What Are You Doing With Your Treasure?

We don’t know exactly when the wise men arrived in Bethlehem to see the Christ. They had followed the star to Jerusalem where they inquired, “Where is the One who has been born the King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2). You can almost see Herod strutting out of his throne room saying, “Here I am!”Continue reading “What Are You Doing With Your Treasure?”

Understanding Scripture Through Understanding God

Matthew 12:1-8 is what scholars like to refer to as a freighted passage. If you think of a railroad engine pulling a large number of loaded boxcars behind it then you have the picture. It is simply a way of saying that a particular text contains a significant amount of material that needs to be unloaded andContinue reading “Understanding Scripture Through Understanding God”

Trap Doors And Trip Wires

That Matthew 7:21-23 is a powerful piece of Scripture, no one would deny or wish to dispute!  The loving and gentle Jesus makes it clear that neither sweet words (“Lord, Lord”) nor spectacular deeds (driving out demons, performing miracles), are a substitute for a surrendered life. It’s clear that Jesus is saying something critical here, butContinue reading “Trap Doors And Trip Wires”

This Is Our Savior!

Prior to the beginning of His ministry, Matthew shares with us two things that happened to Jesus—His baptism and His temptation in the wilderness. These are to be taken together as inaugural and initiatory to His mission. Jesus’ baptism was (among other things), His public manifestation to Israel. John develops this aspect as he tellsContinue reading “This Is Our Savior!”

The Man Of Mercy

Jesus, as Matthew presents Him to us, was a man of mercy.  Jesus taught mercy.  Matthew arranged his gospel into five teaching blocks (chapters 5-7,10,13,18,23-25).  Each of these ends with a statement to the effect of when Jesus had finished saying/teaching (all) these things (7:28,11:1,13:53, 19:1,26:1),  In the first part of the first teaching section, Matthew recorded JesusContinue reading “The Man Of Mercy”

The Key To The Church

There is a lot of misunderstanding about church. It would have been interesting if Jesus had asked the disciples in Matthew 16:13ff, “What do people say the church is?” But of course, the church didn’t exist at that time, so He couldn’t do that. Still, the text has it right—what we think about Christ isContinue reading “The Key To The Church”

The Genesis Of Jesus

Matthew offers us several beginnings regarding Jesus in the introductory portion of his gospel (1:1-4:16). There’s the beginning of the preaching concerning the kingdom Christ is bringing in the work of John the Baptist (3:1ff). Then there’s the beginning of Jesus’ public life marked by His baptism (3:13ff) and the beginning of His ministry inContinue reading “The Genesis Of Jesus”

The Challenging Beatitudes

The Beatitudes are not spiritual fast food.  As with most of the Scripture, they are not well suited to our drive-through, microwave mentality of learning.  Rather, they should be thought of as a holiday feast to be lingered over and luxuriated upon.  And, as with holiday celebrations, they are something to be cherished, remembered, and returned to onContinue reading “The Challenging Beatitudes”