Exodus 9-12; Psalm 14; Matthew 21-22

Week Number
14

The religious leaders during Jesus’ time on earth surely did their best to discredit and belittle Him. They were at it once again in Matthew 22.

These were the most educated people of their day. They were intelligent, clever, and busy people. How much valuable time did they waste thinking about, discussing among themselves, and attempting to carry out a plan to demean Jesus?

This time they had a few questions for Jesus. But with only a few words, Jesus took their well-planned attacks and reduced them to tools that He could use to teach about Himself and God. His answers left the religious leaders defenseless and speechless. And His answers left the crowds impressed.

His answers were startlingly simple. Taxes? “Give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God” (Matt. 22:21). Greatest commandment? ‘“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37-39). Resurrection of the dead? “Jesus replied, ‘Your problem is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God’” (Matt. 22:29).

“You don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” The words reverberate through the many years and land squarely in my lap. How well do I know the Scriptures? How well do I understand the power of God? My honest answer: better than I used to but not nearly as well as I want to and need to.

Do I know the Scriptures well enough that they are a natural part of my thought process? Do I know them well enough that they guide my thoughts and actions? Am I able to recognize God’s powerful presence in all the circumstances of my life, in both the blessings and the hardships? Do I understand the power of God enough to trust in His wisdom, justice, love, and forgiveness?

Jesus’ answers to the religious leaders are still teaching us today, and we pursue knowledge about the Scriptures and the power of God as we read through the Bible.

© 2010 Arlina Yates

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