Monday, February 13, 2012

120213 - Matthew 22 - the 'power' and 'wisdom' of tradition vs. the wisdom and power of God

Monday SOAP: Left to our own devices, we presume wisdom and experience we don't possess. It led the Sadducees and Pharisees to believe they could even manuver the Lord Jesus into confusion or a doctrinal mistake. They knew religious men well - how they thought and operated. What they did not know were the Scriptures or the person of Christ. They needed more trust in the power of God than their own skill.

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S: The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (Mt 22:23-29).

O: Matthew 22 contains Jesus' convicting story of God's repeated invitations to the wedding feast. Sensing the parable was about them, the Pharisees try to trip Him up, then the Sadducees, then the Pharisees again. No one is able to confuse Him or trap Him in His pronouncements. Finally, He asks them the nature of Messiah, and they can't understand how He could be David's Lord as well as his Son; so they don't dare ask Him any more questions. This is the Sadducees' turn, showing Christ's summary response before explaining the absurdity of their question.

A: When we don't really know the Scriptures or the power of God, we're bound to make such mistakes. Careful study of the Scriptures teach us their reliability, and skepticism about our own reasoning. Experience of the power of God, likewise, helps us have faith in even those things we don't fully understand - in contrast to those cults who remove anything they can't entirely fathom in the Scriptures. The Sadducees were headed down that path - not believing in the resurrection and looking for a way to ridicule it. I may not be able to defend the Scriptures against all attacks as Jesus did, but I will still believe them and defend them, even should I become the target of ridicule. Because, although I don't know much, I know enough about them to know they are reliable - and I know Jesus - again, not like I want to, but by the expeirence of His work in my own life. It's part of my calling to have to be patient with those who ridicule and mock God and the Bible. But it doesn't mean I'm OK with it. It makes me angry at them, but also fearful for them: the Sadducees didn't know Who they were showing such disrespect toward.

The television show "Undercover Boss" comes to mind - the CEO of a corporation goes incognito in the lower eschelon of his own business. Sometimes they're found to be loyal and hard-working employees and given advancement when the boss shows himself. Other times, he's mistreated personally, sometimes his character as leader is criticized by co-workers who don't know they're talking about the boss to the boss. Imagine their embarrassment. Now imagine the revelation that David's son, King Messiah, is actually David's Lord, the Creator of all Created things - what about those people who took the servants He sent them and mistreated them. (Matthew 22:2-7, Hebrews 1:1) How about those who mocked, mistreated and humliated His Son? (Matthew 21:38, Hebrews 1:2)

P: Father, keep me from error by building my faith, my knowledge of the Scriptures and my experience of your power.

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