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I'm In Day 3

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Scripture: Matthew 19:13-14 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Devotional: In our current culture, children are highly valued.  Many homes are considered child centered, and most people will bend over backwards to accommodate a child.  Even politicians love to hold and kiss babies.

But in the first century, the opposite was true.  Children were essentially invisible and not highly valued.  For the disciples to rebuke those who were bringing their children to be healed and prayed for by Jesus showed their views of those children’s importance.  The disciples did not deem them worthy of Jesus’ time.

But Jesus invites people that others reject.

Let the little children come to me, He says.  He is essentially declaring their greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven.  He is placing the highest value on them, turning the culture upside down. 

Reflect:

  • Is there anyone that you have overlooked as valuable to Jesus?
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I'm In Day 2

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Scripture: Matthew 9:9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

Devotional: In the first century, when this scene takes place, Judean territory is under Roman rule.  The Jews who lived there faced heavy taxation and oppression by the Roman rulers, who recruited Jews willing to get rich from the oppression of their fellow Jews to collect those taxes.  It was common practice for those tax collectors to skim money to line their own pockets. 

Needless to say, these tax collectors were despised as a result.   They were definitely uninvited to any of their fellow Jews’ gatherings, and perhaps were even rejected by their own families. 

Matthew was one of these tax collectors.  Yet, Jesus invited him to be part of His team, His twelve disciples.  Jesus called Matthew to follow Him.

We’re not exactly sure how this went down with the other disciples.  But somehow, it doesn’t seem that having someone who had essentially become their enemy, would have gone over that well. 

 But Jesus invites people that others reject.

And Jesus had purpose for who Matthew was.  He would take Matthew’s shrewdness and number-crunching ways, and He would use it for His Kingdom’s sake.

He can do the same for you.

Reflect:

  • Where were you when Jesus invited you to follow Him? Have you ever been critical of someone whom Jesus forgave and invited into His Kingdom?
  • If you are not yet a Christ follower, could Jesus be inviting you right now? Will you follow Him?

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