God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 9 - Matthew 12:1-21; Mark 3; Luke 6: Jesus on the Sabbath, Morality, and Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

Today’s Reading: Matthew 12:1-21; Mark 3; Luke 6

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

If you have seen Jesus' works and still think He is not the Son of God, there is nothing left that could convince you.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Jesus' followers gleaned handfuls of wheat on the Sabbath. When challenged, Jesus answered God wanted flexible hearts not inflexible rituals. He also healed on the Sabbath. The Pharisees plotted His destruction.
Jesus prayed an entire night before choosing 12 Apostles: Simon (Peter), John, James (John's brother), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas Iscariot (who betrayed Jesus).
Jesus wanted His followers to live to a higher morality.
Rumors circulated that Satan gave Jesus His power. Jesus confronted them, "Careful, when you slander God's Holy Spirit there is no way back."
Jesus considered His followers equal to family.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God prefers "a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual" (Matthew 12:7, The Message).

I have now mentioned arguments over the Sabbath three days
in a row, so I will not comment much more except to say I liked Eugene Peterson's phrasing here. God wants our hearts, not our rituals.

Jesus' Justice comes quietly.

We are in a time of political yelling. It is not new and it will not go away. Politicians think that they can win by calling the other side the worst thing since (insert bad thing). Jesus' Justice, however, does not yell at injustice. It does not cause commotion in the streets. It doesn't have press conferences with long, drawn-out speeches. It will, however, bring hope to the entire world. Seek God's Justice which is silent but life-giving.

Jesus spent time in prayer before a major decision.

Before Jesus chose the 12—including one who would betray Him—He spent the night alone, praying. This will be a common part of Jesus' life—before important decisions or important events He goes to pray for a long time. Spend much time in prayer before important decisions or important events.

"Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" is unpardonable because there is nothing left to convince a person to trust God.

I'll have more to write on this in a few days when we read the rest of Matthew 12. If you notice, Jesus' words come because the Pharisees are watching Jesus perform miracles and casting out demons and still they do not want to believe. What else could Jesus do? They see Jesus' works and still won't trust Him.

"Obedience is thicker than blood" (Mark 3:35, The Message).

For a second time today, I love Mr. Peterson's phrasing. Jesus tells the people following Him that those who set things right hold a tighter bond than people who are genetically related. This is a difficult staying—especially if you are in a family that struggles to set things right. I do not believe Jesus is trying to say we should not take care of our family. What I believe He is saying is that genetics should not be what you see when you look at other people. We should see actions and hearts. Those who set things right are our Family. Notice Jesus does not say that the Jews are His Family. Neither should we equate this saying to God's Chosen People. People who set things right should have a bond stronger than blood relatives because they are born of the same God.

Jesus is teaching His Followers a higher form of morality.

Tomorrow we will read the Sermon on the Mount. Luke's version (if it is the same speech) contains a shortened version. Therefore, I will leave you with this thought until tomorrow.

Does obedience and trust in God tie you to a person more than genetics?

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