Receiving and Welcoming Jesus
During Jesus ministry He was rejected by His own people – the Jews.
“He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.” John 1:11
The religious leaders who dominated Jerusalem also rejected Him.
Remember how Jesus wept over the city because they refused to receive their Messiah?
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” Luke 13:34
Jesus was rejected by the Samaritans,
“As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem.” Luke 9:51-53
And He was rejected by His home town of Nazareth,
“Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” Mark 6:4
“Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Luke 9:58
There was one exception.
The only place where Jesus was welcome.
The tiny obscure village called Bethany – 2 miles east of Jerusalem.
It was the home of Mary, Martha, Lazarus and Simon the leper – Jesus’ friends.
In Jesus’ last week leading to His crucifixion, Jesus went to the city of Jerusalem in the day but he always returned to Bethany to spend the night. In Bethany He found refuge, rest, love and peace.
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.” Luke 10:38
Bethany and Martha’s home is the place where Jesus was utterly welcome.
The Greek original of this verse is even more specific. It says that Martha “welcomed him,” Jesus, into her home. The verb translated here as “welcome” means “to receive warmly and graciously.” By using this verb, Luke indicates that Martha did more than simply letting Jesus and his entourage stay in her home. Rather, she opened, not just the front door, but also her heart. No doubt, she offered Jesus an opportunity to rest and be refreshed. In fact, her effort to prepare a “big dinner” was part of her hospitality. Martha wanted Jesus to feel truly at home with her and her family.
What does it mean to receive and welcome the Lord Jesus?
It means giving Jesus the place of primacy – the first place – the only place.
It means giving Him absolute supremacy and sovereignty.
Jesus desires to be more than a guest in our lives.
Receiving Christ also means receiving His entire ministry and all who belong to Him.
The Lord is looking for a place where He is completely received and fully welcomed.
Out of our love Jesus – in friendship and fellowship with Him – service will flow.
The secret of loving Jesus is to sit at His feet, listen to Him share His heart and allow His life to be the Source of our service.
Jesus desires friends over servants, love over servitude.
“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” John 15:15
“Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’” Mark 12:29-30
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When did you first welcome Jesus into your life? Do you welcome him each day? Why or why not? Are there parts of your life that are “off limits” to Jesus? How might you welcome him more consistently and generously?
Dear Lord, even as Martha once welcomed you into her home, I want to receive you in my life. I want to throw open the door and embrace you. I want to give you the best place in my life. I want you to be fully at home with me.
I do want all of these things, Lord. But, I must confess, there are times when I keep you knocking at the door. There are other times when I let you in, but don’t pay attention to you. And then there are times when I allow you to come into my life, but do not give you run of the house. Forgive me, Lord, when I am an ungracious host to you.
O Lord, may I welcome you fully, eagerly, and without restraint. May I welcome you, not only into the tidy living room, but also into the messy places of my life. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Based on Jesus Manifesto, Lonard Sweet and Frank Viola
This weeks worship play list is available here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHnJn7EgQjAyr9zLWrGvm_ClXMeS9OLZ_
4th November – 9th December 2020 (each Wednesday evening)
Six consecutive Wednesday nights, from 4th November – 9th December.
Classes will run from 19:30pm to 21:00pm and will be held online over Zoom.
“Life in the Spirit” is a six-week online class that introduces you to the basics of walking with the Holy Spirit. This lifestyle of living in the Holy Spirit will keep you attuned to the Lord’s guidance in those sacred moments of life change.
Learn from practitioners who experience moments of life-changing ministry and how they discovered what it means to walk in cooperation with the Holy Spirit.
This opportunity is for those who want to:
- Grow in their spiritual life
- Discover more about the person and work of the Holy Spirit
- Practise what it means to cooperate with the Holy Spirit
- Remind themselves of select teachings from Dunamis Project 1 and 2
You will discover the excitement of participating in moments of God’s work through you to advance His Kingdom. Galatians 5:25 commands us to “keep in step with the Holy Spirit.”
What might that look like in real life?
That is what you will learn in this course, exploring what it is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Each 90-minute online class will feature a time to: Discover: Brief teaching from people who live this ministry lifestyle. Practice: Small group prayer activities and fellowship times.
Debrief: A brief time of evaluating any experience you may have had.
You must register for this course to receive your personal Zoom link for the calls.
Please do not share this link with others – they will need to register themselves.