Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (2Timothy 2:3-4)
WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT JESUS, the Promised One to Israel. He has been crucified and raised from the dead according to Old Testament scriptures. The angel that rolled away the stone and sat on it said to the women: “Come and see,” and “Go and tell.”
THE MESSAGE IS THE SAME TO US. God began to put people in place who would model and lead a generation of witnesses to fan out and tell the message of salvation to the whole world. When Jesus was here, it was largely a matter of listening and taking in. But, Jesus would go back to Heaven and leave His followers with the work of spreading the gospel and growing His church, the body of Christ.
Carrying out the work of Christ requires the mentality and disposition of a soldier. That came as a shock to His sheep who preferred to attend His meetings, be fed, and entertained.
AMONG THE FIRST CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS were the women who followed Jesus and the disciples a hundred miles or more away from home and “ministered to them.” (They cooked for them over open fires.) That measures the endurance and commitment of the women. There probably was no danger to them at that time.
IT IS NOTEWORTHY THAT THERE ARE NO SEXUAL ACCUSATIONS against those women from sources of that period. Neither Scripture, Josephus the Jewish historian, or other main sources steer in that direction. At Jesus’ unlawful trial at night, His accusers were desperate to find anyone to testify against Him. This would have been the best time to bring up any charges of sexual misconduct of any kind against Jesus, had they dared. But, there were none. No one suggested wrong-doing with these women, Mary Magdalene, or anything about homosexuality. Nothing!
IN THE FOUR GOSPELS, THERE ARE THREE UNAMED WOMEN who are identified as sexual sinners. There was the woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with expensive ointment from a broken alabaster box and wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. One of the guests gasped to himself: “Doesn’t He know she’s a sinner?” (Luke 7:39) There was the Samaritan woman at the well who had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband. (John 4). And there was a woman caught in the act of adultery who was brought to Jesus to see if He would condemn her. (John 8:11). None of Jesus’ enemies or gossip lovers twisted these stories into a scandal. In today’s world, there would have been a rodeo of writers and TV cameras trying to spin a best-selling tabloid.
WE HAVE MODERN FREE-WHEELING WORD MERCHANTS who slander Jesus with academic jargon and theatrical license. Their ill-will is on the surface and they do not rush to reliable sources for their smearing tactics. They generate accusations as they go, as though it were honest reporting. In Christ’s day, His worst enemies did not try to go there with their desperate accusations. This is a very important point!
DEDCICATED WOMEN FOLLOWED JESUS TO THE SITE OF THE CROSS and from a distance, watched Him suffer and die. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: (Matthew 27:55) They were not theologians or politicians. They were like some of the women we all know today whose hearts and hands are steady and sturdy for the Lord.
LATER IN THE DAY, AT LEAST THREE OF THE WOMEN moved closer to the cross.
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. (John 19:25-27)
TIMOTHY'S MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER were steeped in the Old Testament Scriptures and taught him. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2Timothy 3:15)
CHRISTIANITY WAS BIRTHED IN THE LAP OF JUDAISM during the iron-fisted Roman Empire. When Paul was writing to young Timothy and searching for words to impress him with the importance of his mission, he came up with “soldier.” Everyone knew about the Roman soldiers, how tough and enduring they were and how dedicated they were to their position and mission.
“Timothy, as a Christian witness, we are to be as tough as Roman soldiers and just as dedicated and determined as they are.” Timothy understood that.
BEING A FULL-FLEDGED CHRISTIAN WAS NOT FOR THE WEAK OF HEART. In today’s language, they were not to be a “snowflake” or a “Morning Glory” flower that folds up in the morning sun.
AT THE EMPTY TOMB OF JESUS, an angel had important instructions: “Come and see and go and tell.” That invitation and that command have never been withdrawn. How do we get it done? It comes out of attitude and commitment and by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. We identify with Christ and we serve Him as soldiers. Tomorrow, we will look further into the role of the Christian soldier. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
April 4, 2018 – Wednesday
A.M. Judges 12-14 P.M. Luke 9:37-62
APRIL 5, 2018 – THURSDAY
A.M. Judges 15-17 P.M. Luke 10:1-24
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Memory Verse This Month:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Song for Today:
Stand Up For Jesus (3:34) – (Fountain View Academy – Recorded in Germany)
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