These are among the most stirring words in the Bible. Here is what true discipleship entails.1. A cleaving. It means to stick close. Picture on Orange banners — Ruth at Naomi’s feet and clinging to her garments. 2. Her declaration. 16-17. She was stedfast, Acts 2:42.3. Ruth’s knowledge of what she was undertaking. She stated her determination in a six-fold manner. It was a decision unto death.
One of them became an apostle and the author of the first gospel!I mentioned Zacchaeus last Tuesday, that he was a publican. I said that there was one more well known publican mentioned in the Bible. Who got his name? Matthew 9:9.And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him,” Matthew 9:9. He is also the author of the first gospel! That surely must be seen as a great honour!
Notice the publicans readiness to sit and be seen with the Saviour! “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick,” Matt 9/10-12. “And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him,” Mark 2:15. (Already noted – Luke 15:1)
I would like to make one final comment on the subject of ‘the Pharisee’. It is a point of clarification.When I mentioned Paul being a Pharisee, we indicated that Paul claimed to be a Pharisee on a number of occasions. Now I would not like you to think that Paul gloried in his former links with that evil group of men.In Acts 23:6 Paul said: “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” Now he made this claim, not because he was proud of that former association but he saw that making the claim would throw his opponents into confusion, see 7-10.He mentions his links with the Pharisees in Acts 26:5 and again he is advancing this fact as part of a ploy to confuse his enemies.Nowhere does Paul indicate more clearly what he thought of Pharisaism after his conversion than in Philippians 3:4-8. The word ‘dung’ means literally ‘a thing worthless and detestable.’ Today, we will make a start on considering just what sort of character the Publican was according to the record of the Bible.They had shown a readiness to heed John the Baptist.“Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you,” Luke 3:12-13. How wise to ask what to do! They showed a spirit of repentance, verse 3!
She would not have the two women follow her if they were not truly decided to do so.
1. Here is the test God sets every would-be pilgrim. Matt 16:24.
2. The realities of the future were clearly spelled out. There would be a forsaking of mother and land, Luke 14:26. It was a losing of the life, Luke 9:24. There were no guarantees of security, 11-12. There was a stepping out in faith.
3. Ruth was tested a second time. 14-15. Orpah had left, “Would she also go”?
Rev Ken Elliott was a much loved brother in the Lord and a most faithful servant of God. We express to his wife Jean, his two daughters, Alison and Shirley and his son John and their respective families our deepest sympathies.‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant . . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord,’ Matthew 25:21.