When the ExaminEE becomes the ExaminER

June 17, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Matthew | 5 Comments
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Even though He was truly a King, there were times in His earthly ministry when Jesus submitted Himself to examination by inferior and unsuitable examiners. They questioned Him about taxes:

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Matthew 22:15-17

They questioned Him about relationships:

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.

Matthew 22:23-28

This is similar to today. People have access to the revealed will of God, and access to the friendship of His Son, but they would rather know about health, wealth, and relationships. People cultivate relationships with people that they can use – use to get things – because things are what they really love. God made things for using and people for loving, and when we get those reversed we are guilty of idolatry.

Now the King had a question for them:

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Matthew 22:41-46

Psalm 110:1 would have answered this question for them about how Jesus could be the Son of David and the Lord of David:

The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Psalm 110:1

However, they were blinded by their past, their position, and their pride.

In Matthew 23 we see the King’s last public proclamation before the Cross. It is considered unloving these days to criticize unbiblical ministries, but Jesus was not hesitant about exposing false teachers, nor about denouncing them.

Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Matthew 23:2-3

The Pharisees based their their religion on self-righteousness, but they were not righteous themselves.

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Matthew 23:4

They had a strange idea of “ministry:” adding burdens instead of helping bear burdens.

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

Matthew 23:5

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Matthew 23:11

The Pharisees thought that they were “great men of God,” but they did not want to serve.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Matthew 23:13

They kept others who were trying to “press in” from entering the Kingdom.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Matthew 23:15

They had a deceitful and dangerous idea of “religion.” They had just enough religion to be dangerous – to use the right words and look the right way without any real conversion. They were like a preschooler who doesn’t really know the answer, but ecstatically waves his hand to be called on anyway: a big commotion with nothing of any value to say.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Matthew 23:27-28

The Pharisees lived for outward appearances, while the inside was vile and dead.

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Matthew 23:33

Jesus referred to their “generation” not as an earthly, genealogical generation, but as the generation of Satan’s “children.”

Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Matthew 23:32

They were filling up the cup of God’s wrath. Jesus drank the cup of wrath for believers, but unbelievers will be made to drink their own cup.

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Matthew 23:38

He called it “your house” instead of God’s house because it had been abandoned and left empty.

And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Matthew 21:13

Don’t Stunt Your Growth

September 23, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Hebrews | 6 Comments
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So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 5:5-6

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Psalm 110:4

Christ’s priesthood is better than Aaron’s priesthood in numerous ways, including the fact that Christ’s priesthood is forever. It is from a different order of Old Testament priests – the order of Melchizedek.

And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Genesis 14:16-20

As a foreshadowing type of Christ, Melchizedek was a priest and a king.

Old Testament priests had to offer sacrifices for themselves before sacrificing for the people, but Christ was the Priest and the Sacrifice. Jesus shared in the suffering, but not in the sin. His shared suffering showed that He would be compassionate.

Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

Hebrews 5:2-3

Even as we touch on the issue of Christ being a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, we must also pause for another admonition – the third one in the Book of Hebrews. Remember, an admonition is not simply a threat: “If you don’t eat your green beans, I’m gonna knock your block off.” No, it’s encouragement, but with a loving warning: “Look, I noticed you have a tendency not to eat your green beans, and I want you to eat them because you won’t be healthy if you don’t eat them, but, if you don’t – because I love you – I’m going to have to discipline you.” The first admonition was: Don’t slip. The second admonition was: Don’t be suspicious. The third admonition is: Don’t be stunted.

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

Hebrews 5:11

The problem is not that the message of God is too difficult; it’s that the ears of the hearers are unfocused and have become dulled. There are symptoms of being stunted spiritually. They mirror the symptoms of failing to grow physically.

1. Immature children don’t like to share.

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God…

Hebrews 5:12

2. Immature children can only have milk.

… and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

Hebrews 5:12-13

3. Immature children have no discernment. (They’ll put anything in their mouths.)

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 5:14

One of the goals of the Christian life is to become more mature. It’s not enough just to escape from Egypt – to wander in the wilderness. We must cross over into Canaan.

Immature children are often too immature to know that they are immature. Here are some ways to know if this admonition is for you:

1. Do you find the Word of God boring?
2. Is Bible study dull?
3. Are you uninterested in hearing Biblical preaching?
4. Does prayer seem like merely a chore?

If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then the solution is not to find something more entertaining, but to “grow up.” You play a part in your own growth. Be intentional about “eating” (hearing the Word). Get some “exercise” (get involved in ministry in your local church).

Thank You, Lord, for providing most of us with a safe and comfortable place to meet and study and fellowship together. Cause us to be truly led by the Holy Ghost, and use us in magnifying and lifting up and glorifying our crucified and risen Savior. In His name I pray. Amen.


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