Clean Hands vs. Clean Hearts

Matthew 15 presents us with a discussion between three groups of people: Jesus, some Pharisees from Jerusalem, and Jesus’ disciples. The section begins in 14:1ff with Herod’s “witness” to Jesus: his guilty conscience is attributing the miracles Jesus is performing to John the Baptist (whom he had put to death). Despite Herod’s confusion, Matthew wouldContinue reading “Clean Hands vs. Clean Hearts”

Called And Claimed (2)

There’s a bit more to Matthew’s story though.  Maybe it would be more accurate to say that there’s a bit more of Matthew in the wonderful story he’s have us to know about Jesus.    At the center of Matthew’s story of the Messiah is his own story that reflects what lies at the heart of Jesus’Continue reading “Called And Claimed (2)”

Called And Claimed (1)

Matthew was a tax collector! Tax collector was on no one’s list of What I want to be when I grow up.  It would have been bad enough if they collected taxes from their people (the Jews), for their people. Then he would have been the equivalent of an employee of the IRS. But this wasn’t the case. HeContinue reading “Called And Claimed (1)”

Built To Withstand

Matthew’s gospel is the second most popular book of the Bible (Psalms is first). Part of the reason for its popularity is what we refer to as the Sermon on the Mount, which is recorded in chapters 5-7. Jesus’ teaching begins with an introduction that features the Beatitudes and transitions into a commission to beContinue reading “Built To Withstand”

A Sense Of The Sacred

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces (Matthew 7:6). Jesus’ words are commonly understood to mean that His disciples are to show discernment in who they share the glorious good newsContinue reading “A Sense Of The Sacred”