What Jesus Did! 'Disciple' — Matthew 8:18

Friday, April 7, 2017

Jesus saw that all the people were around him. So Jesus told his followers to go to the other side of the lake.
— Matthew 8:18
Illustration of Matthew 8:18 — Jesus saw that all the people were around him. So Jesus told his followers to go to the other side of the lake.

Key Thought

Jesus had this intriguing habit of withdrawing from the crowds. At first glance, we want to correct him, and remind him, that he is trying to win the world for God. How is he going to do that by running away from folks who are seeking him? Then we realize how ludicrous such a thought is, and we realize the audacity of even thinking we could give him advice. Hopefully, this insight will lead to conviction. Jesus wasn't trying to gain an audience; he was trying to prepare an army. He is not trying to gain a following; he wants to forge followers. He didn't need "hangers on"; he was looking for disciples. A disciple, a true follower, doesn't just go around listening to all the neat stuff the Teacher says. No, a true disciple is going to become like the Teacher. In the process of becoming like the Teacher, the true follower will be confused, amazed, bewildered, astounded, tested, saved, broken, encouraged, exposed, protected ... Jesus' goal for his disciples was to make true followers. He wasn't interested in a big church membership roll; he wanted committed followers! That is as radical today as it was then. Yes, true followers will be church members, but they're also going to be a lot more. They're going to live to share Jesus' life with others and teach them how to live it.

Today's Prayer

O majestic Lord, forgive me for wanting the easy way and the popular discipleship. Today I'm asking for your help to become a true follower of Jesus, displaying his character and living by his values. In Christ's name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus saw that all the people were around him. So Jesus told his followers to go to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, I will follow you any place you go." Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes to live in. The birds have nests to live in. But the Son of Man has no place where he can rest his head." Another man, one of Jesus' followers, said to Jesus, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first. {Then I will follow you.}" But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the people that are dead bury their own dead." Jesus got into a boat and his followers went with him. After the boat left the shore, a very bad storm began on the lake. The waves covered the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The followers went to Jesus and woke him. They said, "Lord, save us! We will drown!" Jesus answered, "Why are you afraid? You don't have enough faith." Then Jesus stood and gave a command to the wind and the waves. The wind stopped, and the lake became very calm. The men were amazed. They said, "What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the water obey him!" Jesus arrived at the other side of the lake in the country of the Gadarene people. There, two men came to Jesus. They had demons inside them. These men lived in the burial caves. They were very dangerous. So people could not use the road by those caves. The two men came to Jesus and shouted, "What do you want with us, Son of God? Did you come here to punish us before the right time?" Near that place there was a large herd of pigs feeding. The demons begged Jesus, "If you make us leave these men, please send us into that herd of pigs." Jesus said to them, "Go!" So the demons left those men and went into the pigs. Then the whole herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. All the pigs drowned in the water. The men that had the work of caring for the pigs ran away. They went into town and told the people what happened. They told about all that happened with the pigs and with themen that had demons. Then the whole town went out to see Jesus. When the people saw Jesus, they begged him to leave their area.

Matthew 8:18-34

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus knew that the people wanted him to become king. The people planned to come get Jesus and make him their king. So Jesus left and went into the hills alone. After Jesus said these things, many of his followers left him. They stopped following Jesus. Jesus asked the twelve apostles, "Do you want to leave too?" Simon Peter answered Jesus, "Lord, where would we go? You have the things that give life forever. We believe in you. We know that you are the Holy One from God."

John 6:15, 66-69

A student is not better than his teacher. But when the student has fully learned, then he will be like his teacher.

Luke 6:40

The people were amazed. They asked each other, "What is happening here? This man is teaching something new. And he teaches with authority (power)! He even gives commands to evil spirits, and the spirits obey him." So the news about Jesus spread quickly everywhere in the area of Galilee. Jesus and the followers left the synagogue. They all went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon's mother-in-law was very sick. She was in bed and had fever. The people there told Jesus about her. So Jesus went to her bed. Jesus held her hand and helped her stand up. The fever left her, and she was healed. Then she began serving them. That night, after the sun went down, the people brought many sick people to Jesus. They also brought people that had demons inside them. All the people in the town gathered at the door of that house. Jesus healed many people that had different kinds of sicknesses. Jesus also forced many demons to leave people. But Jesus would not allow the demons to speak, because the demons knew who he was. The next morning, Jesus woke up very early. Jesus left the house while it was still dark. He went to a place to be alone and pray. Later, Simon and his friends went to look for Jesus. They found Jesus and said, "All the people are looking for you!" Jesus answered, "We should go to another place. We can go to other towns around here. Then I can tell people {God's message} in those places also. That is why I came."

Mark 1:27-38

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.