Monday: Transforming the “Common”
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Read John 2:1-11 and Matthew 15:32-39. How did Jesus use simple, everyday desires and needs to make disciples and transform lives?

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Ordinary people share natural physical, emotional, and social desires. They want physical nourishment, personal significance, and friendship. Jesus understood these characteristics, placing Himself in social situations that provided opportunities to reach people through these universal desires.

Whether Jesus was changing water into unfermented wine from the fruit of the vine, or turning fishermen into preachers (Mark 1:16-18), He specialized in transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Onlookers frequently questioned Jesus’ personal credentials (Mark 6:3). They questioned the absence of ostentation. Because they longed for the extraordinary, they overlooked that which they considered to be ordinary and did so at what was potentially an eternal loss.

So often Jesus sought people who were considered to be ordinary because, lacking self-sufficiency, they were prepared to trust God completely for their success. People who are enamored by their talents, abilities, and accomplishments cannot often sense their need of something greater than themselves. What a horrible deception! Many among Christ’s contemporaries possessed superior academic training, social position, or personal wealth. Nevertheless, their names have long been forgotten. Remembered, however, are ordinary people-farmers, fishermen, carpenters, shepherds, potters, housewives, domestic servants-who were transformed into extraordinary witnesses for Christ.

We all tend to be a little enamored by the very successful and the very rich, don’t we? How much of that attitude do you see in yourself? How can you learn to keep before yourself the value of all people, regardless of their status, fame, or wealth?

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Monday: Transforming the “Common” — 25 Comments

  1. I believe that God does not only choose the rich and wealthy people but instead he choose the common, lowly and poor ordinary people like the two brothers Simon and Andrew and made them into the fishers of men{mark 1-17}.
    One most important point i would like to consider is that rich people often think that they tend to have everything but instead they lack something which is spirutual being.
    so i pray that we must "search for the kingdom of God first and all this things should be added upon you" because God has never failed any of his promises.

    I believe that people often think that they are spiritually and physically fit whereby they know so much of the word of God but instead they are naked and blind infront of God.

    Like(17)
  2. I believe that people often think that they are spiritually and physically fit whereby they know so much of the word of God but instead they are naked and blind infront of God.

    Like(4)
    • You are so correct, when you say, "They know so much of the word of God", but what we need to know is the Spirit of God's Word.

      Like(3)
  3. Just an add-on Meli's view of "people think they are spiritual and physically fit...knowing much of Gods' word...being blind."
    I consider this to be what Paul said in one of his letters, 'having a form of godliness...denying its power'. 2 Timothy 3:5

    Look at it in this way: The five foolish virgins in Matthew 25 who only had the lamp [Psalm 119:105] without the oil to renew the strength or power of the light.

    There is a great need therefore:
    To have that godliness and its power.
    To have that lamp and its oil aswell.

    We can't just have that like coins from the pockets, "But seek ye Gods' kingdom&His righteousness first...." Matthew 6:13

    God bless you all!

    Like(9)
  4. How do we define 'common'? Is it the poor, the unlearned, the everyday laborer,the un-noticed. I cincerely believe that Jesus served and encouraged all who came to His attention. Even in our day today there is much to gain in wisdom, Physical and spiritual strength and knowledge of all kinds, if we work and serve others more than just ourselves. But the most important aspect of your service must come from your love towards God first and your love for people around you will grow inevetable. Serving in your community is a great opportunity to come in contact with the 'common' people to share Jesus with them. Just a regular smile, or a helping hand in the supermarket, or whatever the Holy Spirit puts in front of you. Ask God for those divine appointments that might lead someone to find Jesus for himself and become another good servant or 'disciple' of Jesus. Ask God to teach you how to build bridges to get accross to people to disciling the 'ordinary. God bless.

    Like(21)
  5. I have a brother who is quite well off. He grew up in the church and drifted away from God. This lesson speaks to his circumstances in soooooo many ways. Rich and increased in goods and having need of nothing. There is nothing wrong in being rich, many of the biblical patriachs were. However our riches must not stand in the way of our relationship with the man Christ Jesus. My prayer is that no matter what station I find myself in in this life or anyone reading this post finds his or herself we will remember to be humble because a proud spirit is intolerant to God and He is unable to use us.

    Like(24)
  6. God uses the simple to confuse the wise. The weak to lead the strong.

    The meek in heart shall inherit the Earth.

    Like(14)
    • To answer the question of Faith Deleon, This Scripture should help. May God continue to bless you richly in Jesus name. ''And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
      And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
      For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
      And they that heard [it] said, Who then can be saved?
      And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
      Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
      And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
      Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting..

      Like(11)
  7. You might be rich and wealthy but poor in spirit.So God clearly came for the poor and infact more so those poor in spirit who are ready to receive Jesus Christ as their personal saviour.He did not stop there, He went on deal with our physical and social needs.How good it will be if first we "BELIEVE" that God as our father is able to transform us.So let us open our hearts widely to accept this free offer of salvation as we disciple and win many to Christ Jesus.AMEN!

    Like(9)
  8. The rich and famous just need the absence of ostenation. We need not osterize them. There talents are needed in the church. They can still be rich and famous if they let go of the act of showing or exhibiting display intended to impress others. However a certain amount of finese and classiness is appriciated when in public. But that to can be done without ostenation. Also flattery will get you no where, but a little finese will share your talents. I do believe Christ had a lot of finese, after all He was able to get a group of cussing fishermen to do great things for Him, with tact.

    Like(16)
      • Amen! It is God who gives substance! No wonder rich fork ABSTAIN from coming to church, if church folk have such a negative attitude towards them! More often than not, these are they who wake up early, sleep late, are more diligent, work harder, plan better, pray more earnestly for God to bless them - and He blesses them - I think what the lesson writer is trying to bring out is the fact that the said riches, and wealth may not absorb our full attention, and take the place of Jesus in our lives.

        Like(2)
  9. They give emphasis to those common people because when we are born from a common family or not that well off,of course we will always depend our lives to god,because we don't have that money or wealth to spend for the the things we want to have,but it doesn't mean that those people that are rich has less chance of being save,it will always matter on how they use their money and how they commit to god,as we all know many of the people written in the bible are rich just like Job.therefore,we don't have to be poor to have god in our lives,we just have the communication with him always,so that we can use our wealth or whatever we have for his glory.

    Like(4)
  10. Jesus turned water into wine. This is very significant. Jesus used the same jars that held water for the Jewish Ceremonial purification washing (purification ritual). The water of Jewish ritual purification became the wine of the new messianic age. Jesus shed His blood to purify us from sins and gave us the ''wine'' at the Lord's Supper. How amazing is Jesus. He gives us the ''extra-ordinary'' out of the ordinary.

    Like(5)
  11. I am grateful for the talents God has given me. I pray that I will use them to His glory. I am quite ordinary and quite extraordinary. ;) I am not rich and I am not poor. I am not a star but I am not a lump of clay either. Surely I was a lump of clay but God doesnt leave us that way. PTL! I do not know what others think of themselves but, unfortunately, I am guilty of supposing! I am grateful for a lesson that makes me think about me. Ordinary or otherwise, am I letting God shine through me?!

    Like(6)
  12. It is quite natural in all of us to desire better for ourselves. Even the very poor wish at times that things could be better economically. What we must guard against as Christians or disciples of Christ is allowing the mundane things of life to take precedence over the spiritual. When we are wrapped up in Jesus it is highly impossible not to see the needs both physical and spiritual of the ordinary or less fortunate amongst us. May God help us all as we come to the close of this earth's history. MARANATHA

    Like(4)
  13. Remember; Jesus came for ALL, this includes individuals of wealth. Who do you think supply the funds for missionary work, endow libraries, donate dorms to our universities and units to hospitals? Let’s be thankful to all who contribute to the finishing of the work. We all have our roles to play in God's plan of salvation. Just my two cents....

    Like(10)
  14. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Thank you.]

    Whether rich or poor the most important thing is our hearts. We must maintain always an attitude of humility. If God has blessed us with riches then it must be used for His purposes, and if we have little then God can show us how to use other resources He gives us to be a blessing to others.

    Like(7)
  15. Yes, Jesus loves us all, wealthy & poor, I'm as common as an old shoe. Love reaching out to people & just smiling or opening a door, letting a person go in front of me in the grocery line. Do those lil' things count?

    Like(4)
  16. I think there is some validity to the suggestion in the lesson that poor people were easier to reach because "lacking self-sufficiency, they were prepared to trust God completely..”

    In heaven, as on earth, we will be dependent on God for everything (every breath we take is a gift from God).

    "Self-sufficiency" is a false belief since without Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5). But it is a false belief more likely held by rich people than poor people. Consequently, rich people may be slower to realize their complete dependence on God... on earth and in heaven.

    Like(3)
    • It is amazing the class differences that humans create. A rich man could be someone who has a house to someone who has no where to lay his head. To the one with the house "his" rich man is someone with ten houses and so on. It is how we use what God has given us like the parable of the talents that we are to be judged on; not on how many talents we have. He gives talents some one some five and some ten. For those who He gave one what have you done with it? For those who he gave ten what have you done? In fact there is always somebody "worse" off than myself. As long as we realize that all comes from God and it belongs to God and we are All going to give account of what He has given us then we will be ok. Remember it is more difficult for a rich man to go to heaven than a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Which one do you want to be?

      Like(1)
  17. As I prayerfully studay this week's lesson, a question came to mind - What made Jesus so effective?

    I then started to make what I have called 'The List'.
    Jesus was effective because he:

    1. Met needs - each miracle had a practical purpose and solved a problem
    2. Had Humility - he let each miracle speak for itself
    3. Met the people where they were - he did not ask him to come to where he was, as a carpenter, he could have constructed a church in Nazareth
    4. Acceptance and Inclusion - Peter was told he would betray Jesus, Jesus knew he would, but allwoed him to stay in his inner circle of disciples. I ask myself - would I have done that?
    5. Forgivness - Peter was forgiven before he made his mistake to deny Christ three times. True forgiveness seems to be letting the past remain in the past.

    This is what I have so far. Would love to see what others come up with.

    Like(8)
    • Paul, one thing I would add is Jesus' connection to the Father. He did nothing on his own and needed divine help and guidance just as we do (Jn 14:10; Jn 5:30; Jn 12:49).

      Like(4)
  18. To the rich and wealthy: Learn the example of the centurion, who supported God's work, was RICH in faith (even to the amazement of Jesus), and loved and cared for his servant - so as to come down from his high pedestal to seek the servant's healing from Jesus. (Luke 7).

    Like(1)

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