunately, even today we wonder, “Am I good enough? Surely, the pastors and evangelists are of more value to the Kingdom than me…” Can I remind you what the Lord did in this situation? Let’s look at the three gospel accounts of this story and see how this scene impacted the disciples who later on wrote the gospels.
“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them…” – Matthew 18:2
Remember, Matthew is the one writing this scene – Matthew – the tax collector. In the Jewish culture of that day, a tax collector was hated. (Even more so than today!) He was employed by the enemy and considered the lowest of the low. Matthew would have been on the same level as murderers and rapists. You can easily imagine that someone like Matthew would not have been welcome to learn from a rabbi or enter a synagogue.
But Jesus stopped before him and said, “You, follow Me.”
The one who was not welcome, Jesus called.
“And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them…” – Mark 9:36
Jesus took the child and embraced him. Can I remind you that Mark was a quitter? (In Acts, Mark was with Paul and Barnabas, but walked away from the ministry.) Maybe, when Mark was writing his gospel and came to this scene, he remembered his restoration to the ministry and how Jesus will even put His arms around a quitter. He shows us that we are embraced by our Father and held in His arms.
“And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him…” – Luke 9:47
Being beside someone in the Bible is a symbol of favor and friendship. It’s a place of purpose. You are somebody. You have a purpose by His side. Luke was an outsider who wrote his gospel to outsiders. What we see in this object lesson is this: the one who was once on the outside is now on the inside. Luke, a gentile, was an outsider no more.
Friends, when other people see no purpose or hope in you, Jesus has called you. He has called you to Himself. To all the rejected like Matthew, hear the call; to all the quitters like Mark, experience His embrace; to those who feel like you don’t belong, as Luke once did, come in by His side. This is what the Kingdom is about – if you are tired and weary, come to the truth and find relief!