Sunday, July 2, 2017

Working through Matthew

I am reading through Matthew again...yes, I am rather fond of this book as it bears my name.  Surprisingly, this time I am finding all kinds of truths I had never noticed before.  I suppose with any book you read again, you're likely to find things you missed before.  I read Harry Potter about 4-5 times through and enjoyed it quite a lot each time, but I really can't say I learned or saw things I had missed before.  Matthew is different.

This time through I am noticing all of the non-spiritual things.  Obviously, I read and notice when Jesus performs miracles such as making the lame man walk, but I am more interested in the "normal life" perspective this go around.  For example, as soon as Jesus hears about the death of John the Baptist (Jesus' cousin), "He left in a boat to a remote area to be alone."  In all of my life, I've not paid any attention to that and certainly never heard a sermon on that verse.  I'm pretty sure that would be a terribly boring sermon too...probably best that never transpired.

But the reason this line caught my attention now is that it shows how Matt-like, Jesus was at moments.  We see a man here who has healed the sick, made the lame walk, and raised the dead...yet, he finds a need to go and be alone when his friend dies?  Does He intend to mourn or pray or cry or scream?  We have no idea.  But, it stands to reason that some emotion caused Him to stop what He was doing at the time and go by Himself.  In these moments, He wasn't doing anything miraculous, which teaches me He was more like me than I had previously believed.  And if He is like me in those moments, perhaps I can be like Him in the other moments.  

Perhaps when He says, "go and sin no more."  He really meant, "Matt go and sin no more...and yes you can really do that."  The more I understand Jesus as a real life person, the more I can believe that I can actually live a life like His.  Will I feed 5,000 people with a few loaves and fish?  Probably not.  But, I may feed 5,000 one day by living on less and giving more.  Will I raise someone from the dead?  Not likely (lol...I can still hold out hope right?).  But I may be able to breathe life into someone who needs just enough encouragement to take another breath and choose not to end theirs.  Will I choose to sacrifice my life for the sake of others, to give when I would rather take, to love when I'd rather burn with bitterness?  God, I hope so.  And if a perfect man who walked this earth believes I can do it, who am I to doubt?