Friday, February 25, 2011

We Are a Motley Crew: MacArthur on the Healing of the Hemorrhaging Woman

I thought this was a great quote from Dr. John MacArthur in his sermon on Matthew 9:23-26.

No, you see, God has never looked for the superstars and the bright lights and the famous people.  He's always been content with folks like us.  The Bible says that the prophet Isaiah predicted when the Messiah would come, He would preach the Gospel to the...what?...poor.  And Paul said, "Not many noble, and not many mighty, but He's chosen the base and the weak and the ignoble and the foolish things."...I mean we are a motley crew, you know that?  Really.

I was reading this week a very interesting book called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made written by Dr. Paul Brand and Phil Yancey.  It's a book you oughta read.  Tremendous.  In one section of it, he talks about how...the people of God are such an unlikely bunch; and he quotes from novelist Frederick Bookner, who said this.  "Who could've predicted that God would choose not Esau, the honest and reliable, but Jacob, the trickster and heel?  Who could have predicted that God would put his finger on Noah, who hit the bottle?  Or on Moses, who was trying to beat the rap in Midian for braining a man in Egypt.  And if it weren't for the honor of the thing, He'd just as soon let Aaron go back and face the music.  Who could have predicted that God would choose the prophets who were a ragged lot, mad as hatters, most of 'em."

And then Paul Brand adds, "The exception seems to be the rule.  The first humans God created went out and did the only thing God asked 'em not to do.  The man he chose to head a new nation known as God's people tried to pawn off his wife on an unsuspecting Pharaoh; and the wife, herself, when told at the ripe old age of 91 that God was ready to deliver the son He had promised her, broke into rasping laughter in the face of God.  Rahab, a harlot, became revered for her great faith; and Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, went out of his way to break every proverb he so astutely composed...

Even after Jesus, the pattern continued.  The two disciples who did the most to spread the Word after His departure, John and Peter, were the two He had rebuked most often for petty squabbling and muddleheadedness.  And the Apostle Paul, who wrote more books than any other Bible writer, was selected for the task while kicking up dust whirls from town to town sniffing out Christians to torture.  Jesus had nerve in trusting the high-minded ideals of love and unity and fellowship to this group.  No wonder cynics have looked at the church and sighed, "If that group of people is supposed to represent God, I'll quickly vote against Him."  Or as Nietzsche expressed it, "His disciples will have to look more saved if I'm to believe in their Savior."  

We are a motley crew, aren't we?...The ignoble and the weak and the foolish.  We all have this in common:  we have a sense of desperate need, and we have faith to believe.  So Jesus is impartial.  "God is...says the respecter of...what? ...persons."  There's neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, bond or free, rich or poor.  All are one...

We are a motley crew indeed!

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