Jul 30 — Matthew 14-16

Matt 14:1-12 — The Death of John the Baptist
Matt 14:13-36 — Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand and Walks on Water
Matt 15 — Jesus on Commandments, Feeds the Four Thousand
Matt 16:1-12 — The Pharisees and Sadducees
Matt 16:13-28 — Peter’s Confession of the Christ, Take Up Your Cross

Thoughts about serving others

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

One Reply to “Jul 30 — Matthew 14-16”

  1. Jesus’ response to the questioning Pharisees (and teachers of the Law) must have left them troubled and confused. Matthew 15:1-20 and Mark 7:1-23 record his response to their question about breaking the tradition of the elders: “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? … you say that if anyone declares what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it” (Matthew 15:3, 5). Mark amplifies this to include the term “Corban (that is devoted to God)” (Mark 7:11); further, Mark records, “And you do many things like that” (Mark 7:13). The NIV Study Bible provides notes on this section, “The teachers of the law held that the Corban oath was binding, even when uttered rashly.”

    Jesus proves that he knew all about their rules, their laws, their traditions–he even quoted them back (I’m reminded they didn’t have Bibles laying around…any books for that matter)–such was the nature of an oral tradition. He understood their rules and consistently showed them how far off they had become. He goes on to tell a parable with an explanation (thanks to Peter’s honest prompting), “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating the unwashed hands does not defile them” (Matthew 5:18-20)

    The heart is revealed by what we say, what we say is evidence of where our heart is. The daily exercise of reading the Bible provides the nutrients our heart needs. With this daily bread we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18). May God continue to reveal himself to us through his word, may we look beyond traditions and rules and see clearly what God intended for us and help us to lead other justly.

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