Friday afternoon I had an opportunity to meet somebody for the first time. He is of retirement age. The best career he’s ever had is being a handyman. He cannot read or write. But…
This man has spent more time listening to the Bible than most have spent reading it. He’s spent more years thinking through the hard questions in life than most people have spent in a church. We talked about evolution. The Big Bang. Jesus. His death. His resurrection. Is the Bible reliable? Why so many religions? You name it, we talked about it.
The thing is, I know he’s not alone in having hard questions. You probably have some yourself. Maybe more than a few.
What’s fascinating is how many of these questions may be answered by diving into God’s Word. Not all of your questions may be answered in one sitting. But continued study will answer life’s most complicated questions.
This brings me back to the 28/14 study. Today is day 4 of the 28/14 challenge. And this challenge asks three of the most complex questions in life.
- Who is God?
- Who am I?
- What is God inviting me to do?
Here are some of the thoughts I have after reading Matthew 7-8 and answering these questions.
Who is God?
As seen earlier in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is Immanuel – God with us. Therefore, we can learn a great deal about who God is from what Jesus has to say in these chapters.
God is a teacher – “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
God is a healer – Jesus heals a number of people in Matthew 7-8. But one sticks out a bit more than the others (Matthew 8:5-12). A Roman Centurion asks Jesus to heal his servant. This is important because to the Jews, the Romans were the bad guys. The Jews were expecting a Messiah in the line of king David to free them from Roman rule! And here’s Jesus, God in the flesh, telling the Roman Centurion – “I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” If that didn’t unsettle the crowd, I’m not sure what could!
God is (or at least was) homeless – “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)
When thinking about God, the first of these points makes a lot of sense. But the other two? Wow! Those give a much different perspective on the character of God.
Who am I?
Jesus says, “Don’t judge others.” And…
“Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?” And…
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” (Matthew 7:2, 3, 12).
I’m one who does the opposite of these things on a regular basis.
What is God inviting me to do?
God is inviting me to radically rethink my concept of who he is. He’s inviting me to be a true disciple, all the while requirement me to rethink what true discipleship looks like (Matthew 7:21-23). He’s inviting me to listen to his teaching (7:24) and continually be amazed by it (7:28).
How about you? What are you learning about God? Yourself? And what he’s inviting you to do?
This is day 4 in a series on the 28/14 Challenge. I won’t post my thoughts each day of the challenge, but additional posts are provided at the links below.
The 28/14 Challenge: day 1 (Matthew 1-2)
The 28/14 Challenge: day 4 (Matthew 7-8)
The 28/14 Challenge: day 6 (Matthew 11-12)
The 28/14 Challenge: day 11 (Matthew 21-22)
Questions or comments? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.
One Reply to “the 28/14 challenge: day 4”
I have been reading daily, meditating on the words, but not responding here on a daily basis, guess that is your task, Justin…. 🙂
The things that I take from the sermon on the mount is the authority Jesus showed… “but I say…to you.” I would say that is what amazed the people as He taught them over the course of that teaching time. It is what amazes me, as well. He is the Truth…not a semblance of truth, not one of many truths…..nope, He is the Truth and He did what He said He would do.
But the final thought that I caught again, is that the Centurion who asked for a healing of his servant… “amazed Jesus.!” Jesus was not amazed except in this instance about a person’s faith, especially a gentile! Isn’t that what we want to do as we become more and more like Him…amaze others in His name and also, let Him smile as what we do for Him.
I found out God is Truth….and His truth goes beyond anything the world would think is enough.
I found out I need to let Him be my guide..nothing the world says should make a dent in my armor.
and what is the application…. Let my faith In Jesus be the guide I need.
God bless this opportunity for all of us to “go deeper.”