Today’s reading: Gen 30:1–43, Matt 22:23–23:36, Eccles 7:6–12
Today’s theme: Scripture and context
Today one of the key lessons for us is that scripture must be interpreted and applied within it’s true context. It is so important in an age where relativism and personal interpretations rule the day, that we hold to the true context of scripture as intended by the original authors and the Spirit of God.
Integrity in work
So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.” Genesis 30:33 (ESV)
Jacob’s integrity in his work and dealings with Laban were based on his trust and faith in God. If we trust in the Lord to take care of us there is no need to be dishonest or come up with our own schemes.
Context is important
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. Matthew 22:29 (ESV)
Jesus, in rebuking the Sadducees, makes clear that we should both know the correct context of scripture and experientially know the power and person of God.
Love God with everything
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37 (ESV)
God is uppermost in His own affections, this is the ultimate purpose of our lives, to Love God with everything, using the energy He has provided to serve, honour and glorify Him.
Jesus in the Old Testament
If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” Matthew 22:45 (ESV)
Jesus points the leaders back to the Old Testament to make it clear that the Messiah is more than just a descendant of David but is the Lord God Himself, The Son of the Living God.
We are all brothers
But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:8–12 (ESV)
Jesus doesn’t want us to live like the Pharisees who saw themselves as better than the “normal” believers in Israel. This is how we should live in God’s kingdom, we should be humble and serve well. We are all brothers and are all equal under Christ. We should not have priests like Roman Catholicism.
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Matthew 23:33 (ESV)
Jesus boldly confronts sin, falsehood and hypocrisy and tells them that (without repentance) there is no escape from hell. We can learn for Jesus’ boldness and unmixed speech.
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. Ecclesiastes 7:10 (ESV)
This is why we should not get side tracked with relative moralism by looking back at older days and saying things like “what has happened to society?” etc. The fact is that evil has been in the world since the fall of man and the enemy would like us to be nostalgic.
Instead we should state the truth regardless of how today differs from yesterday. We should not appeal to relativism in any of it’s subtle forms.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014