October 2021 ended with a milestone podcast! It was the:
- 30th podcast on the Gospel of Matthew;
- last podcast on the antithesis;
- and finished Matthew 5.
It took 17 podcasts to cover Matthew 5, because in order to understand what Jesus meant, we spent so much time in the Old Testament. I think it was worth it. I hope you do too.
In November, we move on to Matthew 6 and the Lord’s prayer. I expect to finish Matthew 6 in only 7 podcasts.
Both Moses and Jesus recognize that we sinners are going to fail in our marriages and so they allowed divorce with some regulations. Moses did not mean divorce was a righteous option. Divorce results from the fact that the parties involved are sinners. God intended marriage to be forever but divorce is a necessary evil because of our sin.
Since we rarely make oaths today, at first glance there doesn’t seem to be much to learn from Matthew 5;33-37. However, I think Jesus is dealing with a very important issue which is deeper than telling the truth or meaning what we say. He’s dealing with violating the 3rd commandment, taking the Lord’s name in vain.
Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for applying instructions for the judges of Israel to their personal behavior. They claim they can be as proportionally vindictive to in the name of seeking retribution and still consider themselves blameless. Jesus says the guiding principle is not “an eye for an eye” but rather “turn the other cheek.”
Jesus commands us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. In one sense, loving your neighbor is a simple, practical guide to good conduct. But it is also a truth we have to embrace and choose to follow. In that sense, it is a test of faith.
The word translated “daily” in the Lord’s prayer (ἐπιούσιος) appears only in the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:3. Since this word is used nowhere else, we can’t be sure what it means. Both modern and ancient scholars have proposed several different suggestions for its meaning.
How can God be one being and yet 3 persons? While not explained explicitly in any passage, the concept of the Trinity is progressively revealed in Scripture. The early church struggled for centuries to understand the doctrine of the Trinity before landing on 3 statements.
How do we know the Bible is the Word of God? First, we can examine what the Bible claims about itself.
While the major divisions of the book are fairly clear, the book is difficult to outline. Isaiah repeats to the several themes throughout the book. Each time he returns to a theme he approaches it from a slightly different angle and often gives more detail, giving the book a kind of “spiral” outline.