I think the sermon last week on the calling of Matthew was very good, applicable to our current culture and basically what the text was concerning. Our idea of sin is messed up. Sinner was a sarcastic term used by a God who is often sarcastic, and it’s for our own good.
I recently heard an excellent sermon on the idea of calling which is a big part of those verses. The call of God is abrupt, it is effectual and it is permanent.
I did have one question. Is if fair to characterize the people as being for Jesus and the religious leaders against him? In the beginning of his ministry at Nazareth Luke tells us it all started out pretty well, “all spoke well of him and marveled” but then he kept talking and,
When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away
So as he said no prophet is accepted in his home town. I don’t think that just included the religious leaders the crowd seemed pretty large. Interesting these events lead to an early rumor that Jesus was some sort of shape changer, which is why Judas had to kiss him to identify him. Anyway, the majority of Jesus’ ministry was in the area around the Sea of Galilee. Yet in Matthew 11:20-24 he says:
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you
So I think those people are out. In Luke 9:51-56 the people of a Samaritan village:
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village
That doesn’t really speak well of those people. They weren’t exactly beating down the religious leaders to get to Jesus. In John 6:15 after Jesus fed the people they wanted to make him king, but Jesus kept talking and 45 verses later they abandoned him.
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him
In John 8 “Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them” then a few verses later in v.59 they picked up stones to stone him. A similar event happens in chapter 10:22-31. Then of course we have the crucifixion. At least here there is a hint that the religious leaders had incited the mob. But still they are all on the same side. Mark 15:6-15
Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified
So people did flock to Jesus for various reasons, but it seems that overall the Jewish people were allied with the religious leaders in rejecting Jesus.