Saturday, May 4, 2019

Matthew 7-8~ Day 4~ Jesus is already in charge!

"When Jesus had finished saying these things the crowds were astonished at his teaching, because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes" (7:28-29).

He sure did!! I smiled when I read that verse because I had, myself, noticed how he had been talking!  I never made a mental note of this before- but this time it stood out to me that he was saying, "Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name..?" (7:22) , "Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you," (7:23) and "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice..." (7:24)

"To me", "mine", "I will"....Jesus isn't establishing his authority, he is already in charge!!  I forget, when I read these verses, since I already know he has risen from the dead and is sitting at the right hand of God (Rom. 8:34) that these people had no understanding of all that.

Personally, I'm glad I am on this side of the story.  As much as I would have loved being in the crowd, listening to Jesus myself....I might have had a hard time computing what he was saying about himself.  
It just goes to show you, it doesn't matter what time period one is from... one needs faith to "get it".  Abraham, before Jesus, needed faith to understand; these people in the audience needed faith to understand; we on this side  (post the first coming of Jesus), need faith to understand.  Faith is the key to understanding that Jesus is Lord and is in charge now! (John 8:24, Heb. 11:6)

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Mat 8:21-22 "Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father. But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” This verse has me confused. It seems harsh to not let someone bury their loved one. At the same time are we called to give up everything, even the most important things in our life, and let them go in order to follow Jesus? Maybe there is more important work than burying the dead because he said let the dead (non-believers?) bury the dead. I think Jesus would like people to have a chance to bury their loved one and grieve. I think I'm missing something. Any thoughts?

Walking with The Way said...

I have had the same thoughts you had when I have read that verse in the past. So, it made me do some further investigating. This is what I found, I hope it helps clarify it for you as it did for me. (I'm not known for giving a short answer on anything! Haha)

First, we need to remember that when we have a loved one die here in the good ‘ol USA, we typically have the funeral within a few days or weeks from the time of death. There is usually a whirl wind of activity to make the arrangements for the funeral. Picking an officiant, creating a decorative program that sums up the persons life in a page or two, perhaps making a slide show of the highlights of the loved ones life, choosing songs that are meaningful, calling distant relatives, etc.. The list can go on…

So, keeping that in mind, let’s look at the person who made that statement, “Lord, first let me go bury my father.” (8:20) Well, it can be assumed that the father wasn’t dead yet, right? If he was, why was this disciple at Peter’s house watching all the sick people get healed? If his father had been sick, wouldn’t this disciple have brought his dad to Jesus to be healed? If the father was dead already, wouldn’t this disciple be busy at home getting prepared for the funeral? So, perhaps his father was just old, not sick at all, just getting along in years…. Multiple commentaries I read agreed with this, stating that “bury the dead” is another way of saying “stay with the father until he died-something that might be years away.”

So, let’s look at the context. The teacher of the law just said, “I will follow you wherever you go” (8:19). It’s here that the disciple chimes in as if to say, “I will follow you where ever you go too…..later….when it’s a better time for me…you know, after my Dad has passed away…whenever that will be…that’s O.K. with you…right?” Jesus, flat out says, “No, that’s not O.K.!”
Jesus was calling him out on his excuse for not following Him in that moment. Jesus knows each man’s heart (Acts 15:8) and knew the man was making an excuse to not follow Him.

I agree with you that the “dead bury their own dead” has a spiritual meaning. I like how one commentary put it, “ A better sense of Jesus’ statement would be, “ ‘Don’t neglect the high spiritual calling I’ve given you; let the spiritually dead attend the routine tasks of life.’

God wants us to care for the needs of our families (Mark 7:10-13; 1 Tim. 5:8), but not to neglect our spiritual calling in the process.”