“What Jesus Demands From The World” – Daily Devotional (7/22/10): Demand #45 “Do This In Remembrance of Me, For I Will Build My Church”

Matthew 16:15-18

“[ Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Matthew 28:19

“Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 24:49

“Behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

“The demand of Jesus, “Do this in remembrance of me” comes from the institution of the Lord’s Supper in Luke 22:19. But it assumes something, namely, that there would be a church worshiping Jesus when he was gone. Did Jesus plan for that and provide for the church? That is what this chapter addresses. It is foundational for the next.

Jesus promised to build his church. By “church” he did not mean a building. That is never the meaning of “church” in Greek. He means he will build a people. He will gather a people who trust him as their Lord (John 13:13; 20:28) and Savior (John 3:17; 10:9) and who love each other (John 13:34-35) and their enemies (Matt. 5:44). Jesus describes himself as “the good shepherd” who gathers his sheep into a flock. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:14-16). The words “I must bring them also” and “they will listen to my voice” carry the same authority as the words “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). “I must bring them.” “They will hear my voice.” “I will build my church.” This is what the power of the kingdom does… Or, to say it another way, the King, Jesus, builds his church (pg. 336-337).”

“Jesus was keenly aware of what it would mean to leave his “little flock” (Luke 12:32) in a hostile world and return to the Father. How were they to live without his physical presence? He had been the literal center of their lives for three years, and now he was going to leave. Who would teach them? Who would guide and protect them? How were they to live in his absence? These and many other questions would come when Jesus was gone. Therefore he assured them, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). What he meant by this promise was that he would send the Holy Spirit and that this Spirit of God would be his own presence among them. “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). “He dwells with you, and will be in you.” Jesus is saying that he himself is now with his disciples—physically present—and when the Spirit comes he himself will be in them (pg. 338).”

“Not only does Jesus provide for his flock after his departure by sending them the Holy Spirit, but also by preparing for the preservation of inspired truth in the writings of his apostles… The word “apostle” means “someone who is ‘sent’ and who shares the authority of the one who sends, as his representative.” The fact that there were twelve apostles—just as there were twelve tribes of Israel—and that the word apostle carries the implication of special authority to represent him suggests that Jesus intended for the apostles to be the foundation for the true Israel, the church. He had said concerning the old Israel that, at least temporarily, they were being replaced. “I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you [Israel] and given to a people producing its fruits [Jesus’ followers, the church]”. This new “Israel” would have its foundation in the twelve apostles. They will represent Jesus’ authority as they lay the foundation for this new people. To secure the future truthfulness of the teaching of the Twelve, Jesus promised to send the Spirit of truth to preserve his teaching and lead them into crucial truth that he had not yet given them… This is Jesus’ way of caring for his flock after he is gone. He provides an authoritative band of representatives and then gives them the assurance that in their teaching office they will have divine assistance to provide the church with the truth it needs for all of life and godliness. He intends that the teaching of these spokesmen be preserved for later generations (pg. 339-341).”

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on July 22, 2010 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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