Unshakeable Faith

Have you ever considered the who of Jesus? Who is He, really? Who is He to you and what does that truly mean? (Matthew 22:41-46) That can be a pretty heavy and daunting question, but it is what Jesus asks the Pharisees on one of the last days that He has on earth. Surrounded by Pharisees, who have lobbed their questions in high hopes of falling, to produce a faltering faith, only to fail. Jesus says since you’re all here, Matthew 22:41-42~ Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, What do you think about the Christ (Χριστός Christos)? …(ESV) (Χριστός Christos) is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah. They are synonyms, both mean the Anointed One. Matthew 22:42c~ Whose son is he? They said to him, The son of David. (ESV) 

It’s common knowledge that the Messiah will be a descendant of David and sit on his throne forever. Jeremiah 23:5~Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. (ESV) However, they wrongly think Messiah will be only a human ruler who reigns on King David’s throne, who delivers them from foreign domination and restores the golden age of King David. So Jesus asks them in Matthew 22:43~…How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord? (ESV) Jesus is pointing out that the Messiah, is much more than a physical descendant of David who will sit on David’s throne. Listen as He quotes Psalm 110:1~The LORD (יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah) says to my lord (אָדוֹן ‘adown): Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. (NIV) The first LORD in Psalm 110 is in all caps, meaning it is YAHWEH, which refers to God the Father. God the Father tells David’s Lord, which means owner, lord, or master, to sit at His right hand, the place of highest honor and authority. 

David’s calling the Messiah Lord, or master means He is much more than a mere physical descendant. Matthew 22:45~ If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son? (ESV) The greatest and most revered king of Israel calls the Messiah Lord. Therefore, how in the world can the scribes teach the Messiah is merely David’s son or physical descendant? 

It is under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that David himself writes the Messiah will be divine, God in human form. John 1:1~In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NIV) John 1:14~The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV) Jesus’ astounding knowledge of God’s Word and revelation about the Messiah silences His critics. Matthew 22:46~And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (ESV) 

I want you to know, that it is time to respond to God. Messiah has come, and it is time that we accept His plan by participating with our most holy faith. Whether we read Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:8, or Hebrews 10:38 we learn the Just, the righteous, they walk and live by faith. That’s precisely what is needed for us in this time of sickness and uncertainty. Saints, it is time that we live and walk by faith. So today, encourage the one the Lord lays on your heart, call the person the Lord has asked you to reach out to, pray over them, and text the individual that needs to be affirmed in this difficult time. It will be so much more than they ask for.

The roar of the Holy One

If I were to ask you what is the greatest command in scripture? You would say…(22:34-40) When the Pharisees hear Jesus has silenced the Sadducees, they convene a meeting. Matthew 22:34- 35~But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked a question to test him. (ESV) Matthew 22:36~Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? (ESV) You have to understand that they attempted to keep all 613 laws and often argued over which was most important. 

However, Jesus gives us the definitive answer quoting Deuteronomy 6:5~Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (ESV) This is the most memorized and recited verse in Jewish Scripture because it is part of the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Even still today, Orthodox Jews keep this verse in a mezuzah Hebrew for doorpost. The mezuzah is a small case or tube affixed to the doorframe in Jewish homes to fulfill the command of Deuteronomy 6:9~Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (ESV) The Shema is to be quoted every day. Matthew 22:37~And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all…(ESV) 

This means a person must love God with his or her total being. Though the Pharisees don’t, Jesus goes on to share the second greatest command quoting Leviticus 19:18~Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. (NIV) When Jesus adds this command to the living of our lives, He does so knowing that it is impossible to love God without loving people. Listen to John who later writes in 1 John 4:20~If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (ESV) Jesus says let’s talk about the brass tacks of faith. The greatest need we have is to be forgiven of sin so, we learn how to Love from God. Who then tells us let’s go out and practice what you are learning, among your neighbors. Matthew 22:40~On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. (ESV)

Christ Jesus is saying to them everything hangs on love, and I will demonstrate this for you, on Friday. Did you know that if you obey the first command, you will never break any of the first four in the top Ten Commands, for all of the first four: No other Gods, No idols, No using His name, Honor the sabbath, all of these are concerned with our relationship with God. Moreover, if we obey the second command, we will never break any of the last six commands, because they affect our relationship with others.

How are you at the praxis of these two commands in your life. Take time today to work on your relationship with the Lord. Ask Him about what may be in your life that needs to move over some so that He can be the Numero Uno. Then ask Him how you can accomplish this. The Lord loves to share with His children a plan for growing closer to Him. Because as we do so, we are a better citizen of heaven that makes a bigger difference in our world here.

More than they asked for

Yesterday, we discussed a law, that was designed by God to protect a widow and that would allow the family line to continue, with children being raised by their uncle. Also, keep in mind that this has been brought up by the Sadducees who are asking the question to try and trap Jesus. Matthew 22:25-27 ~Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. (ESV) So, grasp the picture of this black widow who has mowed through all seven of the sons in this family. Then the Sadducees as Jesus in Matthew 22:28~In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her. (ESV) 

Aren’t you glad that you are not Jesus? Because this is a question for the One, the Only Son who is in the Father together from the beginning. Well, Jesus looks at them as says, you are wrong, read the Bible! Matthew 22:29~ But Jesus answered them, You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. (ESV) They don’t understand the power of God because they assume that after the resurrection, life will be as it is now. So Christ Jesus explains God’s power to these wealthy, educated liberal theologians in Matthew 22:30~For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (ESV) Thus marriage, as we know it, will not exist in the resurrection. 

Jesus’ reference to angels is also another correction of their flawed theology because they don’t believe in angels. Now angels do not marry or have children because they are spiritual beings. Therefore, what does 1 Corinthians 15:44~it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (NIV) Here on earth, death reigns; therefore, we must have marriage to produce children and continue the human race. But in heaven that will not be necessary, because in heaven we have eternal life. 

Jesus continues His well attended Life Lesson Seminar in Matthew 22: 31-32 as he quotes from Exodus 3:6~Then he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (ESV) This is from the heart of the Pentateuch, a section of the Old Testament the Sadducees claim to believe. In that verse, God is speaking in the present tense, and He says I AM, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not was. He is still their God, though they have been physically dead for hundreds of years, they can still obtain life. That’s why Jesus adds in Matthew 22:32b~…He is not God of the dead, but of the living. (ESV) 

Matthew 22:33~And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. (ESV) This verse reminds us that Jesus has answers to every question. We clearly see Jesus is much wiser and has far more biblical knowledge than their highly-educated religious leaders, or even any of your pastors, especially this one, before you today. James says it this way in James 1:5~If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (NIV) The power of God can make the uneducated wise and the educated foolish. 

What is the Lord trying to teach you? What life lessons have you been auditing lately? I bet they are providing you with more than you have asked for. I hope that today you will consider God’s untold power in your life, and begin to seek Him for ways that you respond and be a better citizen of the kingdom of Heaven. Why not take time to get some direction from the Lord and then formulate an action plan that the Lord will help you build-out in your own life over the days and weeks to come.