The King’s Public Ministry (Matthew 4:18-25) by Bro Glen Guevarra

“Any publicity is good publicity.” Relating to advertising and marketing and according to Cambridge Dictionary, this phrase is said to emphasize, publicize, that it is better that something receives bad publicity than no publicity at all. This shows us the power of being displayed publicly for better or for worse. And in our text today we will see that the once obscure life and ministry of Jesus the king will now be publicized as the king inaugurates His public Ministry.

Our text this morning is Matthew chapter 4 verse 18 to 25. But we will read from verse 17. Matthew 4 17-25 these are the words of God. From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

Thanks be to God for the reading of His word. Now Matthew’s purpose in

writing this gospel was to persuade his fellow Jews the Jesus of Nazareth was their long-awaited Messianic King. Now nakita natin from, not the previous sermons, na inilalahad ito ni Mateo sa iba’t-ibang paraan. So for example, the presentation of Jesus’s genealogy, His narrative of birth and infancy that are filled with fulfilled Messianic prophecies, His preparation for the ministry in the baptism of John, and also in facing and triumphing over the temptations in the wilderness.Ang mga ito ay Ilan lamang sa mga pagpapakilala ni Mateo na si Hesus nga ang Messianic King na matagal nang inaantay ng Israel. Now after those preparations for the public ministry we’ve heard last week that Jesus began this public ministry of his in chapter 4 verse 17. Now the Lord inaugurated His public ministry by preaching that people must repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. At very similar ang kanyang preaching sa ginagawa ni John the Baptist. Now the phrase from that time in verse 17 gives the readers a signal that this will be a turning point from His period of preparation for ministry to the period of His actual public ministry. And there we find our text this morning Matthew 4 18 to 25. Now think of our texts today as a preview or trailer, ‘no. So ang, ang movie ay yung chapters 5 to 9 and our text today is the preview and trailer for that uh for those chapters. Now Matthew chapters five to nine is the first of the five major discourses in the Book of Matthew. At itong unang major discourse reveals the public ministry of the King. So found in Matthew for example in Matthew 5 to 7 chapters five to seven, uh it found there is the famous Sermon on the Mount na maririnig natin sa mga susunod na linggo. And in chapters eight to nine, we will see the collection of Jesus’s 10 uh Miracles. Mostly it’s all about Kanyang healing ‘no. So note that this chapters are capsulised in our text today where Matthew tells his readers that Jesus’s public ministry is composed of teaching, proclaiming or preaching and healing. Now other concepts previewed in our text such as the calling to true discipleship is sprinkled all over chapters five to nine also. And now, this summarising of Jesus’s public ministry found in our text today is somehow repeated at the end of chapter nine specifically in Matthew chapter 9 verse 35 to 38. And this summaries at the beginning and at the end of chapters five to nine is Matthew’s way of emphasising that the public ministry of the King has come. Now it is important to pay attention sa mga patterns and concepts that we can found in these summaries because it will be very useful as we navigate through the major discourses in chapters 5 to 9 na mapapakinggan natin sa mga susunod na preachings.

So what are the, what are some of the key elements or major ideas na makikita natin sa pagsisimula ng public ministry ng Panginoong Hesus? Number one, it was mentioned already kung ano yung tatlong major components ng public ministry ni Christ and for the sake of emphasis, uh Matthew tells, Matthew tells us that Jesus ministered through teaching, preaching and healing. And we look at those in detail later. Now where did Jesus started this public ministry? Narinig din natin ito last week. Matthew 4 23 says throughout all Galilee throughout all Galilee. Now surprisingly, Jesus chose to start His ministry in Galilee and not in the prestigious city of Jerusalem. Now this choice, hindi lang ito pinapakita yung compassion ni Christ for those who are in darkness as we have heard last week, but it also shows that Galilee is a strategic place to prepare the mission to the Gentiles in the future. Now according to Dr. Daniel Doriani and I quote “Jesus’s decision to focus on Galilee also prepared for the mission to the Gentiles whereas Jerusalem was mountainous and isolated major international travel routes passed through Galilee so there was a saying Judea is on the way to Nowhere Galilee is on the road to everywhere.” Now because of this news about the public ministry of Christ spread to all directions and He became famous not just in Galilee but also in the neighbouring provinces as verse 24 and 25 says: His fame spread and great crowds followed Him.” Now take note po natin ‘no. Ang sabi diyan, crowds.

Now yung crowd na salita, maraming taon na yun ano. Pero ginawa pang plural ni Matthew, “crowds.” And then dinala pa niya to another superlative level, nilagyan niya ng “great”.. “great crowds” okay. So we may conclude na may libu-libong mga tao po ito and we have seen an uh example of this nung nag-feed si Jesus Christ miraculously ng five thousand men. Five thousand men, men pa lang po iyon. Hindi pa binibilang yung women and yung children. So imagine yung crowds na sumusunod sa ating Panginoon nung mga time na ito. Now antithetical to the great crowds who follow Jesus Christ, out of curiosity and His fame, there is another group of followers who are much smaller in number but they follow Christ not just because they are carried away by what is famous, but because they have been personally called by Jesus to be followers of Him. And we see now that Christ and His public ministry is followed by these two kinds of followers. And that lead us to our simple message for this morning CHRIST’S PUBLIC MINISTRY IS FOLLOWED EITHER BY DEDICATED DISCIPLES OR JUST BY CURIOUS CROWDS. ANG PAMPUBLIKONG MINISTERYO NI KRISTO AY SINUSUNDAN NG MGA TAPAT NA ALAGAD O NG MGA MAUSISA LAMANG NA MADLA.

Now it is important to see the differences in their characteristics. Magkaiba ang response at ang pag-trato ng dalawang grupo na ito kung sino si Kristo at sa Kaniyang ministeryo. Uh, it’s important to see that because in the following chapters, makikita pa rin natin sila. Those who follow Christ dedicatedly and those na nadadala lang ng crowd ‘no. And not just in the next chapters but since Christ still ministers today, by the power of the Holy Spirit and in and through His church, these two kinds of followers are still here today.

Firstly, there are those who follow Christ out of curiosity; we will focus on them on our first point. The Curious Crowds. in contrast another group also followed Christ but not just out of the waves of curiosity. We will see later that they were enabled to live even their business and family to dedicate their lives to committedly follow Christ. And we will meet them on our last point, The Dedicated Disciples.

Now let us consider the first kind of followers. The Curious crowds. Now, tignan po muna natin yung second chunk ng ating text for this morning.

Let’s look at verses 23 to 25. Matthew 4 23-25 and we will see here the cause of spread of fame of Christ and consequently, why great crowds from all directions were attracted to Him. It is because of His ministry of teaching, preaching and healing. Now isa-isahin po natin. Teaching according to Dr. Michael J. Wilkins is and I quote “often related to explanation of the truth to those who already, who are already familiar with the content” unquote. Teaching targets to illuminate and renew the mind. Now one major example of this, is The Sermon on the Mount and see how the crowds responded when they heard the teaching of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7 28-29 says the crowds were astonished at His teaching for he was teaching them as one who had Authority and not as their scribes. No wonder, no wonder mga kapatid why they were so attracted to the light of Christ’s teaching. Pangalawa, Christ’s preaching. In this verse, on the other hand, is the proclamation of the truth to those who are still unfamiliar with the content. So when Christ is speaking to those who are not familiar to the scriptures, He just gives a straightforward proclamation of the message.

And this, again adds to the crowd that follows Him. Since He is able to communicate the message to different kinds of audiences, so those who knew the scriptures and those who don’t, kayang makipag-communicate ng Panginoong Hesus sa iba’t-ibang klase ng tao.

And lastly, the Lord didn’t just minister to the minds and hearts of the crowds, but also to the infirmities of their bodies through healing. It was prophesied in Isaiah 35 verse 5 to 6 that when the Messiah comes He will bring healing to give the people a foretaste that in the consummation of His kingdom even the indirect effects of fall will be removed. This miracles also testifies that Jesus is truly sent by God as Nicodemus said in John chapter 3 verse 2. So in a time where medical knowledge was not yet advanced, imagine hearing a news from Galilee, no one has a disease or affliction is there because Christ healed every one of them at a said in verse 23. Now surely crowds upon crowds will flock there in Galilee and this combination of Jesus’s ministry to the mind, heart, soul and body attracted the Curious Crowd. So, pag tinignan po natin sa unang tingin, parang maganda po iyong nangyayari, ano po. Many people were ministered to and great followers or crowds followed and flocked to Jesus Christ. But you see time will reveal kung ano ang tunay na kalagayan ng puso ng mga taong ito. Let us hear again from Dr. Doriani. Sabi niya, “the crowds were fickle or unstable; they follow Jesus but not in the right way and not for the right reasons. They came out of curiosity they came for healing and as soon as it became risky to follow, they disappeared.” unquote. We can see an example of that in John chapter 6 verse, verses 60 to 66. Here’s what happened when Christ gave the crowds a hard teaching. John chapter 6 verse 66 John 6 6 6. After this many of His disciples, of course, these are the false ones, turned back and no longer walk with Him. Umalis sila nung makarinig sila ng hard teaching from the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, ano po ang pinapakita neto? This great crowds followed Christ outwardly, not because they love Him but only because they need something from Him. Maybe they need to be entertained by the astonishing teachings. They need healing, they need food at some point, they, they are able to get all of those in the public ministry of Christ. And we can see here that there is a high possibility that someone may follow Christ superficially only for the benefits that He can give and not for who He is. That is the main characteristic of the crowds. Now don’t get me wrong brothers and sisters and friends. There are so many benefits in following the Lord Jesus Christ. So many benefits, so many blessings. Let us not fail to be grateful for his graces in our lives. But beware brethren and friends, if we seek those benefits more than Christ Himself, that may be an indicator of an unsanctified selfish heart or worse that someone is not yet saved from sin. Here’s what Dr. R.C. Sproul commented on those who say that there are unbelievers who is seeking after God, seeking after God, and I quote “Now it may appear to us that he is seeking after God. Thomas Aquinas answered the question this way. The reason we think people are seeking after God when they are not, is that they are desperately and earnestly seeking for those things that only God can give them. Happiness, meaning, freedom from guilt, peace, all of these benefits that accrue to those who put their faith in Christ, from our perspective as Christians we may say they’re seeking the benefits that only God can give, therefore they must be seeking after God. Aquinas said No, they are not seeking after God they want the benefits of God without God.” unquote.

See, brethren and friends, someone who is not yet saved will always seek how the self will benefit. They will treat everyone and everything as a vehicle to get to their own selfish goals and the public ministry of Christ is no exception for people like this. Sinners may wear a christian camouflage and act outwardly as a follower of Christ only to benefit one’s self. That is how evil a sinner’s heart is. But Christ came brothers and sisters, not just to heal the sick, or feed the poor, but to save sinners from their sins and yes that includes the sin of selfishness. Jesus Christ the selfless King live a sinless life. He willingly laid down His perfect life to be a substitute for sinners and pay the penalty of the sins of those who will trust in Him. He did this by dying on the cross where He was treated as the one who sinned when He has no no sin. And He received the full penalty for the sins of His people and after three days He resurrected from the grave showing that His sacrifice to save His people was accepted by God. Now if you are a selfish sinner who are not yet saved from your sins, don’t just say um, mamaya, magbabago na ako, hindi na ako magiging selfish. Mamaya mismo pagkatapos ng, ngayon, ngayon na mismo, siguro. No, my friend no my friend. Willpower has no power at all. Instead see the gravity of your sin and selfishness by looking to the cross of Jesus Christ. See how heavy your sin is that it took the Son of God to die to pay for the penalty of your sin.

See how impossible and hopeless it is for you to save yourself and may that push you to have faith and trust in Christ, and in Christ alone. Now, if you are a believer, brethren if you are a believer fight sin fight the sin of seeking your own benefit more than Christ not by your own strengths, not by the arm of the flesh. Again, huwag po tayong tumalon agad dun sa thought na um, sige, sige na, hindi na ako magiging self-seeking. I-see-seek ko na ngayon si Christ. No, brethren, your decision is no match sa iyong sin, okay. Don’t do that. Don’t trust on your own. Mortify sin by remembering how the Lord saved you, brethren. Ang sabi nga ni Timothy Brindle na isang Reformed rapper, “We’re sanctified more and more as we feed on justification. We are Sanctified more and more as we feed on our justification.” Why? Because being reminded that we are justified by faith in Christ alone brings us joy, strength and satisfaction in Him and that is the fuel for our sanctification and that is the fuel for mortification of our sins. now if we already have that fuel to mortify the sin of selfishly seeking our own benefits, let us also cultivate the opposite grace and that leads us to the first challenge FOLLOW CHRIST FOR WHO HE IS AND NOT JUST FOR HIS BENEFITS follow Christ for who is and not just for His benefits. Now, as reformed folks, when the topic of seeking only the benefits of Christ and not Christ Himself is brought up, madalas naiisip po natin agad, ah, those follow prosperity preachers and health and wealth preachers are the ones who are really guilty of this sin. And may, we not think in our hearts, ah, ibahin ninyo kami, we’re reformed. Hindi kami after sa prosperity. Brothers and sisters, may we not foolishly accept ourselves from the temptations and think that we are not prone to fall in the sin of neglecting our devotion to Christ and seek after His benefits only. It may be not prosperity and material benefits that can hinder us to seek after Christ. It may be other benefits that we experience day after day and week after week.

What a privilege what a great privilege it is to be in a confessional covenantal and Reformed Baptist church amen. What a joy it is to be in the fellowship of the saints every Lord’s Day. What a delight it is to sing with the congregation and hear gospel-centred preachings. And what a relief it is to see your family and cultivate friendships inside a faithful local church.

And we can go on for eternity. Go on and on, recounting our benefits in Christ. Hindi pa po natin binabanggit diyan yung mga spiritual blessings that we have in Him or yung mga graces that we receive every day. We may go on and on and for all eternity, we will give thanks to the Lord. Are you grateful for all of these benefits brethren? Ang sabi ng Psalms, forget not all His benefits. Remind of yourself kung gaano kabuti ang Panginoon sa iyo.

Praise God for His immeasurable grace. But brothers and sisters, may we not fall in the ditch of just seeking these benefits only and fail and forget the one who gives the benefits to seek Christ Himself. Just like what the curious crowds have done. They seek the benefits and not the one who caused them to, to have those benefits. May we follow Christ for who He is and not just for the things that we might get from Him. Now that we have seen the characteristic of the curious crowds, let us now consider the other type of followers the Dedicated Disciples.

The dedicated disciples. Now we can see them in the first part of our text verses 18 to 22. Nung una ko ‘tong nabasa, napaisip talaga ako kung bakit ganun na lamang ka-immediate yung mag-decide yung four disciples na ito. Napakabilis ng kanilang desisyon. And I thought, first time lang nilang nakita ang Panginoon Hesus tapos sumunod na sila. And along with their decision, ay iniwan nila yung kanilang source of income. At iniwan din nila yung kanilang pamilya. Now at first glance, it may seem that their immediate decision is so irrational and unwise. But knowing some historical background and comparing the text to other Gospels, it will help us understand the striking dedication of these first disciples. So una po sa lahat, kailangan nating makita. We need to take note that Jesus is already an itinerant preacher nang mga panahon na ito. So pumupunta po Siya sa iba’t-ibang mga lugar para magturo, at mag-preach at magpagaling gaya ng binasa natin kanina. And like many teachers in His day, Jesus gathered students or disciples to Himself. So ngayon po kasi di ba, ang mga estudyante, sila ang pumupunta sa school, tinuturuan ng iba’t-ibang mga teachers. But in those times, yung mga teachers ang pupunta sa iyo at i-invite ka nila na maging disciple ka nila, okay. At ganun din po si Jesus. And according to one commentary, a dedicated disciple will follow his master everywhere.

Actually, sabi pa nga ng isang commentary, ang isa daw dedicated disciple, di ba ma-sand yung kanila, ma-buhangin ang kanilang dinadaanan noon. So yung mga tumatalsik daw na buhangin dun sa paglalakad ng iyong master, dapat sinasalo mo yon bilang dedicated disciple. Sinasalo dapat yun ng paa mo, okay. Ganung kayo dapat ka-close, ganun kayo dapat ka-dikit. A dedicated disciple will follow his master everywhere, will imitate his manner and memorise his principal teachings, word for word. Wala po silang mga notes dati. Wala pang mga devices. They need to memorise the teachings of their master word for word. And when Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John, they already knew that Christ is calling them to be His students or His disciples which is the common format of their education in their time. Now secondly, kailangan din po nating makita, we need to see that according to the Gospel of Luke, binasa natin kanina and also to the Gospel of John, this was not the first time that the four, uh,four, first four disciples met Jesus Christ. They already met Him several times before this meeting in Matthew 4. In the Gospel of John chapter 1, we saw, we saw there, that John the Baptist, so buhay pa po neto si John the Baptist. He encourages disciples to follow Jesus. At isa po sa mga sumunod from the disciple of John the Baptist at naging disciple ni Jesus Christ ay si Andrew. At si Andrew naman po ang nagpakilala kay Peter kay Jesus Christ. And also in our scripture reading earlier in Luke 5 1 to 11 we saw that there is a parallel account of the calling of Peter. But we saw there that before He calls Peter, He lets Peter witness His power over the sea and all that is in it through a miracle of the great catch of the fish. At nangyari po ito after ng isang buong gabi na pangingisda nila Peter at wala silang nahuli. So very obvious po dito ang kapangyarihan ng Panginoong Hesus at nakatulong iyon kay Peter para mag-decide siya immediately to follow Christ. So, and maybe you’re asking, paano sina James at John? Paano sila immediately nag-decide to follow Jesus Christ? Well, they are also there when the miracle happens since they are Peter’s co-workers. So baka sila pa nga yung nag-tulong na mag-ahon nung mga, nung mga isda nung hindi na kaya ni Peter.

All of these factors add up to why they immediately follow the Lord. And when He called them to become fishers of men, immediately iniwan nila lahat and they followed the Lord Jesus Christ. Now many sermons already came out of this text, Matthew chapter 4. Especially nung mga time na usong-uso yung topic ng discipleship sa contemporary churches. At ang madalas nating naririnig na challenge is become Fishers of Men. Become fishers of men! Which is most of the time used to mean add more people to your small group o kaya mag-add ka ng attendance sa church.

But you see brothers and sisters the command of Christ for them is not become Fishers of Men. The command instead is follow me. Follow me. And it is the Lord who will make them Fishers of Men. Their first job is not to fish for men, initially. It is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ to know Him, and love Him, and learn from Him. And out of that, it is Christ who will make them useful in His kingdom as Fishers of Men. I’m not saying na hindi po tayo, hindi natin gagawin yung fishing of men or evangelism or discipleship. But I’m just saying that is not the main command. THE MAIN COMMAND IS FOLLOW CHRIST. Follow me is the main command in this section and as a result of them following, uh, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord truly made them Fishers of Men and they became the preachers of the gospel of Christ, the leaders of the early church, the writers of the book of the New Testament. Now, marami sa atin dun na-save because the new testament ay binasa sa atin, at pinreach sa atin. Now they were also tortured and martyred because of their imperfect dedication and commitment to follow their Lord. Now the great crowds kanina, they also followed Christ. But only outwardly and superficially. This men followed Christ from their hearts committedly and dedicatedly as a true disciple should. Now what does it take to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ? What does it take to be true disciple of Jesus Christ? We can see that in Luke Chapter 14 verse 25 to 33. Now basically, the gist of that passage is that a true disciple of Christ must love trust and obey Him more than anyone more than anything. Yes brothers and sisters, more than your own life, you must love Jesus Christ if you are to follow Him. So yes, there is a cost if we are to wholeheartedly follow Christ. That is why Jesus said we need to count the cost first, if we desire to follow Him. Dapat bilangin muna natin, tignan muna natin ng maigi.

Talaga bang kaya?

Now first and foremost , wala pong makasalanang tao ang susunod sa utos na yan ni Hesus. Or maybe there are some proud people who will say foolishly na, mukhang mahirap pero kaya naman ata. Kaya yan, kaya yan. Mas mahalin ang Panginoong Hesus. Now, out of our sinner’s heart, hindi po talaga kaya. Sabi ng Romans chapter 8 verse 7 to 8. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God for it does not submit to God’s law indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. The call to follow Christ as a dedicated disciple is not a difficult thing. It is an impossible calling apart from His work of Saving Grace. Those who are in the flesh that is Paul’s way of saying those who are not yet saved from their sins, they don’t just say no to the commands of God. The truth is they cannot say yes to His commands and that includes the command to follow Christ dedicatedly. So how is someone enabled to follow Christ as a dedicated disciple? That can only happen if someone is first and foremost saved from the flesh and from sin or the state of sin. Because as long as he is in the state of sin, he cannot and will not consider to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The only way para ma-save at ma-free from the slavery of sin ang isang tao is none other than through the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ. He commanded us to love and obey Him, to trust Him but we cannot because of our sin. That’s why he died in our place and for the penalty of our sins that we might be set free from the bondage of sin and might be enabled to know, love, obey and lay down our lives for Him by dedicatedly following Him as His true disciples.

Brothers and sisters, Christ laid down His life for you so that you might lay down your life for Him. That is why a true disciple knows the cost of following Christ. They know it might cost them everything and even their own lives. But they will still follow because Christ is now their life. A true disciple is much convinced that there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey Him as dedicated disciples.

So are you someone who who doesn’t care about following Christ? My friend that is a mark that you are a slave of sin. You have no ability to obey Christ. He is calling you today to forsake and repent of your sins and have faith in Him alone for the salvation of your soul. And may you be enabled as you repent and trust in Him. May you be enabled to follow Christ as a dedicated disciple. Brethren, we have been set free from sin. Mga kapatid, pinalaya tayo ng Panginoong Hesus mula sa kasalanan. Binigyan Niya tayo ng abilidad para sumunod sa Kanya. Huwag po nating sayangin. And the challenge for us is to count the cost and follow Christ as a dedicated disciple. Count the cause and follow Christ as a dedicated disciple. No it doesn’t necessarily mean every one of us will leave our jobs and our families. Magiging full- time preachers at missionaries po tayong lahat, ano.Hindi po ganun.

Following Christ dedicatedly looks different for each and every disciple. But here are some questions to consider brothers and sisters. How is your dedication and commitment to follow your Lord? To where He placed you right now? Kamusta ang inyong dedikasyon? Kamusta ang inyong pagsunod sa Panginoong Hesus? Sa kung anong design Niya sa iyo ngayon? Kung ikaw ay tatay, kumusta ang pag-le-lead sa iyong pamilya? Kung ikaw ay wife and mother, kamusta ang iyong submission sa iyong asawa at sa Panginoong Hesus, first and foremost? You see, every one of us ay iba-iba yung hitsura ng ating commitment at pagsunod sa Panginoon. Now the second question is this brothers and sisters, where are the, uh, what are the things, what are the things or idols that hinders you to maximise your commitment and devotion to Christ? Anong mga nag-hi-hinder? Anong mga diyos-diyosan ang meron sa puso natin na humahadlang para tuluyan tayong makasunod sa ating Panginoon? Now again, we don’t mortify those kinds of sin by mere willpower. We need to go back to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Repent of our sins, and trust in Him and ask for strength. Lord, help me to follow You dedicatedly.

Now in the year 1732, Moravian young men named Johann Leonhard Dober and David Nitschmann was compelled to minister to the African slaves on the island, on the island in the Danish West Indies. When they were not allowed to minister to the slaves, they sold themselves to some slave owners and became a slave and they boarded the ship going to West Indies. They exchanged their lives as free men to become slaves in order to follow Christ’s command to preach the gospel. Now as the ship moves away from the shore where their families were, their dedication to follow Christ as their Lord is much evident in their farewell address to their families and they said and I quote “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.” May the lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering. We can see here that what preoccupies their mind was not self- pity because they will now become slaves or anxiety for the future condition of their loved ones. What preoccupies their mind is the sheer commitment to do what is pleasing to their Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. And may the Lord strengthen us to do the same, brothers and sisters. Why? Because King Jesus ministers to us even now. Kahit hanggang ngayon, nag- mi-minister pa rin ang ating Panginoon. And may we follow Him not like the curious crowds who are just after His benefits but as dedicated disciples who counted the cost of knowing and obeying Him and Him alone.

Let us pray. Our Father in heaven, Lord we thank You oh God. Lord, first and foremost, for calling those of us Lord who are undeserving of Your grace, undeserving Lord God to be your disciples. To be saved by you Lord. We deserve oh God Your Righteous judgment, but Lord you have given us grace upon grace and benefits upon benefits oh Lord. But Lord, oh God we ask oh Lord na hindi kami ma-distract ng mga benefits na ito and we lose sight of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, dalangin ko po na maging grateful at magpasalamat ang buong simbahan sa ginawa ng Panginoong Hesus. At hindi kami malayo Panginoon sa ginawa ng Panginoong Hesus at sa Kaniya mismo, Panginoon. Lord, we also ask oh God for those who are not yet saved today, Lord that You would Lord, move in their hearts oh God. Give them a new heart, Lord so that they may be able Lord God to follow the Lord Jesus Christ dedicatedly. Marami pong salamat Panginoon for the graces that You are pouring out in our lives in Jesus’ Name, amen.

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