I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed it, but there is an astonishing account in Matthew 11 of the results of Jesus’ teaching. We’re so used to stories of crowds following him and the miracles he did, but this particular passage comes as a great surprise.
Matthew 11 recounts how the towns north of the sea of Galilee, like Capernaum and beyond, had seen much of the miraculous ministry of Jesus. The people had sat under the teaching of the greatest teacher the world had ever seen, and for the most part, it appears, the ministry was a failure. Jesus says if Sodom had experienced what they had experienced they would have turned to God long ago, but these towns were unmoved by Jesus’ powerful ministry.
Christians wanting to share the news of Jesus have a mindset that we need the best evangelist possible, we need clear convincing proof, and a powerful explanation of the proof. The people of Capernaum had all that and were unmoved. And amazingly, Jesus is not fazed by this response. He grieves over it, but he praises God that in God’s good purposes he has hidden the truth from some and revealed it to others (v25).
What does that indicate to you is the most important part of God’s call to us, to share the good news of Jesus?
If God is indeed sovereign over who he calls to himself, then surely prayer is even more important than any other aspect of our sharing the good news. It doesn’t mean we sit back and do nothing – the Lord Jesus, in the very next verses of Matthew 11, cries out with as much passion as ever: “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest” But ultimately we look to God to bring about a response to the gospel message he has privileged us to share in (see Colossians 4:2-4).
It means that each one of us who brings the lost to the Lord in prayer has a crucial, if not more important, role than the evangelist who explains the gospel. Tuesday week (July 2nd) with be our next opportunity to gather as a church and pray that God may do a work amongst us to share the love of Jesus to those around us.
We have much to pray about for the coming weeks with KidzArtz and our Food Drive about to happen. They are great opportunities God has given us, so we need to talk to him about it all. We meet at 7:30pm for just an hour, but it’s a corporate expression of the prayer ministry that we all are engaged in with our own personal walk with God every day.
Whether it’s corporate or private prayer, let us make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6). We don’t have if we don’t ask, and our heavenly Father is always willing to hear us when we call upon him.