What struck me from the passages today were a few key thoughts:
1) There were numerous people jumping on the bandwagon...both the Matthew 19 and Mark 10 verses describe large crowds that followed him and he healed them and taught them. We also read of several individuals who pledge that they will follow Jesus wherever He goes....yet there are caveats that these individuals put in place before they can follow....bury their father, say goodbye to their family. Although we don't read if these people followed Christ and altered their plans relative to personal sacrifice....it brought me to think of how we approach our relationship with Christ. It is easy to pledge our willingness to follow Christ verbally...but are we ready to sacrifice personally in order to follow Him.
2) In Luke 9;51-56 we read about a Samaritan village which did welcome Jesus or his disciples. The disciples are incensed and want fire called down, yet Jesus calmly acknowledges the rejection and heads on to another village. At the outset of the passage it stated that the time was approaching for Jesus to be taken up into heaven. Do we look at things this same way? The return of Christ is approaching and as we encounter those who reject the message of Christ or us, do we get bent out of shape with righteous indignation or do we calmly continue to spread the message of Christ to others.
3) In John 8, I always smile at the story of the accusers who brought the adulterous woman to Jesus and wanted to trap Him. Either plausible answer he could have given would have landed him in trouble with either the Romans or the religious leaders. Instead of the plausible answer, Jesus challenges them to look at their own hearts and the one without sin could cats the first stone. In the end no man was left and Jesus challenged the woman to leave her life of sin. This story always make me take a introspective look at myself....how easy is it for me to identify sin in someone else. I need to daily focus on my own sin and the need for forgiveness.