Come Follow Me – John 7-10

Come Follow Me – John 7-10

Much of the events in these chapters happen in Jerusalem during or immediately after the festival Sukkot, also known as the Festival of Tabernacles or the In-Gathering. It was a festival celebrating the Harvest, when crops were gathered in. It also celebrated the gathering of Israel under Moses into the Promised Land. For many Jews, it was also a celebration to look forward to the day when God would send the Messiah, gathering in all of Israel and rescuing them from their enemies.

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Come Follow Me – Matthew 18; Luke 10

Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 18:1-6


The disciples of Jesus were very competitive. Many sought to be the greatest. One mother would ask the Lord to place her sons, one on each side of him in heaven (Matthew 20:21). The answer was a surprise to them all. They had to be like a little child.

Tradition tells us that the small child that Jesus picked out of the crowd and blessed was Ignatius, who would later be one of the great early Christian Fathers and martyrs of the Church. Ignatius would grow up to be a disciple of the apostle John, and later become bishop of Antioch. Roman Catholics believe him to be one of the successors of Peter as Pope of the Christian Church. He sought his entire life to emulate Christ. He wrote several letters to the Christians, encouraging them to be faithful in their testimonies. Several of these were written as he traveled in chains to Rome, where he was slain by lions in the Coliseum.

Such is the testimony of a small child that continues in the testimony of Christ his entire life. He eagerly seeks to emulate his Master, and to encourage others to do the same. He is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, but will preach it in the face of death. When things get difficult, he does not seek a way out, but seeks the way up to God.

And as the disciples of Christ learn to be child-like, they also become as little ones, worthy of the special blessings and considerations of the Savior.

If thy hand offend thee
Matthew 18:7-14


As a continuation of the discussion on the little ones above, the Lord warns us not to offend. It is better for us to remove the thing that offends the child of God, than to allow it to remain. Offenses often drive people away from Christ, and it is a matter for which the Lord will some day ask us how we treated those around us. So important is it to refrain from offending that the Lord stated it would be better to pluck out the offending eye or cut off the offending arm (both important body parts that we can live without), than to drive ourselves and those around us to hell.

In discussing the lost sheep that we must go out to find, we learn that we must not only avoid offending, but also seek out those who have been offended in the past and recover them.

The early Church Historian Eusebius of Caesarea gives an account concerning the apostle John that had been passed down to his day. In his travels to establish churches, John found a wonderful youth who converted to the gospel and eagerly followed the teachings of the apostle. As John prepared to leave to other cities, he directed the bishop of the city to care for the youth. The bishop accepted his charge.

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