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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 09’

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The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? – Matthew 19:20

The Bible tells of a good man who came to Christ and was told to sell everything and follow.

What’s important to notice is not the command of Jesus to sell everything, but the man’s overwhelming sense something was lacking from his life even after all the good he had done!

The issue is not being good but who is calling the shots.

Jesus told many of the good people of his day,

“[T]he publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” – Matthew 21:31b

He wasn’t recommending being bad but that God’s Kingdom is for those who turn everything in their lives over to Christ.

When there is a nagging feeling that something is still lacking, check to see if there is still something (maybe even something good), withheld from Christ.

Throw it down and find rest to the soul.1

– fritz

1 – Matthew 11:29

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(Isa 20:2) At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

Most, reading this story about the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, focus on his naked three year walk as an object lesson of God’s coming wrath. This time I noticed the sackcloth underwear.

Sackcloth, known to us as burlap, was a course, scratchy, and uncomfortable material not usually intended for underclothes – except in times of extreme mourning, repentance and crying out to God. Isaiah, that fiery prophet, had been wearing sackcloth!

True men and women of God, like Isaiah, pronounce judgments not in anger or hate but in love, always crying out to God for mercy and grace. Pharisees can’t understand this, but Jesus did,

Mat 9:13 “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

-fritz

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>Cloth and Wine

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“No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment …Neither do men put new wine into old bottles … they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” – Jesus (Matthew 9:16-17)

Jesus brings something comparable to new cloth and new wine. He doesn’t make his freshness fit into old religious systems, but he doesn’t throw them away either.

The context is fasting and, by inference, other religious observance. By saying, “…both are preserved” Jesus indicates the old has value but can’t contain all Jesus offers. Continuing the analogy, old garments are comfortable and new cloth is strong; both have value. Old wine skins hold mature full bodied elixir and new wine is fresh and tasty; again, both have value.

We can enjoy traditional liturgy and religious observances seeing Jesus in them and be touch by its maturity, beauty, and stability. We can also enjoy freedom of worship with hands raised, shouts of praise, and a Jericho march or two (but probably not in the same service).

Both are wonderful when we recognize the value is not the wine skins, but the wine.

– fritz

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“Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them?” – Jesus (Matthew 9:15)

Jesus said living with him was like being in a wedding – a celebration.

The short absence between the cross and Easter is past; Jesus offers to be with everyone who will allow.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” – Jesus (Revelation 3:20)

So…is your life more like a wedding or a funeral?  The difference between the two is the presence of the one for whom the event is given.

-fritz

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