On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast (06/23/21), Hank resumes teaching through the Gospel of Matthew. Chapter 8 of Matthew’s Gospel continues with the account of a follower who says to Him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” In saying this Jesus is not negating the command to honor one’s parents, but rather telling would-be followers that the city of God takes priority over the city of man. While the words of Jesus here may initially sound harsh, what in reality is harsh is the flowery rhetoric in the face of a far more urgent reality—spiritual death and eternal separation from the goodness, glory, and grace of God. Following this interaction, Jesus and the disciples got into their boat to cross the lake when a storm came upon them. While Jesus was asleep, the disciples woke him, saying “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus replied, “’You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” Contrast here is again the conduit to clarity. The disciples are scared stiff. Jesus is serene. The disciple’s faith says Jesus “is little.” Jesus was with them in the boat but as His disciples, they should have known that the Father’s care for them was ever-present even if Jesus had not been physically present with them. When they arrived at the shore, they encountered two demon-possessed men. In this passage, we immediately realize the danger of underestimating an invisible war with malevolent beings, the vastness of whose collective intellect exceeds that of any human being who has ever lived. If you will not be attentive to such spiritual warfare, you will not escape their traps. Whatever passion they notice in us, they arouse this in us and thus they place their nets for us. Therefore, if you desire to be saved, we must cut off the first impulse of the thought and desire of every passion, conquer small sins so as not to fall into big ones. We do this by putting on the full armor of God, which is God’s provision to protect us from evil.

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