In today’s devotional reading there was so much great stuff I am going to list the verses that caught my attention and some quick thoughts I wrote down related to these verses.
Matthew 23:1-3–There are many in the world today that use faulty Christians as a reason for denying truth or not obeying God. I think one of the greatest areas this occurs is with regards to the attendance of church. Ever since I started to appreciate church and wonder why others didn’t appreciate it much I’ve heard, “I don’t go there because the people are so…” “cold” “unfriendly” “fake” “hypocrites.” Etc! Jesus clearly within these verses acknowledges the hypocrisy of some claiming to be followers of God, but He does not then let off those who observe this hypocrisy,
“The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe.” -Mt. 23:2, 3a
Matthew 23:15–This verse struck me because I remember the old adage that a mentor of mine once shared, “The way you bring them in is often the way they stay and even more so.” His point was that if you bring someone in through a system of legalism, rules, control, that is often who they will stay only more so. But if you bring someone in with love, grace, heart transformation, then that is who they will be. I believe this text affirms that adage.
Matthew 23:23–Too many are embracing justice, mercy, and faithfulness as Jesus instructed but forgetting the other point He made in this text, “the are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” What are “the others” some things that folk in our modern world would see as the more legalistic aspects of religion…like obedience to certain rules, dictates, etc.
Matthew 23:14–We are preaching for the salvation of others, but also for the fulfillment of end-time prophecy.
Matthew 24:20–I’ve never understood how folk who fully acknowledge these scriptures are about the end of times…or even if they don’t they at least acknowledge they reference the time of the destruction of Jerusalem which took place 40 years after Jesus’ death, why they would give no credence to Jesus saying pray you don’t have to flee on the Sabbath? If Jesus got rid of the Sabbath at His death, why would He care if the people flee on the Sabbath? Jesus knew the Sabbath would be just as holy 40 years after His death or even thousands of years after His death, thus the encouragement for prayer. By the way also on this text why would Jesus say pray it is not at winter or on the Sabbath? Doesn’t Jesus know when it will be? Answer,
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” -Mt. 24:36
Matthew 24:22–No life would have been saved? I am assuming this is talking about physical life, yet it seems to maybe also be referencing Spiritual life.
Matthew 24:33, 42–We can’t know the day or the hour, but the general time period will not be a surprise…
Matthew 24:44–of course then we counter balance that with, “the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you DO NOT THINK HE WILL.”
Matthew 24:48–Jesus refers to those who say, “Jesus is not coming for a long time” as evil. Strong language and scary since I’ve heard others and yes I believe even I have said it in my life, “I don’t Jesus is coming for a long time.” Even if that were true to believe such a thing breeds a lackadaisical life. And the truth is Jesus’ coming is always near because I only have these 70-90 years of my life to live which every day is seeming shorter and shorter and once my life is complete I’ll sleep and then just like that boom Jesus is here! Let us not be evil believing or speaking such an evil lie of satan!
Matthew 25:14-30–To me this is a parable about those who had access to truth, to relationship, to connection to the body of Christ and did nothing with it. In this sense I believe this parable is for those born into Christian homes but they do nothing with that “advantage” or people that have received a Christian education, but do nothing with that “advantage.”
Lots of good stuff in these chapters. I am sure even more than what I stated here. What moved on your heart?
See y’all tomorrow with our reading of 1st Corinthians 3 & 4.