Day 239 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Matthew.
Matthew 7 – The Scriptures frequently warn Believers against passing judgment on others (Luke 6:37; Romans 14:10–13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; James 4:11–12). Because we are sinful, human beings tend to excuse in themselves the sin they readily condemn in others (Romans 2:1, 21–23). The remedy to a judgmental attitude is an understanding of one’s own need for spiritual healing, for righteousness, and for mercy (5:3, 6–7). The pride that feeds the hypocrisy Jesus criticizes here may be the “log” in one’s own eye to which He refers.
God has judged Jesus in our place. If we are united to Jesus through His cross, our end-time judgment is already behind us. We are therefore liberated from judging others, because of our lavish exoneration through the free grace of Jesus.
The mere claim to be a follower of Jesus, and the mere possession of the outward trappings of a commitment to Him, do not indicate whether one’s relationship with Him is real. Christian discipleship is genuine when it arises from a heart and mind transformed by God’s grace, and this inner transformation, which Matthew calls repentance, will inevitably bear good fruit (3:8).
How does recognizes all you’ve been forgiven of, through Jesus, help you not judge others?
Matthew 8 – Just as with Rahab and Ruth (1:5), and the Wise Men from the east (2:1–2, 10–11), now the centurion demonstrates that the kingdom of God is not limited by social and ethnic boundaries (see also 12:18, 21, 38–42; and 15:28). This centurion was a commanding officer within the pagan army that occupied Judea, but he was as welcome in the kingdom as any Israelite. The critical criterion for entry into the kingdom is not the ethnic group to which one belongs but one’s faith in Jesus.
The disciples’ question has already been answered by Jesus’ stilling of the winds and the sea. Jesus is God Himself (1:23): He can bring order to the chaos of the sea, as occurred at creation (Genesis 1:2); He can still the waves of a present storm, whenever His people cry out in distress (Psalm 107:23–32); and ultimately He will relieve all their distress, as seen in the promise of an eternal kingdom with no more chaotic sea (Revelation 21:1). As powerful as the Creator is, He stoops to the weakness of His people, heals their suffering, and rescues them from peril despite their lack of faith. This is who He is.
Wherever Jesus goes he brings the reign of God, and where God reigns, the invisible powers of the universe in rebellion against Him are banished and left powerless to do anyone ultimate harm (see also 4:23–24; 12:28). As the demons recognize, they will someday be completely destroyed, and at this moment in the lives of these two demon-oppressed men, the time of the demons’ final destruction is brought forward into the present.
Demons still exist, are still in rebellion against God, and can still promote evil and create hardship (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12, 16; Revelation 12:7–17). But God has already conquered and subdued them by means of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven (Luke 10:18; Ephesians 1:20–22; Colossians 2:15; 1 Peter 3:18–22; Revelation 12:1–11). Since Believers are united with Jesus, they share His victory over evil (Ephesians 2:6; Revelation 12:11). Equipped with the armor that God supplies (Ephesians 6:10–17), and engaged in prayer (Ephesians 6:18–20), Believers have nothing to fear from Satan and the demonic powers he controls.
How does knowing that in Jesus you are secured from demonic powers give you peace today?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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