by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
He comes to us ... as of old by the lakeside.... He speaks to us the same words, "Follow Me," and sets us the task which He has to fulfil for our time, and ... [those who obey Him] shall learn in their own experience who He is
Jesus is walking along one day, and He sees a man called Matthew sitting at the receipt of custom. He does not hesitate to confront that man in the middle of transacting his business and say, "Follow me."
And Matthew rose up, left everything, and went after Jesus. He goes to the children of Zebedee and says the same thing. They too leave their boats, fishing nets, father, and everything else. Here is One who does not hesitate to speak in a kind of totalitarian manner when He commands them, "Follow me." And they went and they followed Him. That is the gospel in action. That is evangelism. That is how the Church comes into being. That is the way in which the work of God is carried on.
But He went even beyond that! He does not hesitate to claim that He has power to forgive sin. And He got into much trouble for claiming it. "Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" said the people. But He does forgive sins. He asserts that He possesses the authority and power, and He is going to prove it. So He tells the man, "Take up thy bed and walk," as a sign that He has power to forgive sins also....
So often when we ministers preach through the Gospels, we take these things and turn them into parables, accompanied by nice, soothing little messages. But we are really missing the point. We should be preaching the Lord Jesus Christ and asserting His authority....
Why are people expected to want to accept Christianity? Because ... it does this or that. It promises you happiness. It gives you peace and joy...; this is false evangelism. Our one business is to preach the Lord Jesus Christ, the final Authority.... The cults can give you "results." Christian Science can tell you that if you do this and that, you will sleep well at night, you will stop worrying, you will feel healthier.... We are not to do that. We are to declare Him and to bring people face to face with Him.
Authority, pp. 20-1
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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