November 28

Text: 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  (NASB)

To most the text is not a new quotation.  In fact, most reading this would give all the “right” answers to all the “right” questions.  “Right” question: Is scripture from God?  “Right” answer: Yes!  “Right” question: Can scripture supply all our spiritual needs?  “Right” answer: Yes!  “Right” question: Can scripture make us what God intends for us to be?  “Right” answer: Yes!

We become so accustomed to “plugging in” selected verses to justify our views—religious and moral—that we may hear our views, not scripture’s message.  If those teaching scripture to us are shrewd, they can successfully ignore some emphases in scripture to reveal an emphasis that is more their view than God’s full teachings.  As a result, we develop theologically a colorful patchwork quilt of positions and issues that declare human views, not God’s full teachings.

For example, we might enjoy expounding on Matthew 6:33, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (NASB) and never even ask what was Matthew’s view of Jesus.  We might like our idea of “all these things” being given to us, but do we like Jesus?  Is it the man or the prosperity that we like?  Is the man even promising us prosperity?

When Matthew wrote, he wrote to somebody.  We are reading what he wrote someone else.  That means what he said had a purpose or objective.  Thus, that means what Matthew wrote meant what Matthew said.  If we correctly determined what Matthew said and emphasized (easier said than done), then we correctly will grasp Matthew’s message.  The more we grasp Matthew’s message the less likely we are to substitute our thoughts for his emphasis.

As we finish our year of focus on the gospel of Matthew, we will look at Matthew’s view of Jesus.

Suggestion for reflection: In your religious perspectives, how much is your view and how much is God’s emphasis?  (Read Jude 1:10-13, 16.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell