Today’s reading fostered an appreciation for the gospels. How cool that we get to read historical accounts which were written shortly after these events actually took place! God does not need to be, nor should he be, a construct of what we conceive him to be like in our imaginations. Rather, we are able to visualize and learn about him through documented accounts which were written down by people that personally listened and conversed with Jesus.
The Pharisees and Sadducees seemed to have immense control over the people of Israel. Even for the disciples, who had been witnessing miracles and learning directly from Jesus, they seemed to be uneasy when Jesus appeared to offend the Pharisees in Matthew 15: 12. It took constant reiterating by Jesus to relay to the disciples that the Pharisees and Sadducees were lost and to be on guard of their “yeast” which was later clarified to mean their false teachings.
One last verse I wanted to touch on was Matthew 16: 17-20, when Jesus told Peter that he is the rock on which the church will be built. Jesus states that “the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” I take comfort from this verse. In viewing the secular world, it often seems like the church is being swallowed up. I hear of statics that point to less young people believing in God, while I also witness people walking away from the church due to doctrinal issues that they cannot align with. This verse allows me to put my faith in Jesus and know that his plan will succeed and his church will withstand in the manner that he has designed.