Matthew Part Two: Dive
THIS IS CAUSE FOR ACTION
Welcome to week two in the Book of Matthew. How are you going in the book of instruction? Have you noticed the long teaching sessions that Matthew has put into this book for us? Have you been caught up in the ‘Blessed Are’ series, or caught up in the Parable series? Have you loved hearing the direct teaching of Jesus?
The thing I love about the Book of Matthew is not just what Jesus is saying, but how He says it. Have you noticed the instructional language in Matthew? ‘Watch out’, ‘Do not’, ‘When you’, ‘I tell you’–warnings and corrections. He is not entertaining His crowd, He is not just a motivational speaker. Jesus is giving us tools to change our life, to direct us, guide us and to instruct us in change. When He speaks, He expects us to act on His words. He teaches with authority, His teaching imparts power to act on what He is saying.
Jesus is a teacher with a cause for action contained within.
‘Cause for action’ is a legal term that basically means that you have enough facts to commence legal proceedings in a situation. You have a cause that has contained facts which require an action. Jesus doesn’t want us to just listen, be entertained and then forget, He has given us enough facts to take action. So as He speaks, He wants us to take notes, write all over your instruction manual and then take it away and do what it says.
M 7:24-25 Therefore anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who builds his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
Can you see in Matthew 7:24 (above) that this instruction contains two points of action?
Hear the words of Jesus
Put them into practice
So as you read Matthew be prepared to stop and think: ‘Am I actually in line with Jesus’ teaching in my life? What do I need to change about my life to line up with his teaching?’
Trashing tip: Write your responses all over your Bible. This is a great way to build a solid foundation for your life. Jesus is your personal life coach!
THIS TEACHING COMES WITH POWER TO ACT
The next great thing about Jesus is that He teaches with authority and power.
M 7:28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at this teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not their teachers of the law.
Jesus is not an ordinary teacher, giving you just knowledge and wisdom, He also gives the power to act. As you read Matthew, remember this is the Son of God giving you these life instructions. This man got 100% on His final exam in life, He lived it perfectly. In Matthew 15, Jesus rebukes the Pharisee and teachers of the law for being teachers ‘of merely human rules’. Jesus didn’t come to bring rules, He came to bring us the wisdom and power to live our lives in freedom and fullness.
THIS TEACHING IS BACK TO FRONT
I love the practical and timelessness of the Bible - teaching that was applicable to them in 30 AD is still applicable to us. As Jesus taught, people were shocked. His teaching rocked the core of their culture, it was contradictory to what their society was telling them. He changed the fabric of society by His teaching.
Did you notice in Matthew 5 when He says ‘You have heard… but I tell you’ over and over again. What is He doing? He is challenging and reversing their thinking, He is changing the instruction manual. He made them realise that their worldly wisdom was actually back to front and His Kingdom comes with a whole new set of rules. Let me ask you, do you need some of your thoughts reversed today? If I asked your average person to write a list of who he thought was blessed, it would probably read like this:
Blessed are those who have a big income, because they are able to live in large houses
Blessed are those who have lots of Instagram friends, because they are paid to be on social media
Blessed are those who are famous, because they are seen and loved by all
Blessed are those who …
But Jesus didn’t teach to the culture of the world, He taught to the culture of the Kingdom. And that meant changing what we think about being blessed. For in Jesus, you are blessed when you are persecuted. Are you kidding Lord? That doesn’t sound right does it… I thought persecution was an attack from the devil? But Jesus says you are blessed when you are persecuted, for your’s is the Kingdom of Heaven (M 5:10). Can you see how Jesus’ teaching goes against the teaching of this world and says we are blessed when we are poor in spirit, blessed when we are meek, blessed when we choose to be peacemakers?
So today, as you read Matthew, re-write your wisdom and allow Jesus’ seemingly topsy-turvy teaching to change your worldview. Have a great time this week as you read this incredible book! See you next week for our last week in Matthew.