Journal Matt 11 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “As they (the disciples of John) went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who were soft clothing are in king’s houses.
What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you…” Matt 11:7-10
Observation: Going to see the latest preacher is more than another form of entertainment.
Analysis: Ok, I admit it. There are those preacher types that I put on my bucket list and are just for the purpose of saying “Yep, I saw that guy—he preached like a son of a gun…rocked the building with the Holy Ghost!”
Pure spectator sport. Pure entertainment. My attitude needs adjusting.
Jesus is addressing expectations of the crowd. “Listen up, folks, what did you go to see: some weird guy making a commotion? A cultured and well-dressed fellow? A (gasp) for-real prophet?”
I think the point that Jesus is making is “What is my attitude? What is my motivation to see anybody?”
At the beginning of Chapter 11, this is the statement: “When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.” Key phrase here? Instructing his disciples.
When I go on Sunday to hear Kel preach, why am I going? There are three things that I am considering:
1) Heb 10:25 “Not neglecting to meet, as in the habit of some…
2) Worship and Fellowship,
3) I want to hear the word of the Lord
Unfortunately, it is adherence to Heb 10:25 that drives most of my motivation for Sunday… Reality? I am not actively managing my expectations throughout the week, daily. About instructions, like in Ps 119, I am not delighting in his commands—emphasis on delighting (c. Ps 119:35; also cp. Ps 1:2, Ps 112:1 and Ro 7:25)
I remember being taught that daily emotion has a strong influence on my expectations about following Christ. Therefore, these emotions are a focus of control needed by the renewed mind in accordance with the Scriptures: Ro 12:2 “…but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God…”
Rambling…but rambling with hopeful purpose. I hope I remember what I just wrote frequently.
Prayer: Lord, you see the status of my heart, that it is low. What is to be done? Change my heart, O God; renew a steadfast spirit within me…
Cause revival. AMEN