the called out ones…



One of Matthew’s favorite titles for Jesus is ‘Son of David’.  Jesus is the true heir to David and the rightful King of Israel.  Those who believe in Jesus truly belong to Israel and are citizens of the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew is the only Gospel writer to use the term ecclēsia—the Greek word for ‘church’.  It means ‘called-out’ and  was used in the Greek version of the Old Testament (Septuagint) to describe Israel as God’s people.

Borrowing from a wonderful teacher and brother in Christ, “This is one of the most significant concepts of the New Testament.  King Jesus, the divine Messiah, chose us and the rabbi/talmid (Hebrew for disciple) system.  He taught like a rabbi in real life situations, using the most brilliant methods ever devised.  He interpreted God’s word and completed it.  He demonstrated obedience to it.  He chose disciples whom he would empower to become like Him and led them around until they began to imitate Him.  Then (after the gift of the Holy Spirit) He sent them out to make disciples…to lead people to imitate them by obeying Jesus.  And that strategy, by God’s blessing would change the most pagan of cultures.  That is our call too.  Jesus calls us to be his disciples (talmidim).  We must know God’s Word and Jesus’ interpretation of it.  We must be passionate in our devotion to that Word and Jesus’ example.  As we are filled with His Spirit, we must be obsessed with being like Him as far as is humanly possible.  We must strive for relationships with others so they will observe us and seek to imitate our love and devotion to God and our Jesus-like lifestyle (1 Cor. 2:16, 11:1; Gal. 3:27).  By God’s grace, that strategy CAN change the most pagan of cultures…. our own!” (Ray Vander Laan)