Friday, March 30, 2018

Matthew 7:15-8:27 #eebc2018

This passage wraps up the Sermon on the Mount and includes verses that belong with Matthew 7:1. 7:1 is the well-known "Judge not, lest ye be judged" passage, but didn't say that in a vacuum. He also didn't just drop it as a one-liner. Instead, He preached that as part of a sermon that also includes Matthew 7:19-20 which tells us that we will know people by their fruit.

The difference? Fruit is clear and evident, it's not a judgment based on fleck of dust but on repetitive evidence seen in actions. If you are 'evaluating' someone based on what you think it means that they wore that kind of clothing, you're in the wrong. If you are judging someone as sinful because they are an abusive spouse, then you're probably judging the fruit rightly: it's bad fruit. They are in need of repentance.

Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount by highlighting the importance of putting what He has said into practice. If we do not follow-through and actually do something, it really hasn't helped, has it? And we can say we believe, but belief leads to action.

After the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew records three definite healings and then comments that many others took place. The three are a leper, a Roman centurion's servant, and Peter's mother-in-law. Now, there is a joke in there about how all three are socially unloved people: lepers, Romans, and in-laws, but we'll let it pass for now. Instead, focus on the methods of healing: the leper is healed when Jesus touches him and speaks, the Roman at the word of Christ from a distance, and Peter's mother-in-law at a touch.

The differences highlight that the power is Jesus, not a specific action or person involved. Only the Savior can heal like this, which Matthew brings up from Isaiah 53:4.

But after the crowd builds, Jesus chases some of them away. Why? Because being a disciple is not for those who just want to hang about and have miracles. It's for those who will recognize the cost, those who will face the storms and trust Christ through them.

The miracles may get you started, but you need to have your faith grow beyond only what you've seen. You have to grow into trusting what God has said.

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