Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 12
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:4:23-25
Note: We are going to switch things up a little bit today in order to better address today's material. This is the first sermon of Jesus chosen by Matthew to record. This very likely is not the first sermon Jesus ever gave however, in fact some bible historians put this sermon perhaps a year to a year an a half into Jesus' official earthly ministry. The Gospel according to John chapters 1-4 are believed to come ahead of this and there is plenty opportunity for Jesus to have given many a sermon, possibly even this sermon several times. It is undoubtedly one of Jesus' most popular and most familiar sermons admired and taught from even by other religions and secular groups.
The sermon itself continues through the next few chapters and is divided by us into several days worth of passages. We need to keep in mind these next several days that this is one evening's sermon and that every thing we'll cover in those days has to remain interconnected. I have deemed it nessesary to employ an unconventional approach to daily devotions in order to force us into keeping the elements of this sermon strung together in context; as you will soon see.
What is man doing?
We have said all along that man is corrupting everything true in many ways and then many times over. I can prove this in the case of this wildly popular and widely accepted/quoted sermon by how many differing interpretations there are of it and it's perceived meaning. In the Old Testament we could have proved the same thing by how many differing opinions there are of the Ten Commandments (even the Hebrews themselves have taken to seeing it as an onion of many separable layers). Everyone has their own thought, their own rendering, thus their own corruptions of it. That tendency of all man towards corruption the purest understanding of it does not exclude us as Christians as well.
What is God doing?
Matthew wrote earlier that Jesus was going all around the region preaching/teaching/healing. Luke quotes Jesus quoting the prophet Isaiah that:
kjv@Luke:4:18-19 @ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
And we've already quoted John's gospel in the places where Jesus emphatically states that He is here to do only as the Father tells Him to do. His life now is nothing other than an act of obedience; so then this sermon too is an obedience of Jesus to the Father. Another way to think of this is that what Jesus is saying is what the Father has told Him to say. We asked what God is doing here? We reply that God the Father is speaking to us through a most obedient mouthpiece His Son under the full anointing of HIS Holy Ghost.
It is obvious that God is putting this out there at this point so that it is recorded in it's purest form. Man is still not ready to hear it for what it really means. Even more so man is not ready to turn their lives over to what it best means. The payload of this message is reserved for a later time, for the hearts of the future cleansed and regenerate believers after the Cross under the living tutelage of the indwelling Holy Spirit. For anyone without that to make claim to it's understanding is a sore corruption.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
No other man or woman has ever spoken from this level obedience with this level of anointing as has Jesus. The people attending this evening will walk away stunned by the authority with which Jesus spoke. That does not mean that they left with a full understanding, that they weren't already corrupting it moments after it's conclusion, nor that they all would at some point accept it and turn their very life completely over to it. No, what could be best said of this sermon is that everybody struggles with it, everybody makes of it what they fits their frame of mind best, few ever accept it for what it truly has spoken deep into our souls. Might it be said that often times the best of Jesus' obediences bring out the worst in ours!
To continue through the sermon in a more focused context, please remember these things today as benchmarks of where we are to succeed at in the Spirit and where by our own resource we are definitely fail:
- The poor in spirit
- They that mourn
- The meek
- They that hunger and thirst for righteousness
- The merciful
- The pure in heart
- The peacemakers
- They which are persecuted for righteousness sake
Next: devotion:Matthew:5:13-16 Salt and Light