the 28/14 challenge: day 11

Reading through Matthew over the past eleven days has been a fantastic challenge for me, personally.  I’ve observed so many interesting things about the life and teachings of Jesus.  For example:

  • I’ve noticed that Matthew writes a lot about various Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled by Jesus.  I haven’t counted how many times I’ve read, “This took place to fulfill…” — but I’ve seen that phrase a lot.
  • I’ve noticed that Jesus Himself had moments of being hungry. Tired. Angry. It’s been comforting to read that God in the flesh had moments when He wanted nothing more than to be alone and be with His Heavenly Father.
  • More than anything, I’ve noticed that Jesus cannot simply be a great teacher. Or a prophet. Or a wonderful man. No – He is either completely insane, or He truly is who says He is.  As C.S. Lewis has argued,  Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. Lewis writes:

“Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. …

Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”

Here are a few things today that help me to see Jesus as Lord:

Who is God?

We once again see Jesus fulfilling prophecies of who the Messiah would be (Matthew 21:4-5)

We see Jesus have overwhelming knowledge (and authority) of the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 21:31-32; 22:2-14).

We see Jesus understanding the Scriptures differently (i.e. better) than anybody else (Matthew 22:32; 36-38; 42-46).

In other words, Jesus is someone who has complete understanding of God the Father and His purpose for each one of us.  He was able to see directly into the hearts of people, seeing prostitutes and thieves for the people they were created to be, and gently loving and encouraging them to live God’s greatest plan for their lives.  These passages (as well as many more in previous chapters) make it clear that Jesus was no fool, and He certainly wasn’t crazy.  The only logical explanation is that He was and is the Son of God.

Who am I?

I am someone who desires to regularly experience the same love and grace that Jesus showed the thieves, prostitutes, and other known sinners of His day.

What is God inviting me to do?

God is inviting me to uphold the greatest commandment:

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40) – New Living Translation

Feel free to comment and let me know what God has been teaching you as you continue the 28/14 Challenge.

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This is part five 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.

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