Posts from March 2019

Posts from March 2019

Matthew 9: Jesus Demonstrates His Power: 2

Matthew 9:1-8 is one answer to using of the thief on the cross as an argument against baptism being necessary for salvation. The first is that the thief died more than a month before Jesus commanded it (cf Mk 16:16). But in this case, we see that Jesus had power on earth to forgive sin (v 6). This power was demonstrated in His healing of the paralytic. One thing that strikes me is the misunderstanding on the part of those…

Matthew 8: Jesus Demonstrates His Power: 1

Matthew 8 is the beginning of a series of events whereby Jesus demonstrates His Divine power in an undeniable fashion. In Matthew 8:1-4 we find the Lord healing a leper. What is particularly moving about this account is the fact that Jesus touched the man to heal him, even though such was completely unnecessary (as we will soon see in verses 5-13). The leper was a pariah among the Jewish populace. The Law of Moses prescribed quarantine for those so…

Matthew 7: Of Hogs and Dogs

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matt 7:6). In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus condemns unrighteous judgment (cf John 7:24).  I believe most agree that those who were often guilty of such were the scribes, Pharisees and other Jewish rulers of the day.  They were quick to condemn the guiltless (Matt 12:1-8) without considering their own sins (Matt 23:23-28).…

Matthew 6: Pure Motives

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved” (Rom 10:1). Paul’s motives in all things were always pure. It is possible to do the right thing with the wrong motive. In so doing one loses all spiritual efficacy with regard to his actions (cf 1 Cor 13:1-3). In today’s text, we see three actions that in and of themselves are good and right, but when done with the wrong motive brings no…

Matthew 5: “Blessed” vs “Happy”

Two thoughts on today’s reading. The first is something I penned a few weeks ago. First, for many years I have heard and read that “blessed” as is found in the beatitudes means “happy.” I just don’t think that is so. The word appears 50 times in the NT and in the is rendered “happy” only 5 times. The other 45 are “blessed,” as in being a recipient of divine favor. In three of the five appearances of “happy,” the…

Matthew 4: The barely mentioned ministry of Jesus.

When thinking of the public ministry of Jesus, I usually think of it as beginning with the Sermon on the Mount. This would not be accurate. Immediately following his baptism and Satan’s temptation in the wilderness, Jesus went to Galilee and dwelled in Capernaum among the Gentiles. Of this period, Matthew says it was the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:1-2. The public life and ministry of Jesus began among the Gentiles, “the people who sat in darkness… and in the region…

Matthew 3: John the Baptizer

John the Baptizer is one of the all-time great characters in all of Scripture. Concerning him, the Lord said, “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptizer…” Because of the way John burst on the scene and his message, many have a rather monolithic view of this great man. Most think of him only in terms of his strange ways and his call of repentance (not unlike the Lord – Matt 4:17, 11:19).…

Matthew 2: Prophecies Surrounding the Early Days of Jesus

I would love to spend today’s blog talking about the false narrative of equating Jesus’ family fleeing to Egypt with thousands of “refugees” who are attempting to enter America, but that would date the blog in years to come, assuming anyone was interested in reading it. Instead, I want to focus on the four prophecies fulfilled with Jesus’ birth and subsequent events in Matthew 2. The first prophecy concerns the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem as recorded in Matthew 2:1-6.…

Matthew 1: I’m the black sheep of the family.

So sang John Anderson in his 1983 hit song. When one reads Matthew’s account of the Lord’s genealogy, he sees quite a few names of people with less than stellar character. In verse 3 we see Judah, to whom Tamar bare Perez and Terah. You may recall that Tamar was Judah’s daughter in law who posed as a harlot and tricked Judah into a sexual relationship because Judah had failed to deliver Shelah as her husband (Gen 38). So we…