by Maria Mize
Rated: E · Book · Inspirational · #2095740
My daily devotional insights... and reflections.
| I've been studying Matthew and making comments as to what I am gleaning from the text. Here is a brief summary of what I looked at today.
In looking at two passages---Matthew 22:23-33 and Matthew 22:34-40---I notice how the Sadducees (Pharisees and Elders also)---instead of actually listening to Jesus---were always looking to find fault so as to usurp His authority with the common people. Their behaviors were actually against both God and man, playing into the hands and plans of the enemy---allowing the evil one to use them against the King of King and Lord of Lords, the Messiah, Savior of the World. He who loved them more than life itself.
As to the Resurrection of the Dead
Matthew 22:23-33 (See parallel passages in Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40): Here the Sadducees (who believed there was no resurrection from the dead) tried to trip Jesus up by asking Him a hypothetical---according to Jewish law:
To summarize, they asked: If a married man dies and his wife is then given to his brother to bear seed in the name of his deceased brother---and then he himself dies---and this woman is then passed to seven brothers successively, who all die without offspring, whose wife will she be in the resurrection?
Remember the Sadducees, as well as the Pharisees and the elders, spent a lot of time in the law (studying and memorizing scripture) and should have, therefore, known the answer to their own question. They were sort of the "know it alls" of the day.
Without railing at them, Jesus responds with the Word: In summary, he says, You do err, knowing not the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as the angels of God in heaven.
Then further he confronts them about the resurrection of the dead.
Verse 31: He says to them, as touching the resurrection of the dead (again, pointing them to the scriptures), have you not read what was spoken to you by God saying,...
Verse 32: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob (note present tense). God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Verse 33: And all who heard Him were astonished at His doctrine.
Jesus opened their eyes to the truth with His teaching and authority. They could not deny what He put forth unto them in answer to their questions.
Again, when confronted, Jesus didn't yell and scream, lose His temper, or behave haughtily toward them. He simply answered their questions. He relied on God and the scriptures. Two points of reference and also common ground. So that later, when they turned Him over for crucifixion it was clearly without cause.
As to the Greatest Commandment
Matthew 22:34-40 (See parallel passages in Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28): Up step the Pharisees to have a go at Him, but Jesus loved even the Sadducees, Pharisees and elders---all of His human accusers. [Note: In scripture, Satan is known as "the accuser of the brethren."] Clearly, the enemy was using these "leaders in the Jewish community." Jesus wants none to perish, but that all would come to repentance (be converted) and come the saving knowledge (understanding and integration) of Him, leading to eternal life.
Verse 34: When the Pharisees heard He had silenced the Sadducees with His response, they gathered together against Him (as bullies).
Verse 35: One who was a lawyer (one who knows---brings clarity of the law to others less knowledgeable) asked Him a question in order to tempt Him (trip Him up, cause Him to sin and/or make a mistake), saying:
Verse 36: Master (feigning honor), which is the great commandment in the law?
Verse 37-40: Without hesitation, Jesus answered:
Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it: thou shalt love your neighbor as yourself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
NOTE: There were multitudes following Jesus wherever He went. So His responses were heard by all present.
[His testimony proved Him over and over. Yet they (Sadducees, Pharisees and elders---via the enemy) continued to harass Him trying to bring Him to shame and dishonor and to disavow Him before the multitudes.]
This morning in church, we were talking about the the Hebrew new year 5779 and the Hebrew symbols and their meaning for each number. Briefly "5" is devine grace; "7" is devine perfection (x 2) and "9" represents the fruit of the spirit." This---together with the symbols and their meaning---is compelling. Consider looking it up for yourself. It all meant a lot to me because I have been focusing on the receiving daily impartations of---believing and receiving---the fruit of His Spirit for many days now.
Our pastor spoke about something she received from the Lord that this is the year of "Imagination." At that time, I couldn't help but remember the theme of our 2019 Al-Anon Convention is "Imagine."
The pastor further spoke about a vision she had about a bird of prey arriving like a dignitary with angelic escorts. Out of the limousine came what looked to be a golden eagle (or some sort of bird of prey). The Holy Spirit spoke to her and said this is the spirit of Gideon, which reminded her of when the those with Gideon came against their enemy they proclaimed: "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon."
I looked up the Hebrew meaning of the name "Gideon." It means "Destroyer One."
I then reflected upon the sword. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. In my study this morning, I was reminded how the Lord defeated the enemy and all who came against Him while on earth with the Word of God.
In Ephesians 6 we are told to put on the full armor of God when going into battle against our enemy. Our only defensive weapon is our sword, which is the Word of God.
God is purifying His church. He is coming for a bride without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Our words define us; and as the scripture says, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." So of utmost importance is that we surrender completely and exercise self-control over our thoughts and our words.