Today’s readings are Matthew 18-19

Read today’s Bible readings at BibleGateway by clicking here.

Rabbit Trails
At the beginning of chapter 18 Messiah is admonishing people not to cause anyone else to sin. This harkens back to Matthew 5:19 for me, in ways that we can cause others to sin: by teaching them that it is okay to break or set aside the commandments.

Matthew 19:24 It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of YHWH.

This is a common Hebrew saying. Sometimes elephant is used in place of the camel. The thought is that the opening is narrow and rich man would have the most difficult time getting through it because he would have to let go of his riches in order to fit through it.

Matthew 18:10-14 We see in the parable of the Lost Sheep what we have seen since the beginning of Genesis: The father loves His children and does not desire for anyone to perish.
He is a God of compassion and love, but He is also a God of justice. Throughout history, scholars, priests, and lay people have had a difficult time reconciling the two and many have even stepped up and claimed that there was a “god” in the OT who was vengeful and angry and a “god” in the NT who is purely focused on love.

We’re going to go in depth on that tomorrow.

However, it is important to note, and it can’t be overlooked if you read the Bible in it’s entirety, that YHWH has always been a God of Grace from the very beginning. Let us give Him the honor due to Him by acknowledging that whenever the opportunity arises. Grace is woven through this entire book, from start to finish. Anyone who says different hasn’t read it. 

Matthew 15:15-20 When it comes to Messiah’s instructions on how to handle someone within the body of Believers (they refer to them as a brother) who sins against you, I think this can go downhill fast.

The thing is, in this context, this is referring to mature Believers who are actually seeking after YHWH’s will. Note that it takes a great deal of spiritual maturity not to abuse this scenario and we must keep it in context that directly following this passage is Messiah’s command to forgive our brother seventy seven times. Also in context of the Word we were told in Proverbs that a wise man is slow to offense. (Prov 19:11).

I would caution, in our day and age, against maintaining friendships with people who are always looking for situations in which to be offended by others. What I mean by this are those people who are always offended or get hurt feelings from the smallest of things as if they were looking for an opportunity to get offended. This denotes a spiritual and mental immaturity and these situations seldom end well. That is just a bit of unsolicited mother hen advice from me.

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20

Matthew 19:1-9 You’ll notice in the teaching about divorce that Messiah upheld YHWH’s law and Moses only made allowances because the people had hardened hearts – but it was not the will of YHWH.

Matthew 19:16-30 The rich young man
A young man asked Messiah what he would have to do in order to have eternal life and Messiah’s final word was that he could not possibly be good enough to earn that, but that he should keep the commandments.

This is a bit of a twist over what many churches teach today in the age of emergent churches where it is taught that we can’t possibly be good enough so we don’t even have to worry about the commandments, just love YHWH and you’ll be fine. I know most of y’all are flabbergasted when I say things like that because you don’t go to those types of churches but believe me, they are cropping up everywhere.

The man further prods Messiah and asks which commandments He is to keep.
Messiah answers with:

  • You shall not murder (6th commandment)
  • You shall not commit adultery (7th commandment)
  • You shall not steal (8th commandment)
  • You shall not bear false witness (9th commandment)
  • Honor your Father and Mother (5th commandment)
  • You shall love your neighbor as yourself (This is a form of the 10th and a combination of the last six)

Some have used this passage to say that Messiah did away with one particular commandment because He did not reiterate it here. However, if we apply that logic to all of the commandments (out of the ten) not mentioned here, this is what we would have Messiah doing away with:

  • I am YHWH your God (1st commandment)
  • You shall have no other gods before me (2nd commandment)
  • You shall not make any idols (3rd commandment)
  • Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy (4th commandment)

We would also have to set aside the facts that Messiah would never undermine YHWH, YHWH said He does not change AND Messiah walked out all of the commandments perfectly. Now, IF He was doing away with any commandment not mentioned in this parable, for us to believe He was doing away with the commandments honoring YHWH simply makes no sense, no matter how you twist it.

I would like to point out, instead, that the commandments Messiah mentions by name are those that specifically apply to how we are to relate to one another, interpersonal relations. You see, the first four commandments tell us how to love YHWH and the next six tell us how to love our neighbor. We will talk about that more in Matthew 22.

Since this man was following around the Messiah and among the crowd at this point, it is easy to assume He was a Jew and therefore Messiah could have easily seen that these commandments not mentioned were already within this man’s heart to do as they are the ones which show us how to operate in our relationship with the Father.

Did you catch in our reading today that the Pharisees are still questioning and testing Messiah? Isn’t it cool knowing what is going on there?

My notes are brief so I can give more time to tomorrow’s notes. I hope you have a wonderful day today.

Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21

We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!

May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!

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Christy Jordan
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