Sunday, January 26, 2014

Musing in Matthew

       The writings of Matthew, being for the Jews, have many references to the Old Testament scriptures.  At the beginning of His teaching, Jesus said ‘suppose ye that I am come to destroy Moses and the prophets? I say no. Rather I am come to fulfil” (Matthew  5). To the end of His ministry , the scriptures remained prominent in His thinking. Matthew 26.31 –“for it is written” was not just a theological reflection, but rather He saw the scriptures as totally relevant to the happening  of the moment. His view of disasters and His own suffering connected with the scriptures given by God previously. Even Peter’s attempt to proclaim his unbreakable loyalty is rebuked from scripture.

      I would like you to pause now and read Matthew 26 and Luke 22. Underline  or colour each reference to the Old Testament scriptures. You will be surprised and blessed.

 I continue with Matthew 26.56   -  to the crowd that came to arrest Him, He likewise announced that their misdeeds were no surprise to God.  They were unwittingly fulfilling scripture in seeking to destroy Him!

So what is my point in this blog?
By keeping the Bible much in our thinking, we can be much more awake to God operating in our life, much more aware of God rejected and yet active in our world, much more aware of where tomorrow is headed, thus giving us intelligence for our actions and reactions to the circumstances of life. Once again I say be careful of misused Bible verses, but as Paul said –“ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 4)

Someone will rightly ask – which Bible verses, promises are for me? I propose a couple of guidelines:

·           * Check who the Bible verses are written to eg Israel?, Jews? Gentiles?              Christians?
·         *Time specific? Past , present or future
·          *Do they fit in with other Bible teaching

Let me illustrate – Matthew 10 does not fit in well for today as the Lord told the disciples no to go to the Gentiles! That was to happen at a later Time.  Yet Matthew 28 ‘ Go .. make disciples’  does fit today as the book of Acts shows very well the will of God to carry the Gospel to the nations!

 Generally, the letters written by the Apostles are very relevant to us today and when they take Old Testament scriptures and apply them, we are on safe ground. Eg Peter  quotes Isaiah “..whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame” (1Peter2.6)

Many Bible verses can be taken on face value as ‘great and precious promises’ to inspire faith in the once crucified, now risen Lord Jesus.

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” Acts 16

“ I will never leave you nor forsake you” Hebrews 13

John McKee

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